Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Great War: April 12, 1917

On April 6, 1917, the United States declared that "a state of war existed." On April 12, 1917, a letter from Major R. N. Ellis, who was in charge of the main recruiting station for the U.S. Army in Poughkeepsie, appeared in the Evening Register. The letter was dated April 6, 1917, and its clear purpose was to inspire young men to enlist. 

To the Editor of the Evening Register, Hudson, N.Y.:
This day on which the United States has avowed itself on the side of right and humanity will go down in history as one most vital not only to our own happiness and welfare but also to the happiness and welfare of the whole world. In order that an early peace may be attained each one of us must do his share whether it be in the harvest field, in the factory, or in the army.
It is on behalf of the army that through your valuable paper I now desire to make an appeal to the young men of this district. At the present time we are far short of the number of men authorized by Congress during its session in 1916.
The men who now come in the front will reap the benefit of the early training and it is from these men that the officers will be made who will in the near future drill and command the large army of several million men which it is absolutely necessary for us to organize for our self-preservation. When it is realized that an army of 500,000, which at the present time is considered small, requires 25,000 officers and when the fact is known that our present army has not more than 6,000 officers any one can easily see the opportunity for advancement which the present offers to the young man who is not only patriotic but ambitious.
The army for the next few months will be a training school for officers, all will be given like opportunities, and merit, which has always been recognized by us will lead to promotion. The man who comes into the army to follow and uphold our flag will do so under the best conditions not only with regard to opportunities unlimited, to place himself where he can be justly proud of duty well done, and of having brought honor to himself, his family, and his country.

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