The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 264
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264 Southwestern Historical Quarterly October
Some members of Company G, First Texas Volunteer Infantry, at Jacksonville, Florida. Pho-
tograph courtesy of U.S. Army Military Instlitute, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
perience," he wrote, "I have come to the conclusion that the best way to
do is; lay on your blanket an hour, then cover one hour, and doing this
way you will soon find out that by the time you feel like you was laying on
a 'board' with nails sticking up in it, it will be time to lay on [the blanket]
again. And so on; you will get used to wakeing [sic] up every hour as reg-
ular as clock work."20
As the would-be soldiers learned how to march in formation and other
martial skills at Camp Mabry, medical officers from the regular army ar-
rived to examine their fitness for service. Rumors had preceded their ar-
rival that smokers would not be accepted for service, so quite a number of
volunteers did their best to give up the habit immediately. Others heard
that the doctors would declare ineligible for service any men with corns
on his feet, so out came the straight razors for some hurried do-it-yourself
As normally conducted, the physical exams usually took about fifteen
minutes per man. But with a large number of recruits to be looked at
and only a small number of army medical personnel to administer the
exams, the process was speeded up so that they inspected some thirty to
thirty-five men per hour. Even these cursory exams, however, turned up
0 Arthur E. Gentzen Diary, May 5, 18g8 (Center for American History, University of Texas at
' Houston Daily Post, May 8, 1898.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/316/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.