Archive for Monday, August 13, 2012

100 years ago: War games ready to launch in Lawrence area

August 13, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for August 13, 1912:

"EXTENSIVE PLANS FOR KANSAS WAR -- Already Lawrence and especially Woodland Park is beginning to assume the air and appearance of a military camp. The first detachment of soldiers arrived in Lawrence last night and remained encamped overnight at Woodland Park. They were regulars from Fort Riley on the way to Olathe to join the Blue army which is being mobilized at that point.... From now on for practically two weeks there will be soldiers all about Lawrence, in camp, on the march and in battle. A big war problem is to be developed and Lawrence will have an opportunity of witnessing some real warfare. Regular war time tactics will be employed in every detail. Regular army officers have been appointed to referee the maneuvers.... Militiamen, who have been looking forward to the maneuvers as a sort of midsummer outing, are due to have a surprise sprung on them. Conditions will be as near those encountered in actual warfare as it is possible to make them without using real bullets. Soldiers will be technically 'killed' and they will be compelled to be on the battlefield until the 'burying squad' takes care of them. Others will be tagged as 'wounded' and the rules will not permit them to wander away..... Much property will be technically 'destroyed' during the ten days' fighting. Railroad tracks will be blown up, bridges will be burned and entrenchments will be constructed and demolished. All of this will be done by the tag system. When a bridge is crossed by one force, desiring to destroy it in order that the 'enemy' may not follow, it will be tagged and pursuing forces will have to construct pontoon bridges in order to cross.... The territory to be covered by the maneuvers embraces that scope of country between Fort Leavenworth, Lawrence, Olathe and Kansas City, but the places where the 'battles' will be fought is known only to the 'war board.'"

"One chief baker, eleven assistant bakers, [and] one cook have arrived in Lawrence.... It did not take the men long to settle down to work and begin baking for the 40 or more soldiers who are already here. The bakers and cooks are experts who have been trained in the army school at Fort Riley. The government allows twenty-one cents a day for the rations of each soldier and the cooks are trained to prepare a good meal without exceeding that limit. The amount of each article is figured down to a small fraction of an ounce for each man and the meals that the cooks can prepare on twenty-one cents a day are surprising."


Sarah St. John 5 years, 10 months ago

My apologies to OHT readers for the delay in getting some of these history nuggets posted over the weekend. I had an accident and was out of commission for a day or two. As a result, you have more than one OHT to read this morning. I hope this helps get your week off to a good start. :-)

Tyson Travis 5 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, Sarah, hope you're OK. I put in a post on the county roads for a day or so ago.

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