Scouting, Volume 1, Number 7, July 15, 1913 Page: 3
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SCOUTS AT GETTYSBURG.
(Continued from Pane 1)
showed no concern about the tremen-
dous sensation they had created among
the hundreds of thousands of campers
and spectators. Indeed, they seemed not
to know that they had done anything un-
usual. They had been "just themselves,"
except that an extraordinary number o£
opportunities had been before them to
be courteous and to do good turns.
Without affectation, without the appear-
ance even of condescension, they had
done all that they were told to do with-
out whimper or hesitation. Moreover,
they had done innumerable services
■without command or request— services
which they themselves had discovered
were possible. Reunion commissioners,
army officers, Red Cross officers, physi-
cians and nurses, veterans of the Union
and Confederate armies, and the whole
corps of newspaper correspondents—all
have praised the Scouts for what they
What was it they did? What was it
that put the Boy Scouts on the lips of
all camp visitors, that gave the Scouts
hundreds of columns in newspapers in
all parts of the United States and elicited
laudatory editorial comment everywhere,
that "set the movement up" at least 100
This is what they did.
They merely practised what the Boy
Scout is taught from the beginning of
his work for his tenderfoot degree
to "the very end of the chapter."
They proved trustworthy, loyal, helpful,
friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheer-
ful, brave, clean and reverent.
The Scouts were divided info two gen-
Red Cross Scouts gave to the aged vet-
erans that their most excellent work was
done. On Sunday night a stranger,
meeting a boy on guard in front of the
Scouts' tents, told him that an old soldier
was lying uncovered on the grass a short
distance away. The guard found the
man, went to the Scout Headquarters
tent and reported it, and the veteran was
removed to a tent. He had arrived on a
late train and had lost his way in the
maze of tents on that then unfamiliar
• The Scouts who rescued this man
found four others similarly exhausted
and exposed, and they routed out all of
the Red Cross Scouts, and a thorough
search was made, resulting in the find-
ing of more than a hundred veterans,
some of whom were carried into tents
while others, who could not be removed,
were covered and left out under the
Meanwhile, in another part of the
camp, Philadelphia Scouts were working
in heroic fashion. Between midnight
and three o'clock in the morning more
than 2,000 old soldiers arrived at the
Gettysburg camp, and the men of the
regular army and the Pennsylvania con-
stabulary were unable to handle them.
Many of these veterans evidently felt
that they "knew their Gettysburg" and
could find their way about, even in the
dark. At any rate, they wandered off
from the station and many of them sank
exhausted in remote places. Among
these men the Scouts hurried, applying
simple first aid, carrying the men to
shelter, or simply covering them.
The majority of the old soldiers who
arrived on that exciting night were
Pennsylvanians and were expected
to take up quarters in the Pennsylvania
tents. There1 however, aid was inade-
SCOUTS TOO FAST.
eral groups, one for Red Cross work
and one for general service. The former
group was composed of 48 boys from
Washington, D. C., under Commissioner
Martin, two Scout Masters and a physi-
cian; 18 from Fredericksburg, Md., under
a Scout Master, and 6 from Hagerstown,
Md. In the latter group were 338
Scouts from Philadelphia and suburbs,
and Burlington, N. J., under Commis-
sioner Porter, Special Deputy Commis-
sioner Wilson and Scout Executive Pat-
ton, and 24 Scout Masters.
The Scouts assigned to the First Aid
work, which had been sent at the request
of Major Lynch, then head of the Ameri-
can Red Cross work, were significantly
honored, for they were permitted to
wear the regular Red Cross arm band, a
distinction and privilege denied to all
except those on active duty representing
the American Red Cross.
They were among the first to arrive on
the Gettysburg battlefield, reaching there
Saturday evening, May 30. They found
it necessary to erect the eleven tents as-
signed to them. The tents were a modi-
fied type of the Sibley tent, 16 feet square
and pyramidal. The patrols worked in
rotation and in a little more than an
hour and a half the work was completed.
When it is considered that 56 stakes had
to be driven for each tent—1,616 in all—
an 8-foot wooden pole on iron tripod
erected for each, and the canvas raised
and tied, it can be believed that this was
"some job." A regular army man looked
over the tents later and asked who had
set them up. When told that the Boy
Scouts did it, he told his informant that
he lied—that no boys could ever put up
tents in that way.
But it was in the services which these
quate and hundreds ol them sat or stood
in line awaiting assignment to tents. The
railroad journey had been very hard on
these old men and the night was cold.
Many of them were suffering from ex-
haustion and exposure and it became the
privilege and pleasure of the Boy Scouts
to bring these men relief.
They had worked since early morning,
running errands, carrying meals to old
soldiers in their tents, convoying others
who desired to visit friends in distant
parts of the field, etc.—and at taps. 10
P. M., they were ordered to bed. They
went, but not without protest, and in
less than half an hour they were up
again, having been unable to sleep while
just outside their tents was a crowd of
suffering veterans. They gave up their
own cots and blankets to the aged
soldiers, and worked until nearly day-
light assisting these men to sheltered
places, providing covers for them, and
carrying water and food to refresh them.
It was a long, hard night for the
boys, but not one of them protested or
complained or suffered any from it.
Moreover, they exemplified the Scout
spirit in their persistent refusal to accept
tips, which were generously offered.
The Red Cross Scouts were assigned
to twelve or fourteen rest stations which
were scattered about the battlefield on a
route twenty-three miles long. Every
morning thev were sent out with the
nurses and physicians to their appointed
stations and remained there throughout
the day, scouting about the neighbor-
hood, directing veterans, picking up
many exhausted and injured men. and
taking them to Red Cross tents and there
assisting in their care and treatment.
The physicians and nurses at these
Relay Runners With President's
Message Had to Be Held Back.
The characteristic Boy Scout enthus-
iasm almost caused serious embarrass-
ment to the officials of the Pre-Olympic
Carnival in Chicago when the runners
carrying a sealed message from Presi-
dent Wilson to Mayor Harrison of Chi-
cago ran far ahead of schedule time.
At Youngstown, O., The Scouts were
obliged to waste their five-hour lead so
as not to upset the preparations which
were being made along the remainder
of the route. At Toledo, O., the inter-
est aroused among the Boy Scouts made
it necessary for the management to cut
down the distance for each boy in order
to allow more Scouts to take part in
The official time for the 778.7 miles
traveled from the White House, Wash-
ington, to Grant Park, Chicago, was
four days, four hours and fifty-three
seconds, although the actual running
time was considerably less.
President Wilson gave out the follow-
ing statement from the White House
shortly after the start of the big race:
Red Cross stations were enthusiastic in
their praise of the services performed
by the boys, and the nurses joined in a
letter to Commissioner Martin expres-
sing to him and to the corps of Boy
Scouts their appreciation of the efficient
services rendered the nurses on many oc-
casions both in camp and field.
The nurses thanked the Boy Scouts
also for "the complimentary serenade
rendered." This refers to a parade of
the Scouts in front of the nurses' tents
and the singing of patriotic songs—an
incident so affecting, in that setting, that
many of the nurses wept as they saw this
patriotic demonstration on the part of
these manly boys.
Throughout the encampment the Boy
Scouts were alert for opportunity to do
good turns, and there was opportunity
any way they looked. They did guard
duty at the tents of the nurses and doc-
tors, they directed people about the
grounds, they carried water for old sol-
diers and meals to those who were too
weak to go to the mess tents, they
erected tents, dug trenches, held horses,
did ambulance duty, carried hand bag-
gage, acted as mail orderlies, helped ex-
tinguish a fire, wrote letters for many
sick veterans, protected girls from
toughs, gave First Aid to injured vet-
erans before the ambulance arrived,
saved a veteran from being run over,
assisted in the n eatiiierrtrof ""eases of heat
prostration, heat exhaustion, sun stroke,
paralysis, epilepsy, apoplexy, fractures,
bruises, contusions; manned the informa-
tion tents, in one case held a stricken
veteran who died in their arms, and as-
sisted in carrying two dead soldiers from
Their manly deportment, their quick
response to every call for help, their re-
sourcefulness, their cheerfulness, won for
them the respect and admiration of all,
and the camp officials had not one com-
plaint against them.
It is notable also that there was no
case of injury or serious illness among
the Scouts throughout the encampment.
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 1, Number 7, July 15, 1913, periodical, July 15, 1913; New York, New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth282636/m1/3/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.