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
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