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Some cloth soiling and wear; some old, hardly noticeable mending to the front endpaper; very good in a custom clamshell box. B A French officer of the automobile service will be ap- pointed commander of each formation. Attached to this officer will be a representative of the American Field Service in charge of the relations between the A. Enlistment Contract — Discipline A The volunteers must enlist for a period of six months with their Organizing Committee, with the privilege of renew- ing their enlistment for periods of at least three months.
Before leaving for the section they must hand to Captain Aujay Office of Foreign Sanitary Sections a signed copy of their enlistment. From this time they shall be subject to French military discipline, B In addition to their passports, the American volunteers must be provided while in the army zone with a "carnet d' Stranger" delivered by the B. Fourteen days at the expiration of each period of nine months' presence in their formation. Fifteen days before the expiration of each period of enlist- ment, the American drivers will be invited by the French officer commanding the section to choose between their liberation at the end of the current period and the signature of a new engage- ment.
E The French Chief of Section will have the right to re- quest from the Chief of the Automobile Service of the army the dismissal of any foreign driver who shall have been guilty of a serious breach of discipline. The Chief of the Automobile Service of the army shall have the right to order immediate dismissal on receipt of a report setting forth the facts. Such dismissal involves the absolute prohibition to enlist in any other foreign sanitary section.
Registration and Upkeep of Vehicles A The cars will be registered and attached to the automo- bile service of the army with which these sections are con- nected. B Each section will include a workshop car with two mechanics for maintenance and light repairs. The unit will always be able to call upon the resources of the automobile park of the army for more important repairs. C The request for spare parts will be centralized by the automobile service of the army which will transmit them to the Magasin Central Automobile in the form in use for spare parts for French cars.
Never followed as the American Field Service always had its own repair park and supplied its own spare parts. D Gasoline, supplies, and tires will be furnished to these sections in the same way as to any other section of the automo- bile service. Movements of Personnel Foreign volunteers will conform to all rules laid down by the Commanding General-in-Chief concerning circulation in the army zone and especially the rules concerning movements of drivers of the foreign sanitary sections particularly the obli- gatory visit to the ofifice of the foreign sanitary sections on going to or returning from the front.
Replacing of Drivers and Withdrawal of Cars A In the event of the American Field Service being unable to maintain the full effective force of a section in drivers or cars, a supplemental force can be furnished by the automobile service of the army in question. B The cars can be withdrawn from the armies by the Organizing Committee at a month's notice addressed to the Direction of the Automobile Service. List of Personnel 1 French officer of the automobile service.
These representatives will have the title of Commandant- Adjoint and Sous-Chef of section and will have the right to officers' billets. It initiated direct cooperation with the combatant French armies In the advanced zone. It meant the beginning of a new undertaking which was destined to develop rapidly, and to play a considerable role long before, and Indeed, after, America's formal entry Into the war.
The date of the signing of this agree- ment has ever since been considered to mark the com- mencement of the American Field Service, as a distinct organization with, functions, relations, and a personnel of its own. The agreement once signed, appeals were immediately sent out to American universities for recruits; committees were or- ganized in these universities and in different American cities to collect funds for the purchase of ambulances and equipment and for their upkeep; and before the end of 5 we were able to offer to the French Army four com- plete sections, each composed of twenty ambulances and other appurtenant cars, a contingent sufficient to handle all of the sanitary transport of four French divisions.
The Personnel of a Section As to the personnel, the agreement with the French Army had stipulated that each section should have not more than forty American volunteers, that being the customary number in a French ambulance section, al- lowing two drivers for a car ; but, as in the early months we had no redundant supply of volunteers, and as those whom we had, were eager for, and capable of, hard work, the first sections were sent out with only twenty-five or thirty American members, which meant, in principle, one man for each automobile with a small reserve for special duties or for relief in case of sickness, accident, or fur- lough.
In addition the French Army attached to each section from two to four French soldiers, nominally to serve as orderlies and drivers for the French staff, but practically these soldiers did the work of cooks and general handy-men for the sections. The French ofhcer attached to the section was the intermediary through whom orders from the French Army were transmitted to the section, and by him the numerous reports, accounts, and other papers required in the French Army were prepared and handed over to the French authorities.
In the latter work he was assisted by two French non- commissioned officers, likewise detailed to the section. The American Field Service officer, officially known as the Commandant- Adjoint, was charged with the enforcement of the orders and the main- tenance of discipline within the section. In theory such a division of responsibility and command between two officers of different nationalities might easily have led to conflicts of authority and friction between the two, yet, as a matter of fact, during the long history of the Field Service instances of such disagreements were rare.
The French officers assigned to the American sections were carefully selected, not merely for their competence and training, but for their tact and familiarity with American character and customs, and in most of our sections the relations between the French and American officers were characterized not only by mutual confidence and respect, but by intimacy and comradeship. Differences of lan- guage and nationality counted not at all in the old Field Service sections. French and American members were comrades, sharing the same life, working for the same cause, taking equal pride in their joint accomplishment.
The sections, in fact, were more like large families than military formations, the officers and men, whether French or American, eating together, if not at the same table, at least in the same room, and calling each other not infre- quently by familiar names rather than by formal titles. For the information of the reader and as a matter of record it is perhaps worth while to explain how the ex- penses of an ambulance section were divided between its members, the Field Service organization, and the French Army. The volunteer members were expected to provide their own uniforms, clothing and personal equip- ment, and to arrange their own travelling expenses from their homes in America to France, and at the end of their enlistment, from France to their homes.
Aside from this, practically everything was provided for them. It made also an allowance of two francs per day for each man in active service to supplement the regular French Army rations. It provided the ambulances, trucks, trailers, staff cars, spare parts, car and section equipment, tents, tools, etc. It repaired the cars that were damaged In Its own repair shops, from which It also replenished the sections with new cars, tools, and parts as occasion required.
The French Army fur- nished to the sections the gasoline, oil, and tires con- sumed by the cars, and provided regular army rations and lodgings for the men and officers in the field. It also paid to the volunteers the regular pay of French soldiers which, during the early years of the war, averaged about five cents daily per man. It should be added that the French Army was notably generous In Its treatment of our sections, giving them preference wherever possible in the assignment of quarters, and detailing to them, not merely excellent officers, but, what was equally appre- ciated, excellent French cooks.
Finding New Headquarters The principle of an ambulance service in the French Army being established, a pressing question was the find- ing and establishment of an appropriate base. The four sections which we were able to send out in 5 were dis- tributed at intervals along the French front all the way from Flanders to Alsace. Their work had no relation with the work of the American Hospital at Neuilly, which was more than two hundred miles distant from the nearest section, and which received Its wounded, not by motor ambulance, but by rail from the army zone.
The problems of these sections were those of motor transport as part of the Automobile Service of the French Army, and had nothing to do with surgery and medical work, as will be explained In a subsequent paragraph. The um- bilical cord, which at the outset had bound it to the American Hospital, had to be cut if it was to undergo any considerable growth.
For nearly a year we continued to use as our Paris ofhce a small room in an outhouse in the grounds of the American Hospital in Neuilly, with a small attic in the main building as a dormitory for the men en route to the front. Early in 6, however, after months of persistent search, we found, with great good fortune, the spacious and historic property at 21 rue Raynouard in picturesque old Passy, and this estate, thanks to the munificence of the French family who owned it, the Hottinguers, was placed at our disposal gratuitously for the duration of the war.
Here were not only plenty of rooms for offices and stores, but adequate dormitory and messing quarters for two or three hundred men, a separate building for an infirmary, and large grounds in which scores of cars could be parked, hundreds of men drilled, and numerous sec- tions organized.
Thus was another problem of the Field Service solved. A satisfactory base was found, and indeed a veritable home established about which will ever cluster the grate- ful memories of several thousand members who at one time or another enjoyed its sheltering comfort. As our sections were with the French Army, it was inevitable that we conform with the French system which involves much greater independence between the two services. In the American Army the automobile ambulances form part of the Medical Corps, and their supply, repair, and upkeep are directed by medical officers.
In the French Army, how- ever, such vehicles are not subject to the medical service in these respects, but are assimilated with other motor vehicles, and entrusted to a special branch of the army known as the Automobile Service, which provides and maintains every sort of motor-car used by the infantry, the artillery, and all other branches of the army, includ- ing the medical corps.
This service had its own system of schools for the purpose of training its officers and men, its own organization centres, repair and revision parks and supply depots of various sorts, which served alike all automobiles no matter what their functions might be, whether for the transport of troops, material, or wounded. The use of the automobile for the rapid transportation of wounded, which had reached no considerable develop- ment before the great European war, rendered possible in this war the surgical treatment of wounded under much more favorable circumstances than in previous wars.
In addi- tion the division had its own corps of surgeons, doctors, at- tendants, and stretcher-bearers G. Where conditions of the terrain allowed, motor ambulances brought wounded directly from the regimental first-aid shel- ters, but ordinarily the wounded were brought from these shelters to the G. The ambulances then carried them back to the triage, and from there again to the base or evacuation hospitals.
Such conditions did not exist when motor-cars decimated distance, and above all in France with its com- plex network of railroads and its closely grouped towns and villages in which hospitals could be established. Sur- gical and medical training had, therefore, no part to play in the ambulance service in France.
The French Army discovered at the very beginning of the war that the only role of this service was to get the wounded as rapidly and comfortably as possible from the battle-line to a field hospital, usually only a few miles back, where they could receive proper treatment under advantageous conditions. What was required of an ambulance section was to fur- nish to the Division, wherever and whenever required motor-ambulances in sufficient number, adequately sup- plied with gasoline, tires, and spare parts, properly looked after by motor mechanics, and properly handled by ex- perienced drivers.
From the French point of view it was as illogical to expect doctors and surgeons to accomplish this work successfully as it would be to ask automobile experts to do surgical and medical work in the dressing- stations and hospitals. The divisional surgeon in the French Army had a certain number of ambulances and drivers, under the command of an automobile officer, placed at his disposal by the Automobile Service.
The surgeons decided the daily work to be performed by the section, but they had nothing whatsoever to do either with its internal administration and discipline or with the upkeep of its membership and material. The French system of entrusting the supply and main- tenance of motor material to an especially trained corps, proved not only efficient, but of marked advantage. Almost a year after the arrival of the American troops in France a Motor Transport Corps was in fact established as a department of the United States Army, and it was based in the main on the French model.
The war came to an end, however, before the plans to incorporate the American motor ambulance sections in this corps had been adopted. Standardizing Equipment But to return to the Field Service, one other problem presented itself in the early days, the proper solution of which seems simple enough in retrospect, but which at the moment was not without its perplexities. This was the question of the kind of ambulance to be employed, and its decision furnished a distinct technical contribution to the machinery of the war.
During our first months of effort many generous friends in America and in France offered to turn over to us automobiles of diverse makes, and several such cars were actually sent over from Amer- ica, equipped as ambulances, with every device employed by vehicles of that name in American cities. Various automobile dealers in America also wrote offering to pre- sent us without charge new cars of their manufacture, and one firm of considerable standing even promised to donate cars for an entire section.
At a time when the Field Service was in an incipient and indigent condition, such offers were decidedly tempting, since they opened the way to a rapid and immediate development. It was not, therefore, without initial hesitation that we decided to reject such offers. Ambulances made in America were not constructed for war work. They were not designed to carry the largest number of cases in the least possible space, nor arranged to carry the stretchers upon which seriously wounded cases are transported in the army.
Such ambulances had to be completely reconstructed in France before they could be of any use on the front. But what was far more serious, it was impossible to procure or keep on hand spare parts of every sort for a great variety of different automobile types. If an ambulance service was to function promptly and without interrup- tion, it must be composed of cars for the repair of which stocks of interchangeable spare parts were always avail- able. Uniformity in the type of cars used was, therefore, a prerequisite of efficiency. We decided, accordingly, at an early date, not to ac- cept gifts of miscellaneous cars and to limit our service to not more than two types of automobiles.
The French and British Armies had employed only heavy motors for their ambulance services, cars equipped to carry from four to six lying cases or eight to ten sitting cases; but there were certain disadvantages in these cars. Under the usual conditions of trench warfare wounded did not arrive at dressing-stations in such numbers, and the result was, either that wounded were held at the pastes until a suffi- cient number had arrived to make a load, or that the am- bulance had to make its run half empty.
On the other hand, in moments of heavy offensive or defensive opera- tions, when wounded were arriving in large numbers, the roads were so encumbered with traffic that a heavy ambu- lance, being unable to slip in and out of the convoys, had to keep its place in the endless procession of slow-moving trucks, artillery, supply wagons, and marching troops, thus prolonging painfully the suffering of the soldier en route to the surgeon and the hospital.
From the point of view of transport from America, it offered the additional ad- vantage of occupying less space on the cargo ships, when such space was precious and difficult to obtain. Moreover, such cars were less expensive, and this was also a point to be considered when we had not the financial backing of any government, or of any widely organized institution such as the Red Cross. So we adopted the Ford motor for the standard ambulances, and in the years before the United States Government was lending its support to the Allied cause, we imported into France approximately twelve hundred such chassis.
From him we could obtain not even the favor of whole- sale rates in the purchase of cars and parts, and for every Ford car and for every Ford part imported from America, in those difficult days before America came into the war, we were obliged to pay, not the dealer's price, but the full market price charged to ordinary retail buyers. The Light F. Ambulance The ambulance bodies we had constructed for us in France. On account of the short-wheel base of the Ford, the bodies projected far beyond the rear wheels, which gave them a characteristic, not to say amusing, appear- ance.
But this very fact had two compensating advan- tages. First, the cars could be manoeuvred in traffic and turned around with surprising ease in a very small space. Second, by reinforcing the rear spring, and lifting it above the axle on specially made high perches so that the rear axle was protected against possible bumps from the loaded body, the overhang resulted in an unusually comfortable suspension of the ambulance, even when running on very rough roads.
The design pro- vided for the utmost economy of space, and although the cubical content was perhaps not more than half that of the body of an ordinary 'ambulance of the kind con- structed to carry four stretchers, our cars could carry three. Letting down the rear gate, two stretchers could be slid in on the floor of the car, and the third on ingen- iously contrived tracks above. When not in use these tracks folded up and rested flat against the sides of the ambulance, while two seats, which were also folded against the walls of the car, could be instantly dropped into position, and the car transformed in a moment into an ambulance for four sitting cases.
In addition to these, room was provided, by specially constructed seats placed outside near the driver, for three more sitters, making it possible in clement weather to carry three lying and three sitting cases on each trip. In emergencies as many as eight wounded men have been carried at one time, the running-boards and mud-guards serving as extra seats and racks for the soldiers' equipment. An ambulance loaded like this was an interesting sight. The driver seemed almost buried under his freight; he had not an inch of room more than was necessary for the control of his car.
Covered with mud, blood-stained, with startlingly white bandages against their tanned skin, with puttees loose and torn, their heavy boots and shapeless uniforms gray from exposure, and with patient, suffering faces still bearing the shock of bombardment, these heaps of wounded rolled slowly from the pastes de secours to shel- ter and care. In the earliest of our ambulance bodies the walls and top were made of painted canvas which had the ob- vious advantage of being light; but canvas walls could not be easily cleansed and disinfected, nor could they 34 ide view showing sheet-iron apron and canvas stonn- k for spare tires, side-box for tools and gasoline res rack..
So after a few unsuccessful experiments with an extra canvas lining, we abandoned the lighter covering alto- gether and substituted matched boarding of tough ma- hogany for the sides and top, and this we continued to use until the end of the war.
During three years the Field Service ambulance was undergoing incessant adaptation and improvement of de- tail. In it were gradually incorporated many contrivances, suggested by experience, for the comfort of the wounded, for the protection of the driver against bad weather, and for the orderly storage of stretchers, tools, and reserves of oil, gasoline, tubes, and tires. Some of these can be seen on the accompanying illustrations, but it would take a long chapter by itself to call attention to all of them, with their evolution and the reasons therefor. For example we had designed our ambulance interiors to fit the official standard French stretchers, and, both in order to economize space and to prevent the stretchers from slipping, the dimensions were trimmed to a close fit.
Great was our subsequent dis- may to find stretchers at different points on the front varying in length and some with handles even a foot longer than the standard. To meet this difficulty which would sometimes have necessitated the painful transfer of a wounded soldier from one stretcher to another, we had openings cut in the front wall of the ambulance under the driver's seat and folding oil- cloth pockets inserted in the rear door and curtains into which obstreperous stetcher-handles might protrude.
Thus the problem was solved without enlarging the body or increasing the weight of the car, and all our later cars were made with these devices. Again, although the standard stretchers had wooden legs, one frequently met stretchers with iron legs which tore the floors of the cars as the stretch- ers were pushed in.
To remedy this and prevent the roughening of the tracks, the particular boards in the floor and on the upper racks over which the stretcher legs slid, were replaced by strips of hard oak, which were left unpainted and were greased to facilitate the sliding of the stretchers in and out. This detail was also incorporated in all subsequently built cars. Small as it may seem, the absence of this provision in many United States , Army cars sent to France caused much inconvenience.
We sent over a finished model to the United States in 7 which was exhibited in many cities, and as a result, light ambulances built upon the Field Service plan are now also widely used in this country for civilian work. The success of the Field Service ambulances answered every apprehension and exceeded every anticipation. They could travel over roads impossible to other motor vehicles.
They could climb the narrow zigzag mountain paths of Alsace, where up to that time the wounded had only been carried on muleback or in horse-drawn carts. They could skim over and pull through the muddy plains of Flanders. They could work their way in and out among passing convoys, and if they were on a blocked road they could pull their way through the adjacent fields. If on a dark night one of our ambulances ran into a ditch, or dropped into a shell-hole, it only required the help of three or four passing soldiers to lift out the car and set it again on the road.
The advantages of these ambulances were particularly evident during the great battle of Ver- dun in 19 1 6, where they attracted favorable comment from many observers. Among such comments may be cited the following excerpt from the London Daily Telegraph: For fully three months, until railways could be built, France kept up this endless chain of four thousand autos, two thousand moving up one side of the roadway from Bar-le-Duc as the other two thousand moved on the opposite side from Verdun. The four thousand automobiles included also the ambulance autos which brought back the wounded.
Many of these were urgent cases, and yet these ambulances could only move at the established rate of one yard per second. Hundreds of lives would have been lost had it not been for the sections of the American Field Service stationed at Verdun. Equipped with small, light, speedy cars, capable of going almost anywhere and everywhere that the heavy French auto-ambulances could not go, the "rush" surgical cases were given to these Ameri- can drivers. When an open field offered, they left the road entirely, and, driving across, would come back into line when they could go no farther and await another chance for getting ahead.
They were able to bring the wounded down from Verdun often twice as fast as those who came in the regular ambulances, and always without ever committing the one great error upon which the life of France depended, the tying up for a single instant of the endless chain of the four thousand automobiles of Verdun. It was immediately after this demonstration of the su- periority of our light Field Service ambulances in the Ver- dun battle, that the Commander-in-Chief of the French Army requested two Field Service sections to be sent to the Balkans to serve with French troops on the Serbian and Albanian front in regions where roads were some- times little more than river-beds.
In such manner, then, were solved the three principal problems of the formative days In France. The Service had become a full-fledged entity with an es- tablishment of its own. Its tables of organization had been determined and Its type of equipment adopted and tested. The lines had been staked out along which Its future might develop. That future, however, depended primarily upon the response from America.
Emerson The Spirit and the Purpose As the fruition of this four years' effort has proven of very practical value, and as its increase has been strong enough to have withstood many temperatures, the proc- ess of its growth may interest any one of that good legion in this country which has toiled so steadfastly in the wide fields of war activity.
Out of the great number of Ameri- cans whose partisanship belonged inevitably to France after those incredible days of September, 19 14, there were many, from East to West, who labored earnestly and with such science as only determination teaches, for the building of this Service in France. Even in the first days, when the effort was still too near earth to give promise of any such fine branch as it later bore, the mere appeal of sending our own men and our own cars to work actually at the front as a living evidence of sympathy — and the possibility that we might so help even a little in conserving life in the French Army — sufficed to gener- ate the energy which finally carried us over the long road to completion.
Friendship spent to its best purpose is re- flected clearly enough in the story of our labor in France, but here, too, far in the background, from first to last, were thousands of busy hands creating the opportunity of which that record is the fulfilment. Many volumes would not hold the list of generous deeds in the construc- tion, nor all the sum of fine desire to which this Service proved expression.
Those of us who saw the first giving, found in it the revelation of something greater than any material contribution, and it is doubtful if even the 38 HENKY D. Those who so gave need no better recompense than that which they must find in memory, and our only tribute can be the full acknowledgment that without their spirit a great pur- pose would have been lost.
Early in , when the prospect of a long war had become obvious, and when no gleam of any such help from this country as it ultimately gave had lighted the horizon, there came forward, it is good to remember, that creditable host of every age and rank whom neither the barriers of politics nor distance could hold back from service. Restless to offer practical expression of their un- derstanding, and of their respect for justice and great courage, they each gave, according to such means as was possible — in money generously and constantly, or, where knowledge and education could serve, they spoke and wrote the truth; but most of all, perhaps, those who were fortunate enough to be able to give themselves, by going, helped to light our country on its way, not so much by example as by the vision many of them were able to send so clearly back to their own people.
Among the first of these were a few young Americans whom chance had found in Europe at the hour of in- vasion. Quick to take advantage of their fortune, they offered every sort of service, and soon most of them were detailed to drive such ambulances as could be put to- gether with the material available at the moment. Dur- ing the weeks that followed they labored day and night to probably as useful and stimulating a purpose as they had ever known. Presently their letters written home be- gan to find their way into local newspapers, and by their direct and intimate statement of conditions, did much not only to arouse sympathy, but to formulate sound judgments in communities which had previously shown only passive interest.
Doubtless the writers of these first letters felt their exploitation to be out of accord with modesty — or even a breach of confidence — but they may afford to condone a fault which had so profitable a result. In response to their story came letters to our head- quarters from various parts of the country, in most in- stances from students at college, expressing interest not only in joining the efifort, but in increasing it by organiz- ing committees for recruiting and for raising ambulances.
For those of us to whom a generous destiny had given the building of the Service, this meant two vital things: first, that by the very spontaneity and force of such means, properly utilized, a wide response would surely be forthcoming and a large work of conservation founded ; second, and equally stimulating as a possibility, that by thus enlisting the cooperation of young men from uni- versities throughout the country, a way would be opened of establishing what might develop into a potent and ac- tive influence for the Allied Cause, not through the ordi- nary channel of printed or spoken propaganda, but by virtue of the daily contact which these men would have with the French Army in action, where there could be no foundation for any conviction but truth.
We realized in those first days, as now, after four years of constant and intimate relation, does every member of this Service, that we could wish our friends in France no surer talis- man of support than that all the world should know the truth of them. Means of Fulfilment Worth while as such an intention undoubtedly was, the gulf between desire and fulfilment soon became obvious. As the ambition, beyond maintaining the service then existent, was to so increase it as to be able to meet any possible need which the French Army might express, a large monthly outlay was inevitable, beside the raising of a sum sufficient for the purchase of cars, and all other equipment.
A way of winning friendship, a competent organization, and a considerable fund had therefore all to be achieved — and quickly. The first step, of course, was to interest a few individuals to such an extent as might warrant making a general appeal. Al- though our two first books. Friends of France, and Am- bulance No. Fore- most and most zealous in the inception of the fund was Mr. Edward J. A man of distinguished personality and character, he possessed a rarely generous sense of responsibility toward those with whom a broad and successful life had brought him in con- tact.
Whatever his objective, whether in furtherance of individual talent, of educational or philanthropic pur- pose, or some civic interest, his cooperation was both active and complete. A generous guide and cheering phi- losopher to a large and varied circle of friends, he turned his influence and power fully toward our Service.
From the moment of our first interview, it was apparent that rather than having to Interest him in our behalf, we should have to strive well to maintain the level of his am- bition for us. After a kindly but very thorough considera- tion of the practicability of the proposed effort, he en- dorsed it by giving a number of ambulances, a thousand dollars monthly toward maintenance, and in addition by setting aside a sum to meet the immediate needs of or- ganization. In a letter of July, 5, expressing his hope for our future, he explained that in establishing this special fund, he trusted we might find it not merely an 41 THE AMERICAN FIELD SERVICE incentive to maintain the sections then in the field, but by publishing records of their days' work, and by speak- ing in various parts of the country, that so wide an in- terest might be aroused as to make possible sending to France many hundred cars, and a greater number of students from American universities.
How accurate his foresight proved he was not destined to know, for he died within the year; but that his hope was so much more than fulfilled was in no small measure due to the spirit of his giving. Many an obstacle was later overcome and many a trial won in memory of our high obligation to him. All that he had intended was made financially possi- ble by the generosity of his son, Mr. Andre de Coppet, and by the prompt and constant cooperation thereafter of Mr. James J.
Storrow, of Boston, who had duplicated Mr. Notwithstanding the sound encouragement which two such benefactions meant, we could not properly have succeeded in our larger intention without the approval of several of the earliest and most interested friends of the Service. Robert Bacon, as President of the American Ambulance Hospital at Neullly, under the auspices of which we had hitherto operated, was one of the first sponsors of the Field Service, and logically most deeply interested in its successful increase.
He not only ex- pressed confidence in our undertaking, but gave us the benefit of his offices and staff In New York, became Treasurer of the Fund, and by wise counsel and frequent cooperation during the next years, did much in the mak- ing of our history. Upon Mrs. Bacon, as Chairman of the American Committee of the Hospital, there devolved at this time practically the whole burden of raising the larger part of a million dollars annually to maintain that great Institution.
To two other friends the Service owes perhaps as fine an ob- ligation as to any one. From the hour of our beginning until the demobilization four years later, Mr. William K. Vanderbilt, by quick endorsement of our whole purpose, and loyal support through every trial, were an unfailing stimulus to our energy. In reminiscence of our early history in America, there comes ever a pro- cession of grateful memories of those who helped when we were surer of our desire than of our capacity.
Whether the need was for recruits, or cars, or effort in some untried field, to each of them belongs some word or deed indis- pensable unto the day. So large a part of our structure were they that even to speak briefly of what they did would claim too great a share in a story which justly be- longs to youth and its valiant fulfilment of the trust they gave into its keeping. Recruiting the Volunteers In establishing the new ambulance sections, it was essen- tial, if the volunteer spirit were to be kept alive, not only that no salaries be given, but that in every possible in- stance an applicant should pay his own expenses.
With the French Army the fact that these Americans whom they saw in so many places, sharing the risks and labor of their days, did so wholly by choice, and moreover often spent their small savings for the privilege, established the sort of friendship which no minor misunderstandings could efface.
Every member of the Service endorsed and respected this regulation, but it occasionally proved a barrier to the enlistment of men whose character and ex- perience exactly fitted them for the work. Particularly was this so during 6 and 7, when the need for re- cruits was much greater. As the experience of four years shows that practically half the wounded carried were saved by the promptness with which our cars were generally able to get them to pastes de secours, and as an ambulance often carried ten men a day, a driver who had been given the three or four hundred dollars necessary to put him through his six months' enlistment could afford some sense of satisfaction in having brought back so worth-while a return on the investment of his benefactor.
Committees were soon formed to arouse interest in the Service both as regards finances and recruiting, in more than a hundred towns and cities throughout the United States. A few of these in the Middle and Far West had permanent recruiting officers, but the majority were temporary, to make necessary arrangements for the illus- trated lectures. These committees were in nearly every case financially independent, raising their own funds to recruit drivers or to donate ambulances, but sending, through a local treasurer, upon fulfilment of their effort, the net sum of contributions to the American Headquar- ters of the Service.
The only exception to this system was the Chicago office, which was wholly independent, from first to last, of our American Headquarters, financially and otherwise. Owing to the liberal contribution of driv- ers and cars which that city and neighboring places and universities had offered, it seemed best to establish a per- manent committee to control directly all the business and personal questions in that part of the country. To Mr. Chauncey McCormick, and later to Mr. Charles B. Pike, who succeeded him as Mid-Western Representa- tive, as well as to Mr. Hutchinson, the Treas- urer, and Mr.
Samuel Insull, Chairman of the Chicago Committee, the Service owes one of the most vital and useful factors in its construction. Recruiting committees were later organized in thirty-three of the larger colleges and universities, consisting generally of the President, members of the faculty, and representatives of the lead- ing elements in the student body. In the journeys of our speakers through various parts of America with the moving pictures which the French Army had taken of our men on duty, the interest in and knowledge of events in Europe varied much less than might have been expected.