World War I General Orders

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Couvi
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Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:35 am

United States Army in the World War, 1917-1919, General Orders, GHQ, Volume 16, U.S Army Center of Military History, Washington, 1992 (First Printed 1948-CMH Pub 23-22)

Page 633,

(W. D. C. No. 166. Dec. 21. 1918.) POLICY WITH REFERENCE TO RETENTION IN THE SERVICE OF MEN WHO ENLISTED IN THE REGULAR ARMY PRIOR TO APRIL 1.1917. AND MEMBERS OF THE REGULAR ARMY RESERVE AND ENLISTED RESERVE CORPS.

1. Men who enlisted in the Regular Army prior to April 1, 1917, and former members of the Regular Army transferred to the Reserve and recalled to active duty, who now belong to organizations the personnel of which are ordered to be discharged, will not be discharged or furloughed back to the Reserve. These men will be assigned or attached in their present grades to the nearest appropriate units of the 8th and 20th Divisions, inclusive, or to the nearest appropriate unit in the Regular Army in the United States, not included in those divisions; provided that in case of men enlisted in the Cavalry their names will be reported to the Commanding General, Southern Department, for assignment.


Page 645,

(W. D. C. No. 188. Dec. 31. 1918.) INTERPRETATION OF INSTRUCTIONS RELATIVE TO THE DISCHARGE OF DISABLED SOLDIERS.

(e) Men who entered the service on or before April 1, 1917, who become fit for full duty. will be returned to their organizations if said organizations belong to the Regular Army and are stationed in this country. All other such men, except those belonging to the Cavalry and those whose branch of service is not represented in the Regular Army, will be sent to the nearest appropriate units of the 8th to 20th Divisions, inclusive, or to the nearest appropriate unit in the Regular Army in the United States not in those divisions. The names of such enlisted men in the Cavalry will be reported to the commanding general, Southern Department, for assignment. Those whose branch of service is not represented in the Regular Army will be sent to the nearest depot brigade. Men of these classes transferred will be assigned or attached to appropriate organizations in their present grades.


Can anyone shed any light on why Cavalrymen were being singled out for special treatment?
Couvi

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Pat Holscher
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Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:11 pm

Couvi wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:35 am
United States Army in the World War, 1917-1919, General Orders, GHQ, Volume 16, U.S Army Center of Military History, Washington, 1992 (First Printed 1948-CMH Pub 23-22)

Page 633,

(W. D. C. No. 166. Dec. 21. 1918.) POLICY WITH REFERENCE TO RETENTION IN THE SERVICE OF MEN WHO ENLISTED IN THE REGULAR ARMY PRIOR TO APRIL 1.1917. AND MEMBERS OF THE REGULAR ARMY RESERVE AND ENLISTED RESERVE CORPS.

1. Men who enlisted in the Regular Army prior to April 1, 1917, and former members of the Regular Army transferred to the Reserve and recalled to active duty, who now belong to organizations the personnel of which are ordered to be discharged, will not be discharged or furloughed back to the Reserve. These men will be assigned or attached in their present grades to the nearest appropriate units of the 8th and 20th Divisions, inclusive, or to the nearest appropriate unit in the Regular Army in the United States, not included in those divisions; provided that in case of men enlisted in the Cavalry their names will be reported to the Commanding General, Southern Department, for assignment.


Page 645,

(W. D. C. No. 188. Dec. 31. 1918.) INTERPRETATION OF INSTRUCTIONS RELATIVE TO THE DISCHARGE OF DISABLED SOLDIERS.

(e) Men who entered the service on or before April 1, 1917, who become fit for full duty. will be returned to their organizations if said organizations belong to the Regular Army and are stationed in this country. All other such men, except those belonging to the Cavalry and those whose branch of service is not represented in the Regular Army, will be sent to the nearest appropriate units of the 8th to 20th Divisions, inclusive, or to the nearest appropriate unit in the Regular Army in the United States not in those divisions. The names of such enlisted men in the Cavalry will be reported to the commanding general, Southern Department, for assignment. Those whose branch of service is not represented in the Regular Army will be sent to the nearest depot brigade. Men of these classes transferred will be assigned or attached to appropriate organizations in their present grades.


Can anyone shed any light on why Cavalrymen were being singled out for special treatment?
They were being singled out for the Southern Department, which was:
The Southern Department
Headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Tex.; embracing the States of Texas (except the Coast Defenses of Galveston), Louisiana (except the Coast Defenses of New Orleans), Arkansas (except the post of Fort Logan H. Roots), Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Troops: The Cavalry Division; Second Brigade; Eighth Brigade; 13th Cav. (less Troop I); Hdqrs. and 1st Bn., 3rd Field Art.; 5th Field Art. (less Batt. D); 6th Field Art.; 20th Inf.; Co. I, Signal Corps.
My guess, but it's just a guess, is that this reflected the ongoing use of the cavalry along the Mexican border which continued throughout World War One.
Pat

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Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:40 pm

Following up on this just a bit, cavalry on the border had been in three actions within the past three months of this date in 1918, although one was fairly infamous. One was the raid on Brites Ranch in which Mexican forces crossed the border and attacked a ranch headquarters. The 8th Cavalry drove off the raiders and crossed the border in pursuit. That was on December 25, Christmas Day, 1917.

A couple of weeks later the 10th Cavalry engaged Yaqui Indians at a river crossing in a case of mutual mistaken identity. While each side mistook the other for somebody else (the Yaqui thought the 10th were Mexicans, the 10th thought the Yaqui raiders from Mexico), it did turn into a dismounted battle, the last Indian battle in US history. That occurred on January 9, 1918.

A couple weeks after that the 8th was back in action when something happened at Porvenir, Texas, although what it was remains unclear. The generally accepted history has been that a company of Texas Rangers committed a massacre on the Mexican male population of the border town which later lead to near blows between the Rangers and the 8th Cavalry immediately thereafter. More recent archeological work has shows that some U.S. military cartridges were fired near the town so some soldiers may have participated in the events in the town.

Anyhow, I note all of that as the cavalry was pretty busy on the border in 1918. The shortage of manpower lead to the Texas State Guard (not the National Guard) being mustered for border duty. At the same time it seems that quite a few serving career cavalrymen asked for reassignment to other branches when it became clear that they weren't going to go to France as they didn't want to miss out, if that' the right word, on the action. As the Army needed to keep the cavalry regiments fully staffed during the war, least action break out on the border, I wonder if this doesn't reflect an effort to reassign old cavalrymen back into cavalry regiments during the war.

That would be supported, fwiw by the formation of the United States Guards in late December 1917. They were a force under the authority of the Militia Bureau but were not National Guardsmen and were made up of men found to be unsuitable for service due to health or age who had been conscripted or who had joined the Army. Rather than let them simply go, the US Guards were formed for stateside service which included border duty as well as other duties. While none of them were cavalry by branch, the fact that the manpower needs were so great that a volunteer force was created of men too old or otherwise unsuitable for service to serve stateside during the war says something.
Pat

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Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:09 pm

Mexico in WW1, The Great War Channel

This is Indie Neidel’s take on Mexico’s position before and during WWI. You almost need a chart on the wall to keep track of the characters and their positions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzsVUT7WqHA

Incidentally, the books I referenced earlier in this thread are the ones where I got the information on horses and horse management in France in WWI. I am sure there is more data in there if someone wishes to mine it. There are some parts that are very good reading.
Couvi

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