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3707 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

of the East, that it would be possible to

open voluntary officers' training camps.

Such a camp was actually established

at Plattsburg in the summer of 1915.

Attendance was voluntary, but Wood

managed to secure the cooperation of

prominent civilians, including his friend

Roosevelt. "Spend your vacation at

Plattsburg," was made the slogan of the

enterprise, and many young men, then

undistinguished, as well as some prominent

citizens, took the training. Each student

paid his board and railroad fare and bought

his own uniform. Wood provided sleeping

quarters, rifles, belts, packs, ammunition,

and instructors. Camps were held in May,

June, July, and August. In 1916, a new

series of camps was held at Plattsburg and

also at other places.

Many of the men who took the training

subsequently served their country very

efficiently in battle, and, when America

entered the war, the Government adopted

Wood's plan for training the tens of

thousands of officers needed in the new

army. On May 15, 1917, sixteen camps

in different parts of the United States

were opened for the training of officers

with a total attendance of about 40,000.

A second series of training camps was begun on August 27, and yet others at later

dates.

The task of improvising an army was

a vast one, yet many of the conditions

under which the work must be done were

exceedingly favorable. Our armies were

not obliged to enter into battle at once,

as would have been the case had we been

fighting the war independently. We were

not compelled to sacrifice our Regular

Army and National Guard, as the British

had been compelled to sacrifice their

Regular Army and Territorials in order

to hold back the German tide while

"Kitchener's mob" was being trained.

Instead we were able to use our Regular