Boys' Book of Famous Soldiers - J. W. McSpadden


The Young Surveyor

"Turn your guns around on them! Stop them!"

The command was given in peremptory tones to a demoralized group of soldiers. Not waiting for them to carry out his orders, the young officer who gave them leaped from his horse, and with his own hands turned one of the guns upon the advancing foe.

Had it been the Argonne Forest, and the year 1918, it would have been a machine gun that the officer manned. But the time was over a century and a half earlier than this—and the weapon a light brass field-piece, which after being fired once, must be painfully reloaded.

Meanwhile, the redskins came on.

The young officer, whose name has come down to history as George Washington, was trying to stem the tide of defeat. It was the fateful day when old General Braddock of the British army received his first and fatal lesson in Indian warfare. Says an old Pennsylvania ranger who was also in the fray:

"I saw Col. Washington spring from his panting horse, and seize a brass field-piece as if it had been a stick. His look was terrible. He put his right hand on the muzzle, his left hand on the breach; he pulled with this, he pushed with that, and wheeled it round, as if it had been a plaything. It furrowed the ground like a ploughshare. He tore the sheet-lead from the touch-hole; then the powder-monkey rushed up with the fire, when the cannon went off, making the bark fly from the trees, and many an Indian send up his last yell and bite the dust."

Yet this resourceful officer, fighting almost single-handed against certain defeat, was then only a young man a few months past twenty-one. He was displaying the same qualities which were later to make him the commander-in-chief of a Revolution.

George Washington was a typical example of the born leader. He had received no set military training save that which the stern necessity of frontier life forced upon him. Yet at nineteen we find him no less courageous and active when facing the enemy. He had been reared as a farmer boy, with no other intention at first than the successful management of his father's estates in Virginia. But boys in those days had to learn to handle the rifle as readily as the plow, and Washington was no exception to this rule.

Born in 1732 (every schoolboy knows the month and day) at Bridges Creek, Virginia, his first home was a plain wooden farmhouse of somewhat primitive pattern, with four rooms on the ground floor, and a roomy attic covered by a long, sloping roof. But before he was more than able to walk this house burned down, and the family removed to another farm in what was later Stafford County—an attractive knoll across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg.

When George was eleven years old he lost his father, which threw him to a great extent upon his own resources, so far as outdoor life was concerned, although his education was still the care of his mother, who is pictured as a gentlewoman of the old school—one born to command. To her Washington owed many traits, among them his courtliness. In those days, the gentle-bred boys always used very formal language when addressing their elders. And so we find Washington writing to his mother, even after he became of age, beginning his letter with, "Honored Madam," and ending "Your dutiful son."

After his father's death, George Washington made his home for four or five years with his brother Augustine, who lived at the old homestead, now rebuilt, at Bridges Creek; and near there he attended school. It was in no sense a remarkable school, being kept by a Mr. Williams, but it was thorough in the fundamentals, the "Three R's," without going in much for the frills. Some of Washington's exercise books are still preserved, showing in a good round hand a series of "Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation."

Such things sound somewhat priggish today; but in those days they were a necessary part of one's education. Washington was probably neither better nor worse than the run of Virginia boys, of gentle stock, in those days—just a good-natured, fun-loving youngster, not especially bright as a scholar, but known as a plodder. One of his early playmates was Richard Henry Lee, who also grew up to be a famous Virginian; and between the two some droll schoolboy letters passed.

Washington was to be, like his father, a Virginia planter; and this may have had something to do with the sort of education he received, which was not very extensive. But along with his early training for farm life there were many echoes of the military, which must have had a lasting influence on the growing lad. His brother, Lawrence, had been a soldier in His Majesty's service, and his stories of campaign life so fired George's imagination that he was for throwing his books away, at fifteen, and going into the navy. He was too young for the army, but Lawrence, who rather encouraged him, told him that he could get him a berth as midshipman.

It is related that the young middy's luggage was actually on board a British man-of-war anchored in the Potomac, when Madam Washington, who all along had been reluctant to give her Consent, now withdrew it altogether; and the "dutiful son" was saved from the navy for a larger arena.

The boy was then just turned fifteen, and seems to have rebelled from the humdrum life of the plantation. He was at the restless age, and his naturally adventurous disposition sought a more active outlet. This proved to be surveying—a profession then greatly in demand. There were great tracts of wilderness in Virginia still inhabited by Indians and infested by wild animals, which had never heard the sound of the woodman's axe. These tracts had been included in grants from the King, but their boundaries had never been exactly determined. To make such surveys was a task requiring both skill and courage.

Washington was naturally an exact and pains-taking boy. He now applied himself to geometry and trigonometry; and at the ripe age of sixteen was ready to sling his somewhat crude surveyor's instruments across his shoulder and subdue the wilderness. It promised excitement and adventure—and the work was well paid.

Washington was even then a strapping big fellow, tall and muscular, and nearly six feet in height. He afterwards exceeded this height, but at sixteen there were naturally some hollows which remained to be filled out. He is described as having a well-shaped, active figure, symmetrical except for the unusual length of his arms, indicating great strength. His light brown hair was drawn back from a broad forehead, and grayish-blue eyes looked happily and perhaps soberly on the pleasant Virginia hills and valleys. His face was open and manly, set off by a square, massive jaw, and a general expression of calmness and strength. "Fair and florid, big and strong, he was, take him for all in all, as fine a specimen of his race as could be found in the English colonies."

It was at this turning point in his career that Washington was fortunate in finding a friend and protector in Lord Fairfax, whose daughter was the wife of Lawrence Washington. This distinguished old veteran, a long-time friend of the Washington family, took a particular fancy to the young man. They hunted the fox together, and hunted him hard. In those days fox-hunting was no kid glove and pink tea affair. It was one of many perilous outdoor sports that frontier Virginia could afford; and as they hunted, the old English nobleman had opportunity to learn what sort of stuff this young. Virginian was made of. He saw that here was a union of sturdy qualities upon which he could rely.

Lord Fairfax then owned, by kingly grant, a vast estate stretching across the, Blue Ridge into the untrodden wilderness. Until the estate was properly surveyed, it would be subject to endless lawsuits. We can imagine the following conversation on one of their helter-skelter rides together:

"What are you studying now, George?"

"Mathematics, sir."

"Humph! Like it?"

"In part—but some of it is stiff."

"What are you going to do with it?"

"Well, sir," hesitated George, "since my mother objects to my going into the navy, I thought I would turn my hand at surveying. There's lots to be done around here."

"The very thing! I think I could use you, myself. When you are ready let me know, and I'll send you over the hill yonder to mark out where Fairfax starts, and where he ends. My cousin George will go with you."

So, in some such fashion it was arranged, and in the spring of 1748, George Fairfax and George Washington set forth on their adventures. The Virginia mountains were just budding forth in the freshness of spring when they started out by way of Ashby's Gap, in the Blue Ridge, entering the valley of Virginia. Thence they worked through the Shenandoah region, crossing the swollen Potomac and surveying the hilly. country of what is now Frederick County.

It was a rough and hazardous trip lasting over a month, but one that left them fit and seasoned woodsmen. They had learned what it was to shift for themselves; to defend themselves against prowling beasts in an untrodden wilderness; to swim swollen currents; to be wet and cold and hungry; to come suddenly upon a war party of Indians, who would not have scrupled to kill them, had the savages known that these two youths were plotting and dividing up the hunting grounds which they claimed as their own.

That all these things were a part of their experience we note from jottings made briefly but methodically by Washington in his diary of the trip. As to the survey itself, a Virginia title attorney remarked, many years afterward, that in clearing up old titles the lines surveyed by Washington were more reliable than any others of their day.

Lord Fairfax was so pleased with its results at he procured for his protégé an appointment as public surveyor. It was his induction into three years of hard frontier life, which was the finest possible schooling to him, for his later career as soldier. We find him writing to a friend:

"Since you received my letter of October last, I have not slept above three or four nights in a bed, but after walking a good deal all the day, I have lain down before the fire upon a little hay, straw, fodder, or a bearskin, whichever was to be had, with man, wife, and children, like dogs and cats; and happy is he who gets the berth nearest the fire. Nothing would make it pass off tolerably but a good reward. A doubloon is my constant gain every day that the weather will permit of my going out, and sometimes six pistols."

This would indicate that he was a thrifty lad, honestly pleased with honest earnings—and no mere adventurer.

About this time, a company was formed, called the Ohio Company, for the purpose of opening a trade route through northern Virginia and Maryland. George Washington's two elder brothers, Lawrence and Augustine, were interested in the enterprise; and they naturally called in their young surveyor brother to consultation. The project sounded fascinating, but presented many elements of danger. The French were becoming more and more active, and making warlike preparations to seize and hold all the western frontier. In order to develop and hold this land against the French and their Indian allies, it was necessary to place the work in the hands of a military leader.

George Washington was at this time only nineteen years old, but fully grown—a man of powerful physique, hardened and seasoned by his outdoor life. Despite his youth and lack of military experience, the Ohio Company secured for him the appointment of adjutant general of this district. Washington at once placed himself under several military officers of his acquaintance, among them a Major Muse, and soon acquired at least the rudiments of warfare, the manual of arms. The broader school of tactics he was to acquire for himself in the field of experience.

An interruption to his military career came in the illness of his brother Lawrence. A voyage to the West Indies was determined upon, for the invalid, and George accompanied him—on the young man's first sea voyage, and of which he has left us entertaining glimpses in his ever-faithful diary. But after a winter in the South Seas, Lawrence grew worse and was brought home to die. George, though only twenty, was made one of the executors to the estate, Mount Vernon, which became henceforth his home.

Shortly afterward, we find George Washington given still higher office, but one which entailed heavy responsibilities. The newly appointed governor of the state, Robert Dinwiddie, growing uneasy at the constant reports of alliances between the French and Indians, determined to send a commissioner to the French commander, to ask by what right he was building forts in English dominions; and also to treat with the Indians, in the way of counter proposals against the French.

It was a hazardous mission, and one which also involved tact, diplomacy, and a first-hand knowledge of the wilderness. But we are not much surprised to find Washington, at twenty-one, given the commission of major and sent on this undertaking.

Leaving Williamsburg with a little company of six, he set out on a cross-country trip by horseback, of more than a thousand miles. The 'details of this adventurous journey make interesting reading, but cannot find place in this necessarily brief story. They reached an Indian village near where the city of Pittsburgh now stands, then turned south to the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers where dwelt a friendly tribe of Indians. Thence they went to Fort le Boeuf, where the French commander received the Virginia major politely, entertained him, but tried at the same time to win his Indian friends away from him.

The return journey was terrible. The horses had become so weak that they were useless except as light pack animals. The little party struggled along on foot. Washington with one companion went on ahead. It was the dead of winter, but when they reached the Ohio River, they found that instead of its being frozen solid, as they had hoped, it was a turbulent mass of tossing cakes of ice.

"There was no way of getting over," writes Washington in his journal, "but on a raft, which we set about, with but one poor hatchet, and finished just after sun-setting. This was a whole day's work; we next got it launched, then went on board of it, and set off; but before we were half-way over, we were jammed in the ice in such a manner that we expected every moment our raft to sink and ourselves to perish. I put out my setting-pole to try to stop the raft, that the ice might pass by, when the rapidity of the stream threw it with so much violence against the pole, that it jerked me out into ten feet of water; but I fortunately saved myself by catching hold of one of the raft-logs. Notwithstanding all our efforts, we could not get to either shore, but were obliged, as we were near an island, to quit our raft and make to it. The cold was so extremely severe that Mr. Gist had all his fingers and some of his toes frozen, and the water was shut up so hard that we found no difficulty in getting off the island on the ice in the morning, and went to Mr. Frazier's."

Here they succeeded in procuring horses, and in a few days more, Major Washington handed in his report to the Governor at Williamsburg.

This report stirred the Virginia House of Burgesses to action. It showed that the whole western frontier was imperilled. One of Washington's recommendations, that a fort be built at the fork of the Ohio, was put into effect at once; and a Captain Trent was sent out with some woodsmen to begin its construction. But before the fort was completed a force of French descended upon it and captured it. Near its site, they themselves built a larger one, which they called Fort Duquesne—the site of the later city of Pittsburgh.

This action on the part of the French was equivalent to a declaration of war. It was really the beginning of the Seven Years' War between England and France, for the control of America—a drama in which Washington was to have no little part.

When news of the French move reached the Governor, he sent Washington, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and a small armed force against the invaders. The men were mostly half-trained militia whom Washington had been drilling for some such emergency. They were raw soldiers, but hardy fellows, who thoroughly believed in their young commander. He himself, although but twenty-two, was a seasoned campaigner of the wilderness. Now he was essaying his first trial as a soldier.

His men marched to a point about half-way to Fort Duquesne, blazing a road for other troops to follow, and constructing a fort to serve as a base of supplies. There he sent out scouts to reconnoitre. They reported an advancing party of French who were ready to attack any English whom they might encounter. Washington did not wait for them to attack. He decided to attack first. Taking a force of about forty men he made a night march in the pelting rain, to surprise the enemy. It reminds us of his later famous exploit at Trenton.

"The path," he wrote, "was hardly wide enough for one man. We often lost it, and could not find it again for fifteen or twenty minutes, and we often tumbled over each other in the dark."

However, at daybreak on this May day of 1754, they reached the camp of their Indian allies; who in turn took them with stealthy tread to the hollow where lay the French—waiting to ambush the colonists. But it was their turn to be surprised, and they quickly sprang to their feet and grasped their weapons.

Washington gave his men the order to fire—the first of many such orders that were to come in the stormy days of two successive wars—and in a sense this was the opening gun. A lively but brief skirmish followed. The French lost their commander, Jumonville, and nine others. The English lost only one man, killed, and two or three wounded. The remainder of the French, twenty-two in number, were taken prisoners.

The affair made a great stir, and was the forerunner of extended hostilities. Washington foresaw the results immediately, and set his men to constructing a fort which was called Fort Necessity. He had won his first battle and it greatly inspired his troops. Writing afterwards to his brother, Lawrence, he said: "I heard the bullets whistle; and, believe me, there is something charming in the sound."

Their fort, however, was well-named. For presently the French and Indians marched down upon them, nine hundred strong, and as Washington had, all told, but three hundred poorly equipped men, they were compelled to surrender. The terms of surrender were liberal enough, permitting the English to return home with their light arms.

Thus did Washington's first campaign come to a somewhat inglorious close. He tendered his resignation, and may have felt humiliated over his defeat; although the House of Burgesses passed a vote of thanks to him and his staff, "for their bravery and gallant defense of their country." But later when Governor Dinwiddie requested him to head another regiment against Fort Duquesne, Washington politely declined. He had not received sufficient support in the first venture to warrant another such attempt.

The next stage in the French and Indian War—and likewise in Washington's military development—was the arrival of General Braddock with two regiments of seasoned troops from England. Braddock was an old campaigner of forty years' experience, who had long since learned all that was to be taught about the art of warfare.

"He'd teach those French a lesson—and as for the Indians—stuff and nonsense!"

Braddock's arrival made a great 'stir in the colonies. It was the first sign of real help from the Mother Country. The governors of four or five of the colonies met him at Alexandria. It was near Mount Vernon, and the young retired officer watched the preparations with keenest interest. He could not help contrasting this splendid equipment with the scanty packs which his own men had carried.

Much to his delight, he was invited by General Braddock to join his staff as an aide-de-camp, a post which Washington joyfully accepted. Braddock had heard something of the Virginia colonel even before leaving England; and was not so much honoring this colonial officer, as immeasurably strengthening his own good right arm—if he had only had the discernment to know it. As results showed, Braddock did not need his heavy cannon nearly so much as he needed an insight into wilderness ways.

Just before Braddock started west on his ill-fated expedition, he conferred at Fredericktown, Maryland, with the Postmaster General of Pennsylvania, a strong, practical man, who was to obtain some greatly-needed horses and wagons for his artillery and supplies. This man, a middle-aged and rather plain sort of fellow—and the youthful Virginia colonel whom he may have met then for the first time—possibly attracted very little attention in the gaudy military array. But American history could ill have spared either Benjamin Franklin or George Washington.

We will not narrate again in detail here the oft-told story of Braddock's Defeat—how he insisted on marching across the mountains and valleys of Pennsylvania, as though on parade—with banners flying, fifes shrilling, and drums beating. It was a brave display, and such as the old General was accustomed to, in Europe. It would undoubtedly put the French and their skulking allies to instant flight!

Against such a method of warfare Washington raised his voice of counsel, but in vain. The grizzled veteran brushed him aside. Washington was for rapid marching, with scouting troops deployed on ahead.

"But this prospect," he writes, "was soon clouded, and my hopes brought very low indeed, when I found that, instead of pushing on with vigor, without regarding a little rough road, they were halting to level every molehill, and to erect bridges over every brook, by which means we were four days in getting twelve miles."

A few days before Braddock reached the vicinity of Fort Duquesne, Washington had fallen sick of a fever, and had barely recovered strength enough to rejoin the command. But the slow progress to which he refers, enabled him to do so before the attack—though he was still far from well.

As he rode up to meet the general, he could not help but admire the beauty of the scene. The troops had crossed a ford on the Monongahela, about fifteen miles from the fort, and now marched in close formation along its winding bank, as though on dress parade. But his admiration of the display only intensified his sense of danger—the sixth sense of every woods-man. He begged his general to scatter his forces somewhat, or at least send scouts ahead. But Braddock rebuked him angrily for presuming to teach English regulars how to fight.

Suddenly the sound of firing was heard at the front, although no attacking party could be seen. The soldiers had marched straight into an ambush, as Washington had feared. With whoops and yells the Indians commanded by a few French were firing from behind every rock and tree. The regulars were thrown into confusion. This type of warfare was new to them. They did not know how to answer it. The front ranks recoiled upon the others, throwing all into wild turmoil.

Washington at once threw himself into the fight—counselling, persuading, commanding. A company of Virginians, previously sneered at as "raw militia," spread themselves out as a protecting party of skirmishers. The English officers, also, be it said, displayed the utmost bravery in trying to rally their men. The general, as though to atone for his headstrong folly, seemed everywhere at once. He had two horses shot from under him, before receiving wounds in his own body, which were to prove mortal.

It was all over in a comparatively short time. The troops which had so proudly marched, with arms glittering in the sun, were put to rout by an unseen foe. That they were not almost annihilated was due to the presence of Washington and the Virginians. They fought the enemy in kind, and protected the fugitives until some sort of order could be restored.

Washington it was who collected the troops and rescued the dying general. He it was who led them back to meet the reinforcements under Dunbar. And he it was who laid the remains of Braddock in the grave, four days later, and read the burial service above him.

Again had the young soldier to taste the bitter dregs of defeat—but it was salutary, and a part of the iron discipline which was making him into the future leader.

That he had not lost any prestige by this experience, but rather gained thereby, is shown by the call that came urgently to him, soon after, to take command of all the forces of Virginia. He did not want the command, but felt that after such a vote of confidence he could not decline it. And so for three years more he struggled on, a general without an army, to protect the western frontier of Virginia against invasion. In April, 1757 he wrote:

"I have been posted for more than twenty months past, upon our cold and barren frontiers, to perform, I think I may say, impossibilities; that is, to protect from the cruel incursions of a crafty, savage enemy a line of inhabitants, of more than three hundred and fifty miles in extent, with a force inadequate to the task."

In the winter of 1758 his health broke down completely, and he feared that it was permanently impaired. He resigned his commission and retired to Mount Vernon for a much-needed rest.

Thus closes the first and formative period of Washington's life—the period with which the present brief sketch is chiefly concerned. As we read of those years of adventure and hardship from an early age, we realize that here was being hammered into shape upon the anvil of circumstance a very special weapon for some great need. Washington was not an accident. He was a fine example of what special training can do for the boy who does his bit with all his might. And because he was better fitted for the task than any other man in America, we find him, a few years later, chosen to lead the colonist forces against mighty England. A pen picture of him at the time, from the diary of James Thacher, a surgeon in the Revolution, deserves repeating:

"The personal appearance of our commander-in-chief is that of a perfect gentleman and accomplished warrior. He is remarkably tall—full six feet—erect and well-proportioned. The strength and proportion of his joints and muscles appear to be commensurate with the pre-eminent powers of his mind. The serenity of his countenance, and majestic gracefulness of his deportment impart a strong impression of that dignity and grandeur which are peculiar characteristics; and no one can stand in his presence without feeling the ascendancy of his mind, and associating with his countenance the idea of wisdom, philanthropy, magnanimity, and patriotism. There is a fine symmetry in the features of his face indicative of a benign and dignified spirit. His nose is straight, and his eyes inclined to blue. He wears his hair in a becoming cue, and from his forehead it is turned back, and powdered in a manner which adds to the military air of his appearance. He displays a native gravity, but devoid of all appearance of ostentation. His uniform dress is a blue coat with two brilliant epaulets, buff-colored under-clothes, and a three-cornered hat with a black cockade. He is constantly equipped with an elegant small-sword, boots and spurs, in readiness to mount his noble charger."

In this description, somewhat fulsome in its praise, we can read between the lines the confidence and affection which inspired his troops during all the trying days of the Revolution.

Washington has suffered much at the hands of his biographers. They have over-praised him, with the result that many readers of today have come to regard him as scarcely human—a sort of demi-god. But one or two more recent biographers have had the courage and conviction to tear aside the mask, and we can, if we will, see Washington the man—quick-tempered at times, perhaps profane in the heat of battle, fond of display and good living in his hours of ease—but also a man to be trusted in every crisis, cool, courageous, resourceful—a strategist who made the ablest generals that England could send over against him, suffer by comparison.

And when the great fight was won, and the last of their proud generals, Cornwallis, had grudgingly yielded up his sword—it is pleasant to think of Washington writing about it to—whom do you think?—a white-haired old man now ninety years of age, who had given the young surveyor his first start in life. Lord Fairfax was an old Tory, an unreconstructed English gentleman of the old school, who drank the King's health religiously every day at dinner. It must have been with mixed feelings, therefore, that he heard of Cornwallis's surrender. But pride in his protégé must have conquered. We can imagine him as lifting his glass with trembling fingers to another toast:

"Here's to George Washington!"

And to that toast grateful America will ever respond.

Important Dates in Washington's Life

1732. February 22. George Washington born.
1747. Left school.
1748. Became a surveyor.
1753. Sent by Governor Dinwiddie on a mission to the French.
1754. Appointed lieutenant-colonel and sent against the French and Indians.
1755. Joined General Braddock's staff with rank of colonel.
1757. Resigned his army commission.
1759. Married Martha Dandridge Custis.
1775. Appointed commander-in-chief of American forces, in Revolution.
1781. Receives surrender of Cornwallis.
1788. Became first President of the United States.
1797. Ended second term as President.
1799. December 14. Died at Mt. Vernon.


The Man Who "Came Back"

"Can a man 'come back'?"

This is a question one frequently hears nowadays; and the answer is, more often than not, a shrug of the shoulders. For the man who has once failed—or even passed his first chance of success—is not considered seriously in this busy day and time. He is a "down-and-outer"; he cannot "come back."

But there are exceptions to every rule, and one of the most striking ones in all history, to the above adage, is furnished by the man who led the Union forces to victory in the American Civil War, and later achieved the presidency.

Here was a man who, at forty, was generally regarded as a failure, a ne'er-do-well. But for the accident of war he would in all likelihood have ended his days "unwept, unhonored, and unsung." We have a picture of this middle-aged man, clerking for his younger brothers in a country store, at eight hundred dollars a year, and day by day sinking further into the slough of despond.

He was of little real value to the store, at even that meager salary. He was no good at driving bargains or at palavering with the trade. He tried to keep out of sight as much as possible among the boxes and shelves: His clothing was poor and shabby, his hair and beard long and unkempt. The brand of failure was stamped all over him.

Yet this was the man who in five short years as to become the most famous military leader his day.

The life story of Ulysses Simpson Grant abounds in strange paradoxes. If ever a man was made the plaything of fate, it was he. His career has even persuaded some writers into the belief that he was "the Man of Mystery."

His father, Jesse Grant, was a self-taught man, who is said to have received but six months actual schooling in his life. He was all the more determined that his son, Ulysses, should have the education that he lacked. We find him intervening more than once to drive the boy contrary to the latter's wishes—but to his later good. The father was tall, about six feet, rugged and aggressive, making friends and enemies with equal readiness. Ulysses' mother, however, was quiet, self-possessed, and patient—qualities which she afterwards gave the boy. Jesse Grant said of her in later years: "Her steadiness and strength of character have been the stay of the family through life."

At the time of Ulysses' birth (April 27, 1822) the family were living at Point Pleasant, Claremont County, Ohio. But when he was still an infant they removed to Georgetown, a few miles away, where the father established a tannery. At this time the town was little more than a clearing hewed, out from the virgin forest. Wood was plentiful and cheap, and for this reason, Mr. Grant bought a tract of land and set up his tannery.

Ulysses, or "Lys" as the neighbors called him, was the oldest of six children—three boys and three girls. As soon as Ulysses was old enough, his father started him to school. There were no public schools in those days, so he went to a school maintained by private subscription and taught by a man named John White.

White had his own notions about a curriculum, and one of the most important was discipline. On top of his desk always reposed a bundle of good husky switches—except at frequently recurring times when they were beating a tattoo on some hapless scholar's back. It was his boast that he often used up a whole bunch in a single day. However, his school was no different from many another of the time. Beatings were taken as a matter of course. "Spare the rod and spoil the child!"

Ulysses went to this school until he was fourteen, and mastered the elementary studies. Between whiles he helped his father at the tannery or on the farm. The tannery work he always hated. But outdoor work, particularly with horses, he delighted in. At seven years of age he drove a team with all the skill of a man; and it was said that when he could scarcely walk he could ride horseback. The story is told of him that at a county fair, where a prize of five dollars was offered to any one who could stick on a trick pony, Ulysses won it after several other boys had got thrown helter-skelter. He flung his arms around the pony's fat neck, and stuck on, though as he afterward said: "That pony was as round as an apple."

He tells another amusing story of himself, in these early days. He greatly coveted a young colt owned by a neighboring farmer, and after teasing his father, the latter tried to buy it for him. But he offered only twenty dollars for the colt, and the owner wanted twenty-five. After some dickering without any result, the boy went to the owner with this message, which he delivered all in a breath:

"Father says I may offer you twenty dollars; and if you won't take that, I am to offer you twenty-two and a half; and if you won't take that for your colt, I am to pay you twenty-five dollars.",

"It would not take a Connecticut farmer to tell what was the price paid for the colt," he added afterward when telling the story.

This little incident, while amusing, reveals a trait in his character which persisted all through life. He was the soul of candor. He called a spade a spade; And he never could bargain.

Another early trait revealing itself in later years was something that, in his Memoirs, he calls a superstition. It was a dislike, to turn back when once started on a journey. If he found himself on the wrong road, he would keep going until he came to some branching road rather than turn aside. This habit was destined to make some of the generals on the' other side, in the. Civil War, somewhat uncomfortable. They found that he never quit.

Thus grew up the boy, Ulysses Grant. He was not considered particularly bright at school, but he was a plodder, going along keeping his own counsel. He could not talk readily, even in a small company, and was hopeless when it came to "speaking a piece" on Friday at the school. But he was a sturdy, outdoor boy, by this time remarkably proficient with horses. At the age of fifteen he had explored the back country for miles roundabout.

His father, however, had never lost sight of the fact that the boy was to get a good schooling—and frequently brought up the subject, to "Lys's" discomfort. The lad was not especially keen for any more books. But the opportunity came—just as others were to come, to shape the whole course of young Grant's life.

The son of a neighbor had received an appointment to West Point, but had failed to pass the entrance examinations. Jesse Grant immediately wrote to the Congressman of the district in behalf of Ulysses, although the two men were on opposite political sides and had quarreled bitterly: "If you have no other person in view and feel willing to consent to the appointment of Ulysses, you will please signify that consent to the Department."

Ulysses got the appointment, despite the political feud, and it is pleasant to note that the two men healed their differences and became good friends again.

The boy received news of his appointment without much enthusiasm. He would much rather be a horse trader he told his father But the latter was determined—and Ulysses went.

Not did his appointment please others in the village, who thought the boy dull. One man meeting Mr. Grant in the street, said bluntly: "I hear that your boy is going to West Point. Why didn't our Representative pick some one that would be a credit to the district?"

This ill-natured speech may have been inspired by the fact that political feeling ran high at that time; and Jesse Grant as a staunch Whig and Northerner had made a good many enemies.

Ulysses was coached for West Point at an academy at Ripley, Ohio, conducted by William Taylor, and passed his entrance examinations with fair grades. His best study was mathematics. He entered at the age of seventeen.

It took young Grant many a long day to accustom himself to the Military Academy. The hazing encountered by every Freshman he didn't seem to mind, so the older men soon let him alone. But the drill and the dress! To this farm lad it was deadly. These were the days of the "ramrod" tactics of Winfield Scott—the starch and stock and buckram days of the army. "Old Fuss and Feathers" his critics called him, but with all his love of pomp and circumstance Scott was a splendid soldier, whether on the drill ground, or in the face of the enemy. Nevertheless, to Grant it was a constant trial, at first. He felt like a fish out of water. General Charles King thus speaks of him:

"Phlegmatic in temperament and long given to ease and deliberation in all his movements at home, this springing to attention at the tap of the drum, this snapping together of the heels at the sound of a sergeant's voice, this sudden freezing to a rigid pose without the move of a muscle, except at the word of command, was something almost beyond him. It seemed utterly unnatural, if not utterly repugnant. Accustomed to swinging along the winding banks of the White Oak, or the cow-paths of the pasture lot, this moving only at a measured pace of twenty-eight inches, and one hundred and ten to the minute, and all in strict unison with the step of the guide on the marching flank or at the head of column, came ten times harder than ever did the pages of 'analytical' or the calculus.

"Grant had no sense of rhythm. He had no joy in martial music. The thrill and inspiration of the drum and fife, or the beautiful harmonies of the old Academy band were utterly lost on him. In all that class of 1843, it may well be doubted if there lived one solitary soul who found there less to like or more to shrink from, than this seventeen-year-old lad who, thanks to the opportunities and to the training there given them, was in less than a quarter of a century to be hailed as the foremost soldier of more than two millions of men in the Union blue."

But this was only one of the Grant paradoxes—the contradictions which were to mark his strange career.

Life at West Point was not all hardship, however. In his quiet way Grant made a few warm friends. On account of ,his initials he was promptly nicknamed "Uncle Sam," which was soon shortened to "Sam." He excelled in two widely different courses—mathematics and horsemanship. We have already noticed his early skill with, and love for horses. Now it was to stand him in good stead. He was assigned, during one year, to a particularly intractable young horse—a big, raw-boned sorrel, named York. One of York's tricks was to rear and throw himself backward with his rider. But in Grant he found his master, and the steed not only grew tractable, but developed under his rider's training into a famous jumper. Horse and rider are vividly described by General James B. Fry, in his Reminiscences:

"The class, still mounted, was formed in line through the center of the hall. The riding master placed the leaping bar higher than a man's head and called out, 'Cadet Grant!' A clean-faced, slender, blue-eyed young fellow, weighing about one hundred and twenty pounds, dashed from the ranks on a powerfully built chestnut-sorrel horse, and galloped down the opposite side of the hall. As he turned at the farther end and came into the stretch at which the bar was placed, the horse increased his pace and measuring his stride for the great leap before him, bounded into the air and cleared the bar, carrying his rider as if man and beast had been welded together. The spectators were breathless."

"Sam" Grant graduated from the Military Academy in July, 1843, one of thirty-nine out of a class that had originally numbered one hundred. Among his classmates were Sherman, Thomas, Meade, Reynolds, and other soldiers later known to fame. It cannot be said, however, that his entry into the army was auspicious. He was still by ho means reconciled to the idea of being a soldier. He had not received the assignment he had coveted, the Dragoons; and moreover his health was poor. He was troubled with a persistent cough which indicated weak lungs—but thanks to his life in the open and horseback riding he escaped a possible attack of consumption.

After a three months' furlough visiting his father's home, now at Bethel, Ohio, he reported for duty at the Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis, as a second lieutenant in the infantry. The best horseman in his class had to walk!

But there were compensations. Outside of duty, Grant could always procure a mount; and about five miles away from the Barracks—just an easy canter—was the home of his college chum and roommate, Lieut. Frederick T. Dent. The Dents had a big, hospitable country place, and they speedily made Fred's friend feel at home. One member of the family who had heard much about "Sam" Grant from her brother's letters, long before Grant appeared in person, was Julia Dent now a charming girl of seventeen. It was not long before her friends began teasing her about "the little lieutenant with the big epaulets"—and while she laughed and blushed she didn't seem to mind.

The little round of social gayeties, however, was of brief duration. Trouble with Mexico, was brewing, and in 1844 relations had become so strained that an "Army of Observation," as it was called, was assembled under General Zachary Taylor, old "Rough and Ready," on the border. Grant's company was ordered to join this army, on the briefest notice. The young lieutenant had time only for a brief leave-taking with the Dents, and one member in particular, but her final message meant all the world to him.

In March ,of the next year, Congress sanctioned the annexation of Texas, and trouble with Mexico began in earnest. History records the rapid course of events which made up the Mexican War. We can only notice the events which directly concern the career of Grant. His company was a part of the expeditionary force of three thousand men destined to see active service on the border.

By the middle of March they had reached the Rio Grande, and pitched camp opposite the city of Matamoras. Their army was far from its base of supplies and in a country swarming with the enemy. Before war was formally declared two officers who were caught outside the camp were killed, and two whole companies captured.

There was no railroad, and General Taylor was compelled to send a considerable force back twenty-five miles for supplies. On the third of May the returning troops encountered a much larger force of Mexicans. A battle followed which continued after sundown. During the night the Mexicans retreated, but were found further on, in a much stronger position. They awaited the Americans on the far side of a pond, their position being further fortified by logs and branches of trees.

The captain of Grant's company was temporarily absent, and it fell to Grant to lead their advance. By this time the bullets were humming merrily, but he directed his men to deploy to one side and approach through thicker woods. At last they reached a clearing near the head of the pond, and he ordered a charge. They captured the position immediately in front of them, and made a few prisoners, including one colonel. The engagement all along the line had been too brisk for the Mexicans, and they broke and ran, leaving a considerable quantity of guns and ammunition.

As for the little lieutenant, it was his first battle, and first command of a company, and he had reason to feel satisfied with the day's work.

As one result of the engagement, the Americans now crossed the river, and became an Army of Invasion. And now that war had actually begun, volunteers began to flock to the standard. The ensuing months of that year were packed. with incident and no little. danger. In August, Grant was made quartermaster and commissary of the regiment—a position of responsibility which he held until the army was withdrawn.

Although Grant's duties were now such as to withdraw him from active fighting, he was not the man to take advantage of the fact. The lively battle, at Monterey bears witness of this. After a hard encounter on the outskirts of the city, the Americans stormed it from the north and east, and began to drive the Mexicans out, street by street. But when the citadel was in sight, the commanding officer, Colonel Garland, found to his dismay that they were short of ammunition.

"We must have ammunition at once," he announced to his men. "Who will volunteer to ride back with the message? I do not wish to detail any one, as it is extra hazardous."

At once, Lieutenant Grant stepped forward and, saluted.

"I will go, Colonel," he said.

"You are just the man. If anybody can ride through, you can. But hurry.

And Grant did. Crouching low on his mustang like an Indian, he dashed down the bullet-swept streets, made the open, and delivered his message to General Twigg.

The Mexican War was marked by the political rivalry of two American Generals, one of whom was destined to win the highest honors in the gift of his country—General Zachary Taylor, old "Rough and Ready," and General Winfield Scott, "Fuss and Feathers." Both were able leaders, though totally unlike in their methods. Taylor cared nothing for personal appearance or etiquette. He worked in close contact with his men. Scott, on the contrary, was fond of display, and issued his orders through his staff officers.

Scott was now given supreme command of the Mexican campaign, and summoned all the regular troops for an invasion by way of Vera Cruz—the scene of a later landing, in very recent years. Taylor was left with only the volunteers, but he utilized them at Buena Vista to such good effect that at the, next election old "Rough and Ready" became President of the United States—the very thing that his political foes at Washington had tried to prevent, by giving Scott the supreme command.

Grant's company, with other regulars to the number of eight thousand men, landed at Vera Cruz, and early in April began its perilous march into the interior. Roads had to be built and bridges constructed, and the army engineers toiled night and day. Among them were two young West Pointers, George B. McClellan and Robert E. Lee. Thus it was that Grant and Lee first came to know each other, in the wilds of Mexico.

By the middle of May they had reached Puebla, which they captured easily. But the army needed supplies, and Quartermaster Grant was sent out with an escort of one thousand men to forage the surrounding country. They filled their wagons and returned safely. This jaunt delighted Grant's soul. It was far better than bringing up the rear on a dusty line of march. In one of his letters home he writes:

"I have been delighted with the Mexican birds. Their plumage is superlatively splendid. They beat ours in show, but to my mind do not equal them in harmony. I have written this letter with my sword fastened to my side, my pistols within reach, not knowing but that the next moment I may be called into battle."

It is an odd coincidence, that at a later day we find another soldier—destined to lead his country's armies to victory in a far mightier conflict—using the soil of Mexico as a training ground. That soldier was John J. Pershing.

One other exploit of Grant's in the Mexican campaign must be mentioned, as it was not only daring, but it also revealed his resourcefulness.

During the attack upon Chapultepec, Grant noticed that one of the two main routes, the San Cosme road, was flanked by a small mission church surmounted by a belfry. He reasoned that if they could mount a howitzer in the belfry, that section would be made mighty uncomfortable for the Mexicans. He went at once to his superior officer, explained his plan, and secured a detail of men with one gun. The gun had to be taken to pieces, but with it in hand they compelled the priest to open the church doors to them, mounted the steps to the belfry, reassembled the gun, and it was soon beating a lively tattoo down upon the backs of the astonished Mexicans.

For this "gallant conduct at Chapultepec," as the official citation read, Grant won his brevet of captain.

With the signing of the treaty of peace, Grant came home on furlough, and in August, 1848, was married to Julia Dent. He took his wife to his father's home, and was made much of by his admiring townsmen. His father was inordinately proud of "my Ulysses," now a captain and cited for gallantry in action. In the darker days that were to follow, he looked back to this time as the very pinnacle of his son's greatness.

That there were  darker days, and many of them, must be chronicled in any true sketch of Ulysses S. Grant. He was to taste the very dregs of humiliation and despair. He was to see these same admiring friends turn from him one by one, with a sneer, or reproachful shake of the head.

For days of peace were at hand—long days' of barrack routine and enforced idleness. To Captain Grant these days coming after the excitement of Mexico were at first welcome, them speedily grew tedious. He had always hated the humdrum life of the drill ground. Now he was shifted, after a few months, to a camp at San Francisco. The distance was so great, travelling as they did by way of the Isthmus of Panama (this was long before the railroads), that he could not take his wife with him. His slender pay also would not admit of it.

Life in all the army camps was free and easy. Liquor flowed freely, and drunkenness was unfortunately common. Grant like others, drank, but not to excess. With him, however, one glass was sufficient to flush his face and render his walk unsteady. It was not long before the life at this far-removed western camp began to tell upon him. He quarreled with his commanding officer, and finally resigned from the service.

He had to borrow money in order to return home, a long and painful journey by way of New York, and it was a discouraged, broken-looking man who greeted his wife and his parents. This was the summer of 1854. Captain Grant was then only thirty-two, but it already seemed as though the best and only valuable part of his life was behind him. The recent conquering hero, with his dashing uniform and epaulets, had become a somewhat seedy-looking individual with shoulders prematurely stooped, and shuffling gait.

The word speedily went round the village, with many a nod and wink:

"Told you so! Went up like a rocket; came down like a stick."

His wife, however, had not lost her confidence in him. Through all the trying days that were to follow, she remained staunch and loyal. She persuaded her father to let her have a sixty-acre tract of land, near St. Louis. There she brought Ulysses and their children, and there he began life anew, as a plain farmer.

He built with his own hands a log house of four rooms, with chimneys at each end, and wide fireplaces. With grim humor he called the place, "Hard-scrabble." But he liked the place. He liked the freedom of it, with his horses and other live stock. Despite its hardships he welcomed it as an escape from the petty exactions of military life.

Nevertheless, he could not make it pay. He did not have sufficient capital or bodily strength to succeed. An attack of chills and fever, in 1858, put the finishing touch to this episode, and he sold his stock and farm the following spring.

During the ensuing few months he moved from pillar to post, trying various ventures and succeeding with none. The fates seemed against him. In St. Louis, whither he had drifted, he was regarded with open scorn as, what we would now designate, a "down-and-out." One reason for his poor success lay in the fact that he was a Northerner, and the city was seething with talk of secession. The clouds of Civil War were already gathering, and men began to distrust each his neighbor.

At this juncture his father, who seems rather to have turned against him also, came to his relief. He offered Ulysses a position in his leather business, now in charge of the younger boys. Ulysses thankfully accepted, although the pay was only fifty dollars a month. He brought his wife and boys to Galena, where at any rate he was sure of having a roof over his head.

"The brothers found him of no earthly account at driving bargains, or tending store," says General Charles King. "He could keep books after a fashion and do some of the heavy work in handling the miscellaneous stock."

Another soldier, who became his devoted follower in the later days, had his first sight of Grant at this down-at-the-heels period. "I went round to the store," he says; "it was a sharp winter morning, and there wasn't a sign of a soldier or one that looked like a soldier about the shop. But pretty soon a farmer drove up with a lot of hides on his sleigh, and went inside to dicker, and presently a stoop-shouldered, brownish-bearded fellow, with a slouch hat pulled down over his eyes, who had been sitting whittling at the stove when I was inside, came out, pulling on an old light-blue soldier's over-coat. He flung open the doors leading down into the cellar, laid hold of the top hide, frozen stiff it was, tugged it loose, towed it over, and slung it down the chute. Then one by one, all by himself, he heaved off the rest of them, a ten minutes' tough job in that weather, until he had got the last of them down the cellar; then slouched back into the store again, shed the blue coat, got some hot water off the stove and went and washed his hands, using a cake of brown soap, then came back and went to whittling again, and all without a word to anybody. That was my first look at Grant, and look at him now!"

But in all likelihood there would not have been another chance to "look" at him, had not the great Civil War broken out. It was to prove in his case that what seemed failure was merely lack of opportunity.

When South Carolina seceded and the call for troops came, the stoop-shouldered clerk in the hide store began to straighten up. The call to arms put new life in his blood. He felt his old confidence returning. He refused a local captaincy, after he had demonstrated what he could do in drilling recruits, saying: "I have been in the military service fourteen years, and think I am competent to command a regiment."

He went to Springfield, Illinois, and offered his services, and after some delay was given, a desk in the adjutant-general's office. It was not long before he proved his efficiency, and his advice was sought more and more by the Governor, in organizing the State Guards. When the 21st regiment was mustered into service, he was made its colonel. He had put his, foot on the first rung of the ladder of success.

The 21st, like other bodies of volunteers, was a loosely-knit, unruly set of men. They took military life as a huge picnic, but speedily got over that attitude—under Grant. On their first long hike, it is said that their canteens were filled with whiskey, instead of water—until Grant went through on a personal tour of inspection, and ordered every canteen emptied out on the ground. The way he took hold of that regiment and licked it into shape opened the eyes of Governor Yates and his staff. In two months it was the best drilled regiment in the State; and when President Lincoln wrote to the Governor asking suggestions for promotions, Grant's name headed the list. He was made a Brigadier-General.

The story of the Civil War and Grant's great part therein belong to a longer chronicle than this. Step by step this stern, quiet soldier fought his way up, winning. his country's battles and his own as well. In the full tide of war he found himself—and better still his country discovered him. He was never after to prove recreant to his trust.

"We will fight it out along this line if it takes all summer," is one of his typical remarks, and one most often quoted. It was toward the last of the hard-fought war, when the Southern forces under Lee were doing their utmost to fend off the inevitable. Grant, now the commanding General of the Union forces, was still putting into practise the quiet, bull-dog qualities that had led his armies to victory.

Then came the final dramatic scene at, the historic surrender at Appomattox. Lee had come to discuss terms with him, and now stood awaiting his arrival, erect, courtly, handsome—the typical Southern gentleman that he was. Down the road came riding a gaunt-looking man, with the familiar stoop-shoulders, and mud-bespattered trousers and boots. It was the general-in-chief on his way to greet his beaten foe!

The two men looked each other in the eye, then clasped hands like old friends. Grant recalled the days of the Mexican campaign, and was surprised that Lee knew so much about him in those days. He wanted to talk old times, and Lee himself brought up the subject of surrender.

Grant took his seat at a table and wrote out the simple and generous terms which allowed officers and men to return to their homes, on giving their word not to take up arms against the United States government again.

Lee's fine, dignified features softened as he read the terms—so much more magnanimous than he had dared to hope.

"My men are nearly starving," he began—"What do you need?" interrupted Grant; and gave instant orders that the defeated army should be supplied with rations. "Tell the boys to go home and go to work," he said.

That was Grant.

Important Dates in Grant's Life

1822. April 27. Ulysses Simpson Grant born.
1839. Received appointment to U. S. Military Academy, West Point.
1843. Graduated.
1845. Went as second-lieutenant to join Taylor's forces in Mexico.
1848. Brevetted captain for gallantry.
1848. Married Julia T. Dent.
1854. Resigned his army commission.
1861. Re-entered army at outbreak of Civil War. Commissioned colonel, then brigadier-general.
1863. Made major-general.
1864. Given supreme command of the Union forces, with rank of lieutenant-general.
1866. The grade of general created for first time, and conferred on him.
1868. Elected President.
1885. July 23. Died at Mt. McGregor, New York.


The Leader of a Lost Cause

A gray-haired college president sat talking kindly with a young sophomore who had fallen behind in his studies.

"My boy," he said, "you must study if you ,would succeed. Only patience and industry will prevent your failure here and your failure in after life."

"But, General, you failed," replied the sophomore with an amazing impertinence.

"I hope that you may be more fortunate than I," was the quiet answer.

Literature contains nothing finer than that by way of the retort courteous.

The speaker was Robert E. Lee—the time not many months after the surrender of the Southern army. Many were there to brand him as a "failure," just as this thoughtless sophomore had done, and to all such critics his reply was silence. In the seclusion of a small Virginia college he lived and worked, keeping sedulously out of public affairs, writing and saying nothing about his campaigns. He left to history the final verdict, which has found him, not a failure, but one of the most brilliant soldiers of this or any land.

In Lee's early life and ancestry his nearest parallel is Washington. These two greatest Virginians were born within a few miles of each other, in Westmoreland County. Lee was born just seventy-five years after Washington, (January 19, 1807) and like him was descended of famous lineage. His father, Light Horse Harry Lee, fought by the side of Washington in the Revolutionary War; and it was he who in a memorial address on the great leader coined the immortal phrase: "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."

Still another ancestor, Richard Henry Lee, had been born many years earlier in the same old mansion where Robert Edward Lee first saw the light of day. Richard Lee it was, who was a boyhood friend and confidant of George Washington; and who later became one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

It is not strange, therefore, to find that the career of the first great Virginian profoundly influenced the second. "One familiar with the life of Lee," says Thomas Nelson Page, "cannot help noting the strong resemblance of his character in its strength, its poise, its rounded completeness, to that of Washington; or fail to mark what influence the life of Washington had on the life of Lee. The stamp appears upon it from his boyhood, and grows more plain as his years progress."

The old homestead in which Lee was born deserves some notice on its own account. It was built by Thomas Lee, a grandson of Richard Lee, the emigrant who came to Virginia about the time that Charles I was losing both his crown and his head. While Charles II was still in exile, this same Thomas Lee offered the king a haven in Virginia, which was not accepted.

The original brick structure was destroyed by fire, but the house was rebuilt on the same site during the time of Queen Anne, and it is said that she aided in its reconstruction. This was the ancestral home of the Lees for several generations.

Robert E. Lee, though naturally proud of his lineage, never showed great interest in the family tree. He never had the time or the inclination to study genealogy, and always said that he knew nothing of it beyond the fact that Colonel Richard Lee had come to America during the reign of Charles I. Upon having a family seal and crest made, he apologized for the seeming parade by saying, "I have thought, perhaps foolishly enough, that it might as well be right as wrong." Later, however, when approached on the subject of publishing a family history, he wrote: "I am very much obliged to Mr. —— for the trouble he has taken in relation to the Lee genealogy. I have no desire to have it published, and do not think it would afford sufficient interest beyond the immediate family to pay for the expense. I think the money had better be appropriated to relieve the poor."

Harry Lee, Robert's father, was not only a soldier, but also a man of letters. He loved the classics, and has left memoirs written in spirited vein. He had reached middle life, however, before Robert was born, and passed away when the boy was eleven. It was the mother's influence—and here again we have a parallel with Washington—which was paramount in the early days. She was a Carter, of an equally old and distinguished family, and is spoken of as an amiable and gracious lady.

When Robert was still a child, his family moved to Alexandria, and very shortly his father went away on a trip for his health, from which he never returned. Between the boy and his mother the ties became very close. He was devoted to her, and on her part she said, after he went away to school, "You have been both son and daughter to me."

Long afterward, Lee alludes to this period in a letter to his own son, by way of counsel: "A young gentleman who has read Virgil must surely be competent to take care of two ladies; for before I had advanced that far I was my mother's outdoor agent and confidential messenger."

Robert Lee obtained his first schooling at the old academy in Alexandria, then taught by a Mr. Leary, who remained always his good friend. Later he attended a better known school, conducted by a strict Quaker, Benjamin Hallowell—Brimstone Castle, the boys called it, solely on account of the color of the brick walls. Hallowell himself was rarely if ever brimstone in character, though he could be stern enough on occasion. He "thee'd" and "thou'd" in the most orthodox style, and decried all warfare. Despite his pacifist teaching, however, young Lee's earliest ambition was to become a soldier. It was in his blood.

He was fond of outdoor sports, especially hunting and horseback riding. His lifelong fondness for horses brings to mind the same trait in Grant, his later antagonist. In his older days Lee would tell with enthusiasm how as a boy he had followed the hunt, not infrequently on foot, for hours over hill and valley without tiring. Again he wrote: "I know the pleasure of training a handsome horse. I enjoy it as much as any one." His famous steed, "Traveller," was known throughout the Army of Virginia, during the War, and the sight of him caused many an eye to grow moist as he followed riderless the remains of his beloved master to their last resting place.

At the Hallowell school, Lee chiefly excelled in mathematics, a study which was later to be of great value to him, in the engineers' corps of the army. Hallowell paid a tribute to his pupil after the latter became famous, saying: "He was a most exemplary student in every respect."

One could wish, however, that instead of such idle compliments, the schoolmaster had really searched his memory and given us some personal anecdotes of Lee at school. There is actually very little on record about his early life. He seems to have grown into an attractive and likeable boy, studious, somewhat reserved, and by no means remarkable. One kinswoman writes: "I have often said since he entered on his brilliant career that, although we all admired him for his remarkable beauty and attractive manners, I did not see anything in him that prepared me for his so far outstripping all his compeers."

Lee's older brother, Sydney, had already entered the navy, and Lee himself decided upon the army, as his choice of profession. At the age of eighteen he applied for a cadetship at the Military Academy at West Point, and received it direct from President Andrew Jackson himself. There is a tradition that when Lee presented himself before the hero of New Orleans, that doughty Tennessean looked him over from head to foot, then passed him on with the terse comment, "You'll do!"

And Robert Lee did. In college he made a record that shines to this day. He was given the coveted cadet adjutancy of his corps. He graduated second in a class of forty-six. And he did not receive a single demerit during his entire college career—for rusty gun, or cap on the floor, or late at drill, or twisted belt,—or any of the hundred and one things that are the bane and stumbling block of the West Pointer's existence. Such a record seems almost too good to be true, and one is tempted to wish for at least one escapade to enliven the narrative!

Yet Lee was by no means a prig. Even his detractors of later years never accused him of that. He was popular with his fellows and fond of the give-and-take of the drill ground. His ability to make and hold friends was one of the outstanding traits of his whole life. His men who followed him through the "Lost Cause" fairly idolized him.

General Joseph E. Johnson, another Southern leader, was a classmate of his at 'West Point, and gives us this description of him there. "We had the same intimate associates, who thought, as I did, that no other youth or man so united the qualities that win warm friendship and command high respect. For he was full of sympathy and kindness, genial and fond of gay conversation, and even of fun, while his correctness of demeanor and attention to all duties, personal and official, and a dignity as much a part of himself as the elegance of his person, gave him a superiority that every one acknowledged in his heart. He was the only one of all the men I have known that could laugh at the faults and follies of his friends in such a manner as to make them ashamed without touching their affection for him."

Lee graduated from West Point with the Class of '29, and the rank of second lieutenant of engineers. His first important move after leaving , school was to choose for wife Mary Custis, daughter of George Washington Parke Custis of Arlington, the last branch of the Washington family. Here again the fates linked up the names of Washington and Lee. The two homes at Arlington and Mt. Vernon were only a few miles apart on the Potomac, and as a final link in the chain we find, years after, at the close of his life, Lee giving his last efforts to building up Washington College, which was to be known thereafter as Washington and Lee.

When Mary Custis became Mrs. Robert E. Lee there was some disparity in their fortunes. She was the heiress of the Custis estate, while he was drawing only the meager pay of a second lieutenant. But such was her pride and confidence in him, that she turned her back on money and decided to live on her husband's income. It was harsh training for a time, but it fitted her to become a real helpmeet for him; and in the rigorous days of the Civil War she was glad that she had learned, early to "do without."

One of Lieutenant Lee's first assignments in the engineering corps was the construction of harbor defenses in Hampton Roads. As he labored to make these as strong as possible, he little dreamed that it would be his problem, a quarter of a century later, to study how he might demolish them.

From Hampton Roads he was transferred to Washington, and made assistant to the chief engineer—an agreeable change as it brought him close to his wife's home. Mounted on a favorite steed he could easily "commute" back and forth between office and home. On one occasion it is related that he invited a brother officer, Captain Macomb, out home for the night, and as the latter had no mount, Lee took him up behind himself, and down Pennsylvania Avenue they went, saluting other officers whom they encountered, with great glee. That was one time when a commutation ticket was good for two.

Five years after graduation he had worked up to a first lieutenancy, and two years more found him a captain. In 1835 he was appointed on a commission to fix the boundary line between Michigan and Ohio. A few months later he was detailed to make an important study of the Mississippi River and Valley with a view to determining how to prevent the annual overflows with their consequent damage to property. His researches were chiefly along the upper river at Illinois. It is said that while there he was struck with the enormous potential energy of the current, and reported that if a dam were constructed at a certain place, a great storehouse of power would be possible. This was long before the day of the dynamo, by which such power could be harnessed. Many years later, however, his dream came true, at the place he had indicated,—the great power dam nearly a mile long blocking the "Father of Waters" for the first time in his tumultuous career, at Keokuk, Iowa.

Farther down stream, above St. Louis, he began a system of river improvements which aroused no little opposition among property owners. The dispute that arose was one of the first things which brought the name of Robert E. Lee to public attention. But despite the short-sighted protests of some citizens of St. Louis, Lee went quietly ahead and carried the work through to the permanent betterment of the city. "I was sent here to do certain work, and I shall do it," was his terse comment.

When he had completed his work on the Mississippi, he was sent to New York to complete the harbor defenses at Fort Hamilton—down at the gateway of the city. He had been made captain of engineers by this time, and was looked upon as one of the ablest men in his like of work, in the army.

It was not long before his mettle was to be tested in actual warfare. The trouble with Mexico which had been smouldering for several years at length burst into flame. After the first victories along the border under General Zach. Taylor, a campaign from the sea was undertaken, under General Winfield Scott, who landed at Vera Cruz. The purpose was to march overland to the capital, reducing the country as they went; and to make this possible the army engineers were in demand. They answered the call gladly, for the spirit of adventure ran high, and every army officer welcomed the chance to see active service.

In the corps of engineers we find several names destined to become famous—Lee, Beauregard, McClellan, Foster, Tower, Stevens, Totten, and others; while Grant was attached to the commissary of the same army. It was in effect a training school for the great drama of a few short years later.

Captain Lee was placed on the personal staff of General Scott, and given supervision of important road and bridge building. In a letter to his wife, dated Rio Grande, October 11, 1846, he writes: "We have met with no resistance yet. The Mexicans who were guarding the passage retired on our approach. There has been a great whetting of knives, grinding of swords, and sharpening of bayonets ever since we reached the river."

This was written while serving with General Wool in northern Mexico. He took part in the battle of Buena Vista, his first engagement, and was then summoned to Vera Cruz by Scott. That doughty old General and former commandant at West Point had all along shown a great partiality for Lee; and in the campaign which was to follow, we find him constantly writing of his, young staff officer in glowing terms. One such incident is typical.

Lee had undertaken alone an all-night exploration of a desolate, lava tract called the Pedre gal, which had been shunned by scouts and troopers alike. It was treacherous country, difficult to traverse, and possibly infested by the enemy. General Scott writes: "I had despatched several staff officers who had, within the space of two hours, returned and reported to me that each had found it impracticable to penetrate far into the Pedregal during the dark.

Captain Lee, having passed over the difficult ground by daylight, found it just possible to return to San Augustin in the dark, the greatest feat of physical and moral courage performed by any individual, in my knowledge, pending the campaign."

Another General, P. F. Smith, also bears tribute to this and other such feats: "I wish partially to record my admiration of the conduct of Captain Lee, of the Engineers. His reconnaissances, though pushed far beyond the bounds of prudence, were conducted with so much skill that their fruits were of the utmost value—the soundness of his judgment and personal daring being equally conspicuous."

At Vera Cruz Lee had the pleasure of meeting his older brother, from whom he had long been separated. This was Lieutenant Sydney Smith Lee, who had entered the Navy before Robert went to West Point. Now for the first time the brothers, sailor and soldier, fought side by side. But it was with mixed feelings that Robert Lee passed through this experience. He was brave enough on his own account, but he constantly trembled for Sydney! He had placed a battery in position to reduce the town, and thus describes the ensuing action:

"The first day this battery opened Smith served one of the guns. I had constructed the battery, and was there to direct its fire. No matter where I turned, my eyes reverted to him, and I stood by his gun whenever I was not wanted elsewhere. Oh! I felt, awfully, and am at a loss what I should have done had he been cut down before me. I thank God that he was saved. He preserved his usual cheerfulness, and I could see his white teeth through all the smoke and din of the fire."

When the soldiers moved inland, after capturing Vera Cruz, the sailors were left behind, and Lee had to bid his brother farewell.

The records of the six months' campaign in Mexico contain many references to Lee's skill and bravery. He was then forty years old, in the hey-dey of his vigor. He would remain in the saddle from dawn to twilight, if necessary, and never shirked a duty. No wonder that Scott was proud of him and came to rely upon him more and more.

"At Chapultepec," he writes, "Captain Lee was constantly conspicuous, bearing important orders till he fainted from a wound and the loss of two nights' sleep at the batteries."

The campaign certainly showed that Lee was a soldier and the son of a soldier. He was repeatedly cited for meritorious conduct, and was brevetted major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel in rapid succession. This proved not merely his bravery, but his ability in planning engagements and discovering the weak points of the enemy—features which he was to turn to such remarkable account in many famous battles of the Civil War.

When peace with Mexico was declared, Lee was given a welcome furlough, and went back to Arlington to visit his wife and children. He had been so constantly away from home, that he failed to recognize his youngest son, whom he had left an infant. And it is said that he himself was first recognized by a faithful dog.

His son and namesake, R. E. Lee, in his "Recollections," speaks of his father's love for animals. He once rescued a dog that was near drowning in the "Narrows," and it became his devoted follower through life. In a letter home he writes (one of many such references), "Cannot you cure poor Spec? (his dog). Cheer him up! Take him to walk with you—tell the children to cheer him up." We have already spoken of his favorite horse, "Traveller." After the great War, during which horse and rider were inseparable, Lee wrote a description and tribute to his equine friend which must appeal to every true lover of horses.

Lee's two elder sons held true to the family traditions by both entering West Point. Lee himself was presently sent there by the government as Superintendent—just twenty-three years after he had graduated. He served in this capacity for three years, then was given an assignment to the cavalry, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. For the next five years his duties took him into several states, chiefly in the West and Southwest. It was an unsettled time on the Border, both from the Mexicans at the South, and the Indians in the West, and constant (police duty was necessary. It was arduous and lacked the thrill of a real campaign, but in any event, it kept Lee from growing rusty as a soldier. Unconsciously to him and to his Government, it was shaping him and fitting him for the great drama just ahead.

For slowly but surely the North and the South were drifting apart. At first the discussion had been political, but now it was growing more and more personal and bitter. The disputed questions were slavery and States' Rights. A preliminary cloud in the sky was the fanatical raid of John Brown, who, in 1859, tried to stir up the negroes of northern Virginia against their masters. This raid was promptly crushed at Harper's Ferry, and Lee with his regiment of cavalry assisted in restoring order, but though "John Brown's body lay a'mouldering in the grave, His soul went marching on."

While many Southerners did not own slaves and did not believe in slavery, the question of States' Rights found them with undivided front. Had not this doctrine been expressly implied in the Federal Constitution? Had not this right been invoked more than once in the North—by the staunch State of Massachusetts, for example, as early as 1809, and as lately as 1842? Thus they reasoned, and when matters at last reached a breaking point in 1861, the Southern States, following South Carolina's lead one by one, felt that they were acting only within their recognized rights.

The actual call to arms brought a heart-breaking time to many homes. In some it actually parted father and son, or brother and brother. While it created no such chasm in the Lee family, it brought to Robert E. Lee the bitterest and most trying decision of his whole life.

Lee had loved his country. He had served her faithfully for thirty-two years. His actions rather than his words had proved his entire devotion, but the words too were not lacking, as references to his letters will show. One such glimpse of his heart is seen in a letter written from Texas, in 1856. In telling his wife about his Fourth of July celebration, he says: "Mine was spent after a march of thirty miles, on one of the branches of the Brazos, under my blanket, elevated on four sticks driven in the ground, as a sunshade. The sun was fiery hot, the atmosphere like a blast from a hot-air furnace, the water salt, still my feelings for my country were as ardent, my faith in her future as true, and my hope for her advancement as unabated, as they would have been under better circumstances."

When finally the choice had to be made, between State and Nation, Lee was sore beset. He had no interest in the perpetuation of slavery. His views all tended the other way. "In this enlightened age," he wrote, "there are few, I believe, but will acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil." He had already set free his own slaves, and was in favor of freeing "all the slaves in the South."

But when it came a question of deserting his own State, his beloved Virginia, the problem was far more difficult. "All night nearly he paced his chamber," says Thomas Nelson Page, "often seeking on his knees the guidance of the God he trusted in. But in the morning light had come. His wife's family were strongly Union in their sentiments, and the writer has heard that powerful family influences were exerted to prevail on him to adhere to the Union side. 'My husband has wept tears of blood,' wrote Mrs. Lee to his old commander, Scott, who did him the justice to declare that he knew he acted under a compelling sense of duty."

Lee had no illusions as to the sternness of the contest, and the sacrifices that he with all others would have to make. His own beautiful home lay just across the river from Washington. He must have seen with prophetic vision how it would be seized by the Federal Government and held for other purposes—an act of confiscation that was only partially atoned for half a century later. He knew also that Virginia being a border State would bear the brunt of war.

"I can contemplate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union," he wrote in January. And in April that dissolution came.

Nor did the fortunes of the War itself swerve him from the belief that in serving his State, he was doing his highest duty. After it was over and he had gone into the retirement of work in Washington College, we find him writing to General Beauregard as follows:

"I need not tell you that true patriotism sometimes requires men to act exactly contrary at one period to that which it does at another—and the motive which impels them—the desire to do right—is precisely the same. History is full of illustrations of this. Washington himself is an example." (Here he invokes the example that had been his guiding star since early boyhood.) "He fought at one time against the French under Braddock, in the service of the King of Great Britain. At another he fought with the French at Yorktown, under the orders of the Continental Congress, against him. He has not been branded by the world with reproach for this; but his course has been applauded."

While Lee was wrestling with his momentous decision, a further temptation was placed in his path, which he thrust aside. He was offered the high post of commander-in-chief of the Union forces. This offer came at a suggestion from Scott that "Colonel Lee would be worth fifty thousand troops to our side"; and although Lincoln had never met him, he was glad to accede to the suggestion. Lee quietly remarked in declining the honor, "I stated as candidly and courteously as I could, that, though opposed to secession and deprecating war, I could take no part in an invasion of the Southern States."

Such was the manner of man who was soon chosen to lead the Confederate armies. Let us pause for a final picture of the man himself, from a composite by men who knew him.

In physique Lee was every inch a man. He stood five feet eleven inches in height, weighed 175 pounds, and there was not an ounce of superfluous flesh on him. He was "as fine-looking a man as one would wish to see," said General Hunt, "of perfect figure and strikingly handsome." General Meigs added: "Lee was a man then in the vigor of youthful strength, with a noble and commanding presence, and an admirable, graceful, and athletic figure." General Preston remarked that he had "a countenance which beamed with gentleness and benevolence." J. S. Wise said, "I have seen all the great men of our times, except Mr. Lincoln, and I have no hesitation in saying that Robert E. Lee was incomparably the greatest looking of them all." And Alexander H. Stephens, when he saw Lee for the first time, and talked of the newly-born Confederacy, was moved in his enthusiasm to say: "As he stood there, fresh and ruddy as a David from the sheepfold, in the prime of manly beauty and the embodiment of a line of heroic and patriotic fathers and worthy mothers, it was thus I first saw Robert E. Lee. . . . I had before me the most manly and entire gentleman I ever saw."

Lee's fame as a general of the first rank has survived the over-enthusiastic eulogies of his friends and the first caustic comments of his foes. His strategy has come to be recognized as of the highest order. To begin with, he had to build his army "from the ground up," but ended by having one of the most perfect fighting machines in the history of warfare. His men obeyed him with a devotion that was almost idolatrous. He suggested the uniform of quiet gray on account of its protective coloring and against all the army traditions of ages, that an army should march into action in gaudy and glittering attire. It was not until the great World War of a later century, that wise military leaders followed his example and dressed their troops as inconspicuously as possible.

It is not the province of this short sketch to trace General Lee's campaigns step by step to the final meeting with Grant at Appomattox. Army after army was sent to meet him from the North's far greater resources, only to be baffled or defeated in the South. And it was not until he forsook his successful tactics of the defensive, and assumed the offensive on his invasion of Pennsylvania, that he encountered serious defeat at Gettysburg.

But, after all, the great foe to whom his troops had finally to succumb, was General Starvation. The resources of the South were literally exhausted.

"My men are starving," said Lee tersely to Grant; and back of them lay a suffering land that had literally been "bled white."

It was indeed a bitter lesson that the South had learned, but the verdict of history is that it was salutary. The Union was greater than any State or any group of States. It had required a War to rectify that fatal flaw in the Constitution, but out of the fires of that terrible conflict was fused a Union "strong and great," that should be far better fitted to withstand the shock of Time.

Since that bygone day when Lee laid aside his sword forever, and his men went straggling back to their plowshares, America has become engaged in two other wars. And among the first to respond to the bugle call and line up behind "Old Glory" have been the sons and grandsons of that staunch line of Gray—the men who followed Lee.

If the souls of great soldiers ever come back to earth, we can imagine no finer picture than the Leader of a Lost Cause again looking up to the Stars and Stripes and pledging it his silent allegiance. We can seem to see him on his familiar gray charger at the head of his forces, fighting again for his beloved country. We can seem to hear his voice ringing in command:

"On, men of Virginia! On, men of the South! We are Americans all!"

Important Dates in Lee's Life

1807. January 19. Robert Edward Lee born.
1825. Entered West Point.
1829. Graduated second in his class. Made second-lieutenant in engineers.
1831. Married Mary Custis.
1838. Appointed captain.
1845. Joined General Scott's staff in Mexico.
1848. Made colonel for gallant conduct.
1852. Appointed superintendent of West Point.
1855. Appointed lieutenant-colonel of cavalry, in service against Indians.
1861. Made general in Confederate Army.
1865. Surrendered to Grant.
1865. Accepted presidency of Washington College, Virginia.
1870. October 12. Died at this college.


The Friendless Boy Who was to Sway Mighty Armies

"Hayseed! Hayseed!"

Thus mocked a group of schoolboys of a mate who stood moodily by and glowered upon them.

Although their words were not English, "Hayseed!" was what they meant by the punning French phrase. This boy from the South who did not speak as they did, or act as they did, and wore cheaper clothes, was the butt of their ridicule.

"He calls himself 'Napoleone,'" they said. "He means 'La paille au nez' (straw-nose)."

And the way they rattled it off sounded like his name turned round. No wonder the Southerner glared.

How this moody and unpopular schoolboy grew from childhood without intimate friends—without being understood—into a masterful leader of men is one of the strange puzzles of history. It totally upsets that other paradox, "The child is father of the man," for there was little to indicate in the child Bonaparte, the man Napoleon.

He was not even born on the land with which his name is forever associated, France. He first saw the light of day upon the isle of Corsica, a rocky point in the blue waters of the Mediterranean, some fifty miles west of Italy. By treaty, this island passed from Genoese into French control in 1769; and it will always be a disputed question as to which flag Napoleon was born under. He always claimed the date of August 15, 1769, as his natal day, which would make him nominally of French birth. But the boy Napoleon spoke Italian.

Charles Bonaparte, the future Emperor's father, was not a remarkable man, although he stood well in his home town of Ajaccio. He practised law, and must have worked early and late trying to provide for his large family. His wife, Letitia, a woman of great personal beauty and force of character, was the mother of thirteen children, Napoleon being the fourth.

In a family of this size, it was a case of every fellow shift for himself, which rule Napoleon followed out with a vengeance. He himself said in later years: "I was self-willed and obstinate, nothing awed me, nothing disconcerted me. I was quarrelsome, exasperating; I feared no one. I gave a blow here and a scratch there. Every one was afraid of me. My brother Joseph was the one with whom I had the most to do. He was beaten, bitten, scolded. I complained that he did not get over it soon enough."

His mother alone was able to manage him, but she had other things to do as well; so it is not strange that he escaped from the leash. He relates one amusing incident where he was caught red-handed.

In the garden behind their house was a clump of fig trees, which Napoleon was fond of climbing. His mother forbade him to do so, both for fear of damage to himself and to the fruit, but the self-willed boy persisted. "One day when I was idle; and at a loss for something to do," he relates, "I took it in my head to long for some of those figs. They were ripe; no one saw me, or could know anything of the matter. I made my escape, ran to the tree, and gathered the whole. My appetite being satisfied, I was providing for the future by filling my pockets, when an unlucky gardener came in sight. I was half-dead with fear, and remained fixed on the branch of the tree, where he had surprised me. He wished to seize me and take me to my mother. Despair made me eloquent; I represented my distress, promised to keep away from the figs in future, and he seemed satisfied. I congratulated myself on having come off so well, and fancied that the adventure would never be known; but the traitor told all. The next day my mother wanted to go and gather some figs. I had not left any, there was none to be found. The gardener came, great reproaches followed, and an exposure." The upshot of it was a sound thrashing!

But despite all the trials that the boy gave his mother, there always existed between them a strong affection. Napoleon never spoke of her in after years, except in words of praise. "It is to my mother, to her good precepts and upright example, that I owe my success and any great thing I have accomplished." And again: "My mother was a superb woman, a woman of ability and courage."

The boy's first regular schooling was obtained at a small village school kept by nuns. We have a picture of him there as a small thin boy with a shock of unruly hair, a face not always clean, and "stockings half off." But how many other boys have been guilty of such conventional sins—only they do not get immortalized in the sober pages of history!

He next went to a more advanced day school, and then to a seminary conducted by the Abbe Recco. While not a prize student, he was fond of geography, history, and mathematics, and even as a lad his wonderful memory for names and dates began to assert itself. He had what is known as a photographic mind. When once it had received an impression, the record was permanent.

One other bent early asserted itself. It was for warlike scenes. The boy not only read greedily of Cæsar and Alexander and other great conquerors of the past—he drew pictures on the walls, of regiments of soldiers, which in fancy he commanded.

His brother Joseph would jeer, and then there was more trouble. Joseph generally got the worst of it both bodily and mentally. No sooner was the fight over, than the conqueror made good his vantage.

"I went to complain before he had time to recover from his confusion. I had need to be on the alert. Our mother would have repressed my warlike humor, she would not have put up with my caprices. Her tenderness was allied with severity. She punished, rewarded all alike; the good, the bad, nothing escaped her. My father; a man of sense, but too fond of pleasure to pay much attention to our infancy, sometimes attempted to excuse our faults. 'Let them alone,' she replied; 'it is not your business, it is I who must look after them.'"

The father, a man of happy-go-lucky disposition, would shrug his shoulders and laugh. But when it came to choosing a profession for the two boys, he did not hesitate. Joseph, the brow-beaten, should become a priest, he said, while Napoleon must study soldiering—which decision suited at least one of the boys to a T.

Napoleon was only nine years old when this decision was made, but very precocious. He talked and reasoned like a boy five years older. His unruly disposition probably hastened the choice as well. His parents felt that a school where there was stern discipline would be the best thing for him. Accordingly his father obtained for him an appointment to one of the royal military schools; and on April 23, 1779, he was formally enrolled at Brienne, France, as a student. The die was cast. He was to become a soldier.

The next five years, however, were by no means a joyous period in his life. In the first months he felt like "a fish out of water"; nor did he try very hard to adapt himself to his environment. It was all frightfully strange and different. From the sunny island in the Mediterranean he found himself transported suddenly to the northern gloom of the Champagne region. The very language was different. He must unlearn Italian, and learn French. It always came hard to him. To the end of his days he never could spell correctly—although he did learn in time to express himself with clarity and precision.

He found himself, also, thrown into contact with a group of youngsters who were by no means disposed to put up with his overbearing ways. Many of them were the sons of wealthy parents, while he at times was in straitened circumstances. They were fastidious in dress, while he had inclined to the slovenly. Small wonder that they derided him, or that he withdrew within the shell of his pride—and stayed there. He had no intimates. One schoolmate who perhaps came nearest to making a friend of this stand-offish chap from the South, and who was to enjoy a large measure of his confidence in after life was Bourrienne. The latter wrote his famous "Memoirs of Napoleon," which give us many interesting personal glimpses. Here is one of the earliest:

"At Brienne, Bonaparte was remarkable for the dark color of his complexion, which the climate of France afterwards very much changed, as well as for his piercing and scrutinising glance, and for the style of his conversation, both with his masters and companions. His conversation almost always gave one the idea of ill-humor, and he was certainly not very sociable. This, I think, may be attributed to the misfortunes of his family during his childhood, and the impressions made on his mind by the subjugation of his country."

It is interesting to note that at this time the boy was still far from reconciled to the idea of being French. He resented the fact that his father's sword, at one time, had helped to further the conquest of Corsica by France. It was to this fact, indeed, that Napoleon himself owed his appointment to this military college. But the boy does not let this consideration sway him. "I hope some time to be in a position to restore her freedom to Corsica!" he exclaimed.

Napoleon's isolation from his fellow cadets was not entirely to his disadvantage. Brienne possessed a good library, and here day after day the boy might be found poring over the stories of great exploits of the past, and dreaming his own day dreams. But his sword was not for France. He pictured himself as her conqueror! One of his favorite books was Plutarch's "Lives of Illustrious Men." He devoured the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" whole. "With my sword by my side, and Homer in my pocket, I hope to carve my way through the world," he wrote to his mother. Another well-thumbed volume was Cæsar's "Gallic Wars."

We read of more than one instance of ill-will showing between Napoleon and a clique of aristocratic classmates. But we do not find that he was ever afraid of them or that he ever acted the sneak or the coward. Morose he often was, and sullen, but it seemed born of the spirit of misunderstanding which still lurked within his breast, against the world at large. He had simply not found himself.

One anecdote related of these school days reveals him as the potential leader, and shows that the other boys, despite their ridicule, recognized his ability. During one unusually severe winter a heavy fall of snow visited the school. Napoleon suggested that they build a fort, and drew up plans for a complete series of fortifications. The others fell in with his scheme, and upon its completion a battle royal ensued which lasted for several days and put more than one of the participants into the hospital for repairs. In charge of one of the two armies, now attacking the fort, and now playing the part of its defenders, was Napoleon Bonaparte. He was in his element at last.

By the time that he had completed his five years at Brienne, he was made commander of a company of cadets. His first official report card is worth reproducing:

"School of Brienne: State of the King's scholars eligible from their age to enter into the service or to pass to the school at Paris; to wit, M. de Buonaparte (Napoleon) born the 15th August, 1769, in height 4 feet, 10 inches, 10 lines, has finished his fourth season; of good constitution, health excellent; character submissive, honest and grateful; conduct very regular; has always distinguished himself by his application to mathematics; understands history and geography tolerably well; is indifferently skilled in merely ornamental studies and in Latin, in which he has only finished his fourth course; would make an excellent sailor; deserves to be passed on to the school at Paris."

Two points are especially interesting in this report—the first that Napoleon had a "submissive character"; the second that he would make "an excellent sailor." The following year when another inspector visited the school, he added a note that was more accurate. "Character masterful, impetuous and headstrong"; and he decided that Napoleon should enter the Military School at Paris.

Accordingly, in the Fall of 1784, he bade Brienne farewell without regrets on either side, and turned his face toward the capital. No one seeing this slender, almost dwarfed, figure with the thin face, high cheekbones and sunken, inquiring eyes, would ever have imagined that Paris was welcoming her future lord. History holds strange secrets within her pages.

At the Military School, he chose the artillery as his particular branch of service. To what good use he put his study of the field guns, we find evidence in his first appearance on the field of actual warfare. At the outset he made few friends; it seemed to be the bitter experience of Brienne all over again. The trouble was that he was one of the students being educated at the State's expense—a perfectly proper system, which we ourselves follow at West Point and Annapolis. But many of these French students came of wealthy families and, like young prigs, looked down upon the King's scholars as "charity patients." Napoleon justly resented this; and even went so far as to indite a memorial against this condition of affairs at Brienne—which did not tend to enhance his popularity.

However he did begin to find himself in a social way. With maturer years and a broader outlook he began to emerge from his shell. He made a few good friends, one or two being among the gentler sex. One lady in particular, Madame de Colombier, took a fancy to this gawky country lad and frequently invited him to her home in the country. Her daughter, Caroline, was also a welcome friend, and the memory of those simple but pleasant hours remained with him all his life as a ray of sunshine among the all-too-gloomy days of youth.

"We were the most innocent creatures imaginable," he says. "We contrived little meetings together. I well remember one which took place on a midsummer morning, just as daylight was beginning to dawn. It will scarcely be believed that all our happiness consisted in eating cherries together."

The young artillery student—now a lieutenant—also visited the Permons; and Madame Junot, then a little girl, gives a clever cartoon of him as he appeared in full regimentals at the age of sixteen.

"There was one part of his dress which had a very droll appearance—that was his boots. They were so high and wide that his thin little legs seemed buried in their amplitude. Young people are always ready to observe anything ridiculous, and as soon as my sister and I saw Napoleon enter the drawing-room, we burst into a loud fit of laughter. Bonaparte could not relish a joke; and when he found himself the object of merriment he grew angry. My sister, who was some years older than I, told him that since he wore a sword he ought to be gallant to ladies, and, instead of being angry, should be happy that they joked with him.

"'You are nothing but a child, a little school-girl,' said Napoleon, in a tone of contempt.

"Cecile, who was twelve or thirteen years of age, was highly indignant at being called a child, and she hastily resented the affront by replying to Bonaparte, 'And you are nothing but a Puss in Boots!'"

Napoleon at this time was hard put to it to keep up appearances as an officer, on his slender income. His father had passed away, and he could not expect further help from home. He was now his mother's oldest adviser, and we find him writing her sage letters which sound like a man of forty. Indeed, his brain matured early. At fourteen he wrote and spoke like a man.

He was subject to fits of depression and melancholy, and even thoughts of suicide—but these, fortunately, were passing whims, and gradually the resolute nature he was to evince in later years began to assert itself. A favorite motto with him, as a man, was: "The truest wisdom is a resolute determination, and already he was putting it into practice.

Soon after obtaining his commission, he left school on his first assignment of active duty. Some riots had broken out at Lyons, and his regiment of artillery was sent there. But things speedily quieted down, leaving to him the monotony of garrison life. In telling about it afterward he remarked:

"When I entered the service I found garrison life tedious. I began reading novels, and that kind of reading proved interesting. I made an attempt at writing some; this task gave range to my imagination. It took hold of my knowledge of positive facts, and often I found amusement in giving myself up to dreams in order to test them later by the standard of my reasoning powers. I transported myself in thought to an ideal world, and I sought to discover wherein lay the precise difference between that and the world in which I lived."

Thus we see in the young soldier the same recluse and dreamer of Brienne. In boyhood parlance today, he "flocked by himself," building air castles which in part were to become reality.

As for his early attempts at authorship, he tried his hand with indifferent success at fiction, essays, and history, but it is said that he destroyed all this work, with the exception of a fragment, "Letters on the History of Corsica," which was to have told the story of his beloved island.

He returned home on a visit not long after, to help his mother settle up the family estate. Her means were very meagre, and her family unusually large. In addition, his father's affairs had become involved. He had been advanced some money by the French Government to plant mulberry trees, in connection with the silk-worm industry, and a part of this advance was as yet unpaid.

On the score of ill health Napoleon prolonged his stay at Ajaccio for some months, and did not rejoin his regiment until the spring of 1788. He stayed on the island to aid the family from his own pay, and to get a further advance on the mulberry grove; and also as a means of getting away from other people. He was a pronounced recluse, indulging in long rambles over the island, and finding his sole pleasure in authorship. Upon the very threshold of his public career, he still appeared as the most unlikely object upon which Fortune would bestow her favor.

And as if there were not barriers enough to his success, he was still an alien in heart, from France. He wore her uniform and served under her flag, but he was Corsican through and through—still resenting with a Southern impetuosity the means by which the French had conquered Corsica.

But unknown to him and many a wiser head, the hour of destiny was at hand. The dark days of the French Revolution were rapidly approaching, when it seemed as if the whole world would be engulfed in disaster. With the fateful year of 1789, the hour struck—and Napoleon was then just twenty years of age.

On the first echoes of Revolution which reached Corsica, Napoleon was on the alert. He thought he saw a golden opportunity to throw off the shackles of the conqueror. But one of the first acts of the National Assembly was to recognize the full rights of the island as a part of the State of France; and Napoleon, who had already made an attempt to organize a sort of Home Guard, felt himself disarmed.

"France has opened her bosom to us," he said. "Henceforth we have the same interests and the same solicitudes. It is the sea alone which separates us."

With but one lapse, he became a loyal son of France henceforth. The Assembly, builded stronger than it knew, when it recognized Corsica!

After the first mutterings of revolt France became comparatively quiet for nearly two years. Napoleon joined his regiment in 1791, and was promoted to first lieutenant, in the Fourth Artillery, stationed at Valence. It was at this time that the ill-starred king, Louis XVI, tried to flee from the country, but was seized and held a prisoner. The National Assembly was in complete control, and Bonaparte with other officers of the army subscribed to a new oath of allegiance.

It was by no means a compulsory act on his part, but in tune with his own active, impetuous spirit. He became secretary of a club called the "Friends of the Constitution," and composed an Address to the National Assembly.

At the same time occurred an episode which reveals the duplicity of his nature—for Napoleon could be unscrupulous when he had his own ends to serve. Taking advantage of the general state of turmoil he obtained another leave of absence, and returned to Corsica. There, although wearing the French uniform, he again fomented trouble against the authorities. He organized a company of Corsican Volunteers, with which he was to make a bold stroke for liberty. But the movement failed ingloriously, and ended only by getting him into disrepute with both his Government and his neighbors. He saw that his future safety and career lay with the army, so he deserted the popular cause. The Corsicans were so incensed that they declared him an outlaw and his family infamous. In June, 1793, the Bonapartes removed from the island; and only a few short years found him its conqueror in the name of France. The last spark of his Corsican spirit was extinguished.

Only the outbreak of a war with Austria prevented the court-martial which the recreant officer deserved. Instead, such was France's need of trained men, that after a brief interval he was actually promoted to a captaincy. As he himself said: "The beginning of a revolution was a fine time for an enterprising young man!"

His first actual taste of warfare occurred at Toulon, where his regiment was now stationed. Many of the inhabitants of this Southern port were royalists, and they sought to hold the city for the King. The republican troops were ordered to capture the town, which they did after a lively siege and assault. The commander of artillery having been wounded, Napoleon was ordered to take his place. His skill, coolness, and bravery during this engagement are well attested. A soldier serving a gun near him was, killed. At once Napoleon took his place at the gun, and served until relieved.

Aiding the royalists in the harbor was a fleet of ships under the English and Spanish; and here it was that Napoleon was to strike his first blow at his life-long antagonist, England. He submitted a plan for the bombardment of the fleet, and the capture of a fort which they had heavily fortified on shore, called, from its strength, "the little Gibraltar." As a result of a spirited attack at dawn, the shore batteries capitulated, and a few hours later the foreign ships sailed away in haste.

Napoleon's superior officer, Dugommier complimented him highly for his share in the attack, and mentioned him in the official dispatches to this effect: "Among those who distinguished themselves most, and who most aided me to rally the troops and push them forward, are citizens Bonaparte, commanding the artillery, Arena and Cerconi, Adjutants-General."

As a direct result of this first taste of battle, he became, in February, 1794, a General of Brigade, with charge of the artillery and stores of the "Army of Italy," as the southern expeditionary forces were called. But his feet were by no means firmly fixed on the ladder of fortune. These were the days of the Reign of Terror when no man's life or liberty was assured. At one time, Napoleon was deprived of his command, and was in imminent danger of losing his head. He had incurred the suspicion of the Tribunal, as had many another unfortunate; but he was finally pardoned, not because of any sentiment or justice, but because of the "advantages which might be derived from his military information and knowledge of localities, for the service of the Republic."

In the swift turn of events, it was not many months before this pardon of convenience was actually turned to the advantage of the Tribunal—and of Napoleon himself. A rival government called the Central Committee was set up, and the streets of Paris were in uproar. Something had to be done, and done quickly. Revolutions rise or fall overnight. The command of Republican troops was entrusted to Paul Barras, and one of his staff officers was Napoleon Bonaparte. Barras had the foresight to bring up as much artillery as possible, as his men were few. Napoleon saw that these guns were placed so as to enfilade the principal streets. His experience at Toulon, as well as his natural genius for strategy, stood him in good stead. The "whiff of grape-shot" which he fired on that October day, in 1795, cleared the streets of the opposition—and likewise cleared the pathway for him leading eventually to a throne.

The whole world knows of the later deeds of this slim figure who thus steps masterfully forward to the center of the most troubled stage in Europe. Days of conflict and turmoil were yet to follow for Napoleon, but never days of uncertainty. He had found himself. In six short years the brooding misanthrope, the gawky young man who shunned his fellows, became the self-possessed leader of men, wielding a power of personal magnetism that was almost uncanny.

At twenty-six his larger career may be said to have begun. This slight boyish figure takes command of the Army of Italy and leads that memorable campaign to the conquest of Italy before he was thirty. Promptly nicknamed "The Little Corporal" by his army, the term was speedily turned from one of derision to positive affection. Napoleon himself accepted it as a compliment. He learned to understand his men, to fraternize with them, to bring out the best that was in them.

This was one of the chief secrets of his marvelous career. He was an able strategist, a skilled diplomatist, a man of vision and cunning. But despite all these and other high qualities, he would have fallen short of success if he had not possessed his ability to read and to sway the hearts of men. Whence came this power to one who had been a lonely and derided boy? It was as though a magician's wand had touched him overnight.

We have space to give only one picture from the crowded panorama of this world-conqueror, emperor, and exile. It will serve to show the powerful magnetism of his personality—perhaps serve to explain in some slight degree the magic of the mere name of Napoleon, throughout the ranks of his armies.

Napoleon the mighty had fallen. He had been sent into exile on the Isle of Elba, but had escaped, and now with a little army of a thousand men was marching boldly north to reconquer France. The news spread rapidly, and the King now on the throne sent Marshal Ney, a former General under Napoleon, to capture him. Ney promised his King to bring the fallen leader bound into his presence, and, determined to make his promise good, set forth on the road to Marseilles.

It was a gray day in early Spring. The sky looked forbidding, and a chill of winter was in the air. As the King's army moved forward they descried in the distance a smaller band approaching. At its head rode a familiar figure, the Little Corporal, with shoulders stooped, as though bending toward his horse's mane. He gave no orders to his men who marched forward uncertainly. As the distance narrowed down to a matter of yards, Napoleon seemed for the first time to note the presence of the opposing troops. He saw at a glance that many of the men now confronting him had formerly followed him.

Dismounting, he walked rapidly toward them, tore open his great coat, and offered his breast to their rifles.

"Who among you would fire upon his Emperor?" he cried.

Instantly the army, officers and men, lowered their weapons and tossed their caps high in air.

"Vive l'Empereur!" they shouted; and placing him at their head, they turned and marched back upon Paris.

Important Dates in Napoleon's Life

1769. August 15. Napoleon Bonaparte born.
1779. Entered school at Brienne.
1784. Entered military school at Paris.
1786. Became junior lieutenant.
1791. Made lieutenant.
1792. Made captain.
1794. Made general of brigade for services against English at Toulon.
1795. Cleared the streets of Paris with his artillery, and was appointed to command of Army of Italy.
1796. Married Josephine de Beauharnais.
1797. Completed conquest of Italy.
1798. Egyptian campaign.
1799. Made First Consul of France.
1804. Crowned Emperor.
1807. Won Battle of Austerlitz.
1813. Russian campaign.
1814. Abdicated the throne, and was sent to Elba.
1815. Returned to France.
1815. Defeated at Waterloo, and sent to St. Helena.
1821. May 5. Died at St. Helena.


The Iron Duke

Of all the curious parallels of history, none is stranger than that of Napoleon and Wellington, who were to meet as rivals on the fatal field of Waterloo.

They were born in the same year, 1769, and in each case the exact date is somewhat uncertain. Wellington in later life always celebrated the first of May, but was not sure that it was his rightful birthday. Both were born upon islands—the one in Corsica, the other in Ireland—which islands, by the way, were constantly striving to achieve their independence.

Both were born into large families. Napoleon was a fourth child and Wellington a fourth son. The father of each is described as an easy-going, indulgent man, without force of character, while the mother was the moving genius of the family. But between Napoleon and his mother existed a lively affection; while Wellington's mother never seemed to care for this child, and constantly spoke of him in terms of reproach.

Both boys attended military schools in France, far away from their own home and friends, and consequently drew apart from their comrades, lived their own lives, and carved out their own destinies. These are but a few of the early parallels of two famous soldiers who were afterward to decide the fate of Europe at the points of their swords.

The family name of Wellington, before he received a dukedom, was Wesley or Wellesley. As a boy he was known as Arthur Wellesley. His father was the Earl of Mornington, his mother a daughter of Lord Dungannon. The Earl is spoken of as a lover and composer of music. Arthur had three brothers who were all destined to do noteworthy things. His oldest brother, who bore the title of Lord Wellesley, aided him no little in choosing his profession of soldier.

The boy's birthplace was Dangon Castle, Dublin. Almost nothing is known as to his earliest years, beyond the sorrowful fact that his mother was not fond of him—almost had an aversion to him—and spoke of him openly as "the fool of the family." From this we infer that Arthur was a silent, reserved lad, who did not shine at his studies, but who nevertheless did "a heap of thinking." Being misunderstood at home he withdrew more and more into his shell—thus forming a crust of reserve which was to be more or less a handicap to him all through life. For the Iron Duke, as he came to be called, never threw off his diffidence nor won the hearts of his soldiers, as did that other recluse, Bonaparte.

Arthur Wellesley's first school away from home was Eton, that great "prep" school of so many English boys. The fact that he attended there helped to give rise to the proverb that "Waterloo was won on the cricket fields of Eton"—but as a matter of record the boy was not interested in this sport. He preferred the fiddle to the racquet, as he had inherited his father's love of music.

"I was a player of the violin once myself, sir," he remarked in after years to a friend; "but I soon found that fiddling and soldiering didn't agree—so I gave it up, sir! I gave it up!"

Only one other anecdote is recorded of his life at Eton, and this was a fight! Nor was it a case of choose your weapons—it was plain fists. He began with first principles. A fellow student, Robert Smith, who is chiefly noted as having been the brother of Sydney Smith, the noted essayist and preacher, was enjoying a swim in the river, near the campus. Arthur could not resist the impulse to throw mud at his bare back.

"Stop that!" yelled Smith.

"Dare you to come," said Arthur.

Bob promptly waded out, and they "mixed." Just which boy got the better of it is not clear, but if justice ruled, the future conqueror of Napoleon should have received his first trouncing.

One other fight is recorded of his early schooldays—and this does not mean that Arthur was naturally of a pugnacious disposition, for he wasn't. It simply means that one's battles, little or big, are always remembered, rather than the pleasant though colorless ways of peace. On a visit home he got into an argument with a blacksmith's boy, named Hughes. In this instance, might was right. The smith's muscles were the brawnier, and the Etonian got soundly licked—that is, if we can take the word of Hughes who was wont to boast in later years that he beat the man who beat Napoleon!

At Eton came the usual question which confronts every boy in his teens—the choice of a business or profession. His mother did not think he was good for anything. In writing of her children, about this time, she says:

"They are all, I think, endowed with excellent abilities, except Arthur, and he would probably not be wanting, if only there was more energy in his nature; but he is so wanting in this respect, that I really do not know what to do with him."

He took no interest in the law or the Church. He seems to have moped along in a lackadaisical sort of way in the classroom. He had, not given an indication of "shining" in any direction. Consequently there was nothing left for a gentleman's son—except the army! It was a make-shift choice.

Those were the days of the American Revolution. The progress of this struggle must have appealed powerfully to the English boys; and the final defeat of the trained British troops by the raw Colonials must have been a bitter blow. There came an insistent demand for more and better schools for the officers. England seems to have been poorly equipped in this respect. Wellesley himself, like many another English boy, was sent across the channel to France. The chosen school was at Angers on the Maine, and was conducted by the Marquis of Pignerol, a celebrated military engineer of the time. In connection with the school was a fine riding academy.

It was in 1785 that Arthur entered this school. He was then sixteen, a thin gangly-looking boy, who perhaps because he had grown too rapidly could not be persuaded to take much interest in anything. He felt out of his element and ill at ease, although he was not the only English lad here. He is described by General Mackenzie, who was a schoolmate, as "not very attentive to his studies, and constantly occupied with a little terrier called Vick, which followed him everywhere."

This is about as definite a glimpse of him as we can get, but it does enable us to picture him as idling about the streets of this picturesque old town, or climbing the steep cliffs which rise from the water's edge, at the confluence of the streams which flow by Angers. At the top of the hill we can see him whistling to Vick, and tossing down one of the gentler slopes a stone or stick for the faithful terrier to retrieve.

Did this idle schoolboy dream dreams of future greatness on the battlefields of the land that was now teaching him to draw the sword? Who shall say.

Although at Angers only a short time, about twelve months, it was by no means time wasted. He perfected his French and learned many things about manners and customs that were to be of good service. Likewise, through his family's influence, he made the acquaintance of several French noblemen, who must undoubtedly have given him a broader point of view, and perchance some good advice on the subject of soldiering.

His father had died in 1781, but his oldest brother, who had made his mark as a soldier and man of letters, took a lively interest in him and constantly urged him on. England is indebted no little to this brother Richard, who, probably more than any other, was the guiding star in the making of her great soldier.

In the days just after the American War, the British army was not well organized or officered. Instead of the fighting machine that it afterward became, it was a sort of gentleman's training school, so far as the officers were concerned. Any one who had good family connections or money could get a commission. The skill and experience were supposed to come later, on the field of action.

This fact explains the early promotion of Arthur Wellesley. At the age of seventeen, soon after leaving Angers, he was made an ensign in a regiment of infantry, and within five years, by the time he was twenty-two, he had been made a captain. Nor did his rapid advancement end here. In 1793 he became a major, then a lieutenant colonel; and by 1796 he was a full-fledged colonel—at twenty-seven! The secret "power at court" was his brother Richard, who was a secretary to Pitt, the statesman. But another friend was Lord Westmoreland, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, who took a fancy to him and made him a staff officer.

As one historian puts it, regarding army commissions: "Wealth and interest were nearly all-powerful; it was the palmy day of purchase which George the Third had tried and had failed to abolish, and, until the Duke of York became commander-in-chief, infants of both sexes figured in the army list as the holders of commissions."

It is interesting to note—to resume our parallel—that this was the stormy time of the French Revolution, when Napoleon was painfully carving his way upward by the edge of the sword, and by push rather than "pull" had achieved high command in early life.

But we would do the young Wellington a grave injustice if we pictured him as leading a life of inactivity, awaiting a promotion through "pull." He had qualities which now began to assert themselves and were to contribute to his larger fame. For one thing, he was something of a diplomat. He remembered names and faces, and turned every acquaintance to account. Later, he was credited with a marvelous memory—such as also had his great French rival.

These qualities, it is true, were slow in ripening. At the age of twenty-one, he was elected to the Irish House of Commons, from his home County. This was done in order to give him parliamentary training, and such service was allowed without the necessity of relinquishing his military rank or duties. It was merely an extra tail to his kite. He is thus described by a colleague, Sir Jonah Barrington:

"Wellesley was then ruddy-faced and juvenile in appearance, and popular enough among the young men of his age and station. His address was unpolished; he occasionally spoke in Parliament, but not successfully, and never on important subjects; and evinced no promise of that unparalleled celebrity and splendor which he has since reached, and whereto intrepidity and decision, good luck, and great military science have justly combined to elevate him."

Although he made no great mark as a Parliamentarian, he did make friends at this time, who were destined to influence his life. One was the brilliant though somewhat unprincipled Lord Castlereagh, who was to aid him to obtain the chief military command of the English army in Spain. Another was a certain young lady, Charlotte Packenham, who found his tongue more eloquent than did his colleagues in the House of Commons. She was the daughter of Lord Longford, who was not so easily won over to the young man's suit. In fact, the nobleman gave him a curt "no." He was looking for a more brilliant match for his daughter than a subaltern.

So the young people had to give each other a sad farewell. But it was not to be forever. Ten years later when the young soldier had won his spurs, and had returned from his brilliant campaign in India, a Major General, the parental gates were unbarred. The Lady Charlotte had remained constant through all the years of waiting and separation, and they were happily wedded.

That Wellesley took more than a perfunctory interest in his military duties is evident even during his earliest years of service. For example, he wished to determine for himself just how much weight, in the way of equipment, a soldier could carry in light marching order.

"I wished," he says, "to have some measure of the power of the individual man compared with the weight he was to carry, and the work he was expected to do. I was not so young as not to know that since I had undertaken a profession, I had better endeavor to understand it." And he adds, "It must always be kept in mind that the power of the greatest armies depends upon what the individual soldier is capable of doing and bearing." It is but another way of saying, "A chain is no stronger than its weakest link," or, as we put it today, "It depends upon the man behind the gun." Thus Wellington early discovered and put into practise that indefinable something we call "morale."

As lieutenant colonel of the Thirty-Third Foot, he took up his work in earnest, with the result that in a few months it was officially declared to be the best drilled regiment in Ireland.

But the young commander was not content with this. He did not want to remain at home as a mere "drill sergeant" when affairs were so active abroad. Due partly to the outbreak of the French Revolution, all Europe seethed with war. France was in revolt against the world, and all the neighboring powers were pitted against her. England had maintained a strict neutrality at first, but when Belgium was overrun, felt compelled to intervene, just as in the similar great war of aggression begun by Germany in our own time.

Naturally, young Wellesley wanted to be in it. He wrote to his brother Richard importuning him to use his influence in this direction. "I will serve as major to one of the flank corps," he wrote, as his own regiment was "the last for service." The request was not granted, however, and he had to wait until the Spring of 1794 for his chance to see active service.

It was a parlous time to go over. The French had defeated one army after another, of the Allies, and were in the hey-dey of their first success. The trouble seemed to be lack of unity of command, and lack of able leadership. The Duke of York was in command of the British army, but allowed himself to be out-maneuvered repeatedly. By the Fall of that year, when Wellesley was with the army, the campaign resembled a rout.

During a series of rearguard actions in the retreat through Holland and Flanders, Colonel Wellesley came first into official notice. It was at the Meuse, a stream made forever memorable in the recent Great War. A retreat had been ordered during the night, to avoid a superior force of French. One regiment, however, had mistaken its orders and engaged the enemy. The result was a hopeless tangle of infantry and cavalry, with the enemy taking advantage of the confusion to press the attack.

The Thirty-Third had been ordered to support the rear. Colonel Wellesley, seeing the danger, ordered his regiment to halt in a field alongside of the road, leaving the way clear for the retreat. As soon as the stragglers had gotten by, he threw his regiment again in solid formation across the road, and they advanced upon the charging French with such coolness and precision that the attackers were forced to halt. It was only an incident of warfare, but it showed his promptness of decision, and the fruits of discipline in his regiment.

All that ensuing winter the French harried their army. Wellesley was stationed on the Waal, a branch of the Rhine; and he gives some idea of their arduous life in a letter dated December 20, 1794:

"At present the French keep us in a perpetual state of alarm. We turn out once, sometimes twice, every night. The officers and men are harassed to death, and if we are not relieved, I believe there will be very few of the latter remaining shortly. I have not had the clothes off my back for a long time, and generally spend the greatest part of the night upon the bank of the river, notwithstanding which I have entirely got rid of that disorder which was near killing me at the close of the summer campaign. Although the French annoy us much at night, they are very entertaining during the daytime. They are perpetually chattering with our officers and soldiers, and dance the carmagnole  upon the opposite bank whenever we desire them. But occasionally the spectators on our side are interrupted in the middle of a dance by a cannon ball, from theirs."

In this somewhat humorous recital, Wellesley makes no mention of the sufferings which they must have undergone from lack of food and supplies of all kinds. He purposely puts the best face on it, and bears his troubles stoically. But young as he was, he marveled at the inefficiency and lack of coordination of the high command. Once when a dispatch was received by the General during dinner, from their ally, Austria, he tossed it aside unopened with the remark, "That will keep till morning."

During three months on the Waal, Wellesley declares that he was in direct touch with headquarters only once, and adds: "We had letters from England, and I declare that those letters told us more of what was passing at headquarters than we learnt from the headquarters ourselves. It has always been a marvel to me how any of us escaped."

One result, nevertheless, of this isolation was to throw the young colonel back upon his own resources. It was the finest possible training for his later career.

When Colonel Wellesley returned to England the next year, he thought for a time of resigning his command. One reason was undoubtedly the poor state of the army in equipment and discipline. Another was the fact that he owed his brother money on account of promotions in the service, and his officer's pay was not enough to repay it. He was always scrupulous in matters of debt.

His application for discharge, however, was not accepted. England had need of all her trained men at this time. In addition to the trouble in France, there were other affairs demanding attention in Spain and India. The whole world seemed to need readjusting at once.

Wellesley's next assignment was to accompany an expedition against the French settlement in the West Indies, which set sail in October, 1795. But when only two days out the ships encountered a terrible storm. One ship sank with all on board, others were badly crippled, and hundreds of sailors perished. The expedition put back to England.

Although Wellesley escaped the full effects of this storm, the exposure left his health undermined. His regiment was ordered abroad in the Spring, this time to the East Indies, and when they set sail, in April, he was too ill to accompany them. It was not until February, 1797, that he joined them in Calcutta.

Arthur Wellesley was now in his twenty-eighth year. All that had passed hitherto might be regarded as his schooling. He had been an obscure and "foolish" boy at school (to all appearance). He had failed to make his mark as a military student on the Maine. He had been a dilettante staff officer, and a reticent member of Parliament. Money and family had apparently made him what he was—neither better nor worse than many another young British officer. In his brief campaign in France, he had conducted himself creditably, but had come away with a distaste for the service, as it was then conducted.

To revert to our former parallel—Napoleon at twenty-eight was on the high road to world mastery. Wellington at twenty-eight had not yet found himself. But now on his trip to India he was on the threshold of his career. His deeds there and on other fields were to astonish the world. Did they also astonish the silent officer himself?

It would require a detailed account of the Indian campaign to trace adequately the gradual rise of this officer in the service. For his was not a meteoric or spectacular rise. It was by gradual steps—but each step found him fully prepared. This, perhaps, is as near the secret of the great soldier's success as we can get. He was never a self-advertiser. He never talked much. But he was keenly observant, and his wonderfully retentive memory aided him at every turn. He could go through a countryside once, and then be able to map out an attack—using every natural advantage to its utmost.

And, best of all, his superiors were beginning to discover his merits. They soon found, beneath his quiet exterior, a keen intellect and an indomitable will. Within two months after reaching Calcutta he was consulted by General St. Leger on a plan to establish artillery bases, and was also nominated to command an expedition against the Philippines, then under Spanish control, but preferred to remain and fight it out in India.

"I am determined that nothing shall induce me to desire to quit this country, until its tranquility is ensured," he said—which recalls to mind the famous saying of Grant's: "We will fight it out along this line, if it takes all summer."

Wellesley's next appointment was as Commander of the Mysore brigade. His brother Richard, Marquis of Wellesley, had been appointed Governor General of India, and the two men were destined to exercise a strong influence on affairs in that disturbed country. While nominally in control of the land, the English possessions actually included only the narrow strip running along the various sea coasts; the interior being overrun by unruly tribes of Sepoys under Tippoo Sahib. It required careful planning and equipping of armies marching from opposite sides of India to meet and crush this formidable rebellion.

In all this strenuous work of field and garrison, Wellesley took an active part. At one time, as Governor of Seringapatam; at another as Brigadier General, personally directing assaults upon some native fortress, and, after its capture, restoring order and discipline, and thus ensuring the respect and confidence of the natives.

"I have been like a man who fights with one hand and defends himself with the other," he wrote at this period. "I have made some terrible marches, but I have been remarkably fortunate; first, in stopping the enemy when they intended to press to the southward; and afterwards, by a rapid, march to the northward, in stopping Sindhia."

In 1803, he was made Major General, with the title of Sir Arthur Wellesley; and two years later returned to England as one of her most trusted and esteemed commanders. And England had need of just such men as he. There were still more stirring years ahead in Spain and elsewhere, until this strong silent man had emerged into the "Iron" Duke of Wellington, who should meet that other Man of Destiny on the plains of Waterloo.

Wellington won his success by his infinite capacity for taking pains. His life defies the biographer to analyze, whether through the medium of a lengthy volume or a brief chapter—because it was made up of so many little things. They were the duties of each day, but he not only did them thoroughly, he also learned through them the larger grasp of the next day's problems.

A contemporary pen picture of "the Sepoy General," on his return to England in 1805, will serve to show us what manner of man he appeared to be, to his subordinates. Captain Sherer, who has left this portrait, says:

"General Wellesley was a little above the middle height, well limbed and muscular; with little incumbrance of flesh beyond that which gives shape and manliness to the outline of the figure; with a firm tread, an erect carriage, a countenance strongly patrician, both in feature, profile, and expression, and an appearance remarkable and distinguished. Few could approach him on any duty, or, on any subject requiring his serious attention, without being sensible of a something strange and penetrating in his clear light eye. Nothing could be more simple and straightforward than the matter of what he uttered; nor did he ever in his life affect any peculiarity or pomp of manner, or rise to any coarse, weak loudness in his tone of voice. It was not so that he gave expression to excited feeling."

His reputation as a great soldier will stand for all time, not because he defeated Napoleon, but because his whole military career was built upon duty. It was not ostentation but merit that won him the supreme command. His ideals were always high.

"We must get the upper hand," he advised, "and if once we have that, we shall keep it with ease, and shall certainly succeed."

Important Dates in Wellington's Life

1769. May 1. Arthur Wellesley born.
1785. Attended military school at Angers, France.
1787. Entered British Army as ensign.
1793. Became lieutenant-colonel.
1794. Saw his first active service in Flanders.
1796. Colonel. Sent to India.
1803. Major-general.
1805. Married Charlotte Packenham.
1808. Made lieutenant-general, and sent to command Peninsular War.
1814. Created Duke of Wellington.
1815. Defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.
1827. Prime minister.
1852. September 14. Died.


The Man Who "Discovered" China

The name Gordon, brings to mind the warrior—perchance the Highland laddie who with bagpipes fiercely blowing charges down the rocky slope against the enemy.

"Chinese" Gordon, as one of this warlike clan will be known for all time, came indeed of a race of warriors, and was born in martial surroundings; but the man himself was far from being of that stern stuff that glories in a fight. As boy and man, he was quiet, lovable, and of intensely religious nature.

Gordon means a "spear," and the name was probably given to the clan several centuries ago. Its members had always been famous in battle. Chinese Gordon's great-grandfather led a very eventful life. He was taken prisoner in the battle of Prestonpans, and later went to Canada, on the special expedition which wrested that Dominion from the French. His son took part in many battles, and served with distinction. The next in line, the father of Chinese Gordon, was Lieutenant-General Henry William Gordon, a soldier of the highest type.

General Gordon lived at Woolwich, long noted for its arsenal. It is only nine miles out from St. Paul's, and is an object of interest at any time. But in times of war it fairly bristles with activity. Small wonder, then, that a boy coming from such a line of ancestors and born, almost, in a gun-carriage should have chosen to become a soldier. With any other environment Chinese Gordon would have become a preacher.

Of course, the name "Chinese," was not the way he was christened. "Charles George" are his baptismal names—but few people know that fact now.

He was the youngest child in a large family, five sons and. six daughters. This calls to mind other large families from which sprang famous soldiers—Napoleon, for example. Charles was born in 1833, after his father had reached middle age, and had settled down in the piping times of peace. The elder Gordon had won his spurs in the Napoleonic Wars.

We know very little of the boyhood of Charles Gordon, beyond the fact that during the first ten years of his life he lived at the Pigeon House Fort, in Dublin Bay, next in the Fort of Leith, and later on the Island of Corfu. All these places are spots of great natural beauty—a vista of stretching sea or mountain-top which the frowning fortress only aided in romance and charm. Many a long ramble must the boy have had, storing his memory with these quiet, sylvan pictures.

Not far from Leith was the famous battlefield of Prestonpans, where, nearly a century before, his great-grandfather had been taken prisoner. From his father or brothers he must have heard many a wild tale of the Highlanders and their exploits.

As a child, however, this did not appeal to him. He loved nature in her quiet moods best. He was timid and nervous, to such an extent that the firing off of the cannon, when the colors were lowered at sundown, would make him jump half out of his boots. It was only by the sternest sort of self-control that he obtained the mastery of himself.

Not that Charles Gordon was ever a coward. Morally he was ever-unflinching. He abhorred a lie, and was always ready to stand up for his convictions. But his physical frame was made of weaker stuff—much to his own vexation.

One of the few early stories related of him is that he had difficulty in learning to swim. He could not get the stroke and he had a horror of being in water over his head. So he made a practice of deliberately throwing himself into deep water, when out with his mates, knowing that it was "sink or swim," or a case of getting pulled out. He was then only nine.

A few years later, another instance reveals his determination. A great circus was advertised in London, a novelty in those days, and the Gordon boys had been promised the treat. But just before its arrival, Charles fell into disgrace. He was charged with some fault which he did not think should have been laid to his door. Later he was forgiven, and told that he might attend the circus. But his pride was aroused, and he refused to go.

When he was ten, the first definite step toward making him a soldier was taken—for of course, being a Gordon, he must be a soldier. He was sent to school at Taunton, preparatory to entering, as a cadet, the Royal Military Academy, at Woolwich. At that time, its commandant was a veteran of Waterloo, a peppery old chap who had left one of his legs on the soil of France, as a souvenir. He was a martinet as to discipline, and Charles, who had become accustomed to doing a good deal of thinking for himself, came into frequent clashes with him.

One day, the old man said, "Gordon, I am tired of fooling with you. You are incompetent; you will never make an officer."

The young cadet, a boy of sixteen, gave him look for look, without quailing—then by way of reply tore his epaulettes from his shoulders, turned on his heel, and strode out of the room.

Naturally, the guardhouse was next in order, where the culprit could cool his heels and meditate upon the sinfulness of superior officers. In this particular case he seems to have blamed it upon the missing leg, for he remarked, long afterwards: "Never employ any one minus a limb to be in authority over boys. They are apt to be irritable and unjust."

He remained in the Military Academy four years, having been put back six months by way of discipline, and left it without any regrets. At this time, indeed, he had a positive distaste for the army. It was all drill and monotony. One day was too much like another. What was the good of it all? Why did men have to learn to kill each other anyhow? Were we not put on earth for a higher mission?

Thus reasoned the young man, who, all his life, was subject to moods of introspection and intense religious thought—surely strange material out of which to build a soldier! He sensed this fact himself and was not at all anxious to enter the army; and frequently in later life expressed a lively dissatisfaction for the service. He was an exemplification of the poet's line:

"I feel two natures struggling within me."

When he entered the service, as a second lieutenant of the Engineers, at the age of nineteen, there was little to attract one in the army life. The long peace of Europe, which had followed the defeat of Napoleon, seemed likely to last forever. Except for a relatively small outbreak in France, in 1848, all Europe was quiet. Consequently, the army held little attraction to an active young man. It was all drill and the petty details of garrison life. But underneath the placid surface, the political pot of Europe was really boiling furiously—only waiting a chance to bubble over. That chance soon came.

Gordon's first assignment was to Pembroke, where plans were required for the forts at Milford Haven. Here with other engineers he worked for a few months, when he was ordered to the Island of Corfu. This was not altogether to his liking. He had spent a part of his boyhood there in the Ionian Islands, but felt that they were "off the map" so far as real activity was concerned.

Then the bubbling pot at last boiled over. Russia, impatient of bounds, had begun her march southward, past the Black Sea, and toward the coveted lands of Turkey. The "balance of power," that precarious something that has always kept Europe on edge—and particularly in the Balkans—was upset. Whether England wanted to or not, she must get into the breach.

Thus began the Crimean War, a desperate struggle that was to bear some glorious pages in England's history, and some dark ones as well. It was to see the "Charge of the Light Brigade"—splendid in itself, but brought about because "some one had blundered." It was to produce a Florence Nightingale—but also the hideous sufferings which she helped to assuage.

For England was unprepared. Her years of idleness had broken down her military organization. Splendid fighting men she still had, but the fighting machine itself was rusty.

Young Gordon, perhaps through his father's influence, obtained a transfer from Corfu to the Crimea. The father did not much like his new billet. He may have sensed something of what was coming. But he did not fear for his son.

"Get him into real action, I say," he would remark. "That will show whether there's any stuff in him. I guess there is," he added grimly, thinking of Charles's troubles in college. "All the time he was in the Academy, I felt like I was sitting on a powder barrel."

In mid-December, of 1854, Gordon set sail from England, on his first real job as a soldier. He was going with the task of building some wooden huts for the soldiers, and lumber was being shipped at the same time. But the soldiers for whom these shelters were intended were even then dying from exposure on the plains of Sebastopol. It was the first lesson of unpreparedness.

Of this, however, the young engineer was then ignorant. He was in high spirits over the prospect of action and seeing the world. He arrived at Marseilles "very tired," as he writes to his mother, but not too tired to give her a detailed description of what he has seen thus far—"the pretty towns and villages, vineyards and rivers, with glimpses of snowy mountains beyond."

On New Year's Day he reached his destination, Balaklava. It was the depth of winter, and disaster stared the British in the face. The Russians were having the best of it. They were outgeneralling the enemy at every turn. The British could do little more than dig in and hang on, with the bull-dog stubbornness which has always marked them.

At first, the young lieutenant heard little of this. His duties as construction engineer kept him busy six miles back of the battle line.

"I have not yet seen Sebastopol," he writes on January 3, "and do not hear anything of the siege. We hear a gun now and then. No one seems to interest himself about the siege, but all appear to be engaged in foraging for grub." Two days later he writes: "We have only put up two huts as yet, but hope to do better soon."

The army was suffering from both cold and hunger, and was in pitiable plight. Again he writes: "Lieutenant Daunt, Ninth Regiment, and another officer of some Sixtieth Regiment, were frozen to death last night, and two officers of the Ninety-Third Regiment were smothered by charcoal. The streets of Balaklava are a sight, with swell English cavalry and horse-artillery carrying rations, and officers in every conceivable costume foraging for eatables."

There was little military glamour in such sights as this. No wonder, young Gordon felt sick of it all. But he never gave the slightest indication of quitting. He only worked all the harder to help do his bit. As Spring advanced, he had an opportunity to work closer to the lines. He received orders to construct trenches and rifle pits, which at times was extremely hazardous and brought him under fire. On one occasion a Russian bullet missed his head by a scant inch.

At last, in the month of June, came his first chance to do some real fighting. Every branch of the service was marshaled by the commanding general, Lord Raglan, for a massed attack. What happened can best be described in Gordon's own words:

"About three a.m. the French advanced on the Malakoff tower in three columns, and ten minutes after this our signal was given. The Russians then opened with a fire of grape that was terrific." And again: "They mowed down our men in dozens, and the trenches, being confined, were crowded with men who foolishly kept in them instead of rushing over the parapet, and, by coming forward in a mass, trusting to some of them at least being able to pass through untouched to the Redan, where, of course, once they arrived, the artillery could not reach them, and every yard nearer would have diminished the effect of the grape by giving it less space for spreading. We could thus have moved up the supports and carried the place. Unfortunately, however, our men dribbled out of the ends of the trenches ten and twenty at a time, and as soon as they appeared they were cleared away."

Thus ended the first engagement in which Gordon took part. The Allies suffered defeat, and Lord Raglan died a few days later of a broken heart. It was not an auspicious baptism of fire.

In August another assault was made, which also met defeat. Gordon ends his account with the remark: "We should have carried everything before us, if the men had only advanced."

Perchance one reason why the men failed to advance was that their morale had been lowered, by reason of the privations they had undergone. This was before the days of the Red Cross, the army canteen, or the Y.M.C.A. with its homely comfort. The men had had to shift for themselves. Nursing the sick and wounded was almost unknown, until the white-clad figure of Florence Nightingale showed the world its dereliction. Listen to what this devoted pioneer among nurses has to say:

"Fancy working five nights out of seven in the trenches. Fancy being thirty-six hours in them at a stretch, as they sometimes were, lying down, or half-lying down often forty-eight hours with no food but raw salt pork, sprinkled with sugar, rum, and biscuit; nothing hot, because the exhausted soldier could not collect his own fuel, as he was expected to do, to cook his own rations; and fancy through all this, the army preserving their courage and patience, as they have done, and being now eager (the old ones as well as the young ones) to be led into the trenches. There was something sublime in the spectacle."

Sublime? Granted. But no soldier fights well on an empty stomach.

Despite their hardships and reverses, however, the Allies were at last successful in the capture of Sebastopol. But it was a barren victory, as the Russians had set fire to the town and destroyed practically everything of value. The war soon afterwards ceased, and with it the first hard lesson in Charles Gordon's military training. He had entered it a somewhat careless youth. He came out of it a seasoned veteran.

That his government had learned to appreciate his services is shown by the fact that he was soon afterward placed on a joint commission of the English, French, Russians, and Austrians, to lay down a boundary line between Russia and her neighbors at the southwest. It was only one of many later attempts to define the Balkans.

"The newly-ceded territory is in great disorder," writes Gordon. "The inhabitants refuse to obey the Moldaves and own nobody's authority. This is caused, I suspect, by Russian intrigues."

Already cracks were beginning to show in the new boundary wall.

After three years of steady but interesting work following up the ravages of war, Gordon returned home. It was a rest well earned, and likewise needed, for there were still more strenuous days ahead. Then back he went, in the Spring of 1858, to complete his work in the Caucasus.

"I am pretty tired of my post as peacemaker," he writes; "for which I am naturally not well adapted. . . . I am quite in the dark as to how my mission has been fulfilled, but it is really immaterial to me, for I will not accept other work of such an anomalous character."

The "other work" that was being stored up for him was of quite different nature. He might have called it "anomalous," but it was to tax and bring out every resource in him.

China, that land of distance and mystery, was undergoing a period of upheaval. A usurper had tried to seize the reins of government, and the French and British ships had been attacked. The British sent a force of reprisal, somewhat like that sent against the Boxer rebellion in recent years. This was in 1860; and Gordon was sent out with the rank of captain.

The first work of this expeditionary force was scarcely worthy of a civilized country. They set fire to a summer palace and gardens of a prince who had mistreated some English prisoners. It was a piece of vandalism that went against the grain with Gordon.

"You can scarcely imagine the beauty and magnificence of the palaces we burnt," he writes. "It made one's heart sore to destroy them. It was wretchedly demoralizing work."

In the Spring of 1862, Gordon had become a major, and was ordered, with a Lieutenant Carden, to explore the Great Wall of China. This was more to his liking. The two men were congenial and well fitted by temperament and experience for the task. They penetrated provinces in the interior never before entered by a white man, and had a variety of adventures, some amusing, others exciting.

During the winter it grew extremely cold, high up in the mountains. He relates that eggs were frozen as hard as if they had been boiled. At another time they are caught in a terrific dust storm, which he thus describes:

"The sky was as dark as night; huge columns of dust came sweeping down, and it blew a regular hurricane, the blue sky appearing now and then through the breaks. The quantity of dust was indescribable. A canal, about fifty miles long and eighteen feet wide, and seven deep, was completely filled up."

From these more or less peaceful incidents, Gordon was presently called to more exciting events. The great Tai-ping rebellion had been raging for some months. It was the work of a Chinese schoolmaster, who said that Heaven had sent him to rescue China. He chose for title "The Heavenly King," and with some thousands of fanatical followers, overran a large part of the interior. His seat of government was in Nanking.

In his first clashes with the small British army, in 1862, his troops had the better of the argument. They spoke with open contempt of the foreigners, and all English, whether soldiers or missionaries, were in imminent danger. Things came to such a pass that an American, named Ward, obtained permission to organize a band of volunteers for mutual protection. This band did remarkable work, and soon grew from a force of two hundred, to two thousand—every man of them ready to die in his tracks.

They met the fanatical followers of "The Heavenly King" more than half-way, and gave them such thorough doses of hot shot and cold steel, that the rebels finally ran at sight of them. It is said that Ward's men fought seventy engagements in one year, and won every fight. The Imperial Chinese Government was very grateful for their aid, and conferred upon them a high-sounding name which meant, "Ever-Victorious Army."

Unluckily, Ward lost his life in leading an assault, and left his army without a general. Li Hung Chang, the statesman, who was later known as the Grand Old Man of China, came to the British commander General Stavely, and asked him to appoint a British officer to lead the Ever-Victorious Army.

Stavely cast about him, and his eye fell upon Major Gordon, who was then engaged upon a survey of the defenses of Shanghai. He had known Gordon and admired him. He believed that here was the man for the task.

"What he was before Sebastopol he has been since—faithful, trusty, and successful," reasoned the General. "Before Pekin and Shanghai he has evinced just the qualities that are needed now. Although he has never been in command, he will rise to this occasion, to which he is more fitted than any other man whom I know."

Gordon at first declined the honor, perhaps through false modesty, and the command was given to a Captain Holland, with bad results. Holland traded too much on the invincibility of the Ever-Victorious Army, and attacked a strongly fortified position at Taitsan. His forces were driven off with a loss of three hundred men. It was a grievous loss, but the moral loss was far deeper. His men lost spirit, while the rebels were extravagant in their glee.

Something had to be done at once. Again they came to Gordon with the offer of leadership, and this time, he accepted—but not without some misgiving. In a letter home, dated March 24, 1863, he writes:

"I am afraid you will be much vexed at my having taken the command of the Sung-kiang force, and that I am now a Mandarin. I have taken the step on consideration. I think that any one who contributes to putting down this rebellion fulfills a humane task, and I also think tends a great deal to open China to civilization."

Gordon soon proved that he had both courage and resourcefulness. He did not risk another, assault upon Taitsan, as the rebels expected, but decided to attack them in another quarter. He took one thousand men by river to an inland town, Chanzu. Here was a loyal Chinese garrison which had been besieged by the rebels and was in sore straits.

The coming of Gordon was a bold and unexpected move, as the rebels must have outnumbered his force five to one. But Gordon had brought two field pieces along, and at once opened fire. By night-fall the enemy had enough of it, and retreated. The next morning the Ever-Victorious Army marched triumphantly into Chanzu, where they received a great welcome. Gordon thus received reinforcements not only from this garrison, but also from some of the rebel forces who had begun to "smell a mouse" and decided to come over while the coming was good.

Gordon was much interested in some of these young rebel chiefs. He says that they were very intelligent, and were splendidly dressed in their silks, and had big pearls in their caps. The head man was about thirty-five years old, and was ill and worn with anxiety.

"He was so very glad to see me, and chin-chinned most violently, regretting his inability to give me a present, which I told him was not the custom of our people."

This rapid victory was productive of several good results. It once more put the rebels "on the run," it restored the morale of his troops and gave them confidence in their new leader, and it brought him many recruits. One especially gratifying result was that several British officers asked leave to serve under him.

Gordon had made a firm friend of Li Hung Chang, who aided him in every possible way. He introduced much-needed discipline into his troops, who had been at first mere adventurers, and also established regular grades of pay. The Chinese Government was glad to assume these payments; while the English authorities were well content with the unique arrangement; Whether or not, Gordon would have called it "anomalous"—it was working, and that was the main thing.

Gordon saw to it that his men were well armed, well paid, well dressed, and well fed. Always he had the horrible example of the Crimean campaign before his eyes, and he was 'resolved that never again, if he could help it, should such conditions recur. He was thus one of the first of our generals to meet the need of a modern army in a modern way. As he wrote, at the destruction of Sebastopol, "The old army is dead."

After Gordon had got his new army in readiness—and not until then—he launched his systematic campaign against the rebels. First he moved against Quinsan, an important strong-hold. It was a large city, some four or five miles in circumference, and clustered about a commanding hill. This city and its approaches were held by a force of about twelve thousand. Against them Gordon brought a force of two thousand infantry, and six hundred artillery.

On the east side of the city was a considerable body of water, Lake Yansing, and on the other side of the lake, the village of Soochow, also occupied by the rebels. Gordon brought up his fleet of small ships and one steamboat on which he had placed guns, and, running in between the two towns, cut the enemy in two, throwing them into such confusion that both towns were soon taken by assault.

Gordon wrote home an amusing account of this battle. It seems that the rebels inland were unused to steamboats, and when this vessel charged up with whistle going, they thought it some sort of wrathful god or demon.

"The horror of the rebels at the steamer is very great. When she whistles they cannot make it out," he says; and adds that because of this victory he has been given the rank of Tsung-ping, or Red Button Mandarin—about equivalent to brigadier general.

These engagements were but the forerunner of many similar ones. His army took town after town until order was once more restored, and "broke the back of the rebellion."

The grateful Chinese Government showered him with titles. He was made a "Ti-tu," which gave him the highest rank in the Chinese army. The Emperor himself commanded that he should be rewarded with "a yellow riding jacket, to be worn on his person, and a peacock's feather to be carried on his cap; also, that there be bestowed on him four suits of the uniform proper to his rank of Ti-tu, in token of our favor and desire to do him honor."

It must not be inferred that Gordon came into his high honors in China easily. He was constantly beset by difficulties. His own men on more than one occasion tried to start a mutiny, and it was only by a display of his highest and sternest qualities of leadership, that he restored order. The Chinese officials, also, had to be handled with diplomacy. They were accustomed to bargaining, and could not believe at first that Gordon was not working for selfish ends. It was only when they realized the true character of the man, that their esteem and affection were fully enlisted.

The Emperor wished to bestow on him a large sum of money, but this was refused. The Chinese were nonplussed. Prince Kung reported to a British official as follows:

"We do not know what to do. He will not receive money from us, and we have already given him every honor which it is in the power of the Emperor to bestow. But as these can be of little value in his eyes, I have brought you this letter, and ask you to give it to the Queen of England, that she may bestow on him some reward which would be more valuable in his eyes."

The love of this strange race of people for a foreign officer was not idly bestowed. They were the first to recognize his highest qualities, and though he later won high rank under the Union Jack, it is as Chinese Gordon that his name will most frequently appear in history.

A fellow campaigner in China writes: "What is perhaps most striking in Gordon's career in China, is the entire devotion with which the native soldiers served him, and the implicit faith they had in the result of operations in which he was personally present. In their eyes General Gordon was literally a magician to whom all things were possible. They believed him to bear a charmed life; and a short stick or rattan cane which he invariably carried about, and with which he always pointed in directing the fire of artillery or other operations, was firmly looked on as a wand or talisman. These notions, especially the men's idea that their general had a charmed existence, were substantially aided by Gordon's constant habit, when the troops were under fire, of appearing suddenly, usually unattended, and calmly standing in the very hottest part of the fire."

As to Gordon's personal appearance, a pen picture by a comrade-in-arms, Colonel Butler, deserves place:

"In figure Gordon, at forty years of age, stood somewhat under middle height, slight but strong, active, and muscular. A profusion of thick brown hair clustered above a broad open forehead. His features were regular, his mouth firm, and his expression when silent had a certain undertone of sadness, which instantly vanished when he spoke. But it was the clear, blue-gray eye and the low, soft, and very distinct voice that left the most lasting impression on the memory of the man who had seen and spoken with Charles Gordon—an eye that seemed to have looked at great distances and seen the load of life carried on many shoulders, and a voice that, like the clear chime of some Flemish belfry, had in it fresh music to welcome the newest hour, even though it had rung out the note of many a vanished day."

Important Dates in Gordon's Life

1833. January 28. Charles George Gordon born.
1849. Entered Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.
1852. Commissioned second lieutenant of engineers.
1854. Sent to the Crimea, to construct huts and trenches.
1862. Sent as major to explore Great Wall of China.
1863. Took command of "Ever-Victorious Army" in China.
1864. Crushed native rebellion and given highest rank in Chinese army.
1874. Sent on first expedition to Egypt and the Soudan, as colonel.
1881. Made major-general.
1884. Sent in command of expedition to the Soudan.
1885. January 24. Lost his life in the massacre at Khartoum.


The Weak Boy with the Strong Will

When one is picking out soldiers, one usually chooses big men. You see a strapping fellow going by in regimentals, and you say, "My, what a dandy soldier!"

Well, there have been some big men in stature who have been big soldiers—such as Washington—but it is interesting to note that many of our great generals have been undersized. Such were Grant, Wellington, and Napoleon. Such was Lord Roberts who became Earl and Marshal, and was one of the best-loved leaders that England has produced. He was associated with two great campaigns to extend the British Empire—in India and South Africa—and passed away in the midst of the great World War, within a few months of Kitchener.

And yet, as a boy, no one would have picked him shut as destined to become a famous soldier. One recent biographer (Wheeler) calls him "a weak boy with a strong will," and we cannot do better than repeat this as giving some sort of key to his career. Roberts himself has left an entertaining story of his life in "Forty-One Years in India," which shows that a soldier's life is not tinsel and parade, but is made up of infinite hardship. The weak boy must indeed have to have a strong will in order to pull through.

Frederick Roberts was born in India at a time when his father, Abraham Roberts, was lieutenant colonel of infantry at Cawnpore. This fine old soldier gave a life-time of service to the crown, and was active in the border raids in India. His son lived to complete the task which he began, of helping to open India to the civilized world. For his services, Abraham Roberts became a general and was knighted. The son, who was destined to win still higher honors, began his career, September 30, 1832.

Although the boy was born amid the smell of gunpowder, he must have been a disappointment to his soldier father. He was puny and sickly, and for a time it did not seem likely that he would live at all. So when he was only a few months old, he was taken from the uncongenial air of India and brought by his parents to England. Here he spent his boyhood, away from the father and mother who were forced by official duties to return to the East.

His home was a charming country house at Clifton near Bristol, where for the first years he had private tutors. One interesting experience was in a small school at Carrickmacross in Ireland; then, at eleven, he attended public school at Hampton. But almost nothing is set down in detail as to these early years, which would show that besides being a weakling, he was in no sense remarkable. He was merely another of those small, backward urchins that one may see at any recess, on any public school playground.

Still his father was set upon his receiving a military education. "It will do no harm, anyway, and may straighten his shoulders a bit," he doubtless said. And so at thirteen, young Roberts was entered at Eton, that training ground of so many of England's soldiers. He made his first mark in this famous school by winning a prize in mathematics. The obscure lad was beginning to assert himself.

To the end of his days, Roberts held a warm regard for Eton. Once when at the end of a great campaign, he was presented with a sword of honor, on this boyhood's drill ground, he said to a younger generation then assembled: "To you boys who intend to enter the army, the studies and sports of this place are your best training. England's greatest general, himself an Etonian, is reported to have said that the battle of Waterloo was won in the Eton playing-fields. In thus expressing himself, the Duke (Wellington) meant that bodily vigor, power of endurance, courage, and rapidity of decision are produced by the manly games which are fostered here."

Undoubtedly there was a personal touch to these remarks, as Roberts recalled how he himself had begun to gain these sterling qualities on the cricket field and gridiron.

When fifteen, he entered the Military College at Sandhurst, but remained there only two terms. By nature he was a studious chap, doing especially well in German and mathematics. So easily did he solve problems in algebra and geometry, that his mates promptly nicknamed him "Deductions."

Leaving Sandhurst, he put in a few months at a preparatory military school at Wimbledon, but his father's return to England, in 1849, marked the first definite step in his plans. Colonel Roberts, after several years away from his son, was delighted to see that the thin chest was indeed filling out, and the shoulders throwing back.

"Do you think you can stand India, now, my lad?" he asked.

"Why not, sir?" replied the boy briefly. "Then I think that the East India Company's service is the place for you."

Colonel Roberts himself had been connected with this great company, which was the fore runner of the Government in India—and he was right in thinking that its service offered many chances of advancement.

Accordingly the boy was entered in the Company's own military school, at Addiscombe; and in less than two years had become a second lieutenant in the Bengal Artillery—a military company maintained as part of this huge commercial enterprise.

In 1852, in his twentieth year, he received his first marching orders. They were to report for duty. He set sail by way of Suez, but there was no canal in those days to make possible an all-water journey. Instead, at Alexandria he changed to a small inland steamer going by canal and river to Cairo. Thence a hot dusty trek across the desert was necessary, in order to reach Suez.

Once in Calcutta, the young subaltern lost no time in proving that he was not a mollycoddle. He began by riding every horse in the battery, or "troop," as it was called in those days.

"Thus," he tells us, "I learned to understand the amount of nerve, patience and skill necessary to the making of a good Horse Artillery driver, with the additional advantage that I was brought into constant contact with the men."

Roberts was early learning the secret of more than one great general's success—to know his men. In later life he could call many a man by name, and knew just what each could do. While they responded with a close affection and the nickname by which he will be known to history—"Bobs."

It is said that Napoleon expected his officers to know the names and personal histories of every man in their command. As another result of Roberts' fellowship with the rank and file he became a crack shot and expert horseman. During the fighting in the mutiny of Indian sepoys, he proved himself a good swordsman as well; and even when he became Commander-in-chief, he would ride with a tent-pegging team of his own staff.

It was a long and thorough service that he was destined to receive. He joined the Quartermaster-General's office before the mutiny broke out, and remained in it for more than twenty years. During this period he gradually worked his way up from one post of responsibility to another, doing it so gradually that even he himself hardly noticed the advance. On one occasion, for example, he superintended all the arrangements for embarking the Bengal Division, which sailed from Calcutta to take part in an expedition against Abyssinia.

But how he must have chafed at the long delay in getting into the field. He asked his father more than once to get him transferred to Burma, where war had broken out and there was a chance for active service. The transfer was not granted.

The only thing that came to break up the humdrum of those first years was a cyclone. It was actually welcomed; anything for a change! Roberts gives a detailed account of it in his autobiography. He and a native servant were caught out in the open, when the storm descended with little warning.

"I shouted to him (the servant) as loudly as I could," he relates, "but the uproar was so terrific that he could not hear a word, and there was nothing for it but to try and make my own way home. The darkness was profound. As I was walking carefully along, I suddenly came in contact with an object, which a timely flash of lightning showed me was a column, standing in exactly the opposite direction from my own house. I could now locate myself correctly, and the lightning becoming every moment more vivid, I was enabled to grope my way by slow degrees to the mess, where I expected to find some one to show me my way home; but the servants, who knew from experience the probable effects of a cyclone, had already closed the outside venetian shutters and barred all the doors. In vain I banged at the door and called at the top of my voice—they heard nothing."

In desperation he had to make his way as best he could back to his own bungalow, about half a mile away, only to find that also barred against him. "I had to continue hammering for a long time before they heard and admitted me, thankful to be comparatively safe inside a house."

Another disappointment to Roberts lay in the fact that he was still away from his father, who seemed destined all his life to remain a stranger to him. The junior officer was stationed at Dum Dum, famous as the birthplace of the soft-nosed bullets, now proscribed in civilized warfare. His father had been appointed to the command of the troops at Peshawar, and now wrote him a welcome note bidding him come to join him.

This was easier said than done, but was finally accomplished after three months of toilsome and dangerous travel. He used every sort of native conveyance—barge, post-chaise, palanquin, pony, and "shank's mares"—but it was interesting and full of novelty to the barracks-bound soldier. He went by way of Benares, Allahabad, Cawnpore, and Meerut—places destined to win unpleasant fame in the Mutiny.

Peshawar, his destination, proved no less fascinating than the way stations. It commanded the caravan route between India and Afghanistan, and guarded the entrance to Khyber Pass. Lord Dalhousie described it as "the outpost of the Indian Empire"—a very accurate title.

At Peshawar at last Frederick Roberts became acquainted with his father, who proved a good comrade. The junior officer served as aide-de-camp on the general's staff, and went with him on several expeditions, outwardly peaceful, but inwardly full of danger. India then was a seething caldron of trouble.

Nevertheless, this period with his father is described by Frederick Roberts as "one of the brightest and happiest of my early life." Unfortunately the senior officer's health showed signs of breaking—and again father and son had to part. General Roberts resigned his command and returned to England, at the end of the year 1853.

Peshawar was a notoriously unhealthy station, and young Roberts also soon began to feel the effects of the climate. He was still far from robust, and traded continually on his will and nerve. The native fever sapped his energy, and he was sent to recuperate, to Kashmir. He was enthusiastic about the scenery here, and his tramping and shooting trips in the bracing climate soon gave back his strength and vim.

It was about this time that he realized his pet ambition of joining the Horse Artillery. He also set himself with a will to the study of Hindustani, as he realized that his usefulness in the Quartermaster-General's office would be vastly increased if he could deal directly with the natives.

This was a turning point in Roberts' career. It was to be his first stepping stone upward, and it illustrates the point that even though Opportunity may knock at the door—one must be ready for her. That Roberts finally won his larger success was due not so much to his genius as to his industry. Edison says that genius is made up of two per cent inspiration and ninety-eight percent perspiration.

The great Mutiny, in which Roberts and many another British soldier was to be plunged, had its immediate cause in a strange thing—greased cartridges! How so insignificant a thing could have started so great a trouble is one of the strange, true stories of history. There were, of course, other contributory factors, but this was the match that touched off the magazine.

At this time England employed a great many native troops. To be exact, there were about 257,000; while the British regulars numbered only 36,000. The latter were outnumbered seven to one.

The Ordnance Department adopted a new rifle, the Enfield, at this juncture, and sent a consignment to India. The cartridges for the rifle were greased, for easy loading, and were to be bitten by the soldiers. This last act at once set the sepoy soldiers in an uproar. It was against their religious scruples to touch meat of any kind, and they heard it stated that the objectionable cartridges were greased with pig's and cow's fat.

As soon as the commanding officers saw the trouble, they ordered that the cartridges be withdrawn—but the mischief was done.

The Mutiny which flared up here among the native soldiers spread quickly from city to city. Runners went from camp to camp, urging that they throw off the hated British yoke. In some places no written or verbal message was exchanged. A basket of unleavened cakes was brought in and broken, by way of prearranged signal.

After the first outbreaks, councils of war were hurriedly held on the part of the British officers, and field expeditions organized. One of the officers, Colonel Neville Chamberlain, was assigned to the command of what was called the "Movable Column," or chief army of pursuit.

Roberts was made one of his staff officers—"the most wonderful piece of good fortune that could come to me," he says. Shortly afterward, Chamberlain was made Adjutant General to the Army before Delhi, and then came orders for all the artillery officers to join in this attack. Roberts was to see active service at last.

He found himself under fire at Delhi for the first time on June 30, 1857. While it was only a skirmish it was a lively one while it lasted.

With some 1,100 men and a dozen guns, Major Coke went on an expedition against a troublesome group of rebels, and Roberts accompanied him as a staff officer. When the enemy appeared the only way to reach them in time was by crossing a swamp. Another troop of rebels unexpectedly appeared in force, but were put to rout.

A few days later, a similar skirmish occurred, which for a time looked more serious. Roberts was posted across a road with a squad of men and two guns. The enemy attacked them with a cross-fire. How he and his band escaped is a mystery.

During their enforced retreat, Roberts felt a stinging sensation in his back, but managed to keep going. It was found afterwards that his life had been saved by the slipping of his knapsack down from his shoulders. This had been penetrated by a bullet, which had entered his body close to his spine. Its force had been broken, but the wound was still so severe as to lay him up for several weeks.

The almost superhuman difficulties which lay in the path of this handful of Englishmen scattered throughout India, are summed up in a letter by another officer, Hodson, as follows:

"The whole country is a steaming bog. I keep my health wonderfully, thank God! in spite of heat, hard work and exposure; and the men bear up like Britons. We all feel that the Government ought to allow every officer and man before Delhi to count every month spent here as a year of service in India. There is much that is disappointing and disgusting to a man who feels that more might have been done, but I comfort myself with the thought that history will do justice to the constancy and fortitude of the handful of Englishmen who have for so many weeks—months, I may say—of desperate weather, amid the greatest toil and hardship, resisted and finally defeated the worst and most strenuous exertions of an entire army and a whole nation in arms—an army trained by ourselves, and supplied with all but exhaustless munitions of war, laid up by ourselves for the maintenance of the Empire. I venture to aver that no other nation in the world would have remained here, or have avoided defeat had they attempted to do so.

The story of the rise and fall of the Indian Mutiny is the story of the life of Roberts—in so far as the rise is concerned. His was an inconspicuous but well played part. Acting as staff officer and lieutenant of a gunners' company by turns, he was always in the thick of it. If it were the command of guns at a difficult salient before Delhi, it was "Send Roberts." If it were an urgent message for more ammunition, at Agra, "Send Roberts." If it were an escort for the rescued women and children at the historic relief of Lucknow, "Send Roberts."

This slender, undersized officer, in spite of his physique, seemed indefatigable. He had several narrow escapes from death, in hand-to-hand encounters with sepoys. Once, a mutineer fired point-blank at him at twelve yards away, but for some providential reason Roberts' horse reared just at the moment of firing and received the bullet in his own head.

At another time, a fanatic danced out in front of his horse waving a turban to frighten it, and at the same time whirling a wicked looking scimitar around his head. Roberts drew his pistol but the weapon missed fire. The fanatic sprang forward, and it is probable that the career of a future Field Marshal would have ended then and there, had not a lancer spurred his horse in between and run the fellow down.

On still another occasion, his presence of mind saved the flag from capture and brought him the first of his many honors, the Victoria Cross. An assault had been made on the village of Khudaganj, and the pursuit was being followed up in brave style, when some of the rebels suddenly faced around and took steady aim at those who were charging them. Roberts was of the party and had gone to the rescue of a man who was on the verge of being run through by a bayonet, when he saw two sepoys running off with the Union Jack. He spurred his horse in pursuit, and, leaning over, wrenched the standard out of the hands of one of the men, at the same time sabering him. The other sepoy took advantage of the opportunity to take steady aim at Roberts, point-blank, but the weapon missed fire. Roberts returned with the flag, and for reward of his gallant action was given the V. C., that most coveted of British decorations.

Another officer in writing of the event says: "Roberts is one of those rare men who, to uncommon daring and bravery in the field, and unflinching, hard-working discharge of duty in the camp, adds the charm of cheery and unaffected kindness and hospitality in the tent, and his acquaintance and friendship are high prizes to those who obtain them."

With the end of the Mutiny, Roberts was sent to England on sick leave for a much-needed rest. In April, 1858, exactly six years after his arrival at Calcutta, he turned over his duties of Deputy-Assistant Quartermaster-General to his successor—though much against his will. He felt that again he was in danger of being put upon the shelf, and his intensely active nature longed for still further field service.

In a little over a year, however, he was recalled to India, and there given a unique task. The first Viceroy to India, Canning, determined to impress the natives by a pomp and display dear to their own hearts, and show the majesty of England, by holding a series of Durbars, or triumphal processions. These extended right across India, from city to city, for a thousand miles. To Roberts was assigned the important task of arranging all the details of the tour, and he did it with characteristic thoroughness. It was like moving a mammoth circus, what with elephants, tents, supplies of all kinds, and gorgeous trappings to be handled.

These Durbars lasted for six months, and the Viceroy not only complimented Roberts for his work, but gazetted him for the rank of Brevet Major.

The next few years were much of a piece—a routine of office and field work which, if it brought nothing sensational to the conscientious young officer, still kept his feet in the path of glory. It was not until the year 1875, that he reached the goal for which he had long striven Quartermaster-General of the Army in India, which carried with it the rank of Major General.

With this title his larger work in India may be said to have fairly begun. For nearly twenty years longer his military career was to be continued there, and in the neighboring country of Afghanistan. It is all recounted in his "Forty-One Years in India"—a recital of constant adventure and interest. For his services, he was made a peer of England, receiving the title of Baron Roberts of Kandahar. An address presented to him by the native and English residents, on his leaving India, is worth repeating.

"The history of the British Empire in India has not, at least in the last thirty years, produced a hero like Your Lordship, whose soldier-like qualities are fully known to the world. The country which has been the cradle of Indian invasions came to realize the extent of your power and recognized your generalship. . . . The occupation of Kabul and the glorious battle of Kandahar are amongst the brightest jewels in the diadem of Your Lordship's Baronage . . . Terrible in war and merciful in peace, Your Excellency's name has become a dread to the enemies of England and lovely to your friends."

That last phrase, "lovely to your friends," is a true though Oriental summing-up of one great secret of Roberts' renown. He has been called the "best-loved soldier of England." And he possessed in, an especial degree the power of attracting and holding the love and respect of the East Indians. They felt that he would always deal fairly by them.

When he went to Mandalay, in 1886, he saw that if he wished to win the confidence of the people of Upper Burmah, he must win over the Buddhist priests. This he did, and even persuaded his Government to pension the three head priests.

"They showed their gratitude," he says, "by doing all they could to help me, and when I was leaving the country, the old Thathana bain accompanied me as far as Rangoon. We corresponded till his death, and I still hear occasionally from one or other of my Phoonghi friends."

As for his own soldiers, they came fairly to worship him. To them he was not a Lord, or General, or Field Marshal, but just "Bobs" and "Our Bobs." Wellington commanded the respect of his men, but Roberts their love.

"Lord Roberts! Well, he's just a father," is the testimony of one gunner in the South African War. "Often goes around hospital in Bloemfontein, and it's 'Well, my lad, how are you today? Anything I can do for you? Anything you want?'—and never forgets to see that the man has what he asks for. Goes to the hospital train—Are you comfortable? Are you sure  you're comfortable?' Then it's 'Buck up! Buck up!' to those who need it. But when he sees a man dying, it's 'Can I pray with you, my lad?' I've seen him many a time praying, with not a dry eye near—tears in his eyes and ours. He is a lord!"

A favorite story about him relates to an audience with Queen Victoria. The famous veteran was then sixty-eight and for several years had been living in retirement. Now his sovereign asked him to buckle on his sword again, and go to retrieve the fallen British fortunes in South Africa.

"You do not think that you are too old for this arduous task?" asked the Queen. "You are not afraid of your health breaking down?"

"I have kept myself fit," replied the old soldier, "for the past twenty years, in the hope that I might command in such a campaign as this."

The remark, "I have kept myself fit," is a keynote of his life. The puny boy of the long ago was to survive this campaign with flying colors, and to lend his counsel in the Great War of our own time. It was a long life and full of service. In an address to a children's school, when a man of eighty, he summed up his creed by saying:

"In the first place, don't be slack in anything that you are doing. Whether it be work or play, do it with all your might. You will find that this great Empire can only be maintained by the exercise of self-denial, by training, by discipline, and by courage."

Important Dates in Roberts's Life

1832. September 30. Frederick Roberts born.
1845. Entered Eton School.
1847. Entered military college at Sandhurst.
1852. Went as second-lieutenant of Bengal Artillery to India.
1857. Fought in the Mutiny, and won Victoria Cross.
1858. Returned to England on leave.
1859. Sent back to India, major.
1875. Quartermaster-general of Army of India.
1885. Commander-in-chief in India.
1891. Created a peer.
1895. Created field marshal.
1900. South African campaign.
1901. Commander-in-chief of British army.
1914. November 14. Died in France.


The Solder of Deeds—Not Words

When Chinese Gordon lost his life in Khartoum, Egypt, in 1884, because the British relief force reached him two days too late, a young officer accompanying the expedition was getting his first glimpse of a land that was destined to make him famous. "Kitchener of Khartoum" was to become as widely known in a later generation as Chinese Gordon was in his own. Each won his spurs in a foreign land.

Kitchener was then a cavalry officer of thirty-five, and did not seem destined to get much higher in army circles. Yet he had never lost faith in himself. After this first expedition to Egypt, when he was still only a major, he remarked drolly to a fellow officer:

"Never mind, my dear fellow, a few years hence you and I will be generals, and these people who annoy us now (meaning the red-tape departmental clerks) will be looking out of their club windows, with all their teeth falling out of their heads!"

During this same expedition, he spoke of the fact that their commanding officer had missed the key-point, by saying:

"It's the same with everybody. We must stop floundering, or people will forget, that Khartoum is our objective and always will be."

Prophetic words for Kitchener of Khartoum.

Who was this strong, stern, silent soldier whose career linked up past wars with the great World War of our own day?

Like Wellington and Roberts, Kitchener came of Irish stock. He was born near Listowel, June 24, 1850, his father, Colonel Henry Kitchener, having bought a considerable estate in the counties of Kerry and Limerick.

Colonel Kitchener had seen a good deal of active service himself, and still more of garrison life. He determined to retire, and after buying: some 2,000 acres of land in Ireland, at a bankrupt sale, he built a hunting lodge, called Gunsborough House. This was Herbert Horatio Kitchener's birthplace. Whether the name of the house had anything to do with his warlike career, history does not state. But certain it is, that he was a born soldier—a man of iron almost from his boyhood.

"Yes," said his old nurse, in talking about him only a few years ago, "I know that he is a great man; and they tell me that he has no heart, and that everybody is afraid of him; but they are wrong. He is really one of the most tender-hearted men in the world; and whenever he comes to see me, he is 'my boy' just as he was in the old days in Ireland, when he used to run to me in all his troubles, and fling his arms around me and hug me. Ah, there is nobody left who knows the real Master Herbert as I know him."

As a boy at school, Herbert Kitchener was not very brilliant. Like Wellington, whose mother called him "the fool of the family," Kitchener did too much day-dreaming to make much headway with his studies. His first teacher was a governess, who gave him up in despair. Then he was sent to a private school where he did not do any better.

His father lost his patience. Just before an examination, he made a dire threat.

"Young man," said the Colonel, "if you fail I'll make you toe the mark. I'll send you to a girl's school."

Apparently the threat did not have the desired effect. He flunked and was transferred to the other school. This time he was told that failure meant that he would be taken out of school entirely and apprenticed to a hatter.

The warning had the desired effect. Herbert buckled down to work and not only passed his examinations, but even began to show a decided liking for mathematics—which study was to be of good service in later life.

By this time the family had moved into a more pretentious home, known as the Crotta House. Little is related of his boyhood life there. It was quiet and uneventful. The boy was of reserved nature, preferring to sit quietly in, the corner and listen while others did the talking. Yet when drawn out, he could talk well, preferring to reason rather than argue. His chief outdoor sport was swimming. The home was only a few miles inland from the Atlantic coast, and he and his brothers often rode over for a dip.

His father was of industrious and thorough-going type. The family motto was "Thorough," and the Colonel lived up to it. "K. of K." also became a master of detail; and here on his father's estate he learned his first lessons in it. Colonel Kitchener constantly preached the value of time—and practised what he preached. Instead of settling down to a life of ease, he was always at work on the estate. He reclaimed large tracts of bogs, turning them into fertile land. He raised breed horses and cattle. He set up his own factory for making bricks, tiles, and drain-pipes. His own life of energy and organization was the best possible example to his boys. That Herbert, with all his apparent indolence, was profiting by it, became evident years afterward.

When the boy was fifteen, his father determined on a complete change of environment for him. "I want you to see something else besides Ireland," he said. Herbert was accordingly sent to Switzerland, to a French school conducted by a Mr. Bennett. It was in Villeneuve, at the eastern end of Lake Geneva. In this scenic spot of Europe he remained for some four years, paying occasional visits home, but becoming more and more a cosmopolitan, instead of merely a shy Irish lad. He learned to speak French like a native, and got a start in German and Italian. Languages always came easy to him.

Meanwhile he trudged about the mountain country on many a long excursion, with a camera slung across his shoulders, learning an art that he was soon to put to good use. Thanks to this outdoor life he grew up into a strong, well-built fellow, with a physique that was to stand the test of many hard days to come.

His father wanted him to follow in his own footsteps, and become a soldier. He used his influence to place him in the Royal Military Academy, at Woolwich. Herbert entered there as a cadet, in his nineteenth year.

Two years later, while still a cadet, we find him getting his foretaste of actual warfare. It was the summer of 1870. War had been declared by France against Prussia—the short but terrible war so skillfully engineered by Bismarck. Herbert Kitchener had gone to spend a summer vacation with his father, at Dinan in the north of France, and promptly got imbued with the war fever. He enlisted in a battalion, in the Second Army of the Loire, commanded by General Chanzy. This army, like other well-intentioned but poorly organized troops of the French, was driven steadily back by the superior German forces, until the enemy bombarded and captured Paris.

It is interesting to note that Kitchener's first and last military service was on behalf of the French against their hereditary enemies—and that history came dangerously near to repeating itself in the German drive of 1914 against Paris. That it did not do so, was due in no small measure to the grim veteran who was now Secretary of War, and to his wonderful army of volunteers, dubbed "Kitchener's Mob."

Whether or not Kitchener did any actual close-up fighting in these early days we do not know. One novel experience, however, is placed to his credit. He made an ascent in an observation balloon, with two French officers. In those days, the big bags were risky and unknown quantities, and an ascent was something to talk about.

The ill-starred war over, young Kitchener returned to Woolwich, and his school duties as though nothing special had happened.

"Why did you go off and join the French army?" he was asked by the commandant.

"Please, sir," came the straightforward answer, "I understood that I should not be wanted for some time, and I could not be idle. I thought I might learn something."

He had indeed—if nothing more than the power of a thoroughly prepared enemy against an unready land.

The next stage in Kitchener's career was picturesque but full of hardship. It was in connection with an exploring expedition to the Holy Land.

In 1865, a society called the Palestine Exploration Fund had been founded, its object being to study the history and geography of the country. Seven years later it had entered on the gigantic task of surveying a tract of about 6,000 square miles, much of it desert or mountainous country.

Kitchener was just graduating, from the Military Academy, with the usual rank of lieutenant, and was casting about for active service. He could not brook the idea of settling down to garrison life. The post of assistant to the leader of this Palestine Expedition was offered him, and he accepted with alacrity. While a private enterprise, it had the sanction of the War Department, and promised to provide thrills as well as work. The fact that it was the Holy Land of Bible story also appealed to Kitchener. Witness one of the first entries in his Journal:

"Looking down on the broad plain of Esdraelon . . . it is impossible not to remember that this is the greatest battlefield of the world, from the days of Joshua and the defeat of the mighty hosts of Sisera, till, almost in our own days, Napoleon the Great fought the battle of Mount Tabor; and here also is the ancient Megiddo, where the last great battle of Armageddon is to be fought."

Lieutenant Kitchener reported for duty in Palestine, in the Fall of 1874. The exploration party was then working in the hill country south of Judah, which was still a sealed book to the rest of the world. Their job was "to search in every hole and corner of the country and see what is there, and classify everything in proper form"—to quote the words of their prospectus. For this work they required both the surveyor's instrument and the camera.

In the use of the latter, Kitchener had shown aptitude at school; and it is said that this fact had something to do with his appointment. It is evident from the first official report that he "made good." His chief, Lieutenant Conder, states that he succeeded in securing some excellent photographs "under peculiarly unfavorable circumstances."

The climate did not set well with him at first, and after two attacks of fever he recovered his health sufficiently to take part in the Dead Sea work of 1875.

At Wady Seiyal, reports Conder, " we were caught in the most tremendous gale which we have yet experienced in tents; and our next march of nineteen miles in a perfect hurricane of bitter wind, with showers of sleet and hail, necessitated by the fact that all our barley and other stores were consumed, was the hardest bit of experience we have yet encountered. Our dogs and two muleteers were unable to face the storm, and took refuge in caves. Old Sheikh Hamzeh fell off his pony twice, and had to be tied on. The brave beasts struggled for eleven hours, and crossed more than one torrent of cold water up nearly to the girths, but by eight at night they were in a warm stable, and we had found refuge in Hebron in the house of a German Karaite Jew, whose hospitality was as great as his subsequent charge was high."

At times the ground was so uneven and devoid of trails, that they could not march much faster than one mile an hour. The only human beings they encountered were the Bedouin Arabs—sly, furtive fellows who were always ready for a trade, but who would kill a man just as readily for his shirt.

The slow progress, however, did not worry Kitchener particularly. He made good use of the time in photographing old walls, caves, and natural strongholds. For instance, five days were spent in getting data and records of the ruins of a fortress erected at Ascalon by Richard Coeur-de-Lion, during his famous Crusade.

Here it was that Kitchener's skill in swimming and presence of mind were put to the test. Lieutenant Conder was swept off his horse while fording the stream, and was in imminent danger of drowning, when Kitchener sprang to his aid and towed him ashore.

Despite the danger and hardships, Kitchener reveled in this wild life. One of the party says of him: "He was as good company as a man could wish to have, full of life and good spirits. We none of us thought much about our toilets, and he least of all. Why, after a few months' traveling about in Palestine, he looked more like a tramp than an officer in Her Majesty's Army: His clothes wouldn't have fetched a three penny-bit at any 'old clo' shop in Whitechapel."

It was in this first field service that he won a reputation which clung to him through his whole career. They said that his chief amusement was work, and his relaxation, more work. He was of seemingly tireless energy, and never could understand the let-downs of others. The boyhood trait of silence was also marked in the man. Although he picked up languages easily, he used them sparingly. It was said of him later that he could keep silent in ten languages.

In a letter home, from Palestine, he throws a sidelight on this working phase of his nature. "The non-commissioned officers," he says, "though ready to go through any amount of work or danger, are much discouraged at the prospect of an indefinite delay without employment, which, in my opinion, is more trying in this climate than work."

Not long after, the round of work and routine duty was varied by a first-class fight. A Moslem sheikh had become so impertinent one day, that Lieut. Conder ordered him out of his tent. The sheikh drew a knife and was promptly disarmed and made prisoner by the British. Instantly he lifted up his voice, calling for his men. The response was prompt. They seemed to spring up out of the very rocks, and soon there were two hundred of them howling and dancing around the handful of Englishmen. Conder thus relates the happening:

"Lieut. Kitchener and I were immediately surrounded. Three came to me and asked me with curses what I was doing. An old man thrust his battle-axe violently into my side, but I did not like to strike him, though I had now a hunting-crop in my hand. I told them they were mad and would be severely punished if they struck an Englishman. About this time other members of the party saw a gun leveled at me five yards off, but fortunately the man's hand was caught before he fired. A man now came into the crowd which surrounded me, and dealt me a blow on the head with a large club with great violence, causing two wounds on the side of my head, covering my face with blood. A second blow, directed with full force at the top of my head, must inevitably have brained me, had I not put my head down to his chest. My servants gave me up for dead. The blow fell on my neck, which ever since has been so stiff and swollen that it is impossible to turn it round. The rest of the party saw me fall.

"As soon as I got up, I dealt this man a blow in the face with the handle of my whip which staggered him, but my whip flew out of my hand and left me entirely unarmed. I must inevitably have been murdered but for the cool and prompt assistance of Lieut. Kitchener, who managed to get to me and engaged one of the clubmen, covering my retreat.

"A blow descending on the top of his head he parried with a cane, which was broken by the force of the blow. A second wounded his arm. His escape is unaccountable. Having retired a few paces from the thick of the fray, I saw that the Moslems were gradually surrounding us, stealing behind trees and through vineyards, and I well understood that in such a case, unless the soldiers arrived at once, we must all die. Many of the servants had indeed already given up hope, though no one fled. I gave the order to leave the tents and fly round the hill.

"Lieut. Kitchener was the last to obey this order, being engaged in front. He retreated to his tent, and whilst running he was fired at, and heard the bullet whistle by his head. He was also followed for some short distance by a man with a huge scimitar, who subsequently wounded with it more than one of our people."

The timely arrival of the regular soldiers undoubtedly saved the little party from massacre.

Another enemy, the Eastern fever, was more successful in attack. Both Conder and Kitchener had to return to England to recuperate. In 1877, Kitchener went back, this time in command of the expedition, and by midsummer had completed his survey of northern Palestine. He had covered all told one thousand miles of country, making photographs and maps which added immeasurably to the general knowledge.

On his way back to England, Kitchener stopped in Turkey, which was then at war with Bulgaria. His observations on the qualities of soldiers in the two peoples, as recorded in an article written for Blackwood's Magazine, are interesting in the light of later wars.

The publication of the results of the Palestine exploration first brought Kitchener to public notice. He was officially thanked and began to be regarded as a marked man. He had won his first spurs.

His next task was along similar line. The Island of Cyprus occupied a strategic position in the Mediterranean, and moreover had been the scene of much turmoil. The British Government desired to set up a stable regime there, and to this end decided to make a careful survey of the Island and its resources. They naturally turned to Kitchener to do the work. The satisfactory way in which he carried it through earned for him the warm approval of Lord Derby, then Secretary of State for the Colonies. One of his associates in Cyprus says of him there: "We saw little of Kitchener at the club or anywhere else where Englishmen mostly congregated, although he sometimes turned up at the gymkhana meetings to contribute his share to their success. Kitchener was always a hard worker, a gentleman with a long head who thought much but said little. It is, of course, easy enough to prophesy when you know, but honestly, to my mind, he looked a man who would go far if he only had his chance.

As an immediate result of this work, Kitchener was given the rank of Major, and sent with Lord Wolseley's expedition into Egypt—then in the throes of civil war. One reason for his promotion was his ability to speak Arabic. His several years in the East had not only taught him the languages, but valuable insight into manners and customs.

The campaign was short and summary. The rebel forces were routed and order established in northern Egypt. Kitchener's ability to organize, and his knowledge of the people soon made him indispensable. His name occurred so frequently in the official reports, that Lord Cromer, in the home office, remarked: "This Kitchener seems to have a finger in every pie. I must see him and find out what he is like." Later, after seeing him, Cromer said: "That man's got a lot in him. He should prove one of our best assets in Egypt."

The next event—and a dramatic one—in Kitchener's life was concerned with the attempted rescue of Gordon, some three years later. This famous General had been sent to subdue the Soudan, which literally means "Land of the Blacks," and had not received sufficient reinforcements. It was a blunder on the part of the home Government for which Gordon was to pay with his life. A relief force under Wolseley was sent too late.

Kitchener was fully alive to the peril of the situation, but being only a subordinate could not do much to hasten affairs. He did know, however, that a widespread conspiracy was being hatched which threatened the safety of Wolseley's forces as well. How he got at the bottom of this conspiracy is related by Charles Shaw, a Canadian journalist who accompanied the expedition.

A group of Arabs who had been in a brawl were lying tied hand and foot in the guardhouse, when a tall man, also securely tied, was thrown in with them. Although dressed like a native, Shaw relates, "he looked a different brand of Arab than I had been accustomed to. He was Kitchener. He was after the conspiracy.

"I didn't know much Arabic in those days, but we could hear the Dongolese talk and talk in excited tones the whole night, the tall man occasionally saying a few words.

"When we paraded before the large open-faced orderly tent next morning, we were almost paralyzed to see Lord Wolseley himself seated at the little table with Kitchener beside him, both in full staff uniform. A tall, fine-looking Arab was being examined through the interpreter. He didn't seem impressed by the glittering uniforms or the presence of the Commander-in-chief, or embarrassed by their questions. Once or twice an expression of surprise flitted over his face, but his eyes were always fixed on Kitchener, who would now and again stoop and whisper something in Lord Wolseley's ear. Once he raised his voice. The prisoner heard its intonation and recognized him. With ' a fierce bound the long, lithe Arab made a spring and was over the table, and had seized Kitchener by the throat. There was a short, swift struggle. Wolseley's eye glistened, and he half drew his sword. Kitchener, athletic as he was, was being overpowered, and the Arab was throttling him to death.

"There was a rush of the guard—and within ten minutes a cordon of sentries surrounded the Mudir of Dongola's tent. Within three days he was a prisoner in his palace at Dongola, guarded by half a battalion of British soldiers. The conspiracy was broken.

"How widespread it was, only half a dozen white men knew at the time. . . . To it the treachery of the Egyptian garrison at Khartoum and the death of Gordon was due, and the preservation of the Desert Column (the relief force), can be placed to its discovery."

The next few years in Kitchener's life, which we can but summarize, show him wielding a masterful hand in the pacification of Egypt. After Gordon's death, the command was re-organized, and Kitchener became a Lieutenant Colonel of Cavalry. His duties took him to the extreme outposts.

Halfway down the Red Sea, over against Mecca, is Suakim, the southern outpost of Egypt. Suakim has the distinction of being one of the hottest stations on earth, and one of the most desolate, comparable to Central Arizona in the hot season. Here Kitchener served as Governor from 1886 to 1888, with distinction. The following year found him fighting on the frontier of the Soudan, the wild, vast back-country to the south and west.

From 1889 to 1892 he served as Adjutant-General of the Egyptian Army, nominally as an officer of the Sultan's viceroy, the Khedive; but in reality the visible presence of England's protecting power. He received several high decorations, which would show that he won the esteem and confidence of his Egyptian patrons. Finally in 1893 the Khedive made him Sirdar, or Commander-in-chief.

South of the Egyptian frontier, on the Upper Nile among the cataracts, the three cities, Dongola, Berber, and Khartoum form a triangle of trading centers. Kitchener saw that these were the strategic points in the control of Upper Egypt, and in 1896 led an expedition thither.

Ever since the death of Gordon, the country had been unsettled. It remained to Kitchener to wield the avenging sword. He laid a light railroad southward along the Nile, and marched swiftly, taking his supplies with him. At Omdurman he finally met the enemy and inflicted a crushing defeat. At Khartoum, where Gordon had been slain, he set up a stable government.

He came back to civilization a Major General in the British army, a peer of England—and "Kitchener of Khartoum." This popular title was speedily shortened to "K of K," and was as well known wherever English Tommies assembled as "Bobs," the affectionate nickname of Lord Roberts.

But Kitchener never won the deep affection of the rank and file, that Roberts inspired. He was taciturn, aloof, and a stern disciplinarian. His name evoked fear and respect, but never love. And yet, his men would follow him through fire and water, for they had unbounded confidence in his ability. It was his name that was placarded through London, when the recruiting began for the Great War—and not the King's.

"Will you serve with Kitchener?" the posters said. And they responded, three million strong—"Kitchener's Mob," which was to become so soon a skilled army under his guidance.

They tell of him that when he took the post of Secretary of War, on his first visit of inspection to the office he looked around and said, "Is there a bed here?" When answered in the negative, he gave the brief order, "Have one brought in."

Thereafter for several weeks he literally lived in his office night and day. He had at last found a job that measured up to his fullest requirements for hard work, and he reveled in it. Incidentally, he "delivered the goods"—but nobody marveled at that; it was nothing more than was expected of him!

Says an anonymous writer in The Living Age: "England never fully understood Lord Kitchener, and perhaps he never fully understood his countrymen. They weaved innumerable myths around this shy and solitary man, who revealed himself to few. To them his figure loomed gigantic and mysterious through the sandstorms of African deserts and the mists of the Himalayas. In their hour of trial he came among them for a space, and then vanished forever in the wild Northern seas: He was a good man to fight for or to fight against, and he found a worthy end."

Important Dates in Kitchener's Life

1850. June 24. Herbert Horatio Kitchener born.
1865. Sent to Switzerland to school.
1868. Entered Royal Military Academy, at Woolwich.
1870. Volunteered in French army against Prussia.
1874. Sent as second-lieutenant to Palestine, with exploration party.
1878. Surveyed Island of Cyprus, for British Government.
1885. Lieutenant-colonel of cavalry in Egypt.
1893. Sirdir, or commander-in-chief, of Egyptian army.
1898. Created a baron.
1900. Chief of staff to Roberts in South Africa.
1902. Made general, and commander-in-chief in India.
1911. Consul-general in Egypt.
1914. Secretary of War. Field-marshal.
1916. June 5. Lost his life at sea.


The Man who Led "The Contemptibles"

"There goes young Haig. He says he intends to be a soldier."

The speaker was a young student at Oxford University, as he jerked his thumb in the direction of a slight but well-set-up fellow, a classmate, who went cantering past.

The chance remark, made more than once during the college days, of Field Marshal Haig, struck the keynote of his career. From early boyhood Douglas Haig was going to be a soldier; and he stuck to his guns in a quiet, systematic way until he won out.

The story of Haig's life until the time of the Great War, was the opposite of spectacular, and even in it, his personal prowess was kept studiously in the background. With him it has always been: "My men did thus and so." Yet in his quiet way he has always made his presence felt with telling effect. He has been the man behind the man behind the gun.

By birth Haig was a "Fifer," which sounds military without being so. He was a native of Cameronbridge, County of Fife, and came of the strictest Presbyterian Scotch. If he had lived a few centuries back he would have been a Covenanter—the kind that carried a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other. He was born, June 19, 1861, the youngest son of John Haig, a local Justice of the Peace. His mother was a Veitch of Midlothian.

The family, while not wealthy, was comfortably situated. The Haig children grew up as countrywise rather than townbred, having many a romp over the rolling country leading to the Highlands. But more than once on such a jaunt would come the inquiry: "Where's Douglas?" (We doubt whether they ever shortened it to "Doug," as they would have done in America.) And back would come the answer: "Oh, he stayed by the house, the morn. He got a new book frae the library, ye ken."

Douglas was, indeed, bookish and was inclined to favor the inglenook rather than the heather. As he grew older he discovered a strong liking for books on theology. It was the old Presbyterian streak cropping out.

The last thing one would expect from such a boy, was to become a soldier. A divinity student, yes,—perhaps a college professor—but a soldier, never! Yet it was to soldiering that this quiet boy turned.

The one thing which linked him up with the field was horsemanship. He was always a devotee of riding, and soon learned to ride well, with a natural ease and grace.

He received a general education at Clifton, then entered Brasenose College, Oxford, at the age of twenty. He was never a "hail-fellow well-met" sort of person. Reserve was his hallmark. But the longer he stayed in college, the more of an outdoorsman he became. Every afternoon would find him mounted on his big gray horse for a gallop across the moors, or perhaps an exciting canter behind the hounds on the scent of a fox. It was then that his habitual reserve would melt away, and he would wave his hat and cheer like a high-school boy.

The record of his classes is in no sense remarkable. He turned in neat and precise papers, without making shining marks in any particular study. Literature and science were his best subjects.

"Well, son, how goes it now?" his father would ask. "Ready to make a lawyer out of yourself?"

Douglas would shake his head. He could never share his father's enthusiasm for the law. "I guess not, father," he would reply quietly. "Somehow, I am not built that way. I want a try at soldier life." So his father let him follow his bent, and procured for him a position in the Seventh Regiment of Hussars. His career as a soldier was threatened at the outset by the refusal of the medical board to admit him to the Staff College on the ground that he was color-blind; but this decision was over-ruled by the Duke of Cambridge, then commander-in-chief, who nominated him personally. This was in 1885. England was then as nearly at peace as she ever became, and it seemed that young Haig was destined to become a feather-bed soldier.

But it was not for long. They presently began to stir up trouble down in Egypt, and England found, as on many previous occasions, that she didn't have half enough regulars for the job in hand. The revolt of the Mahdi had occurred, Khartoum had fallen, and the brave Gordon had lost his life.

A relief expedition into the Soudan was organized under the command of a tall, stern soldier named Kitchener, who began his first preparations to march into the interior about the time that Haig was putting on his first Hussar uniform.

The campaign in Egypt dragged, despite the zeal of the leader. In disgust, Kitchener returned to England to demand more men. The request was at last granted, and by December, 1888, he was in command of a force of over 4,000 troops, of which number 750 were British regulars! Those were indeed the days of the "Little Contemptibles," but right manfully they measured up to their tasks. And in the British force was the Seventh Hussars, including Haig. He was about to achieve his life's ambition, at last—to see real service as a British soldier.

Haig was then a well-knit young man of twenty-seven. His outdoor exercise had browned and hardened him, until he looked thoroughly fit for the exacting job ahead. He was slightly under medium size, but tough and wiry to the last degree. His shoulders were broad, his head well set, and the bulging calves of his legs showed the born cavalryman. He had fair, almost sandy hair, a close-cropped mustache, and steel-blue eyes which met honestly and unflinchingly the gaze of any with whom, he talked. He looked then, as in later years, "every inch a soldier," and speedily won the confidence of his superiors.

The silent Kitchener, who was a keen judge of men, soon took a fancy to this quiet young lieutenant. A friendship sprang up between them, that was destined to bear far-reaching fruit. The two men were both reserved in demeanor, but in a different sort of way. Kitchener was taciturn and often inclined to growl. Haig was a man of few words and no intimates, but greeted all with a pleasant smile. To this young Scotsman Kitchener unbent more than was his wont, and was actually, seen shaking hands with him, at parting, on a later occasion; which all goes to show that even commanding officers can be human.

On the march into the Soudan, Kitchener was in command of the Egyptian Cavalry also. The Khedive was exceedingly anxious that the rebellion be crushed speedily, and had made Kitchener the "sirdar." One of the first actions in this campaign was the Battle of Gemaizeh. Three brigades were sent to storm the forts held by the dervishes, and a heavy and sustained fire from three sides soon drove the enemy out in disorder. Some 500 dervishes were slain, and the remainder numbering several thousand fled across the desert toward Handub—closely pursued by the British Hussars and the Egyptian cavalry.

This was only the first of many such actions. Further and further south the rebels were driven. Kitchener pushed a light railroad across the desert as he advanced, so that he would not suffer from the same mistake which had ended Gordon—getting cut off from his base of supplies.

And in the thick of it was Haig—learning the actual trade of war in these frequent brushes on the desert—riding hard by day, sleeping the sleep of exhaustion at night. On more than one occasion the Chief sent him on a special quest with important messages, and always Haig got through. He seemed to bear a charmed life. "Lucky Haig," the men began to call him, and the title stuck.

Entering the desert as a Lieutenant, he was promoted to Captain, then brevetted a Major. He was mentioned in the despatches for bravery, and won a medal from the Khedive.

All this was not done in a few short months. The Egyptian campaign stretched into years, and at times must have seemed fearfully monotonous to these soldiers so far removed from home comforts. Here is the way one writer describes the Soudan:

"The scenery, it must be owned, was monotonous, and yet not without haunting beauty. Mile on mile, hour on hour, we glided through sheer desert. Yellow sand to right and left—now stretching away endlessly, now a valley between small broken hills. Sometimes the hills sloped away from us, then they closed in again. Now they were diaphanous blue on the horizon, now soft purple as we ran under their flanks. But always they were steeped through and through with sun—hazy, immobile, silent."

One of the culminating battles of the campaign was that of Atbara, where the backbone of the dervish rebellion was broken. It is estimated that here 8,000 dervishes were killed, 2,000 wounded, and 2,000 made prisoners. The battle began with a bombardment by the field guns. Then came the British cavalry at a gallop—the Camerons in front, and columns of Warwicks, Seaforths, and Lincolns behind. Bugles, bagpipes, and the instruments of the native regiments made strange music as the army pressed forward intent on reaching the river bank.

The native stockades were reinforced with thorn bushes, but these were torn away by the men, with their bare hands, in their eagerness to advance. Haig's regiment was one of the first to penetrate, but once past the stockade they encountered many of the defenders who put up a fierce fight. Several British officers lost their lives, and it was due to Haig's agility and presence of mind that he was not at the least severely wounded. Two dervishes attacked him at once from opposite sides. One aimed a slashing blow at his head with a scimitar. Haig quickly ducked and the scimitar went crashing against the weapon of the other dervish. Haig's luck again!

Others were not so fortunate. "Never mind me, lads, go on," said Major Urquhart with his dying breath: "Go on, my company, and give it to them," gasped Captain Findlay as he fell.

At the head of the attacking party strode Piper Stewart, playing "The March of the Cameron Men," until five bullets laid him low. Truly the spirit of the fiery old Covenanters was there!

The final battle of the Soudanese campaign, Khartoum, put the finishing touches to the rebellion, and gave to Kitchener the title "K. of K."—Kitchener of Khartoum. This battle was noteworthy in employing the cavalry in an open charge across the plains against the dervish infantry. It was just such a charge as a skilled horseman such as Haig would keenly enjoy, despite the danger. Winston Churchill, the British Minister, thus describes it:

"The heads of the squadrons wheeled slowly to the left, and the Lancers, breaking into a trot, began to cross the dervish front in column of troops. Thereupon and with one accord the blue-clad men dropped on their knees, and there burst out a loud, crackling fire of musketry. It was hardly possible to miss such a target at such a range. Horses and men fell at once. The only course was plain and welcome to all. The "Colonel, nearer than his regiment, already saw what lay behind the skirmishers. He ordered 'Right wheel into line' to be sounded. The trumpet jerked out a shrill note, heard faintly above the trampling of the horses and the noise of the rifles. On the instant the troops swung round and locked up into a long, galloping line.

"Two hundred and fifty yards away, the dark blue men were firing madly in a thin film of light-blue smoke. Their bullets struck the hard gravel into the air, and the troopers, to shield their faces from the stinging dust, bowed their helmets forward, like the Cuirassiers at Waterloo. The pace was fast and the distance short. Yet before it was half covered the whole aspect of the affair changed. A deep crease in the ground—a dry watercourse, a khor—appeared where all had seemed smooth, level plain; and from it there sprang, with the suddenness of a pantomime effect and a high-pitched yell, a dense white mass of men nearly as long as our front and about twelve deep. A score of horsemen and a dozen bright flags rose as if by magic from the earth. The Lancers acknowledged the apparition only by an increase of pace."

In such a melee as then followed, that trooper was lucky indeed who escaped without a scratch.

As a result of his bravery at Atbara and Khartoum, Haig's name was mentioned in the official despatches. He returned to England wearing the Khedive's medal and the honorary title of Major.

It is probable, however, that little more would have been heard of him, had not the South African War broken out, soon after. It is the lot of military men to vegetate in days of peace. They live upon action. Haig was no exception to this rule. He welcomed new fields. He went to South Africa as aide and right-hand man to Sir John French—the general whom he was to succeed in later years on the battlefields of France.

In this war, Haig is not credited with many personal exploits. His was essentially a thinking part. Yet he served as chief of staff in a series of minor but important operations about Colesburg, which prepared the way for Roberts's advance. As usual Haig pinned his faith upon the cavalry. All his life he had made a close study of this arm of the service, and was of opinion that it was not utilized in modern warfare nearly so much as it should be. He was a warm admirer of the American officer, J. E. B. Stuart, the Confederate General whose dashing tactics turned the scale in so many encounters.

Now he tried the same strategy in the operations around Colesburg—and paved the way for later victory.

Haig somewhat resembled another Southern leader, Stonewall Jackson, in his piety. It was not ostentatious, but simply part and parcel of the man, due to his Presbyterian training. Haig did not swear or gamble or dance all night. He was more apt to be found in his tent, when off duty, either reading or writing.

They tell of him that, one day at the officers' mess, after a particularly lively brush with the Boers, the quartermaster asked him if he had lost anything.

"Yes," replied Haig solemnly, "my Bible!"

Not once did his countenance relax its gravity, as he met the grinning faces across the table.

But despite their chaffing, there was not a man there who did not respect the courage of his convictions, no less than the bravery of the man himself. Almost daily he risked his life in these cavalry operations—until the "Haig luck" became a watchword.

The end of the South African War found Haig promoted to acting Adjutant General of the Cavalry, and soon after his return home he was made Lieutenant Colonel, in command of the Seventeenth Lancers. This was in 1901.

About this time he paid a visit to Germany, then at peace and professing a warm affection for England. One result of this visit was a letter which showed him possessed with wonderful powers of analysis and foresight. He practically predicted the war that was to come. He summed up his observations in a long letter to a friend which, in the light of events of the War, is little short of uncanny. It gave the German plan with a mastery of detail, shrewd prophecy, and earnest warning. The future commander-in-chief of the British armies in France was convinced of the certainty of the conflict and besought the authorities to make better preparation—but his warnings fell upon deaf ears.

It required thirteen years to demonstrate the truth of Haig's predictions, and then the blow fell. The Kaiser viewed his strong hosts and boasted that he would soon wipe out England's "contemptible little army." He very nearly did so, and would certainly have succeeded, had it not been for the fighting spirit of such men as Haig.

During the intervening years since the South African campaign he had risen by fairly rapid stages to Inspector-General of the Cavalry in India—a situation which he handled with great skill for three years—then Major General, and Lieutenant General.

At the outbreak of the World War, he was hurriedly sent to France, under the command of Sir John French, his old leader in Africa. French was generosity itself in his praise of Haig in these early days of disaster.

In the retreat from Mons it was "the skilful manner in which Sir Douglas Haig extricated his corps from an exceptionally difficult position in the darkness of the night," that won his laudation. At the Aisne, on September 14, 1914, "the action of the First Corps on this day, under the direction and command of Sir Douglas Haig, was of so skilful, bold, and decisive a character, that he gained positions which alone have enabled me to maintain my position for more than three weeks of very severe fighting on the north bank of the river."

In the first battle of Ypres, the chief honors of victory were again awarded to him: "Throughout this trying period, Sir Douglas Haig, aided by his divisional commanders and his brigade commanders, held the line with marvelous tenacity and undaunted courage."

Again and again, the generous French pays tribute to his friend, which while deserved reflects no less honor upon the speaker. He was big enough to share honor.

It is not strange, therefore, when French was superseded, for strategic reasons, that Haig should have been given the chief command. The appointment, however, left most of the world frankly amazed. Haig had come forward so quietly that few save those in official circles knew anything about him. It was nevertheless but a matter of weeks, possibly days, before a quiet confidence born of the man himself was manifest everywhere.

One war correspondent who visited head-quarters in the midst of the War's turmoil, thus describes his visit:

"The environment of the Commander-in-chief is strongly suggestive of his conduct of the war. Before war became a thing of precise science, the headquarters of an army head seethed with all the picturesque details so common to pictures of martial life. Couriers mounted on foam-flecked horses dashed to and fro. The air was vibrant with action; the fate of battle showed on the face of the humblest orderly. But today 'G. H. Q.'—as headquarters are familiarly known—are totally different. Although army units have risen from thousands to millions of men, and fields of operations stretch from sea to sea, and more ammunition is expended in a single engagement than was employed in entire wars of other days, absolute serenity prevails. It is only when your imagination conjures up the picture of flame and fury that lies beyond the horizon line that you get a thrill.

"An occasional motorcar driven by a soldier-chauffeur chugs up the gravel road to the chateau and from it emerge earnest-faced officers whose visits are usually brief. Neither time nor words are wasted when myriad lives hang in the balance and an empire is at stake. Inside and out there is an atmosphere of quiet confidence, born of unobtrusive efficiency."

The same writer on meeting Haig says. "I found myself in a presence that, even without the slightest clue to its profession, would have unconsciously impressed itself as military. Dignity, distinction, and a gracious reserve mingle in his bearing. I have rarely seen a masculine face so handsome and yet so strong. His hair and mustache are fair, and his clear, almost steely-blue eyes search you, but not unkindly. His chest is broad and deep, yet scarcely broad enough for the rows of service and order ribbons that plant a mass of color against the background of khaki.

"Into every detail of daily life at General Headquarters the Commander's character is impressed. After lunch, for example, he spends an hour alone, and in this period of meditation the whole fateful panorama of the war passes before him. When, it is over the wires splutter and the fierce life of the coming night—the Army does not begin to fight until most people go to sleep—is ordained.

"This finished, the brief period of respite begins. Rain or shine, his favorite horse is brought up to the door, and he goes for a ride, usually accompanied by one or two young staff-officers. I have seen Sir Douglas Haig galloping along those smooth French roads, head up, eyes ahead —a memorable figure of grace and motion. He rides like those latter-day centaurs—the Australian ranger and the American cowboy. He seems part of his horse."

Such was the man who did his full share in turning the German tide. Throughout the four long years of war, he faced the enemy with a calm courage which if it ever wavered gave no outward sign. And that is one reason why the Little Contemptibles grew and grew until they became a mighty barrier stretching across the pathway of the invader from sea to sea, and saying with their Allies:

"You shall not pass!"

Important Dates in Haig's Life

1861. June 19. Douglas Haig born.
1880. Entered Brasenose College, Oxford.
1885. Joined 7th Hussars, British army.
1898. Served in Soudan, mentioned in despatches, and brevetted major.
1899. Served in South Africa. D. A. A. G. for cavalry;. then staff officer to General French.
1901. Lieutenant-colonel commanding 17th Lancers.
1903. Inspector-general, cavalry, India.
1904. Major-general.
1910. Lieutenant-general.
1914. General, commanding First Army in France.
1915. Commander-in-chief of British forces.
1917. Field marshal.
1919. Created an earl.
1928. January 30. Died in England.


The Cooper's Son who Remade the Armies of France

"Let's name him Joseph," said Gilles Joffre to his wife, as they viewed their first child with much pride.

"That doesn't seem to be enough," responded Mme. Joffre. So unusual a baby deserved better treatment, she thought.

"Then how about Joseph Jacques? That's a good, sensible sounding name."

"That sounds well," she admitted, "but still it lacks something: I'll tell you. Let's call him Joseph Jacques Césaire."

"Sounds like a soldier," said the father. "Well, who knows? Perhaps he will be a general some day," Mme. Joffre replied.

So the infant who lay quietly blinking on his natal day, January 12, 1852, was to be known as Joseph to his friends; but tucked away in his name for future reference was Césaire—as the French folk pronounced the name of the great Roman conqueror.

Truly there was nothing very auspicious in the start of Joseph Joffre. His father was merely a cooper in a straggling hillside town of the Pyrenees in Southern France, Rivesaltas—but he was a good  cooper. His neighbors had a saying that is preserved to this day: "Barrels as good as those made by old Gilles Joffre."

The town itself had some six thousand inhabitants, and was situated on the River Agly, about nine miles from the city of Perpignan. The Joffre home was a very plain and humble dwelling set alongside of the cooper shop, and neither better nor worse than its neighbors—but the well-to-do workman of today would turn up his nose at it. Nevertheless in this home were born eleven children, the oldest of whom was the future Marshal of France. And the father continued to live there for thirty years or more.

It is related of him that even as a baby Joseph never cried, but endured his various troubles with silent stoicism. As he grew older, this trait of silence became ingrown; it was alluded to as "Joffre's taciturnity." But as a matter of fact the gift of silence in him as both boy and man did not indicate a sullen or unfriendly disposition. It was merely that he had his head in the clouds. He made a life job of thinking—like the seated statue by Rodin.

As one result of this trait, little is reported concerning his childhood. No anecdotes are related of him at all, except one doubtful story about a fight which he had with a schoolmate. The latter wanted him to stop and take part in some game. Joffre replied that he didn't have time. The other fellow came back with a taunt—and then Joseph "waded in."

He did not have any chums for the same reason, lack of time, and doubtless he missed a great deal out of boyhood from this fact. It is said that in the study hall he would erect a great pile of books between himself and the next boy, so as not to be disturbed. Yet he didn't shine particularly as a student. He was simply busy—thinking.

It was not until he was sent to college at Perpignan, that he really began to take an interest in books, and his favorites were the more solid studies—algebra, descriptive geometry, surveying, and draftsmanship. His bent even at this early day seemed to be civil engineering.

The ambition of every middle-class French home, in those days, was to send a son to the army—have him study to become an officer. Mamma Joffre had not forgotten the Cæsar in her oldest son's name; and in a family conclave it was decided that he should be sent to Paris, to try for the entrance examinations in the École Polytechnique.

Gilles Joffre accompanied his son to the capital, and left him in a private school. Like his son, the cooper was a man of few words; but what he must have done at parting was to clap the boy on the shoulder, and say: "Now, go to it!"

Joseph Joffre did. When he returned to his boyhood's home, only four years later, he was wearing the shoulder straps of a lieutenant, and had seen active service. But this is getting ahead of our story.

There was really nothing else for him to do but to "go to it" here in Paris. He was a big, hulking lad of fifteen, with a bullet head set upon a thick neck and broad shoulders—an awkward figure dressed in ill-fitting clothes. All his life Joffre paid little attention to dress. Here at the awkward age he looked out of place with the well-dressed city boys. They tried to have fun at his expense, but he withdrew into his shell more than ever, and they soon learned to let him alone.

It must have been a lonely life that young Joffre led—but we have no direct evidence that he ever felt lonely. His books and his day dreams seem always to have made up for a lack of human companionship. The other fellows contented themselves with saying of him: "He is too slow and methodical to amount to much."

He did not, indeed, make a specially brilliant record in his entrance examinations to the Polytechnique; but his stumbling block was not mathematics or science, it was—German! He never could abide the language!

Joseph Joffre entered this famous military training school in 1869, at the age of seventeen. Within a few months the school course was broken up by the German invasion, and Joffre with other cadets promptly volunteered for service. Much to the delight of his family, he was made a second lieutenant, attached to the Engineering Corps. His first practical field work was in throwing up fortifications in defence of Paris. But the Germans were not to be stopped by Joffre in their march on the French capital at this time. That was reserved for a later day and another war.

The short but terrible conflict of 1870 over, Joffre returned to college, and graduated therefrom in 1872, with the rank of full lieutenant. One of his classmates of this time was Ferdinand Foch, but if the two future Marshals there became acquainted no story of their meeting has come down to us.

Joffre's first work at fort building had been so well done that immediately upon graduation the government set him to work. The memory of the stinging German defeat was with them stirring them to action. They wanted defenses everywhere. Joffre was employed upon them at Paris, Versailles, Montpellier, and even in faraway Brittany—until he was disposed to grumble at his fate.

"This is all very fine," he said; "but I don't want to spend the rest of my days building forts. I want to command troops and see some real fighting."

It was the Cæsar cropping up in him again.

Without question he was a born builder of fortifications. One day the great Marshal MacMahon came by on a tour of inspection, and was much delighted with a series of defenses he had built near Paris.

"I congratulate you, Monsieur le Capitaine!" he said.

By one sentence he had promoted the young lieutenant to a captaincy.

It was about this time that a fall from his horse very nearly cut short his military career. He was so severely injured that the doctors feared that his mind was affected, and he was sent home for a complete rest.

At home he did not complain—that was not his nature—but he spent several days pacing back and forth in his little upper room. Then came a day when he burst in to the downstairs room where sat his parents, his face beaming—showing the strain which he had overcome.

"It's all right, mon père!" he cried joyfully. "I have solved it. I will get well!"

What he had been doing was to set himself an abstruse and difficult problem in mathematics, in order to see if his brain would respond. It did so, he solved it and thus had no more fears as to his own ultimate recovery.

Another story told by his sister, of these early army days, shows further his power of mental abstraction.

"My brother was always lost in thought," says Mme. Artus. "No matter what he did, his thoughts never left him. Once they caused his arrest as a spy."

It seems that at Vauban, not far away from his home town of Rivesaltas, they were constructing a fort. Joffre sauntered over to inspect it. He was clad in civilian dress and he evinced so much interest in what was going on that the commanding officer promptly seized him for a suspicious character.

"Did my brother protest? Not he. But when they brought him before the military court, his Catalonian brogue was enough to convince anybody as to where he was born.

"'Why didn't you tell them who you were?' I asked him.

"'Too busy thinking about the fort,' was his reply."

One other anecdote of this time has come down to us and is worth repeating. His father had bought a piece of farm land that was badly in need of ditching, in order to drain it properly during the wet season, and irrigate it during the dry. The son sketched out a scheme of cross trenches, but his father demurred—then Joseph exploded:

"Trenches! What the devil! I know all about trenches; trenches are my specialty."

The Great War of later years was to show whether or not this confidence in his own abilities was misplaced.

By the year 1884, his reputation as a builder of trenches and forts was firmly established, although official promotion had come slowly. When Admiral Courbet telegraphed to the Home Office from the Isle of Formosa for a reliable officer to place in charge of this work, Joffre was sent. He spent nearly a year there and it was a year of the hardest kind of work. He could get only indifferent help, so he worked early and late to make up the deficit.

From there he was sent on similar work to the province of Tonkin, Indo-China. Here he practically rebuilt the town of Hanoi, clearing and guttering the streets, draining the neighboring marshes which had made the settlement a pest-hole, and building permanent roads. The town of Vietri was similarly cleaned up.

For these important labors he received the first recognition in nearly ten years. He was given official thanks, and decorated with the cross of the Legion of Honor.

A fellow officer who knew him at this time says: "Captain Joffre was a solidly-built Pyrenean, calm and clear-headed, with a firm walk and a hard blue eye. He seldom smiled and he spoke still more rarely. He never punished except in extreme cases, and then hard. Natives feared him for his silence, but loved him for his justice."

This portrait of him about a quarter of a century before the Great War is easily recognizable in the commander of the later day.

In 1891 he paralleled the career of General Foch somewhat by taking a professor's chair. He was appointed instructor in fortifications at the Military School at Fontainebleau, where he remained for two years. The work did not appeal to him particularly and he is spoken of there as a thorough teacher, but not popular. He had not mingled enough with others to get their point of view.

A welcome change from this was a summons from headquarters to go to Timbuctoo, and help suppress a native rebellion. It was all the more welcome as here, for the first time, he was promised a chance to do some real fighting.

Timbuctoo was then being overrun by the Tuaregs, a tribe of terrible brigands called "the veiled men" of Western Soudan. They had massacred the European settlers, and ended by killing two French officers, Colonel Bonnier and Lieutenant Boiteux, who had recently headed expeditions against them. It was a wild and treacherous land, and the relief expedition would scarcely have child's play of it.

Joffre went at it without the slightest misgiving. Like many another soldier he was a firm believer in "Luck," and here certainly the fates were propitious. He set forth on his journey from Segou, on Christmas Day, 1893, commanding a force of thirty French and three hundred natives. They crossed deadly swamps and dry, trackless deserts. There were some deaths by the wayside, but Joffre pushed on. His progress was slow, as he stopped to make friends with native chiefs, and enlist their aid where possible.

At last they reached Timbuctoo, only to find orders awaiting them to "prepare for evacuation," in the face of a threatening Tuareg army. Joffre for once disobeyed orders, and decided, instead, to attack. He did so, and administered a crushing defeat to the brigands. He followed this up so thoroughly, that the whole district was restored to peace.

Then the soldier gave place to the engineer. He cleaned up the town (in another sense) and returned home.

"Luck was on my side," he said briefly after receiving official congratulations, and the rank of lieutenant colonel. "I might have met the fate of Bonnier and Boiteux, had the Goddess of Good Fortune not attended me."

But those who knew him believed that it was something more than luck.

That Joffre was a fatalist is evinced by another incident of this march in Soudan. An insect's sting had poisoned his left eye so severely that the sight was threatened. The doctor of the force advised him to wear a bandage. Joffre would not agree.

"I could not command my troops if I were blindfolded," he said.

"Then it must be blue glasses," said the doctor.

But eyeglass shops are not found in the desert, and Joffre went on without protection. A few days later a soldier received a packet from home and brought it to him. It was a pair of blue glasses!

"I told you that I was in luck," said Joffre. However, he narrowly escaped blindness, and ever afterward a thin veil-like film covered the injured eye.

One-result of the Timbuctoo campaign was an official report written by Joffre, and afterwards published in book form under the title (translated) "Operations of the Joffre Column before and after the Capture of Timbuctoo." The story is a straightforward soldierly narrative. One French critic recently said of it, apropos of Joffre's election to the French Academy, a rather unique honor: "I defy anybody who knows the pleasure which words can give us in evoking things, to deny that this report is a piece of most effective writing. . . . With Joffre who has no idea or desire to give us 'fine writing,' the effect produced is that of reality itself. The names of the tribes he meets or describes take on a strange virtue, as if we heard them on the spot. Even the French officers' names scattered over a narrative from which all attempt at picturesqueness is banished, produce picturesqueness. . . On the whole he is a primitive, and with all the primitive's simple charm and power."

After the Soudanese adventure, came a trip to Madagascar—this time, more fort constructing, from which it seemed that he could never escape. The problem down there was a vexatious one, due to a do-nothing policy of a predecessor. Things were in bad shape. Joffre arrived, after a long sea voyage, gave one look around, and then things began to happen.

"If men are responsible for this disorder," he said sententiously, "it is easy to suppose that men can restore the needed order."

And the forts and barracks went up in record time.

"We never expected to see that job done," reports one soldier. "The thing was so old that it had cobwebs over it. When Joffre took hold it went up by magic."

They concocted another saying about him, down in that distant island, which was:

"There goes old man System!"

At another time an officer remarked: "Joffre wants what he wants when, he wants it—and furthermore he knows why he wants it!"

In 1901, at the century's turn, and when he was rounding out his half century, his long-delayed promotions began to arrive. He was made Brigadier General, and thenceforth began to forge rapidly to the front. One reason for his slow advancement was that he was no politician or time-server. He never pushed himself forward. And so much of his work was done in remote provinces that the General Staff hardly knew him at all. We remember, too, that he had made no friends at school, who would follow his career, or speak a good word for him in official ears.

When he did at last receive recognition it was upon absolute merit. But when he reached the General Staff, the remark was frequently heard: "Who is this Joffre? We never heard of him."

It was not long, however, before he made his presence felt in Paris official circles. They came to depend more and more upon this stocky, hard-headed Gascon and his opinions. He never minced words and he went to the root of the matter.

In 1911, when the need was universally felt, of a thorough reorganization of the French army—a much-needed house-cleaning—they cast about for some man big enough for the job. In a conference General Pau, a warm adherent of Joffre, shook his single good fist in the faces of the Staff officers, and exclaimed: "There is only one man who can do the job!"

So they sent for Joffre and made him chief of the General Staff, with full power to reorganize. It was well for France that they did so, and fortunate that he had three full years to work before the blow fell, and the invaders were again at their gates.

"No German could be more thorough than Joffre," said one officer. "For him no lasting results can be obtained without the utmost care. He has limitless patience, joined with a wonderful breadth of view. His methods resemble the head of a great business."

In his intricate work of reconstructing the army, he revealed another, and surprising side to his nature. From being cold and aloof, he showed a human sympathy for his men, down to the last private. It was as though the man who had held himself aloof from intimates wanted to take the whole French army into his heart. And the men responded with an affection and a confidence which were later to produce the fine results of leadership in the War. He was no longer "Joffre the Silent," but "Papa Joffre."

Says one writer: "Joffre is the soldier of democracy. That is why he sets America aflame with enthusiasm, as he did France. His thickset frame, firmly knit and vigorous, his clear eyes, which observe you from beneath bushy eyebrows, his firm and kindly mouth, his bristling mustache, the simplicity of his manners, his clean-cut, reserved language,—all that goes to show that there is nothing in him of bluster and affectation. He is truly 'Papa Joffre,' the father and even the grandfather of the poilus. It is the poilu  himself beneath the white panache  of this unique Marshal of France."

When in 1914 the Germans struck, they anticipated an easy march upon Paris—such as that of forty odd years before. But this time a different Joffre stood in their path. In place of the young lieutenant not yet out of his 'teens, they found a grizzled veteran who matched them with methods as thorough-going as their own, but who preferred to control his men by love rather than fear.

"Your French soldiers are brave," said one German officer contemptuously, "but as for discipline—bah! Our legions will brush you aside."

"Our men may not have the machine-like discipline that you affect," was the French officer's reply. "But we replace it with something far better—a love of country that will cause us to sacrifice the last drop of blood."

"But your great Generals—where are they?" asked the other.

"They will make themselves felt in due time. At their head stands one who is yet to fight his first great battle—yet I advise you not to arouse him!"

The world knows the rest of the story of that mighty invasion—how the black, invading line curved onward and inward until it threw its shadow upon Paris. Then when the final blow was about to be struck—the coup-de-grâce as the Germans firmly believed—up from the South came the army of Joffre. It had retreated and retreated, until the moment for its counter-blow.

Now with the precision of a sledge-hammer it struck, and struck again—until the surprised enemy turned and fell back. Paris was saved.

In the gallery of the world's great soldiers, the homely, kindly figure of Joffre may well find place. He seems to occupy a niche quite by himself. He is not spectacular, nor a "hero," but a simple man among men, whose results are built upon a lifetime of patient endeavor.

He is Rodin's statue of "The Thinker" come to life.

Important Dates in Joffre's Life

1852. January 12. Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre born.
1867. Entered preparatory military school, Paris.
1869. Entered Polytechnic Academy.
1870. Volunteered in army to defend Paris against Prussians.
1870. Commissioned second-lieutenant.
1876. Commissioned captain for work on fortifications.
1884. Sent to Formosa to construct barracks and trenches.
1885. Decorated, Legion of Honor, Tonkin.
1891. Professor in military school, Fontainebleau.
1893. Sent to Madagascar on construction work.
1894. Headed expedition to Timbuctoo.
1901. Brigadier-general.
1911. Chief of general staff.
1914. Commander-in-chief, French army.
1916. Marshal of France.


The Schoolmaster in War

To wait until one is sixty-three years old before even smelling powder—and then to find oneself in command of the greatest allied army that the world has ever seen—such is the remarkable story of the French General, Ferdinand Foch. His life, like that of more than one famous soldier is a bundle of paradoxes, or contradictions, but prove once again that "truth is stranger than fiction."

Those of us who know and love Dumas's swashbuckling hero, D'Artagnan, will remember that he was a Gascon and always spoiling for a fight. Foch was another Gascon who passed threescore years of his life peacefully enough—but when he did get into the fight at last, it was a "corker"!

The Gascony of France and Spain—for it is in the Pyrenees separating the two countries—has produced some famous men, other than Foch—and D'Artagnan. In the fighting days of the Republic and the First Empire, it gave to France Murat, Marbot, and Bessieres. From Gascony at a later day came "Papa" Joffre to do his sturdy bit in saving France.

The ancestral home of the Foch family is on the Garonne River, among the foothills of the Pyrenees. Here the river is hardly more than a trout stream threading its way down the wooded slopes or murmuring through the valleys. It is just such a spot as any boy would like to call "home."

The father of Ferdinand Foch had been born here during the days of the First Empire, when the fame of the Corsican was ringing around the world—and had consequently been christened Napoleon. He married the daughter of one of Bonaparte's officers, Colonel Dupre, and the family were naturally ardent loyalists. To Napoleon Foch and Sophie Dupre were born four children, a daughter and three sons, and the second son was christened Ferdinand. The father at this time had entered the French civil-service, and in 1851, when Ferdinand was born, was at Tarbes in the Upper Pyrenees, as secretary of the prefecture.

The family name of Foch does not sound French, and as pronounced in Gascony with a hard guttural sound it is more like German. It would seem to indicate that in an earlier day the ancestors had lived on the Rhine. Up in northern France they have softened the name to sound like "Fush." The meaning of the name is said to be "Fire"—and certainly the Germans kindled a greater fire than they could quench, when their invasion produced the quiet leader with this flaming name.

Napoleon Foch did not rise very high in his official positions. His work was chiefly clerical and caused him to remove from one town to another. He did not want to lose sight of his boys, by placing them in an academy, but kept them with him, placing them in first one public school and then another, as he was compelled to move. The first school that Ferdinand attended was the old college at Tarbes, where he remained until ten or eleven years old. The family home at Valentine, in the country, was always visited in the summer and other holiday seasons, and here the youngsters had many a romp. Their father on his infrequent visits home would enter into the sport like one of them.

A favorite excursion was up one of the neighboring hills to a cliff known as the Bout du Puig, which commanded a wonderful view up and down the valley. Here they would take their lunch and feel like true mountaineers.

From Tarbes, the family moved to Polignac, where Napoleon Foch was Public Treasurer. After Ferdinand and his brothers had attended the school at this place for a time, they removed to the town of Rodez—and another school.

In these early days Foch was on a par with the average schoolboy, neither better nor worse, if local records are to be believed. He did, however, win an honorable mention at Tarbes for good work in the general course, consisting of geography, history, Latin, and theology.

At twelve he began to show a decided bent for mathematics, that sine qua non  of the successful soldier. He had also developed into a great reader, but preferred history to works of fiction. One of his chief military heroes was, quite naturally, Napoleon, and he must have taken part in imagination with the charge of the Old Guard at Waterloo, or thrilled at the tale of Austerlitz. But never in the wildest flights of his imagination could he have dreamed of commanding a far greater army than was ever assembled under the eagles of Napoleon.

In 1867, at the age of sixteen, another changer came in his schooling. His father was stationed at St. Étienne near Lyons, and Ferdinand was entered at St. Michel, a Jesuit college near by. Here he studied for his university examinations, and made his choice of a life profession—and it is not strange to note that he decided to be a soldier. The choice made, his future studies, as is the way in French colleges, were planned to follow specialized lines. It was not alone necessary to choose the army, for example,—one must select a certain branch of the army. Foch's aptitude at mathematics led him to take up the artillery.

The principal school of this branch of the service was the École Polytechnique, at Paris, but a stiff entrance examination was required here. So Foch decided to do preliminary work at St. Clement's College, Metz, a training school with a high reputation.

In those days the city and fortress of Metz were on French soil. This was just before the short but memorable Franco-Prussian War, but already the air was rife with rumors of an impending conflict. The French, however, were undisturbed. They thought, and expressed the open opinion that it would be fought out on the other side of the Rhine, and that the peace terms would be dictated in Berlin.

Metz! How much history does the name suggest in the light of the Great War! If the young artillery student could have foreseen the backward and forward swing of the pendulum, as exemplified in that ancient city, how his blood would have quickened!

The summer of 1870 arrived. Ferdinand Foch, a well-grown lad of nineteen, went home to St. Étienne on his first vacation. It had been his first year away from home, and there must have been a joyful reunion. But over the vacation season hung a war cloud. In the middle of July, France was persuaded to declare war. Her first great clash with Germany was on.

The news, however, was not displeasing to Ferdinand. He had supreme confidence in the ability of the trained French army to subdue the "Prussian militia." All France had been soundly fooled as to the extent of the German preparedness. Foch thought of Metz as the starting point of the war which was to wage its victorious course eastward. But the reverse soon proved to be the case. From Metz the Germans drove westward into France. The school at St. Clement was transformed into a military hospital. Ferdinand remained at home watching the turn of events with surprised eye.

When the defeat at Sedan came, in September, it seemed to him like the end of the world.

Then came the frantic call from Paris for new troops. Young Foch was one of the first to respond to this appeal. He could do his bit, at any rate, and once the Second Army was assembled, the invader would see! But alas! he was destined to do no fighting. For four months he remained with his regiment, a high private in the rear ranks, doing drill and garrison duty until peace was declared.

The war was over. France had concluded a shameful peace but one that was forced upon her. This sort of war had brought bitter disillusionment to a host of French boys, and they always thought in their hearts of the day of reckoning which must come later on—and hoped that they would be alive to see it. Such must have been the dream of Foch, the "sleeping firebrand."

For the present, there was nothing for it, but to doff his uniform and take up his studies again. The college of St. Clement had ceased to be a hospital and was again full of classrooms. But over the old fort floated a strange flag—the black, white and red emblem of Germany, and German officers strutted everywhere on the streets. The French signs over the shops and on the street corners were rapidly disappearing. Soon came an official order from Berlin forbidding the teaching of French in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The work of benevolent assimilation was begun.

Foch privately shook his fist at the broad backs of the swaggering conquerors, and set to work at his studies with renewed vim. French or German, the old Jesuit college was going to aid him in his task of becoming a soldier—and then his country would have one more recruit at any rate!

We are not surprised to find, therefore, that he passed his entrance examinations with flying colors, and in November, 1871, donned his uniform as a cadet in the École Polytechnique. This building, like the one at Metz, still bore evidences of the recent war. During the siege of Paris it had been used as a hospital; and in the civil war which followed the peace, when the Empire was overthrown, it had been through severe fighting. Shell holes were still to be seen in its roofs and walls. But such scars seemed to make it still more what it was in name, a military school. Foch already felt like a soldier.

Among Foch's fellow students were two others who were destined to play a part in the World War. One was a cadet named Rufy, who was destined to become a General, in command of the Third Army of France, during 1914. The other was a short, stocky fellow, who came from the Gascon country near Foch's home, and who had been more fortunate than he in seeing some actual fighting during the recent war. He had been in command of a battery of guns during the siege of Paris, and had also taken a physical part in the fighting. Foch looked at this strapping cadet, and then at his own much slighter frame, and a feeling akin to envy came over him, as he may have said to himself:

"If only I could have got into it like that fellow Joffre!"

During the second year of his work here, in 1873, it was announced that, as the army was short of officers, the course would be shortened for the more advanced students, so that they could receive their commissions as soon as possible. Among the students who were granted this honor were Joffre and Foch—the former choosing the engineers, and the latter the artillery. As a special aid in completing his course, Foch secured a transfer to the Artillery School at Fontainebleau.

Here he felt more at home and in more congenial surroundings. He was out of the city with its clamor and clang. Always a country boy at heart, he recalled his beloved St. Étienne in these parks and hills. He had always been fond of horseback riding, and now he had full opportunity of perfecting himself in this art. The daily canters kept his body sound, his brain clear. He came out third in his classes, a highly creditable mark, and received his commission as a sub-lieutenant. He was a soldier at last.

As a reward for his scholarship he was informed that he might choose any post where he would prefer to be stationed. He selected Tarbes, his birthplace, and the town nearest his home. Truly, the fates were kind!

Two years were spent with the garrison at Tarbes, in a round of regimental duties. Then the routine began to pall upon him. He wanted something approaching active service. He had perfected himself in artillery maneuvers; and during his four months as a volunteer in the War, he had drilled in the infantry. So he now applied for transfer to the third branch, the cavalry. His love of horses may also have influenced this desire.

He received the transfer and spent a year in the Cavalry School at Saumur. On completing this course he was given a commission as Captain, and placed in command of a field battery, in Brittany. This transfer marked the beginning of a new era in his life. From being a Gascon, he was now about to become a Breton. He spent so many years of his life in Brittany, that in later years he called his soldiers "my brother Bretons."

Another reason for his change of sentiment was his fortunate marriage to a lady whom he met at Rennes, where his regiment was stationed—Mademoiselle Julie Bienvenue. Her name means "Welcome," and to the lonely and possibly homesick soldier, her advent must have been welcome indeed.

He bought a home in Finisterre, that wild, rocky, well-wooded cape which juts out into the Atlantic. It was an old manor house set in the midst of an estate which from the outset spelled the word "home" for him. There were long sloping meadow lands flanked by stately trees and hills beyond. The old house itself with its somber gray walls and quaint dormer windows seemed always to have nestled here.

Such an idyllic setting, away out on the most sheltered spot of France—far removed from the tramp of an invader, or the other changes which came to the central provinces of France—while pleasant in the extreme was hardly the fitting environment to produce a soldier, a real fighting man. It might produce a fine preacher, or artist, or poet, or farmer—but not likely a famous general.

But Foch did not yield to the blandishments of his new home to the extent of vegetating here. His active mind was looking continually forward. He could not rest content with mediocrity, or a merely comfortable living. "Do what you ought, come what may" was his guiding motto. He applied for admission to the École de Guerre, a higher school recently established for staff officers, but admission to its walls came by favoritism or political pull, and it was many months (1885) before he gained admission.

The course which he took required two years to complete—years which kept him away from home, but were worth while. He graduated as fourth in a large class, and better still had made some valuable acquaintances here. His professors and classmates soon recognized in this quiet, studious Artillery Captain a man worth watching—one who would do in an emergency.

The next eight or ten years were filled with the usual routine of an army officer in peace times. He was transferred from one post to another for periods of two or three years, but always it was active field service which he liked, rather than the routine of office duty. He established a brilliant reputation for horsemanship and cavalry tactics which later were to be of advantage.

But still he had never seen actual warfare, nor heard the bullets whizz about his head. He was an academic soldier, and seemed destined to remain one for the rest of his natural life when, in 1895, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Military History and Strategy, in the École de Guerre, the college from which he had last graduated, a few years before. The faculty had not forgotten him. It was an honor in a way, but Foch doubtless debated long before he accepted it. It meant the giving up of the freedom of his broad outdoors.

He was a major by this time; and after a few years of lecturing, he was made full professor, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The work in his classes was highly important. This being a post-graduate school, the men to whom he lectured were not cadets but trained soldiers, many of them seasoned veterans. They would have instantly detected any flaw in his teaching. The impress which this college professor then made upon the future heads of the French army was destined to have a profound and far-reaching effect. In the years to come, when France and the civilized world was in search of a leader big enough to measure up to the crisis—they turned to this quiet college professor!

Foch won his position as "the most gifted and original of the professors in the École de Guerre" by no trick or sensational methods. He spoke in an even, almost monotonous voice, using few gestures. But his speech was clear-cut and precise. He reminded his hearers of a scientist dissecting a foreign body, as he expounded the clash of armies or the turning points of battle. He had, in fact, precise knowledge of an event in which he had never actually participated. He had analyzed war and resolved it into its component parts, as though it were heated in a test-tube. And how exact were his theories, later events were to show.

In 1901, Foch returned for a time to active service, being given command of the 29th Regiment at Laon. After the classroom routine, the change was indeed welcome. A few months later we find him stationed again in his beloved Brittany, with the rank of Colonel. But promotion had come slowly. During these years he prepared his class lectures for book publication, forming two volumes, the first being his since-celebrated "Principles of War," and the second "The Conduct of War." In these books he proved himself a master of terse, epigrammatic statement. There did not seem to be a superfluous word in them. They were favorably received by military critics everywhere, and still further established his reputation.

But it was not until 1907, when Foch was fifty-six, that he at last received the rank of Brigadier General, with an assignment to the General Staff at Paris. With this belated appointment it seemed that the tale of his military career was told. Fate had more than one surprise in store, even then, however.

The position as head or Director General of the École de Guerre was vacant. A keen rivalry arose among several Generals for the appointment, but Foch did not present his name. He belonged to the wrong party, the Clerical, or Church Party, and the Anti-Clericals were then in power. Clemenceau was Premier, this being his first term.

One day Foch was surprised by being invited to dine with the Premier. When he arrived he was still further surprised to note that he was the only guest. The "Tiger" did not broach the subject of the invitation until the coffee cups were cleared away. Then he said abruptly, and apropos of nothing that had gone before:

"I have some news for you, General. You are appointed Director of the École de Guerre."

"But I am not a candidate, sir," replied Foch, taken completely by surprise.

"Possibly not," replied the Premier drily, "but you are appointed nevertheless, and I am sure you will do good work there."

"I thank you for the honor," said Foch with some embarrassment, "but aren't there—difficulties? I am a Churchman, you know."

Clemenceau laughed.

"Probably you are not aware," continued Foch, finding it difficult to proceed, "that one of my brothers is a Jesuit."

Clemenceau laughed again.

"I know all about it, and I don't care a rap," he answered. "Mon Général, or rather, Monsieur le Directeur, you may consider yourself appointed, Jesuit or no Jesuit. We need men of your stamp to train up officers in our army."

Foch held this responsible position for several years just preceding the Great War. Whether he saw it or not, lowering upon the horizon, he bent every effort to making the command of the French army fit, ready for any emergency. He had never forgotten the dreadful invasion of his boyhood days. With him the teaching of preparedness was almost as sacred as religion.

And when the Great War at last descended, Foch was like a shining sword in its path, one that had never been allowed to rust in its scabbard. The story of his dogged perseverance and his brilliant strategy has been fully told in the annals of war. Two or three strongly characteristic points yet demand mention. He was a firm believer in the element of surprise; he out-guessed the enemy. And he never knew when he was beaten.

"The weaker we are, the more important it is for us to attack," is one of his famous sayings.

At the Battle of the Marne, when his corps was hard pressed at a critical salient, he telegraphed Joffre:

"My left flank has been driven in. My right flank has been driven in. Consequently nothing remains but for me to attack with my center."

And attack he did, hurling back the surprised Teutons and aiding Joffre to turn the invader, and save Paris.

Foch, in brief, is a soldier of the intellectual type. His headquarters when at last he was made Marshal of France and Generalissimo of the Allied forces, resembled a classroom more nearly than the center of a vast and far-reaching activity. There was no bustle, no confusion. Orderlies pored over papers and presented reports quietly. The commander looked them over with keen appraising glance, then issued orders without raising his voice. But that very quietness and precision pronounced the doom of Germany. It was a triumph of science over brute force.

If in America we have had a "schoolmaster in politics," the French have had a "schoolmaster in war"—one who taught the Hun a lesson!

Important Dates in Foch's Life

1851. October 2. Ferdinand Foch born.
1862. Entered school, Tarbes, France.
1867. Entered Jesuit College of St. Michel.
1870. Volunteered in the Franco-Prussian War, but saw no service.
1871. Entered the Polytechnic Academy.
1873. Second-lieutenant in artillery.
1878. Captain. Married Julie Bienvenue.
1885. Entered École de Guerre, a college for staff officers.
1891. Major in artillery.
1900. Lieutenant-colonel. Professor in École de Guerre.
1905. Director of École de Guerre.
1914. General, in command 20th corps.
1917. Chief of general staff.
1918. Commander-in-chief of Allied forces.
1918. Marshal of France.


The Leader of America's Biggest Army

It was a historic moment, on that June day, in the third year of the World War. On the landing stage at the French harbor of Boulogne was drawn up a company of French soldiers, who looked eagerly at the approaching steamer. They were not dress parade soldiers nor smart cadets—only battle-scarred veterans home from the trenches, with the tired look of war in their eyes. For three years they had been hoping and praying that the Americans would come—and here they were at last!

As the steamer slowly approached the dock, a small group of officers might be discerned, looking as eagerly landward as the men on shore had sought them out. In the center of this group stood a man in the uniform of a General in the United States Army. There was, however, little to distinguish his dress from that of his staff, except the marks of rank on his collar, and the service ribbons across his breast. To those who could read the insignia, they spelled many days of arduous duty in places far removed. America was sending a seasoned soldier, one tried out as by fire.

The man's face was seamed from exposure to the suns of the tropics and the sands of the desert. But his dark eyes glowed with the untamable fire of youth. He was full six feet in height, straight, broad-shouldered, and muscular. The well-formed legs betrayed the old-time calvalryman. The alert poise of the man showed a nature constantly on guard against surprise—the typical soldier in action.

Such was General Pershing when he set foot on foreign shore at the head of an American army—the first time in history that our soldiers had ever served on European soil. America was at last repaying to France her debt of gratitude, for aid received nearly a century and a half earlier. And it was an Alsatian by descent who could now say:

"Lafayette, we come!"

Who was this man who had been selected for so important a task? The eyes of the whole world were upon him, when he reached France. His was a task of tremendous difficulties, and a single slip on his part would have brought shame upon his country, no less than upon himself. That he was to succeed, and to win the official thanks of Congress are now matters of history. The story of his wonderful campaign against the best that Germany could send against him is also an oft-told story. But the rise of the man himself to such commanding position is a tale not so familiar, yet none the less interesting.

The great-grandfather of General Pershing was an emigrant from Alsace—fleeing as a boy from the military service of the Teutons. He worked his way across to Baltimore, and not long thereafter volunteered to fight in the American Revolution. His was the spirit of freedom. He fled to escape a service that was hateful, because it represented tyranny; but was glad to serve in the cause of liberty.

The original family name was Pfirsching, but was soon shortened to its present form. The Pershings got land grants in Pennsylvania, and began to prosper. As the clan multiplied the sons and grandsons began to scatter. They had the pioneer spirit of their ancestors.

At length, John F. Pershing, a grandson of Daniel, the first immigrant, went to the Middle West, to work on building railroads. These were the days, just before the Civil War, when railroads were being thrown forward everywhere. Young Pershing had early caught the fever, and had worked with construction gangs in Kentucky and Tennessee. Now as the rail-roads pushed still further West, he went with them as section foreman—after first persuading an attractive Nashville girl, Ann Thompson, to go with him as his wife.

Their honeymoon was spent among the hardships of a construction camp in Missouri; and here at Laclede, in a very primitive house, John Joseph Pershing was born, September 13, 1860.

The boy inherited a sturdy frame and a love of freedom from both sides of the family. His mother had come of a race quite as good as that of his father. They were honest, law-abiding, God-fearing people, who saw to it that John and the other eight children who followed were reared soberly and strictly. The Bible lay on the center table and the willow switch hung conveniently behind the door.

After the line of railroad was completed upon which the father had worked, he came to Laclede and invested his savings in a small general store. It proved a profitable venture. It was the only one in town, and Pershing's reputation for square-dealing brought him many customers. A neighbor pays him this tribute:

"John F. Pershing was a man of commanding presence. He was a great family man and loved his family devotedly. He was not lax, and ruled his family well.

"The Pershing family were zealous church people. John F. Pershing was the Sunday School superintendent of the Methodist Church all the years he lived here. Every Sunday you could see him making his way to church with John on one side and Jim on the other, Mrs. Pershing and the girls following along."

John F. Pershing was a strong Union man, and although local feeling ran high between the North and the South, he retained the esteem of his neighbors. He had one or two close calls from the "bushwhackers," as roving rangers were called, but his family escaped harm.

At times during the War, he was entrusted with funds by various other families, and acted as a sort of local bank. After the War he was postmaster.

The close of the War found the younger John a stocky boy of five. He began to attend the village school and take an active part in the boyish sports of a small town. There was always plenty to do, whether of work or play. One of his boyhood chums writes:

"John Pershing was a clean, straight, well-behaved young fellow. He never was permitted to loaf around on the streets. Nobody jumped on him, and he didn't jump on anybody. He attended strictly to his own business. He had his lessons when he went to class. He was not a big talker. He said a lot in a few words, and didn't try to cut any swell. He was a hard student. He was not brilliant, but firm, solid, and would hang on to the very last. We used to study our lessons together evenings. About nine-thirty or ten o'clock, I'd say:

"'John, how are you coming?'

"'Pretty stubborn.'

"'Better go to bed, hadn't we?'

"'No, Charley, I'm going to work this out.'"

Another schoolmate gives us a more human picture:

"As a boy, Pershing was not unlike thousands of other boys of his age, enjoying the same pleasures and games as his other boyhood companions. He knew the best places to shoot squirrels or quail, and knew where to find the hazel or hickory nuts. He knew, too, where the coolest and deepest swimming pools in the Locust, Muddy, or Turkey creeks were. Many a time we went swimming together in Pratt's Pond:"

About this time Pershing's father added to his other ventures the purchase of a farm near Laclede, and the family moved out there. Then there was indeed plenty of work to do. The chores often began before sun-up, and lasted till after dark; and the children were lucky to find time for schooling during the late Fall and Winter months. John, however, kept doggedly at it, and managed to get a fair, common-school education.

When he was barely in his 'teens, his first set task was 'given him—to teach in a negro school. This school had been established after the War ended, but the teacher had gone, and no one else seemed available for the job. John was sober and studious, and besides was so well grown for his age that they banked on his ability to "lick" any negro boy that got obstreperous.

He succeeded sufficiently in this venture, to cause him to take up teaching regularly, in white schools, with a view to paying for his education. He wanted to study law, and his parents encouraged the idea. His work in these country schools was invaluable to him in teaching him how to govern others. A former pupil of his writes:

"Though he never sought a quarrel, young Pershing was known as 'a game fighter,' who never acknowledged defeat. One day, at Prairie Mound, at the noon hour a big farmer with red sideburns rode up to the schoolhouse with a revolver in his hand. Pershing had whipped one of the farmer's children, and the enraged parent intended to give the young schoolmaster a flogging.

"I remember how he rode up cursing before all the children in the schoolyard, and how another boy and I ran down a gully because we were afraid. We peeked over the edge, though, and heard Pershing tell the farmer to put up his gun, get down off his horse, and fight like a man.

"The farmer got down and John stripped off his coat. He was only a boy of seventeen or eighteen and slender, but he thrashed the old farmer soundly. And I have hated red sideburns ever since."

After several terms of country school teaching, young Pershing saved up enough money to enter the State Normal School, at Kirksville, Mo. One of his sisters went with him. He remained there for two terms, doing his usual good steady work, but was still dissatisfied. He wanted to get a better education.

About this time he happened to notice an announcement of a competitive examination in his district for an entrance to West Point. The soldiering side did not appeal to him, but the school side did.

"I wouldn't stay in the army," he remarked to a friend. "There won't be a gun fired in the world for a hundred years, I guess. If there isn't, I'll study law, but I want an education, and now I see how I can get it."

His mother was by no means "sold" on the idea of his becoming a soldier either, and it was only when he assured her that there wouldn't be a gun fired in a hundred years, that she finally consented. If she could have looked ahead to his future career, and final part in the greatest war the world has ever known—one wonders what her emotions would have been!

Pershing passed his entrance examination by a narrow margin, and then entered a training school at Highland Falls, N. Y., for tutoring in certain deficient branches. At last in June, 1882, when he was just rounding his twenty-second year, he became a freshman in the great Academy on the Hudson.

The young plebe from the West speedily fell in love with the institution and all that it represented. He found the soldier life awakening in him, along with his desire for a good education. Four happy years were spent there—and while he didn't shine, being number thirty in a class of seventy-seven, his all-around qualities made him many friends among both faculty and students. He was made ranking cadet captain in his senior year, and chosen class president.

Twenty-five years later, writing from clear around the world, at Manila, to his class, at a reunion, he gives a long, breezy account of his experience there, from which we have space to quote only a few sentences:

"This brings up a period of West Point life whose vivid impressions will be the last to fade. Marching into camp, piling bedding, policing company streets for logs or wood carelessly dropped by upper classmen, pillow fights at tattoo with Marcus Miller, sabre drawn, marching up and down superintending the plebe class, policing up feathers from the general parade; light artillery drills, double-timing around old Fort Clinton at morning squad drill; Wiley Bean and the sad fate of his seersucker coat; midnight dragging, and the whole summer full of events can only be mentioned in passing.

"No one can ever forget his first guard tour with all its preparation and perspiration. I got along all right during the day, but at night on the color line my troubles began. Of course, I was scared beyond the point of properly applying any of my orders. A few minutes after taps, ghosts of all sorts began to appear from all directions. I selected a particularly bold one and challenged according to orders: 'Halt, who comes there?' At that the ghost stood still in its tracks. I then said: 'Halt, who stands there?' Whereupon the ghost, who was carrying a chair, sat down. When I promptly said: 'Halt, who sits there?'

"The career of '86 at West Point was in many respects remarkable. There were no cliques, no dissensions, and personal prejudices or selfishness, if any existed, never came to the surface. From the very day we entered, the class as a unit has always stood for the very best traditions of West Point."

While Pershing was still in West Point, the Indian chief Geronimo was making trouble in the Southwest. For several years he led a band of outlaw braves, who terrorized the Southern border. General Crook was sent in pursuit of him, and afterwards General Miles took up the chase. Finally in August, 1886, the chief and his followers were rounded up.

Pershing graduated in the spring of this year, with the usual rank given to graduates, second lieutenant, and was immediately assigned to duty under Miles. He had an inconspicuous part in the capture. But the next year in the special maneuvers he was personally complimented by the General for "marching his troops with a pack train of 140 mules in 46 hours and bringing in every animal in good condition." Doubtless his early experience with the Missouri brand of mule aided him.

Thereafter, for the next five years, Pershing's life was that of a plainsman. He was successively at Fort Bayard, Fort Stanton, and Fort Wingate, all in New Mexico, in the center of troubled country. In 1890 he was shifted north to take the field against the Sioux Indians, in South Dakota, and in the Battle of Wounded Knee he had a considerable taste of burnt powder, where the tribe that had massacred General Custer and his band was practically wiped out. The next year he was stationed at Fort Niobrara, in Nebraska, in command of the Sioux Indian Scouts.

This rapid summary of a busy and adventurous life on the plains does not convey any idea of its many activities. But it was an exceedingly valuable period of training to the young officer, He was finding himself, and learning something of the inner art of military science that he was later to put to such good use. Here is the opinion of an officer who was Pershing's senior in the Sixth Cavalry by six years, all of them spent in the Apache country:

"In those days, when a youngster joined a regiment, he was not expected to express himself on military matters until he had some little experience. But there was a certain something in Pershing's appearance and manner which made him an exception to the rule. Within a very short time after he came to the post, a senior officer would turn to him, and say: 'Pershing, what do you think of this?' and his opinion was such that we always listened to it. He was quiet, unobtrusive in his opinions, but when asked he always went to the meat of a question in a few words. From the first he had responsible duties thrown on him. We all learned to respect and like him. He was genial and full of fun. No matter what the work or what the play, he always took a willing and leading part. He worked hard and he played hard; but whenever he had work to do, he never let play interfere with it."

His experiences in the Wild West (and it was the Wild West in those days) cannot be passed over without relating one typical anecdote. Three cattle rustlers, white men, had gotten into a fight with the Zuni Indians, who caught them driving off some cattle. Three of the red men were killed before the outlaws were finally surrounded in a lonely cabin.

Word was sent of their predicament to the nearest fort, and Lieutenant Pershing was sent with a small detachment to their rescue. He rode straight up to the Zuni chief, who was now on the warpath, and told him he must call off his braves—that the United States Government would punish these men. The chief finally grunted assent, and Pershing strode forward alone into the clearing and approached the cabin. At any time a shot might have come out, but disregarding his own danger he went on, pushed open the door, and found himself looking into the muzzles of three guns.

A single false move on his part would probably have ended him, but he did not waver. He folded his arms and said quietly:

"Well, boys, I've come to get you."

The outlaws laughed noisily and swore by way of reply.

"You might as well come along," he went on, without raising his voice. "My men are posted all around this cabin."

More profanity, but the men at last consented to go, if they could carry their guns. They wouldn't budge otherwise.

"You'll come as I say, and you'll be quick about it," said Pershing, a note of command coming into his voice.

And they did.

The next duty which fell to Lieutenant Pershing was quite different. From chasing Indians and outlaws on the plains, he was assigned to the task of putting some "half baked" cadets through their paces. In September, 1891, he became Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of Nebraska.

The discipline at this school was of a piece with that of other State colleges, where a certain amount of drilling was demanded, but beyond this the students were allowed to go their own gait. At Nebraska it had become pretty lax—but the arrival of the new instructor changed all that. A student of this time, in a recent article in The Red Cross Magazine, gives a humorous account of what happened.

It was the general belief that the students in these Western colleges, many of them farmers' sons, could never be taught the West Point idea. "But the Lieutenant who had just arrived from Lincoln received an impression startlingly in contrast to the general one. He looked over the big crowd of powerful young men, and, himself a storehouse and radiating center of energy and forcefulness; recognized the same qualities when he saw them.

"'By George! I've got the finest material in the world,'" he told the Chancellor, his steel-like eyes alight with enthusiasm. 'You could do anything with those boys. They've got the stuff in them! Watch me get it out!'

"And he proceeded to do so.

"By the middle of the first winter the battalion was in shape to drill together. Moreover, the boys had made a nickname for their leader, and nicknames mean a great deal in student life. He was universally called 'the Lieut.' (pronounced 'Loot,' of course', in the real American accent), as though there were but one lieutenant in the world. This he was called behind his back, of course. To his face they called him 'sir,' a title of respect which they had never thought to give to any man alive.

"By the end of that first academic year every man under him would have followed 'the Lieut.' straight into a prairie fire, and would have kept step while doing it."

As he gradually got his group of officers licked into shape, he found less to do personally. So he promptly complained to the Chancellor, to this effect, and asked, like Oliver Twist, for more.

"After a moment's stupefaction (the Lieut. was then doing five times the work that any officer before him had ever done) the Chancellor burst into a great laugh and suggested that the Lieut. should take the law course in the law school of the University. He added that if two men's work was not enough for him, he might do three men's, and teach some of the classes in the Department of Mathematics. Without changing his stride in the least, the young officer swept these two occupations along with him, bought some civilian clothes and a derby hat, and became both professor and student in the University, where he was also military attaché.

"During the next two years he ate up the law course with a fiery haste which raised the degree of class work to fever heat. Those who were fellow students with him, and survived, found the experience immensely stimulating."

Of course he graduated, and was thus entitled to write another title after his name—that of Bachelor of Arts. About this time, also, he was promoted to a first lieutenancy, the first official recognition for his many long months of work. Then he was sent back to the field again, to join the Tenth Cavalry at Fort Assiniboine, Montana.

Next came a welcome command to take the position of Assistant Instructor of Tactics, at West Point. It was almost like getting back home, to see these loved hills, the mighty river, and the familiar barracks again.

But after a few months here, the Spanish War broke out. Eager to get into the action, he resigned his position at the Military Academy, and was transferred to his former regiment, the Tenth Cavalry. This regiment was sent immediately to Santiago, and took part in the short but spirited fighting at El Caney and San Juan hill—where a certain Colonel of the Rough Riders was in evidence. Side by side these two crack regiments charged up the slope, dominated by the Spanish fort, and here Roosevelt and Pershing first met.

We would like to fancy these two intrepid soldiers as recognizing each other here in the din of battle. But the truth is sometimes more prosaic than fiction; and the truth compels us to reprint this little anecdote from The World's Work.

Five years after the Spanish War, when Roosevelt was President and Pershing was a mere Captain, he was invited to luncheon at the White House.

"Captain Pershing," said the President, when the party was seated at the table, "did I ever meet you in the Santiago campaign?"

"Yes, Mr. President, just once."

"When was that? What did I say?"

"Since there are ladies here, I can't repeat just what you said, Mr. President."

There was a general laugh in which Roosevelt joined.

"Tell me the circumstances, then."

"Why, I had gone back with a mule team to Siboney, to get supplies for the men. The night was pitch black and it was raining torrents. The road was a streak of mud. On the way back to the front, I heard noise and confusion ahead. I knew it was a mired mule team. An officer in the uniform of a Rough Rider was trying to get the mules out of the mud, and his remarks, as I said a moment ago, should not be quoted before the ladies. I suggested that the best thing to do, was to take my mules and pull your wagon out, and then get your mules out. This was done, and we saluted and parted."

"Well," said Roosevelt, "if there ever was a time when a man would be justified in using bad language, it would be in the middle of a rainy night, with his mules down in the mud and his wagon loaded with things soldiers at the front needed.

Pershing, as a result of the Cuban campaign, was twice recommended for brevet commissions, for "personal bravery and untiring energy and faithfulness." General Baldwin said of him: "Pershing is the coolest man under fire I ever saw."

But it was not until 1901 that he became Captain. He had now been transferred at his own request to the Philippines. Whether or not he won promotion through the slow-moving machinery of the war office, his energetic spirit demanded action.

"The soldier's duty is to go wherever there is fighting," he said, and vigorously opposed the idea that he be given a swivel-chair job.

His first term of service in the Philippines was from 1899 to 1903. In the interval between his first and second assignments, the latter being as Governor of the Moros, he returned to America to serve on the General Staff, and also to act as special military observer in the Russo-Japanese War.

His duties during the years, while arduous and often filled with danger, were not of the sort to bring him to public notice. But they were being followed by the authorities at Washington, who have a way of ticketing every man in the service, as to his future value to the army. And Pershing was "making good." He had turned forty, before he was Captain. Out in the Philippines he worked up to a Major. Now advancement was to follow with a startling jump.

It all hinged upon that luncheon with Roosevelt, about which we have already told, and the fact that Roosevelt had a characteristic way of doing things. The step he now took was not a piece of favoritism toward Pershing—it arose from a desire to have the most efficient men at the head of the army.

Pershing was nominated for Brigadier General, and the nomination was confirmed. Of course it created a tremendous sensation in army circles. The President, by his action, had "jumped" the new General eight hundred and sixty-two orders.

On his return to the Philippines, as Governor of the Moro Province, he performed an invaluable service in bringing peace to this troubled district. He accomplished this, partly by force of arms, partly by persuasion. The little brown men found in this big Americano a man with whom they could not trifle, and also one on whose word they could rely.

It was not until 1914 that he was recalled from the Philippines, and then very shortly was sent across the Mexican border in the pursuit of Villa. It would seem as though this strong soldier was to have no rest—that his muscles were to be kept constantly inured to hardship—so that, in the event of a greater call to arms, here would be one commander trained to the minute.

The Fates had indeed been shaping Pershing from boyhood for a supreme task. Each step had been along the path to a definite goal.

The punitive expedition into Mexico was a case in point. It was a thankless job at best, and full of hardship and danger. A day's march of thirty miles across an alkali desert, under a blazing sun, is hardly a pleasure jaunt. And there were many such during those troubled months of 1916.

Then, one day, came a quiet message from Washington, asking General Pershing to report to the President. The results of that interview were momentous. The Great War in Europe was demanding the intervention of America. Our troops were to be sent across the seas to Europe for the first time in history. The Government needed a man upon whom it could absolutely rely to be Commander-in-chief of the Expeditionary Forces. Would General Pershing hold himself in readiness for this supreme task?

The veteran of thirty years of constant campaigning stiffened to attention. The eager look of battle—battle for the right shone in his eye. Every line of his upstanding figure denoted confidence—a confidence that was to inspire all America, and then the world itself, in this choice of leader. He saluted.

"I will do my duty, sir," he said.

Important Dates in Pershings Life

1860. September 13. John Joseph Pershing born.
1881. Entered Highland Military Academy, New York.
1882. Entered U. S. Military Academy, West Point.
1886. Graduated from West Point, senior cadet captain.
1886. Sent to southwest as second-lieutenant, 6th cavalry.
1891. Professor, military tactics, University of Nebraska.
1898. Took part in Spanish-American War.
1901. Captain, 1st Cavalry, Philippines.
1905. Married Frances Warren.
1906. Brigadier-general.
1914. Recalled from Philippines.
1915. Lost his wife and three children in a fire.
1915. Sent to Mexico in pursuit of Villa.
1917. Sent to France as commander-in-chief of American Expeditionary Force.
1919. Appointment of general made permanent.
1924. Retired from active service.