Newspaper Article, September 15, 1917
[Newspaper Article: Quincy Daily Herald, September 15, 1917, p. 1, col. x]
Officers and Men Send Joy-
ous Messages to Folks
GOOD THINGS TO EAT
Farewell in Quincy Just the
Kind to Put Boys In
Fine Fettle for
Back with the officers again and meeting with the newest officer of the Fifth, Lieutenant Seidel the dental surgeon. Lieutenant Seidel is not as high in rank as some of the officers but just the same he is in a position where he will make even generals sit up and take notice. Seidel is not a big man but they say he has an awful pull. We have a picture of him performing on some of the big guns should they get a toothache.
The Pullman conductor of the train has just come back from Houston. He took a train load of Illinois soldiers from Rock Island to the sunny south more than a week ago. They travelled from East St. Louis over a route which this portion of the Fifth will go. He tells some stories that, if true, indicate clearly that there will be a good deal of fighting to be done and right soon. This is the way the conductor told it to me.
"I see our screens are not working right. Believe me, before sunset I will have this train stop in the yards of some big town so I can fix those screens, else the boys will be eaten up. Of all the bugs I have ever seen there are some not far away from here that would eat all the flesh off your bones. There are mosquitoes, gnats, flies and grasshoppers, katydids, crickets, fleas, and what not, and I saw them so thick they almost stopped the train. In fact the engineer had to slow down a half dozen times so the fireman could scratch the engineer's back.
When Col. Wood heard about this statement of the apparently honest conductor he conveyed the intelligence to Lieut. Col. Center and Maj. Clotfelter and they will see to it that witch hazel and arnica flow like the Mississippi when that portion of the unexplored land is reached.
We are still in the land that Champ Clark made famous and chaps by the name of Stone and Reed are doing their level best to make infamous. Unless all signs fail we'll be in this land until well after daylight but we should worry! It's not as hot as it might be but the the scenery is good. For miles and miles one can look out either side of the car and gaze upon hot corn pone, Johnnie cakes, muffins and mush in their earliest stages. That is to say the corn is looking fine. We've ridden through enough of it today to make the kaiser go crazy with desire if he knew about it. Missouri senators may be snapping at the president's heels and hindering him in his ambition to make the world a good place to live in but Missouri farmers certainly are producing the stuff that will go as far as gunpowder in making the kaiser wish he'd never started to lick the world.
Somebody in back started to sing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" just now and every mother's son in the car has joined in. There is no use trying to withstand the temptation and so everybody for the Battle Hymn. Good night for the present.
(The curtain will rise again after a short intermission.)
Personally Conducted Tour.
The mothers and wives and the sweethearts of the boys of the Fifth must take note of this. Colonel Wood and every man under him of the nearly 600 men aboard the Fifth Regiment Special call the trip a personally conducted tour and that is exactly what it is for Al Ellis, the agent for the "Q" in Quincy, has been aboard all day giving personal attention to every detail. In the first place, Ellis is a Quincyan and a patriot. From the beginning he said the best was none too good for Quincy soldier boys and he promised them the best the Burlington had, which means the best in the country.
The Fifth Regiment Special out of Quincy lived up to the reputation of the road. Imagine if you can the genuine delight of lounging carelessly about on one of the finest trains — just as you would at home or in your club, while you glide along the western shore of the "Daddy of all the Waters," and then you have the situation the boys of the Fifth found themselves in aboard the special.
The nearly 600 Quincyans on board the special are telling what they think of the quality given them by Al Ellis and the "Q." Ordinarily, troops have to travel in ordinary coaches and the writer has seen some of the best regiments in the country leave New York on transcontinental trips in cars that looked more like Noah's arks that passenger cars. Ellis decided that Quincy boys should travel right and when word came at the last minute that the tourist cars ordered could not be had, but that they could send up from St. Louis some first class coaches, like lightning he replied, "Send the best Pullmans you have," and they came.
Without exception officers and men had praise in unstinted quantity for the road and above all for Agent Ellis. It was at the wish of the men that the above was written and it is their earnest request that it be published in The Herald for as Col. Wood, Col. Center and Captain Beatty said, they wanted the people back home to know how nicely they will be situated on board train today, tomorrow, Sunday and Monday.
(Just a minute, please, while we change films).