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OPERATION REPORT OF THE REMOUNT SERVICE DURING WW1 A.E.F.
France June 28 1919
1. From the time the Expeditionary Forces landed in France in June, 1917 to June 28, 1919, a period of two years the Remount Service expanded from one officer and clerk to an organization of 493 officers and 14,598 enlisted men. This number was on duty January 1, 1919. During the life of the A.E.F., 243,360 animals were procured from the United States, France, England and Spain. A fruitless search for animals extended in the summer of 1918, to Portugal and Morocco.
2. The following the various sources and the number received by the U.S. Army in France
5,938 Cavalry Horses, 32,835 Draft Horses, 28,399 Draft Mules and 553 Pack Mules for a total of 67,725
21,450 Cavalry Horses, 105,472 Draft Horses, 3,995 Draft Mules and 5,037 Pack Mules for a total of 135,914
3,408 Cavalry Horses, 11,057 Draft Horses, 6,436 Draft Mules and 358 Pack Mules for a total of 21,259
1,400 Cavalry Horses, 423 Draft Horses, 13,347 Draft Mules and 3,292 Pack Mules for a total of 18,462
32,196 Cavalry Horses, 149,787 Draft Horses, 52,137 Draft Mules and 9,240 Pack Mules for a total of 243,360 Total Died, 58, 958
Total condemned and sold to butchers, 10, 967
Total condemned and sold to the French Government, 5,149
Total sold at auction and private sales, 113,098
Total turned over to French Government for sale, 15,081
Total unreported losses, 5,780
Total of the above, 209,033
Balance on hand June 28, 1919 (Third Army) 30,780 On hand with the S.O.S, 3,547
Total on hand on June 28, 1919 from the above, 34,327
3. The Chief of Remount Service functioned under the Chief Quartermaster, A.E.F., but was given wide latitude by the latter. The operation of the Remount Service extended further than a simple administration of the Remount Depots, in that it was finally decided it would be necessary to have experienced Remount Officers with the troops for the purpose of supervising the care and handling of the animals. There were Remount Officers on duty with three American Armies, as Army, Corps or Division Remount Officers. There were also several Remount Squadrons on duty with the three Armies and they were under the direction of the Commanding General of the particular Army or Corps in which they were serving. Remount Officers were also assigned as instructors in Remount matters at Field Artillery Training Camps.
When it was decided to organize an S.O.S. for the Third Army, with Headquarters at Antwerp, a study was prepared by the Remount Service, showing the personnel and animals replacements to be needed. In the same study it was also shown what steps the Remount Service planned. (a) for continuing under present conditions for several months, (b) in case of renewal of hostilities.
4. The Remount Service was organized officially under General Order Number 39, Headquarters, A.E.F., September 18, 1917, but in June, 1917, before that order was published, Major Raymond W. Briggs, Quartermaster Corps, was placed in charge of Remount work in the A.E.F. under Colonel Daniel E. McCarthy, Chief Quartermaster, A.E.F., Captain D.H. Scott, 5th Cavalry, was assigned with Major Briggs to aid in Remount work and Captain W.P. Hill, Veterinary Corps, of the 6th Field Artillery, directed the work pertaining to the Veterinary Corps. Captain Hill was made Chief Veterinarian, A.E.F., April 3, 1918. Though Major Briggs cared for the various questions pertaining to the Remount Service, he was not given that designation officially until November 12, 1917, per par. 41, Special Order 155, General Headquarters, A.E.F.
5. In the early history of the A.E.F. there was a Chief of the Remount Service, Line of communications. He was detailed for that purpose as Assistant to the Chief Quartermaster. Line of Communications, November 11, 1917. He was in charged of that work until March, 1918, when the Service of Supply (S.O.S) were established with Headquarters in Tours and he became Remount Officer, Service of Supply, in the reorganization. On June 4, 1918, the office of the Remount Officers, Service of Supply, ceased and was not re-established. It was absorbed in that of the Chief of Remount Service A.E.F.
6. From June 22, 1917 to August 31, 1917, Headquarters of the Remount Service was in Paris, but on September 1, 1917 it was moved to Chaumont, Headquarters of the U.S. Army. From September 1, 1917 to March 11, 1918, Headquarters remained at Chaumont. When the office of the Chief Quartermaster was moved from Chaumont to Tours, March 11, 1918, the Headquarters of the Remount Service was moved to that place also.
7. Upon the organization of the Remount Service, the Remount personnel and the Remount Depots were under the direction of the Commanding Generals of the various sections. In the Base Section, the Base Commanders exercised authority over the Base Remount Depots. Commanding Generals of the Intermediate and Advance Sections exercised similar authority. When it was realized that this method was interfering with the success of the Remount Service, a charge was made whereby control was exercised by the Chief Quartermaster, per General Order 122, General Headquarters, dated July 26, 1918, which gave the Chief of Remount Service more direct control. Under this order the general organization of the Remount Service was that all Depots in the Base and Intermediate Sections were controlled directly from the Headquarters office at Tours, and activities in the Advance Section were controlled directly from the main office, through a Chief Remount Officer, Advance Section.
8. The Headquarters office of the Remount Service was organized as follows:
Chief of Remount Service
Construction and Supply Branch
The duty pertaining to the several branches were as follows:
Administrative Branch – This branch headed by the Executive Officer, controlled the other branches of the office and had charge of the administrative affairs of the Remount Service in general. This branch was also charged with the inspection of all depots in the Base and Intermediate Sections.
Animal Branch – This branch was charged with all the duties concerning the procurement, receipt, handling and issue of animals and keeping of statistics of animals.
Construction and Supply Branch – This branch was charged with the following: Location, planning, construction, and maintenance of Depots. With supplies and arranging the details of occupying and abandoning of Depots or other places obtained from the French. And transportation.
Personnel Branch- This branch was charged with keeping such records of officers and enlisted men of the Remount Service as might be necessary. Making requests for all orders concerning the movement of Remount organizations and personnel. Censorship of mail.
09. The officers and clerks on duty in the several branches of the Headquarters office were as follows:
Chief of Remount Service
1 Lieutenant Colonel (Executive Officer)
3 Lieutenant Colonels (inspectors)
1 Principal Clerk
6 Filling Clerks
1 Mailing Clerk
1 Telegraph Clerk
4 Clerks and Typists
1 Lieutenant Colonel
1 1st Lieutenant
1 2nd Lieutenant
4 Clerks and Typists
Construction and Supply Branch
1 1st Lieutenant
1 1st Lieutenant
1 2nd Lieutenant
2 Clerks and Typists
1 Filing Clerk
10. The following Table shows the organization
11. General Order No 122, G.H.Q. 1918, provided for a Remount Officer with the headquarters of each army, but it was subsequently found necessary to have a Remount Officer with each Corps and Division, and authority was granted for their detail.
12. Under General Order No 122, G.H.Q. 1918, the Commanding Officers of the Remount Depots and the Army Remount Officers were authorized to communicate direct with the Chief of Remount Service upon strictly technical matters over which Army Commanders were not expected to exercise control.
13. Under General Order No 122, G.H.Q. 1918, All Remount Depots in the Base, Intermediate and Advance Sections, except those belonging to armies and corps, were considered as independent stations under the authority of Commanding Generals, Service of Supply, Chief Quartermaster, Chief of Remount Service, except that the Commanding General of a section or station exercised supervision over Remount Depots in matters pertaining to sanitation, discipline and general courts-martial jurisdiction, and took final action on official papers that originated at a Remount Depot,, requiring the action of a higher commander to make them valid. The Commanding Officer of a station where a Remount Depot was located exercised supervision over the Depot only in matters pertaining to sanitation and discipline.
14. It was found necessary to have three competent and experienced officers of the Remount Service on duty in the office of the Chief of the Remount Service for use as inspectors, with the result that conditions constantly improved. Each of these officers was appointed a Special Inspector for the purpose of acting on unserviceable animals and property in Remount Depots.
15. Paragraphs 8, General Order No 122, G.H.Q. 1918 authorized the inspection by the Remount Service of animals with units, and several such inspections were made by Inspectors from the Headquarters Remount Office, but after the principle of placing a Remount Officer with each Army, Corps and Division, these inspections were carried out by those officers, and inspections from the main office were not necessary except to look into the work being done by the Remount Officers mentioned.
ARMY, CORPS AND LINE OF COMMUICATIONS REMOUNT DEPOTS
16. Confidential Series D, Tables of Organization No 332, January 12, 1918, provides for an Army Remount Depot, a Corps Remount Depot and Line of Communications Depot. There was considerable use of Remount Squadrons with Army and Corps, but this was principally to meet an emergency during operations: such Squadrons being used principally for the evacuation of debilitated animals as the Veterinary Corps could not take care of them on account of lack of personnel. Later these Squadrons functioned properly with Army, Corps and Divisions.
17. The organization as provided for a Remount Squadron proved very satisfactory. These does not appear to be any Tables of Organization providing specifically for a Remount Squadron, but the organization of a Remount Squadron is given under the heading “Corps Depot” in Confidential Series D, Tables of Organization No 332, January 12, 1918. These Squadrons were organized in the United States and forty-six of them sent to France, where they rendered most excellent and valuable service. The only regret is that they did not arrive earlier in the operations, and that not more of them were sent.
CARE OF ANIMALS
18. It soon developed that animals in the hands of organizations were not being properly taken care of, specially in newly organized units, resulting in a much larger number of evacuations than would have been necessary. To correct this matter it was recommended that Remount Officers be placed at the headquarters of each corps and division, in addition to the Army Remount Officer, the latter being provided for in General Order No 122, G.H.Q. 1918. It was also recommended that Remount Officers be placed at the Field Artillery Training Camps at the rate of one for each brigade. These recommendations were approved and as many Officers as could be spared were sent as above indicated. This detail of Remount Officers to armies, corps and divisions, and at Artillery Training Camps was amply justified for within a very short time after they had assumed their duties the conditions of animals with troops greatly improved, also a great interested in proper care and handling of animals developed in the several armies, corps and divisions, and the Commanding Generals of these units issued instructions directing that animals should be properly cared for and established schools for the proper instruction of the personnel.
19. During the early history of the Remount Service, in addition to caring for the animal’s situation, it was also charged with the procurement of forage. For a while, lost baggage was included in the functions of the Remount Service. “Lost Baggage” was dropped in January 1918, and on January 22, 1918 forage was turned over to the Supply Division, Quartermaster’s Corps. Forage again became apart of the functions of the Remount Service, March 23, 1918, when the Offices of the Lines of Communications and the Service of the Rear were combined. A week later, the forage question was disposed of by turning it over to the Supplies Division, Office of the Chief Quartermaster.
20. The forage supply was a source of continual worry during the early history of the A.E.F. Some aid was given by the French Army, but their allowance of nine pounds of hay a day was not sufficient for the needs of the animals of the U.S. Army. Despite the fact that ships were needed to bring over troops, supplies and ammunition, it was possible for the Supplies Division to furnish enough forage to keep the vast number of animals in the U.S. Army fed regularly. In the year, 1918, it was believed that France could furnish a certain amount of forage and accordingly shipments were curtained from the United States. However, the expected corps did not materialize and it was realized that a shortage of forage might result. The shortage occurred in February 1919, and all animals were placed on one-half rations. As soon as a supply of forage was received from the United States and the old allowance was restored.
21. In order to provide for an equitable distribution of forage the matter was laid before the Military Board of Allied Supplies, and as a result of this conference a new allowance of forage was adopted as directed in Section 2, par. 1, of General Order No 174, General Headquarters, dated October 9, 1918, and this allowance, as amended by General Order No 208, G.H.Q. was in force at the date of this report.
SUPPLY OF ANIMALS FROM THE UNITED STATES
22. Despite the distance of the United States from the battlefields of France, 67,725 animals were shipped across the Atlantic for the A.E.F. The first animals from the United States arrived in France on July 3, 1917, and the last ship loaded with animals for the A.E.F. docked at La Rochelle December 27, 1918.
23. In the early part of the war from July to November 1917, purchased made in France based requests for animals to be shipped from the United States on the prospects of obtaining an adequate supply. These expectations were a result of certain concrete offers made by the French Government and which were accepted by our War Department.
24. After consultations with the French Authorities of the French War Office made an offer to supply 4,850 horses and 2,100 mules for our First Division and the Commander-in-Chief cabled on June 20, 1917, recommending that this offer be accepted and animals for a second convoy be not sent.
25. The first animals received from the United States arrived in France on July 3rd and 4th, 1917, with the first convoy of troops coming from the U.S. and were immediately assigned at St. Nazaire to infantry units of the 1st Division and the Marines Brigade, which had just arrived. These animals came over in four transports and out of 2.821 animals only one died en route.
No more animals were shipped from the States after this first lot until November 10, 1917 owing to the shortage of ships and also to the fact that the French Government had made a further offer to deliver monthly 7,000 animals starting September 1, 1917.
It was believed at this time that this monthly supply of 7,000 animals would be adequate to fill our requirements until such time as additional tonnage permitted resuming the shipment of more animals from the United States.
26. On August 23, 1917, the French General Staff cabled the French High Commissioner in Washington that no animals could be provided except for the First Division. This clearly conflicted with earlier promise of 7,000 animals per month as mentioned in cable sent by the Commander-in-Chief, August 25th, which requested that all troops in future should be accompanied by their authorized allowance of animals. On September 4, 1917, the War Department agreed to this, and advised that all troops ordered aboard would be accompanied by their allowance of animals and in addition ten percent for replacements.
Up to November 10, 1917, 11,452 animals had thus been purchased from the French and not further shipments had been received from the United States. We had then in France only the 1st and 26th Divisions, part of the 42d and a certain number of Services of Supply troops and the total of animals on hand and expected from the French was about sufficient for existing needs. On November 15th, the Chief of French Military Mission at General Headquarters informed the Commander-in-Chief that the necessity of supplying French troops did not permit, until further orders, the delivery to the American Army of a single horse more than was agreed upon at first, namely; 8.400 for the 1st Division and 4,000 for the Artillery Brigade of the 26th Division and the 16th Engineers.
27. The French War Office had also stipulated in a letter to the Chief of French Military Mission at General Headquarters that the 4,000 horses delivered to the Artillery of the 26th Division under separate agreement were to be replaced before November 1, 1917, horse for Horse, by animals received from the United States. This stipulation was not made known to the Chief of Remount Service until October 25. 1917. However, the question of replacing these 4,000 animals was finally settled on January 3rd and the horses were purchased from the French Government. This failure on the part of the French to carry out their original offer of 7,000 animals monthly completely upset the plans made by the Remount Service for horsing new Divisions and Service of Supply organizations.
28. Shipments of animals from the United States were resumed again, the first transport arriving at St. Nazaire on November 10, 1917, and continued regularly until April 1918, when they stopped owing to the then existing emergency for troop-ships and cargo boats and an agreement was entered into with the French Government on February 19, 1918, at a conference held in Paris between the representative of the American Expeditionary Forces and of the French War Office for the purchase of French animals in the open market.
29. It sure be noted that during the period November 1917, to April 1918, 4,300 cavalry horses were shipped from the States despite the fact that a report dated January 15, 1918, to the War Department showed that a shortage of heavy artillery horses existed. Advice was received from the Office of the Quartermaster General dated February 19, 1918 that 8,484 animals per division would be shipped if transports could be secured, also the ten percent for replacements, but that no more heavy draft horse would be sent over although 2,000 were on hand and would be shipped if required. It was also stated that the Quartermaster General regarded the animals purchased in France as a reserve and would ship authorized allowances for each division as ship became available. However, it was shortly after this that all shipments of animals from the United States were stopped.
30. At the conference with the French authorities on February 19, 1918, the Chief of the French Remount Service reported that up to August, that expected to purchase 100,000 animals in the open market, 50 percent of which would be turned over to the A.E.F. A cable sent to the United States on February 22, 1918 gave a shortage of 22,000 animals and on February 24 another cable was sent regarding the prospects of receiving 50,000 animals from the French at the rate of 10,000 per month and requesting that 2,000 heavy draft horses be shipped monthly. A cable answered this request on March 8 from the War Department advising that it would be a month before and heavy draft horses could be shipped and then only 700 the first month and after the 2,000 a month would be shipped. But owing to the prospect of obtaining a large number of animals from French and British sources, a cable was sent on March 24 advising that it would not be necessary to ship these 2,000 heavy draft horses monthly after April 1st.
31. The purchase of French animals in the open market yielded only 31,589 animals up to June 20, 1918, and as shipments from the United States had been suspended since April, 1918, and as larger numbers of men were sent over than as first expected, the shortage of animals increased from month to month until June 25. 1918, there was a shortage of 125,934 animals.
32. A cable was sent on June 30, 1918 to the United States requesting that 8,000 draft horses be shipped. The prospects at that time were that the requisition of animals by the French, which had started, would give the A.E.F. about 8,000 animals by August 1. With this expectation and the prospects of obtaining 6,000 from Spain beginning July 1, 1918, the shortage of animals by August 1 would still have been 60.000. Divisions were then coming over at the rate of 3 to 4 per month plus Corps Troops and Service of Supply organizations. Which meant an additional monthly requirement of from 25,000 to 30,000 animals.
33. On July 7, 1918, Washington suggested that all heavy artillery horses over 1,250 pounds be shipped up to 8,000 per month. Answer was cabled back on July 14 approving and requesting shipment. The situation was so critical, however, that on July 11 the Remount Service took this matter up with General Headquarters, stating that a monthly supply of 42,900 animals was needed to meet our requirements. General Headquarters requesting a supply of 25,000 animals per month sent another cable. On July 21 the War Department cable back stating that this number could not be shipped on account of lack of tonnage and only 11,000 per month could be shipped prior to September 1. 1918. On July 27, 1918, a cable was sent to the United States stating that 11,000 horses each two months would be far below essential requirements, and urging that “vessels mentioned in subparagraph B, your telegram 1688, be transformed without delay into horse-boats.”
34. On August 20, 1918, the French requisitioning of animals stopped, 74,070 having been delivered to the A.E.F. and 21,481 had been received from Spain while the total shortage in the A.E.F. on August 31 had increased to 72,000. These conditions were brought to attention of the Commanding General, Service of Supply by the Chief Quartermaster on August 20, 1918, advising that a monthly supply of 46,924 animals from the United States was urgently needed.
35. It was proposed at General Headquarters in order to reduce this shortage to motorize a number of these units, especially Artillery Brigades, and to give each combat division only 3,803 animals instead of 6,719 as previously allowed.
36. At the same time on September 14, 1918, a cablegram was sent asking for the shipment of 30,000 animals per month. The War Department cabled back that it was impossible under present conditions to ship that many animals.
37. Based on the reduced allowance proposed by General Headquarters, it was estimated that will all possible units motorized it would still take a monthly supply of 31,700 animals up to June 30, 1919, to make up the shortage and a cable was sent on September 15, 1918 to that effect.
38. In a letter to General Headquarters on September 24, 1918, the Commanding General, Service of Supply, referring to the future requirements of the A.E.F. as estimated by the Remount Division inquired when the purposed motorization would go into effect. Advice was received from General Headquarters that no change in Tables of Organization was contemplated for the present nor until such time as plans for motorizing animals drawn units were fully developed.
39. Shipments were resumed from the United States at this time but only three transports arrived in September and three in October with a total of 4,409 animals instead of 22,000, which should have been received in these two months, as per cablegram from the War Department of July 21, 1918. This was at the time when the First Army was engaged around Verdun. The total shortage of animals in the A.E.F. on November 11, 1918, when the Armistice was signed, was 163,382 and still that date, including December 31, 27.880 were received from the United States, having been shipped in October and November, making the monthly average of 13,940 shipped instead of 31,700 which had been requested on September 15th.
40. On November 20, 1918, after the Armistice had been signed and information having been received from General Headquarters, A.E.F. that the Army of Occupation would consist of thirty divisions, all shipments were stopped from the United States, upon recommendation of the Chief Quartermaster. It might also be stated here that at the same time all purchases from Spain were ordered stopped, as well as procurements from the British Army. Computation at this time showed that there was a shortage of over fifty thousand animals for the thirty divisions, Service of Supply and replacements, but it was thought that after things began to settle down that the animals on hand or reroute would be sufficient to meet all needs, and hence the cancellation of all procurements. It was figured that this cancellation of the supply of animals saved the United States 38,483,000.00 dollars based on the following data.
Cost on delivery to organizations of 50,000 animals at 487.06 dollars Total of the above is 24,353,000.00
Cost of feeding above for 6 months at a rate of 1.57 dollars per day Total – 14,130.000.00
Total of the above – 38,483,000.00 dollars
41. To reduce the shortage of animals, the original Tables of Organization were revised from time to time. On October 25, 1917, the total number of animals required by a complete division including Artillery Brigade was 7,701. This was reduced in January, 1918, to 7,578 animals and in June, 1918 to 6,663
42. Following is list of receipts and shipments from the United States during periods indicated:
July 1917 – 63 Cavalry Horses, 456 Draft horses, 2300 Draft mules, Total 2821
November 10, 1917 to April 18, 1918 - 5875 Cavalry Horses, 11,586 Draft horses, 9515 Draft mules, 553 Pack Mules, Total 27,589
September 3, 1918 to December 27, 1918 - 20,793 Draft horses, 16,582 Draft mules, Total 37,375
Totals of the above - 5938 Cavalry Horses, 32,837 Draft horses, 28,397 Draft mules, 553 Pack Mules Total, 67,725
PURCHASE OF ANIMALS FROM THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT, 1917
43. Lack of shipping facilities from the United States made it necessary for the A.E.F. to make arrangements with the French Government during the later summer of 1917 for the procurement of animals to horse the First and Twenty-sixth Division, which had been sent overseas.
44. Upon the arrival of American Troops in France, the French Government, through their military Attache in Washington, notified the American Government on June 15, 1917, that the Government would be able to furnish enough animals to equip the first division sent to France. The prices quoted ranged from 260 dollars to 400 dollars per horse and 250 dollars to 310 dollars for mules.
45. During the months of August, September, October, November and December 1917, a total of 12,433 animals were secured from the French; of this number 4,066 were borrowed for the Twenty-Sixth Division but were afterwards purchased.
46. The average price paid for the above animals, which consisted of Cavalry, Light and Heavy Artillery horses, Mules, draft and pack, was 279.82 dollars, a total of 3.480,488.40 dollars being paid.
47. The Commanding General of the First Division was instructed by General Headquarters to make necessary arrangements for the reception of and to purchase approximately 5,000 horses and 2,100 mules.
48. During the early stages of the war, after the War Department had accepted the French offer to supply our First Division with sufficient animals, an officer of the Quartermaster Corps in charge of Remount Service at General Headquarters, was instructed to confer with representatives of the French Minister of War to make arrangements regarding the purchase and delivery of the animals. An officer, of the French General Staff, Direction of Artillery, had charge of this matter and ordered the animals shipped from various French Regimental Depots to the points of delivery. From the start there was misunderstanding due to the fact that the French were under the impression that they were to select the animals and turn them over to the United States Remount Board under this conception would have merely been to take the animals from the French attendants, sign receipts and distribute the animals among our units. A memorandum on June 19 from the General Staff of the French Army, copy of which was furnished to General Headquarters, A.E.F. Nothing is said of in the second paragraph of this memorandum regarding an inspection of the animals by representatives of the A.E.F., but a memorandum from the Chief of Staff, A.E.F. of June 20, 1917, referring to this French proposition states that the animals will be delivered subject to inspection. Instructions given the Commanding General of the First Division by the Adjutant General, A.E.F., on July 2, 1917, also stated that the animals offered by the French would be delivered subject to inspection. Acting on these instructions, an officer of the Quartermaster Corps and an officer of the Veterinary Corps proceeded to Besancon to inspect horses and mules shipped by the French for delivery to the Artillery Brigade of the First Division in camp to Valdahon. Two French Officers has been assigned by the French War Office to represent the French Government on the board. The inspection of animals began at Besancon on August 13, 1917, and all animals that did not conform to the U.S. Army Specifications were rejected. The result was that at the end of two weeks out of 953 animals present, 328 or about 30 percent had been rejected and had to be shipped back by rail to the French Depots from which they came. Some of the horses presented were from 12 to 15 years old, some were blind in one eye and there were a number of gray and white horses. The French representatives objected strongly to these rejections, calling attention to the fact that their own Army was using such animals with good results and to instructions with the French Minister of War had issued on this subject. The matter was referred to the Commander-in-Chief by the commander of the First Artillery Brigade, and finally the matter was settled by instruction given by General Headquarters to our Remount Board to only reject animals, which were absolutely unsound or unfit for military service.
49. Steps were taken by the American Army to secure from the French more animals than those that had been offered. It was believed that arrangements might be made whereby animals for the Second Division, which was under orders to proceed to France, might be secured. It was also desired to equip the Forestry Units and organizations in the Line of Communications. In return for these animals, an offer was made to the French Government to turn over shipping space on steamers and also certain amount of motor vehicles, if the French would continue to let the American Army purchase animals. The French Government consented to sell an additional 7,000 per month after September 1917, with no limit for the duration of the purchase.
50. The first delivery of animals from the French was received on August 6, 1917. Conditions were such at the time that it was impossible to secure the number of animals planned. There were also some drawbacks in the purchasing, and the classifying of animals was complicated. The standard for the American Army was different from that of the French. Many of the animals that were presented by the French had been in service at the front, and there were other animals that conformed to the French standard which were not capable of fulfilling the requirements of the United States Army. The particular trouble lay in the classification of artillery animals. The animals classified as Heavy Artillery by the French conformed more nearly to the United States standard for Light Artillery animals. Approximately fifty percent of the animals presented for inspection were rejected. This caused the French authorities to stop presenting animals for inspection. An officer of the French Army examined 200 of the rejected animals and found only a very few with blemishes that would cause unsoundness. He stated that all of these had passed inspection at the French Depot, and considered them fit for service in the U.S. Army. This question was presented to the Commander-in-Chief of the A.E.F. who directed that, owing to the shortage of sea tonnage, animals should be inspected for absolute unsoundness or for disease which would render them unserviceable and that the statement of the Veterinarian of the U.S. Army that an animals was unsound would be final. This brought about a change in conditions and it was then possible for the Inspectors for the U.S. Army to proceed in such a manner as to procure enough animals to care for the needs of the Army at that particular time.
51. Different American inspectors refused to pass animals and again the presentation stopped. The French authorities claimed they had received instructions from Paris that according to an agreement between the French and American Headquarters, the American were to accept all animals presented and they assumed that the animals so presented would not in anyway permit rejections. This happened at several different places and resulted in the refusal of the French to present any more animals.
Owing to the needs of the French Army, the French Government decided to withdraw their promise of furnishing the American Government with seven thousand animals per month after September 1917, and they stated that there would be no animals available except those necessary to equip the First Division. However, they offered to loan to the American Army four thousand light draft animals for the training of the artillery soon to arrive in France. These animals would have to be replaced to the French Government on or before the first of November 1917. These animals were to be imported from the United States and to be of the exact kind as those loaned. In October before the total number of animals for the First Division and those for the Artillery Brigade of the Second Division, yet to arrive, had been delivered to the American Army, the French Government requested that on November 1, 1917, that the four thousand animals be returned. Arrangements were made whereby this exchange was put off until December. At that time the French insisted that the animals be returned at once and it was pointed out that if this done it would curtail shipment of men and supplies for the Western Front from the United States. The agreement was finally reached that the American Army would pay the French Government the cost price of these animals plus 12 percent, which would be the cost of caring for the animals and delivery to the American forces.
52. Early in August 1917, perceiving the difficulty in securing the number of animals necessary, authority was requested for inspectors to visit certain French Remount Depots that were furnishing animals, as there were always a certain number of animals being rejected in each lot shipped. Attendants would bring 20 or more animals and from this number five or six might possibly be accepted, the others rejected on account of not being up to the standard. Receipts would be made out for all the animals shipped from the French Remount Depots, the assumption being that the U.S. Army would accept all the animals presented. By inspecting the animals at the French Remount Depots it would be assured that all the animals shipped would be accepted and the expense of re-shipping the rejected animals back to the Depots would be avoided.
53. The last animals to be received from the French in 1917 were turned over to the American Army December 22, 1917. That closed the first purchase from the French.
54. The following is a table showing the number of animals received by months, by classes, with the total received, including the animals first loaned and afterwards sold to the U.S. Army by the French, and the average prices paid and the total amount paid.
PURCHASE OF ANIMALS FROM THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT, 1918
55. The French Government was requested January 1, 1918, to make a survey if the needs if the U.S. Army for animals for the purpose of determining whether it would be possible to obtain in France the necessary number for existing needs and in return an offer was made by the American Army to turn over tonnage space on ships for transportation of French purchases in America. A request was then made by the French as to the number of animals that would be required. At that time the French Government was considering the reduction by nearly 200,000 animals in their Armies on account of the shortage of grain. It was expected that there would be turned over to the U.S. Army seasoned animals and many that already had been trained. Later in January the French Government decided in view of the coming spring activities that it would not be good policy to reduce the number of animals in their armies. As the American Army had loaned the French several thousand tons of grain the French agreed to purchase animals in the open market, one-half of which would be turned over to the U.S. Army.
56. The French Government was notified in February that by August 1, 1918, there would be three American Corps in France consisting of 18 divisions. At that time there were five divisions in France. These five divisions were equipped approximately with fifty percent of their animals. Figuring on an average of 8,000 animals to a division and the animals needed for the Line of Communications, it would be necessary for the U.S. Army to be furnished 113,087 animals at a rate of 22,617 animals per month.
It was believed that better results could be obtained if the purchase of animals was conducted by the French Government and steps taken to have this done. The purchasing was done according to the French methods and classification, and after the animals had been purchased to be turned over to the American Remount Depots.
57. There was a meeting of officials of the French Remount Service with representatives of the U.S. Army in Paris, February 19, 1918, to make arrangements for the purchase in the open market of animals throughout France. In view of the shortage of animals in both armies it was agreed to increase the purchase price by thirty percent, and lower some of the provisions of the specifications for animals. This increase was thirty percent over the budget price paid by the French the previous year. The specifications were lowered in the weight and height. By doing this a large number of animals was secured. An American inspecting officer and a Veterinarian were attached to each of the French purchasing boards. All animals were divided by equal lot between the French and the Americans.
58. On account of the shortage of motor transportation in the French Army, 20 automobiles were furnished these purchasing boards by the U.S. Army. The price at which the animals were billed to the U.S. was increased by five percent to pay for the expensive incurred for the care, feeding and delivering of animals to the Remount Depots of the American Army. Through this arrangement a total of 37,038 animals was secured. Of this number, 7,318 were cavalry horses, 14,376 light artillery, 11,632 heavy artillery, and 595 draft mules and 3,117 pack mules. The average price paid for these animals was 342.02 dollars.
59. Many of the animals received were either improperly shod or not shod at all. In such cases the owners of the animals turned over three francs to the French Government for the shoeing of the animals. Of that sum 2 francs 85 centimes were turned over to the American Army and the remaining 15 centimes were given to the farriers who branded the animals.
60. The first animals received from the purchase of 1918 arrived at Coetquidan March 3, 1918. There were seven animals in the consignment of which two were stallions
61. Most of the animals received were in good flesh but soft, due to lack of conditioning and were not ready for issue to combat organizations. There were some reports of animals being received that were of no value to the U.S. Army that should be placed on an Inventory and Inspection report. There were also many mares received that were in foal. These mares were turned over to farmers on memorandum receipt to be returned to the U.S. Government when the colt was weaned. In each instance the farmer to whom the mate was issued had to turn over to the U.S. Army a statement by the mayor of his town stating that the farmer was reliable. A majority of the animals receiver either sick when turned over or were infected with shipping fever. This was particularly true of the young horses, which were more susceptible than the older ones.
62. There were many complaints from combat organizations regarding stallions. Many of the recruits were unable to handle them properly and requests were received for the discontinuance of the issue of stallions. Orders were received from General Headquarters that stallion would be issued to all organizations in proportion to the total number issued. The stallion was not a success when worked with other animals and later on a majority of them were issued to Forestry units. The Forestry units on account of the nature of their work had better success with the stallions than other organizations.
63. There was also some dissatisfaction expressed over the conformation of mules received in this purchase from the French. Inspectors reported that many of the mules were too small for the aparejos for the American Army. It was also reported that many of them were unfit for service. A request was made on General Headquarters for the discontinuance of purchase of mules. This request was denied. It was pointed out by General Headquarters that the French Army was purchasing these mules and using them to an advantage in that army and that the instructions laid down in the purchase agreement would be carried out.
64. The French Government ordered the discontinuance of purchasing animals on the open market June 1, 1918. This date was delayed until June 22, 1918, when all purchasing stopped. The further procurement of animals was to be by “Requisition”, and the French Government for the purpose of requisitioning animals throughout France took steps at once for the French and American Armies. At that time there was a deficiency of 30,000 animals, which had been promised the American Expeditionary Forces by the French Government.
65. On three different occasions during the year 1918, animals were turned over directly from the French Army in an effort to aid in equipping combat troops of the U.S. Army. The animals were ceded at a time when condition were such that it would have been impossible the full effect of American arms to be felt but for timely aid from the French.
In February 1918, one artillery Brigade at Valdahon was in badly need of animals. In order to help get them to the front the French Government promised 300 animals to aid in horsing the Brigade. Of that number, 287 were sent. About the same time, 1,643 animals were turned over to the same Brigade through Is-sur-Tille. These animals were charged against future purchases of the U.S. Army from the French Government.
Through the arrangement made by General Headquarters with the French Government, 2,869 animals were turned over by the French Army in June 1918, to the 3d and 5 th Artillery Brigades, which were in training at the Artillery Training School at Camp Coetquidan.
In the fall of 1918, after the successful wiping out of the St. Mihiel salient, Marshal Foch directed 13,000 animals be turned over to the U.S. Army to aid in the furtherance of the plan for the Argonne offensive. Of the number ordered sent, 12,176 were received according to telegraphic information from Combats troops. These animals were taken from the French Remount Depots for the main part but some were taken direct from French organizations. These animals were classified by the U.S. Army as 3,180 cavalry horses, and 8,996 light artillery horses and are included in the table below as such and are figured on the average price of French animals received previously.
66. The following is a table showing the number of animals purchased in 1918, by classes, the average price per animals and the approximately total amounts paid for all classes
REQUISITION OF ANIMALS BY THE FRENCH, 1918
67. In order to cope with the animal situation in both the American and French Armies it was decided, after a conference between representatives of the U.S. Army and the French authorities to begin the requisitioning of animals throughout France on June 20, 1918. This step was taken and 74,070 animals were secured for the U.S. Army by August 15, 1918, the date of the last delivery requisitioned animals to the A.E.F. The average price paid for animals ranging from 322.74 dollars for pack mules to 489.84 for heavy artillery horses. The average price paid was 427.32 dollars. The price paid was 50 percent higher than the former price paid by the U.S. Army or an increase of 80 percent over the French budget price.
68. The first step taken toward putting into operation the requisition plan was May 25,1918, when a letter was sent by General Headquarters to the French Government stating that it had been impossible to secure the necessary animals for the American Army and at the same time took up the advisability of purchasing animals from neutrals. The French Government agree to put into operation the requisition plan and made arrangements whereby 70 percent of the animals secured in this way would be turned over to the U.S. Army and the remaining 30 percent should go to the French Army.
69. Detachments were furnished by the U.S. Army to aid in the collecting of animals requisitioned. These detachments were secured from Divisions and Artillery Brigades that had not received their quota of animals. When the authorized number of animals had been received the detachment returned to their Division or Brigade and new detachments taken from others that were next in line on priority lists for animals.
70. During the period of the requisition, the sending of animals directly from their collecting point to organizations was a bad principle, but it had to be followed at that time on account of the fact that military necessity required that the animals be gotten to organizations at the earliest possible moment. It was known at the time that the method of issuing animals direct to organizations was a bad one. This procedure resulted in some organizations having a large number of sick animals, due principally to shipping fever contracted en route. Proper method, if time had permitted, would have been to send the animals into depots where the sick could have been segregated and properly care for, and when fit, issued to organizations.
71. A report rendered July 1, 1918, showed that 7,731 animals had been received by the U.S. Army instead of 25,190 as had been expected by that date, through the requisitioning of animals. In August the French Government offered all animals procured by requisition and further offered all animals procured by requisition and furthered offered to take animals from their own Remount Depots to fill any shortage that existed. Through this offer it was possible for the U.S. Army to secure 74,070 animals. Of this number 7,298 were classified as cavalry, 34,750 light artillery, 27,478 heavy artillery, 3,198 draft mules and 1,349 pack mules.
72. The following was the mode of requisitioning animals by the French Boards:
The Mayor of a town wherein the French Requisitioning Commission was going to operate would be notified 48 hours in advance. The Gendarmie Brigade was notified to inform the civilians to place a forge and charcoal at the assembling place. The Mayor was also notified that he should be present with a copy of the horse census list of 1918 brought up to date, and that he advise all owners of horses foaled prior to 1915 to bring their animals to town at the hour designated by Commission. Approved or authorized stallions for breeding purposes were exempt from requisition under the French laws.
As soon as an animal was accepted it was fed and at the end of the day’s operation the division of animals was made between the French and the U.S. Army. Detachments selected to convoy animals from requisitioning points to collecting points were generally made up of one half American and one half French. The President of the Commission would arrange the itineraries for the board and notify Mayors of towns in which there were requisitions to be filled. The Mayors were notified of the number of men and the approximate number of animals that would have to be rationed.
A central collecting point would be designed and maintained by the Mayor. The French Government paid for the feeding of the animals, being reimbursed by the American Government. Later the U.S. Army agreed to furnish all details for the handling of the animals, these details to be secured from organizations yet to be horsed. The French Government agreed to furnish billets and rations for the U.S. detachments on duty. The total number of animals to be requisitioned was 165,000 of which 80,000 were to be turned over to the U.S. Army.
73. On June 28, 1918, the Commanding Officer of the 11th Region notified the Remount Service that on account of restrictions covering the requisitions of animals that only a small part of the daily average was received. The report stated that many farmers owning more animals than allowed by law would turn over there surplus horse to another farmer and thereby save his animals from the requisition.
74. On July 7, 1918, a letter was sent by the Commander-in-Chief, A.E.F, to the French Mission stating that the need of animals for the A.E.F. could scarcely be over-estimated. It was pointed out in the letter to the French Mission that out of the eighteen division in France only four had received their quota of animals and that some of them on duty at the front were drawing a part of their combat trains by hand. It was pointed out that during the first eighteen days of the requisitioning that 10,071 animals had been received and that if these figures were used as a basis, that the A.E.F. would receive less than 50,000 animals instead of 80,000 as planned.
75. On July 9, 1918, a report was received from the Chief Purchasing Agent in Paris that he had taken up the horse question with the French authorities and that assurance had been given that the U.S. Army would receive the full 80,000 animals, which had been promised first week in August, although there was a possibility of a delay of a week before the last delivery. On July 10, 1918, 15,452 animals had been received. According to the original agreement 36,770 animals should have been turned over to the U.S. Army by that time.
76. On July 13, 1918, another letter was forwarded the French Mission informing them that there were 20 American Divisions in France at that time and that not one of them had their full complement of animals, and that in the Remount Depots there were but few animals available for issue to combat troops. It was also shown in the letter that shipment of animals from Spain would not begin for some time.
The American Army was advised by the French Government July 18, 1918, that all animals requisitioned by the French Government would be turned over to the U.S. Army beginning July 20, 1918. On July 25, 1918, 44,076 had been received.
77. The French Government notified the U.S. Army that a general classification of all serviceable animals on hand of French people would be made between August 15, 1918 and October 15, 1919, so as to enable the French Government to know the available number of animals in France. The communication also stated that there would be a meeting of the requisitioning board which operated through June and July, 1918, after August 1, 1918, to operate as purchasing and classification boards and that if after the classification boards and that if after the classification it was found there was an excess of animals after the needs of the French Army had been supplied, steps would be taken to allow the U.S. Army to secure a part of the excess.
78. The total number of animals requisitioned by the French for the American Army during the last of June, the month of July and the first part of August and the average prices paid as followed in the below table.
ANIMALS FROM ENGLAND
79. Through the agreement with the British Government ten divisions of the A.E.F. were supplied with animals from the English Remount Depots. This agreement was reached soon after American Troops began arriving overseas. The British Government offered to equip the divisions that were to train in the British area according to the tables of allowances as prescribed by the British Army. There were 18,883 animals supplied to these ten divisions and the Second Army Corps.
80. After 18,883 animals had been turned over to the American troops within the British area a second call was made upon the English for animals in November 1918, and 2,355 were secured. Of this number approximately 700 were shipped from the British Remount Depot at Marseilles in December 1918 to the American Army of Occupation. Three shipments were received at the U.S. Army Remount Depots. The first was received at Selles-sur-Cher November 19, 1918, and the other two shipments arrived a few days later at the Remount Depot at Gievres. There were still 690 animals due to the U.S. Army and detachment were sent to the British Remount Depot at Le Havre. After waiting three weeks for cars the animals were finally shipped to the U.S. Remount Depot at Commercy, December 20, 1918.
81. After the first of the year of 1919 when no more shipments were to be made from the United States and the three American Armies had settled down, twenty-one more animals for officers’ mounts were purchased from England. These animals were supplied to the headquarters’ stables at Chaumont. This brought the total number of animals secured from Great Britain to 21,259.
The following average price prices were paid for the various classes of animals received from the British: heavy artillery 471.74 dollars per head, light artillery 443.04 and cavalry horses 409.55 dollars. Draft mules’ 390.42 dollars and pack mules 342. 58 dollars.
82. The following tables show the number of animals secured from England by classes, the prices paid in British pounds.
PURCHASE OF ANIMALS IN SPAIN
83. Need of animals for the U.S. Army in France, which could not be supplied from the United States, Great Britain or France, brought about the fostering of a plan to secure animals from Spain. Investigation of the situation in Spain began in January 1918, and the final accounting was completed December 26, 1918. In that time 18,462 animals were secured. Of that number there were 1,400 cavalry horses, 423 artillery horses, and 3,977 wheel mules, 9,370 lead mules and 3,292 pack mules. Six officers were assigned as buyers to Spain.
84. Herewith are excerpts from the report of the officer who investigated conditions in Spain.
1. In January 1918, I proceeded to Spain to investigate the possibility of securing animals, both horses and mules for use of the American Expeditionary Force.
Upon arrival in Spain I went to Madrid, Valencia, Cordoba, Zaragoza, Barcelona, Euesca, Jaca, Tudella and Perplora. I found had wheel, lead and pack mules of excellent type could be brought at a reasonable figure, but that there was an export duty of 500 pesetas per head. My investigations showed that there was a scarcity of artillery horses and not a great supply of cavalry horses.
After talking to various dealers and other people in Spain. I decided that I could purchase at least 30,000 animals in Spain.
Upon my return to France I reported to the Chief Quartermaster of the results of my investigations. Had the purchase of animals begun in Spain in January or February, the prices would have been lower than they were in June and subsequent months, averaging 400 Pesetas per animals.
2. On June 4, 1918, I proceeded to Spain for the purpose of purchasing animals for the use of the American Expeditionary Forces.
Before leaving I reported to the Chief Quartermaster and the Chief of the Remount Service for instructions. I was told that the greatest necessity for animals existed and that I was to make every effort to obtain them.
Upon my arrival in Spain I talked to a great many men who claimed they could furnish me with the animals I desired. When I stated the terms under which the contracts would be drawn, all but one man declined to sign a contract such as I wished. This one man Sr. Jose Lapetra, who furnished animals for the Spanish Government and who furnished 60,000 animals to the Italian Government, is the largest animal dealer in Spain, and he signed contracts with me to deliver animals at Hondaye at the following prices:
These prices included 500 Pesetas export duty for a mule and 300 Pesetas for the horses. I personally began inspections at once and took 620 excellent animals, which conformed strictly to the specifications obtaining in the United States.
About June 27th, a man by the name of Sr. Denigno Bucho Caitan, an animals dealer in Madrid, stated he wished to sign a contract for animals as he saw that the United States was acting in good faith with Sr. Lapetra and he would now undertake to comply with the conditions of the contract which he first declined to do. I then signed contracts with Sr. Caitan at the following prices.
These prices were proposed by Sr. Caitan without any offer or proposition at to prices for animals by me, and when he stated his proposition I told him that I was doubtful if he could furnish animals complying with contract specifications at such prices and make a fair profit. He still insisted that this could be done and we signed the contract.
His prices were much lower than those of Sr. Lapetra, but I considered that the United States Government was benefiting thereby. Animals furnished by Sr. Caitan were not as good quality as those furnished by Sr. Lapetra, as I saw animals from both contracts in Bayonne after they arrived from Spain.
Other contracts were drawn as follows:
Sr. Roig was unable to furnish any animals and Mr. Mahon furnished only 90 mules. Sr. Boned furnished 326 mules and 94 horses.
3. On July 19, after 2,293 animals had been exported from Spain, a Royal decree was passed prohibiting further exportation of animals from Spain. This decree was due directly to German influence.
At the time of the decree was passed there remained inspected and branded 1,154 animals in Spain. I endeavored to get permission to export these animals and appealed to our Ambassador. I waited for some days without obtaining any results when Sr. Lapetra told me that he could arrange to get the export permit. Within 48 hours after he told me this I was granted permission to export the animals referred to.xxx
4. On October 24th, I was granted permission to export 1,000 animals, xxxxx. About October 25th, United States Senator (name blanked out) went to Madrid to obtain permits for the exportation of a large number of names. Before he arrived, Sr. Ventosa to me that he would give me a permit to export 4,000 more animals. This permit had not been given in writing when Senator (Blanked) arrived. Senator (Blanked) talked with Sr. Ventosa and others and finally obtained a permit to export 20,000 animals, 5,000 which I already had been promised to permit for. These animals were being inspected and shipped when I received orders on November 20th to cease purchases in Spain xxxx. Of these animals 20,000 animals 10,763 were exported before purchases ceased in Spain.
5. The difficulties encountered in obtaining permits for exportation, for cars and shipping of animals were many, due in a great measure of German influences, as Spain was, during the whole time that I was on duty there, pro German. Animals were bought by German sympathizers in order to embarrass the American purchases and to raise prices. Shipments were delayed and interfered with by German sympathizers who paid railroad officials to delay and split trains.
6. Every shipment of animals that was made from Spain was accompanied by attendants who had in their possession buckets for watering the animals. Shipping conditions in Spain were not at any time satisfactory. Most of the animals were shipped from high altitudes to sea level during the hottest weather of the summer. All animals were carefully inspected by a Veterinarian before they were loaded and after their arrival at Irun, On the Spanish side. They were then shipped to Hendaye on the French side of the border where they were placed in corrals awaiting shipment to the Remount Station at Bayonne xxxxxxxxx.
7. When I first started inspections in Spain, I conformed strictly to regulations obtaining in the United States. In June I received a letter of instructions xxxx directing me to accept animals, which in my opinion would perform the work required of them, in other words, the United States specifications were waived. I directed my inspectors to accept animals, which in their opinion were serviceably sound and would perform the work required of them for 6 to 8 months. We did not conform to weights as we took animals lighter in weight than the specifications called for. All animals of this class were marked with a double letter and a certain amount was deducted from the purchase price. In a great many cases animals were given a higher classification after their arrival in Bayonne than was given them then they were purchased. Mistakes in judgment have been made in the inspection of animals, but this will occur in any inspection of stock. On many occasions I required inspectors to inspect the animals, which another inspector had taken. In this way everyone had a clear idea of what the other was doing. There were some criticisms, but on the whole the inspectors were satisfied with each other’s work. All animals were malleined and inspected before they were shipped and I have a report of but 5 reactions in Spain. As far as I can learn mange does not exist in Spain. About 10 animals which were suspected of being mangy were finally released and diagnosed as some other kind of skin trouble.
8. I inspected nearly all of the animals purchased in Spain, either at the purchase point, Irun, Hendaye, or the Remount Depot at Bayonne. I found that the animals as a whole taken by the different inspectors were of uniform type, soundness and age. In the purchase of a large number of animals mistakes in judgment will be made by all inspectors. I am of the opinion that the expedition into Spain for the purpose of purchasing animals for the American Expeditionary Forces had been successful and would have been more so had we not been working in a country where German influences were so strong.
9. The total number of animals contracted for in Spain was 65,000. It was not practicable to export animals from Portugal through Spain into France although I had permission to do so from both the Spanish and Portuguese Governments, as I estimated that the shortest haul would have been one of at least 8 days and as animals which were on the cars from 48 to 72 hours were reported as arriving in Hendaye in poor condition, I did not attempt to export animals from Portugal. The Portuguese prices were much higher than those in Spain, although there were no export duty to be paid.
85. The following table shows classification of animals purchased in Spain and average cost:
DISPOSAL OF DEAD AND CONDEMNED ANIMALS
86. Prior to May 1918 there were no contracts for animals inspected and condemned, and all animals that died were disposed of locally. In December 1917 the question of disposal of both dead and condemned animals was taken with the French authorities. They were very anxious to avoid the execution of any animals that might be suitable for there farmers to use, and were also anxious that all condemned animals, not infected with glanders, mange or lymphangitis be sold for butchery purposes.
87. Proposals for the disposal of dead animals and those fit for butchery purposes were invited and in May 1918 contract was entered into with M.A. Verdier, Aubervilles (Paris), to salvage all dead animals.
Contractors were to furnish a serum, which was supposed to delay the decay of a dead animal sufficiently so that it could be shipped by rail to their rendering plant in Paris. The contractor also agreed to send a man to each depot and hospital to give instructions in this manner of inoculation. This scheme was never successful. This serum did not prevent decomposition and furthermore the railroads refused to ship these animals.
88. During the same month contract was entered into with M.F. Barbuad, Paris for the sale of all animals condemned for butchery purposes. The animals were paid for by weight upon delivery in Paris. Horses and mules weighting 560 kilos and over paid 650 francs, horses and mules weighting between 500 and 550 kilos paid 550 francs and horses and mules under 500 kilos, 450 francs, very thin horses and mules and fit only for sausage meat, 250 francs. 25 francs being paid for all animals that died en route. This contract remained in force until September 30, 1918.
89. Animals condemned for sale before the arrangement were sold at public auction, a French auctioneer being employed. No animals could be sold to a farmer unless he furnished a certificate from the Mayor of his town to the effect that he was a bona fide breeder and farmer, and agreed to keep the animals purchased for at least three months from the date of sale. This scheme was not as successful as it might have been as there was not enough competition in bidding.
90. Animals after condemnation were branded as follows: If for sale: “R”; if for butchery purposes “R.B.”; vicious or dangerous “R.D”; and if under nine years of age “ R9” on both sides of the neck. The scheme was adopted to conform to that of the French, “R” standing for “reform”
91. After it had been found that the scheme of disposal of dead animals would not work out as per contract they were disposed of locally. Where a French salvage unit would accept the animals they were turned over to them. In other cases they were skinned and carcasses buried or destroyed, the hides being salted and turned over to the Salvage Division, Quartermaster Corps. In some cases the hides were given to the farmers to pay for removal of the carcasses. Later in the fall of 1918 the Salvage Division, Quartermaster Corps, entered into another contract with M.A. Alfred Dufour, Paris for the purchasing of the carcasses of all animals which died or were killed in the American Expeditionary Forces. The contractors established rendering plants at several of the larger hospitals and depots and the same agreement was made as formerly, the animals being inoculated with the serum and shipped to one of the rendering plants of the contractor. As in the case of the previous contract, this scheme did not work except at those depots where rendering plants had been established or when the contractor would himself call for the carcasses.
92. In July a letter was received from the French authorities in which they stated that the Remount Service was condemning for butchery purposes many animals which could be employed by their farmers. They proposed a scheme whereby we would submit animals to them before final disposition, and all of those ordered sold to the farmers would be auctioned off, certain classes of the French to have priority in the bidding. This scheme was rejected and agreement was finally made whereby all animals that were condemned, whether for butchery or sale to farmers, should be turned over to the French authorities, for such disposal as they wish to make. A uniform price of 450 francs was agreed upon for each animal turned over, this price was arrived at as being the average price received by the French for the sale of their condemned animals during the past year. This scheme proved satisfactory.
ISSUE OF ANIMALS IN THE A.E.F.
93. During the activities o the Expeditionary Forces in France from July 1917, to date of this report, 310,678 animals were issued to the various organizations. Of the total issued, 95,928 received from the French were shipped direct to organizations and 18, 675 received from the British Expeditionary Forces were supplied to our 2nd Corps, which at that time was in the British Zone. The balance, 196,075 animals were handled by and issued from our Remount Depots. Of this number, 54,089 were re-issues having seen evacuated by organizations and Remount Depots to Veterinary Hospitals for treatment and after being cured were sent to Remount Depots for re-issue after a short period of conditioning and hardening. Up to August 24, 1918 the Veterinary Corps was attached to the Remount Service but after date was attached to the Medical Department. It was the policy and aim of the Remount to evacuate to Veterinary Hospitals all sick and injured animals except minor cases which could be treated in a few days and to only keep on hand a supply of fit animals available for issue.
94. The general mode of issue was upon requisition or telegraphic request of the Chief Quartermaster, the Chief of Remount Service in turn instructing the Remount Depot nearest the organization making request to make delivery either by rail or overland shipment. It was planned by the Remount Service to receive animals in the Base Remount Depots and after holding them for the required quarantine period to send them to the Intermediate Depots. In these Depots it was arranged that the animals should be shod, trained and conditioned and then forwarded to the Advance Section Depots for issue. However, condition were such that this system could not be fully carried out as there was a constant and pressing demand for animals at the front and in many instances animals were received at the Base ports, malleined, held for the necessary quarantine, shod and shipped straight through to the front to combat organizations.
95. The first issue of animals to the A.E.F. was on July 6, 1917, of animals received from the United States. These animals were forwarded from the United States to certain organizations of the 1st Division in France and consigned direct to these organizations. Later on, beginning November 1917 when shipment of animals was resumed from the United States, conditions were such that animals were pooled at our three Base Remount Depots and forwarded to organizations that were in need of animals, having wagons, guns, and other horses drawn vehicles as well as harness, on hand.
96. During the time of purchasing animals from the French between August 1917, and December 1917, animals were shipped direct by the French to certain points close to the training areas of troops which did not have their allowance of animals. At these points the animals were inspected by our Remount Officers and the rejects were shipped back to the French Depots from which they came. The animals accepted were turned over at once to our troops and did not pass through Remount Depots with the exception of 924 in November 1917, which were sent to our newly established Advance Section Remount Depot at Bourbanne-les-Bains.
97. During February and March 1918, the French made direct shipments to the 2nd Division and the 2nd Artillery Brigade (1643 and 287 animals respectively) to complete the allowance of these organizations, which were under orders to go to the front. Another direct issue was made by the French to the 3rd and 55th Artillery Brigades (2267 and 692 animals respectively) in June 1918, at the Training Camp, Coetquidan, owing to these Brigades having received rush orders to join their Division.
98. During the requisitioning period from the French, June 20th, 1918, to August 10th, 1918, organizations of the A.E.F. sent details to each French Region. These details worked in conjunction with the French Requisitioning Boards. Animals after being collected were sent direct to divisions or Brigades upon telegraphic instructions from Chief Quartermaster. In this way they did not pass through Remount Depots. A daily report was rendered by Divisions or separate brigades as to number of animals on hand by classes.
99. Later on, in September when the shortage of animals became critical, the French were again asked to supply horses to the A.E.F. and agreed to furnish 13,000, a number of which were shipped direct to the 1st Army, then engaged in action by the French regimental depots.
100. Aside from these direct shipments made by the French Government to combat units all animals were issued from Remount Depots on orders from the Chief of Remount Service. During the period of June – November 1918, when the shortage of animals was the most serious, a priority schedule of issues was furnished by General Headquarters, all animals to be issued to combat units of the 1st Army. Exception was made in the case of stallions obtained from the French, which were unsuitable for combat troops and were issued to Forestry and Construction Engineers.
101. At the time when the 1st Army was actively engaged, in September and October 1918, and lost a large number of animals, replacements were rushed both from French Depots and our own Depots to the Regulating Station at St. Dizier where they were diverted by the Army Remount Officers to such organizations as were most in need of them.
102. The Animal Branch at Remount Service Headquarters kept posted daily on all shipments and issues as well as to numbers of animals required by every combat division and by Artillery Brigades, special charts showed the requirements of these organization and diagrams were kept on the routing of every shipment from point of issue to destination, this information being received by wire or telephone.
103. Requisitions from organizations in the S.O.S. were made direct to the Chief Quartermaster. In many cases it was necessary to hold up these requisitions owing to the shortage of animals and it being necessary to give combat units the preference. This was true especially in the case of the Forestry Engineers who required a large number of heavy draft horses for logging operations. The number of horses available in Remount Depots was never sufficient to fulfill the requirements.
104. Report of issues and shipments were made daily by each Remount Depot either by wire or telephone, these reports being confirmed by a weekly mail report. Daily consolidated statements were compiled in the Animal Branch from these Remount Depot reports kept on file for reference.
105. After the signing of the armistice, November 11, 1918, it became very difficult, on account of the shortage of freight cars, to send animals from the Remount Depots in the Base, Intermediate and Advance Sections to combat organizations at the front. This lack of cars was caused by the necessity of moving Third Army to the Rhine; the large number of war prisoners returning to France, the repatriation of the civilian population in Northern France and the necessity of at once sending supplies into the devastated region.
106. Animals were at this time being received from the United States, and the delay in getting freight cars caused an overflow of animals in practically all the Remount Depots in the Base and Intermediate Sections, several Depots having on hand twice the number of animals they had been built to accommodate. Cars were obtained as rapidly as possible, but in order to relieve the congestion, an auxiliary depots to that at St. Nazaire was opened at the Artillery Training Camp at Meucon, and a depot auxiliary to that at Merignac was opened at the Artillery Training Camp at Souge; also approximately 200 acres of land was leased at the Remount Depot at Gievres and corrals erected to take care of the overflow at that point.
107. Establishment of many Remount Depots in the Advance Section to care for the problem of direct supply of animals to combat troops brought about the inauguration of the office of Chief Remount Officer, Advance Section. The Advance Section Remount Officer worked under the following instructions, which issued by the Chief of Remount Service:
1. Under the authority granted in Par. 137, S.O. 165, Hq. S.O.S., current series, you, as my assistant and representative in the Advance Section, S.O.S., will supervise and direct the operations of the Remount Depots and Veterinary Hospitals, which come with the jurisdiction of the Remount Service.
2. You will, by frequent inspections and other means, keep in touch with conditions existing at Remount Depots and Veterinary Hospitals within your jurisdiction, giving such orders as maybe necessary to secure their prompt construction, the proper care and handling of animals, and in effect generally promote the efficiency of the Remount Service in your territory.
3. You will act as a liaison between the Remount Service under control of this office and that of the Armies, and as far as practicable keep yourself informed as to Remount conditions in the Armies, and promote in every way possible the efficiency of the service rendered by the Remount Service to the Armies.
4. The control and direction of animals issued and receipts rests with this office, but in case of emergency, where in your judgment immediate action is required, you are authorized to issue the necessary orders, reporting same promptly to this office.
5. You will assist in securing from the various departments of the S.O.S., the equipment, supplies, construction material and personnel and transportation, necessary for Remount operations.
6. You will conform to the established policies of this office, departing from same only when in your opinion the Remount Service would materially suffer by adhering to them and reporting promptly to this office all cases of such departure.
7. You will keep this office posted concerning operations and conditions which comes within your sphere of action in order that there maybe complete understanding and cooperation between these parts of the Remount Service.
108. In the matter of animal supply to the Armies and the various S.O.S. projects in the Advance Section, the Remount Service was confronted with difficulties in the beginning which for a time seemed insurmountable. Remount Depots in the Base and Intermediate Sections were early established but the impossibility of securing satisfactory railway transportation for shipment direct to the various units at and near the front proved a most serious obstacle. Moreover, even when cars were obtainable, such shipments were unsatisfactory because of the lack of facilities such organizations had for the care of animals with sickness which usually follows their shipment by Train. Therefore, it soon became apparent that Remount Depots in the Advance Section, properly distributed, should be established and to the fullest extent possible receive all shipments direct from the Base or Intermediate Depots, and in turn make all issues direct to the Armies and various other unit in the Advance Section, such issues and deliveries to be made overland by Remount Service personnel, which insured the issuance of sound and healthy animals immediately ready for combat duty.
109. This proposed plan of operation having been adopted, the next problem was that of securing suitable sites for construction of stable or, preferably, getting authority from the French for the use of certain of their artillery stables. Certain places of the latter type were promised but in numbers insufficient for the need; so, due to the climate conditions in France, construction was required, and this included not only the matter of shelter but the more difficult problem of suitable standings. Unfortunately there was a shortage in personnel of experience in the case of animals under the un-usual conditions presented, and, late in the Fall of 1917, in a sea of mud and a steady downpour of rain, the Remount Service of the Advance Section was forced to begin its construction for the care of animals that began to arrive before the first nail was driven or the first wagon load of stones hauled. To make matters worse, the general condition of the animals received was most discouraging.
110. The pioneer Remount Depot in the Advance Section was undertaken under those conditions at Bourbonne-les-Bains (Department Haute-Marne) on November 9, 1917, when a detachment of the Third Cavalry arrived at that place, having left all of their horse equipment in the United States pursuant to orders. With the arrival of six hundred run down animals shortly there- after it became known to them that they were to operate a Remount Depot, and with these animals knee-deep in mud, the construction of the first Remount Depot began. By Spring the personnel had partly extricated themselves and the animal from the mud and had stable shelter for 1800 animals. At about this time, on April 25th, 1918, another Depot was established at Montiers-sur-Saulx (Department Meuse) which place soon had a capacity of 1400 animals, thus making a total capacity of the Advance Section depots during the early summer of 1918 only 3200 animals.
111. Confronted with this situation, the seriousness of which was emphasized by the animal situation in the Chateau-Thierry offensive, where there were no established Remount Depots near the front either for the purpose of army supply or evacuation, a number of experienced Remount Officers were ordered to France from the United States and the Remount personnel in the Advance Section was shortly thereafter increased to its required working proportions. Construction on existing depots was speeded up and energetic measures were taken to secure either building sites or authority to occupy French stables in the Advance Section as near practicable to the front. All of this was unable of accomplishment before the St. Mihiel offensive took place but for that event temporary points of evacuation and supply were established with the result of great improvement in the animal situation at that time as compared with the conditions three months previously at Chateau-Thierry.
112. By the middle of August construction had began on the Remount Depot at Lux (Department Cote d’Or) for a capacity of 4,000 animals, which Depot received its first shipment of animals on September 13, 1918. Shortly thereafter authority was received for the occupation of excellent French stables at Nancy, Commercy, Verdun, and Besancon. Nancy was established on October 18, and Commercy and Besancon on November 11th. This completed the proposed line of Remount Depots behind our armies and had hostilities continued the plan and arrangements thereof would have insured the efficient and rapid supply of animals to all unit at the front by comparatively short overland deliveries. This general arrangement of the Depots behind the Armies was roughly in the shape of the capital letter “Y”, with Verdun and Nancy at the two extremities. Commercy at the center and with Montiers, Bourbonne, Lux and Besancon in their order, from north to south. On November 11, 1918, when the Armistice became effective, the total actual stable capacity of the Advance Section Remount Depots was 10,000 animals, as contrasted with the total capacity of 3,200 three months before. The cancellation of all proposed construction with the cessation of hostilities prevented the fulfillment of the plan for over 20,000 capacity by early Spring, 1919, and had the war continued, all previous arrangements for the occupation and establishment of appropriate places for new Depots immediately back of the advancing armies would have been accomplished without delay.
113. Improvements in the general animal condition took place during the last few weeks of the war. At the time of the St. Mihiel offensive the demand for animals was so great that the standard condition of animals issued was necessarily low and it was required in some instances to issue animals which it was quite apparent would not be able to withstand but little work in the field. At the end of hostilities, however, and during the Argonne offensive, the situation has so improved that only the best animals were issued, and of these there were many. In fact during the Argonne offensive, the army evacuated animals that were in better condition than those originally issued to the armies for combat duty during the early summer at the time of the Chateau-Thierry fight. This accomplishment was due to the excellent care all thin and convalescent animals received both in the Veterinary Hospitals and Remount Depots where with several months experience the personnel had become highly interested and efficient in the conditioning of animals. The animals shipments which began to arrive from the United States in the early part of November 1918, were to late for use during hostilities but were invaluable in expediting and making easy the triumphant entry of the American Army into Germany.
114. Under the jurisdiction of the Chief Remount Officer, of the Advance Section, there were seven Remount Depots as follows:
Remount Depot No. 31, Lux (Cote d’Or)
Remount Depot No. 32, Bourbonne-les-Bains (Haute-Marne)
Remount Depot No. 33, Montiers-sur-Saulx (Meuse)
Remount Depot No. 34, Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle)
Remount Depot No. 35. Besancon (Doubs)
Remount Depot No. 36, Commercy (Meuse)
Remount Depot No. 37, Verdun (Meuse)
These depots were operated in the beginning by Field Remount Squadrons and detachments of the Third Cavalry with a total commissioned and enlisted personnel of approximately sixty officers and 1,600 enlisted men. Prior to the signing of the armistice, there of an almost continual shortage of men due to so much construction work being in progress, and the drain on man power caused by overland shipments of animals which kept a great part of the personnel away from the Depots at all times. The ideal proportion of one man to every four horses, was, therefore never quite attained until the latter part of October 1918. By November 11th, the number engaged in Advance Section Remount work was 95 officers and 2,664 men.
115. The entire supply of the Army was not entirely dependent upon the Advance Remount Depots, but the original minimum supply having once attained its normal proportions from the Base and Intermediate Depots, the burden of replacements and emergency demands rested entirely upon the Advance Section. The slow but sure method of overland deliveries for distances as great as 200 kilometers should be taken into consideration in connection with the figures upon issues in order to gain an insight into the volume of work successfully accomplished by the Remount Service.
116. Such issues and deliveries were made by the Advance Section Depots prior to November 11th to the extent of 13,792 animals, at which date the complete organization of these depots was just being realized.
117. Of the Remount Depots in the Advance Section three were entirely of American construction on sites specially selected, these were:
Remount Depot No. 32, Bourbonne-les-Bains (Haute-Marne)
Remount Depot No. 33, Montiers-sur-Saulx (Meuse)
Remount Depot No. 31, Lux (Cote d’Or)
Wooden stables were furnished by the Engineers and erection to a great extent done by them. This, however, represented only a small part of the work, inasmuch as thousands of tons of rock had to be quarried and hauled for suitable standing to keep the animals from stinking down to their knees in the mud. Moreover the interior of the stables had to be specially arranged by the installation of suitable feed boxes, overhead mangers and kicking bars, all of which representing many thousand lineal feet, had to be wired or covered with tin to prevent their destruction by the gnawing of the animals. All of this required an untold amount of work, which had to be carried on in conjunction with the care of the animals. Roads about the depot has also to be constructed, picket lines set up and rocked, the water system installed, and finally a drainage system had to be devised. For overcoming the extreme handicaps under which they began operations, and for the results of their work accomplished as date of November 11, 1918, these three depots are deserving of special credit.
118. The signing of the armistice, which became effective November 11th brought no immediate cessation in the activities and usefulness of the Advance Section of the Remount Service. The occupation of the left bank of the Rhine covering a march of several hundred miles necessitated an army more mobile than we had yet possessed in the A.E.F., and in forming the Third Army for the Army of Occupation each Division was given its full quota of animals to facilitate and insure the rapid movement of the troops. Many of these horses and mules were turned over to the newly organized Third Army by the First and Second Armies, but the burden of making the Third Army mobile primarily rested with the Advance Remount Section Depots due to the fact that many of the animals turned over to the Third Army were not in the best condition, due to the hard campaign they had just been through. Overland shipments therefore began to go forward immediately to the various divisional units of the Third Army in rapid succession.
119. High-grade animals were beginning to arrive in increasing numbers at the Base Depots from the States and as fast as transportation became available they were shipped to the various Advance Remount Depots where the shoeing was completed and animals fit for immediate service were selected and sent forward. It might be here remarked that the quality of the horses and mules that were being received at this time from the States was a matter of great satisfaction to all officers and men in the A.E.F. who were interested in animal transportation, and, after having struggled with war-worn animals that had apparently all been treated at least once for mange or other ailments, it was most refreshing to again associate with beautiful, high spirited animals, strong and healthy, then arriving from the States.
120. Suddenly, November 20, 1918, the smoothness in the machine-like method of supply to the Third Army received a severe jolt when an embargo was placed upon all transportation from the Base Ports to all points in the Advance Section further north than Is-sur-Tille, which point was seven miles from our nearest Remount Depot at Lux. The actual capacity at Lux was then only 3,000 animals, and as a result of the embargo, the Advance Section was suddenly confronted with the necessity of handling in that Depot 500 animals a day from the rail debarkation point at Is-sur-Tille only fifty per cent of which would be shod. This came at a time when the various units of the Third Army were enroute towards Luxembourg and were absolutely dependent upon additional animals to insure their progress. Quick step were taken to increase the personnel at Lux and a series of overland conveys from Lux to Luxembourg with 350 animals in each was immediately resorted to. At the same time, independent steps were taken by the Advance Section Remount Headquarters to retain for rail shipment some of the cars received from the Base Depots which practice had at all previous times been flatly prohibited by the French rail authorities. After considerable negotiation, some success was realized and each incoming shipment from the Base Ports was carefully examined and all animals fit for immediate service were forwarded on by rail to northern France or Luxembourg. The convoy series was also worked out most satisfactorily and these gradually overtook the advancing armies with the result that at no time was the Third Army handicapped for lack of animal transportation.
121. The supply of the Third Army was completed by the middle of December, and it only remained to furnish a few additional animals to the various units of the First and Second Armies, this supply having been completed by the middle of January, form which time the situation temporarily remained stationary pending the determination as to the disposition of the excess supply on hand. Of these, many animals had been accumulating in Remount Depots and Veterinary Hospitals, which, due to the nature of the wound or disease, would not become serviceable for a period of many months. Authority from G.H.Q. was finally secured to have such animals submitted to an Inspector for condemnation and sale to the French Government as a result of a special contract with them at a price of 450 francs per head.
122. Partially due to the uncertainty of the American Battle Front during the early part of the war, and partially on account of the great scarcity of construction materials and personnel, all efforts by the Remount Service prior to Spring of 1918 to obtain authority for Remount Depot construction were fruitless. Plans for construction were worked out by the Construction Branch at Remount Headquarters.
123. Outside of obtaining the French Depots at St. Nazaire, La Rochelle and Merignac (Bordeaux), all requests for Remount Construction made by the Chief Quartermaster were disapproved. At this time the French and recommended various places to be used for billeting animals, but as these were widely scattered and required a great amount of personnel with the accompanying difficulty administration, they found to be unsatisfactory.
124. When plans were finally completed for the purchase of animals from the French, early in the Spring of 1918, the small French Annexes at Bellac, Muret, Negrepelisse, Gramat, La-Celle-Bruere, and Coligny were turned over to the United States Remount Service. These, however, only provided for a total capacity of 2,415 animals.
125. It was not until May 7, 1918, when a telegram was received from General Headquarters, by the Commanding General, Service of Supply, directing him to establish Remount Depots in the Intermediate or Base Section for 15,000 animals, that steps were taken to select sites and construct animals shelters. The Chief of the Remount Service, on May 11th, appointed a board of officers to take charge of the selection of sites and construction of Remount Depots.
126. These officers made a report to the Director of Construction and Forestry and Chief Quartermaster on May 21st, recommending that 5 Remount Depots be established as follows:
Selles-sur-Cher – 2,000 animals (This in addition to the Remount Annex already existing)
Gievres – 5,000 animals
Sougy – 4,000 animals
Lux – 2,000 animals
Gray – 2,000 animals
These recommendations were approved on May 24th, and the Director of Construction and Forestry immediately began preparing Survey Maps of the sites selected.
127. In compliance with instructions from the Director of Construction and Forestry and the Chief Quartermaster, two officers proceeded on May 27th to visit the British Remount Depots and Veterinary Hospitals for the purpose of studying their methods and types of construction. Reports of their trip were made to the Director of Construction and Forestry and Chief of Remount Service, June 12, 1918, and plans of stables and other accessory buildings were immediately drawn up to meet the requirements of the U.S. Remount Service.
128. In many cases the arrangements and type of buildings as used by the Remount Service, A.E.F., are similar to those used by the British, however, certain improvements were incorporated and plans were drawn for the Depots already authorized in the Intermediate Section.
129. At this period the ports of debarkation were fairly well provided for by using the French Depots. The project to establish a Depot at Gray was abandoned, owing to the fact that the Chief of Remount Service was advised this location was not desired. Subsequently the plans and capacities were somewhat modified for the various Depots planned for the Intermediate Section, until finally the plans called for:
4,000 animals at Lux
4,000 animals at Sougy
4,000 animals at Gievres
4,000 animals at Selles-sur-Cher
130. At this period all Remount activities throughout the Advance Section were under the direction of the Commanding General, Advance Section.
131. All the above named sites were situated along the U.S. Line of Communications, convenient to good water supply and sandy soil.
132. In connection with the establishment of these Remount Depots, the Remount Service was instrumental in getting authorized and laying plans for Veterinary Hospitals to be located near the Remount Depots at:
The plans and construction on these Hospitals were well under way at the time the Veterinary Service and Remount Service were separated, August 29, 1918.
133. When the purchase of animals started in Spain, provisions were made for receiving them at Bayonne and construction was authorized for shelters for 1,500 animals on June 22, 1918. In addition to this, receiving corrals were established at Hendaye and a small rest station at St. Jean de Lux.
134. The Remount Depots at St. Nazaire, La Rochelle and Bordeaux having but limited capacities no room for expansion, it was decided to increase the capacity of each port and authority was given July 3rd for the construction of a new Remount Depot at St. Nazaire for 3,000 animals, a Remount Depot at La Pallice for 2,500 animals and a Remount Depot at Carbon Blanc (near Bordeaux) for 3,000 animals.
135. In compliance with General Order No. 122, dated July 26, 1918, the Remount Service took over the active direction of all Remount activities throughout the Advance Section. The only authorized Remount Construction in the Advance Section were depots at Lux, authorized May 24, 1918, and Montiers-sur-Saulx, June 3, 1918, The Remount Depot at Bourbonne-les-Bains, then in operation, had never been authorized and accordingly authorization was obtained to complete this Depot with a total capacity for 3,500 animals, August 19, 1918. Later several French Depots were secured by the Remount Service, in the Advance Section to be used as Remount Depots. These required no construction and while of small capacity, provided good accommodations for both animals and men.
136. In September when plans were being formulated for the shipment to France from the U.S., of 30,000 animals per month, it was decided to again increase the capacity of the Base Ports and accordingly sites were selected as follows:
Depot for 3,000 animals at Pontchateau (9 miles from St. Nazaire)
Depot for 3,000 animals at La Rochelle
Depot for 3,000 animals at St. Sulpice (7 miles from Bordeaux)
These projects were authorized September 3, 1918, and plans had already been submitted for the construction at the time the Armistice was signed. The construction of these depots was cancelled November 15, 1918.
137. From May 1918, the following method of obtaining Remount Construction has been pursued:
a. Written request by Chief Quartermaster on Commanding General, Service of Supply, stating capacity desired, location and reasons for construction, also other information, it any.
b. Written request sent by Commander-in-Chief, to French Mission for authority to establish desired Remount Depot.
c. Matter referring by Commanding General, Service of Supply, to Director of Construction and Forestry, approved and for remarks.
d. Returned to Commanding General, Service of Supply, approved.
e. Authorization given by Commanding General, Service of Supply, to Engineers for the necessary material and labor. Authority also given to Rents, Requisitions and Claims Service for the leasing of necessary ground.
f. Site selected by Officer of Remount Division in company with Officer representing the Engineers.
g. Preparation of Survey Map by Engineers.
h. Preparation of plans on Survey Map by Engineers
i. Approval of plans by Engineers.
j. Approval of project by French.
k. Approval of Rents, Requisitions and Claims Service to occupy site.
l. Project ready to be started.
139. Owing to the heavy demand made by all departments of the A.E.F. for construction, the Remount construction program was considerably delayed, and in every case animals had to be placed in Remount Depots before they were ready to receive them, which made it very bad for the animals. Most of the work of construction of the Depots was done by the Remount personnel, as the Construction Department did not have enough available men for that purpose, and this threw a great burden on the Remount personnel as at that time it was necessary to care for animals.
140. The Personnel Branch of the Remount Service was charged with the work of procuring personnel for the various Remount Depots and other points in the A.E.F. where officers and enlisted men were needed in caring for public animals. This Branch was put in operation by the Chief of the Remount Service in order to keep in touch with the personnel supply and demand. Through orders for movement of Remount personnel were issued by the Chief Quartermaster, it was possible through our own Branch to keep an accurate check on every officer and man of the Remount Service in the A.E.F. Change of Remount personnel was requested by the Chief of Remount Service and through this system it was possible to get the proper officer or organization in the proper place, inasmuch as these headquarters were cognizant of the capabilities of the personnel in that service.
141. It was impossibility in the early stages of the war to furnish sufficient Remount personnel for the various demands but a constantly increasing number of Remount officers and men arriving overseas brought about a continued improvement in conditions. At the date of the Armistice there were enough Remount Officers and Remount Squadrons to care for the bulk of the work falling upon that Branch of the service. From that time conditions gradually improved, due to the sale of animals to the French and the absorption of surplus animals by the three Armies. Later as the First and Second Armies were dissolved there was a call made upon the Remount Service to handle those animals. Through sales to the French, both the Government and individuals, these animals were absorbed. Through it was impossible at that time to release any of the permanent personnel of the Remount Service, labor battalions and pioneer infantry companies, which had been secured for temporary, were turned back to their original duties.
142. After the number of animals had been reduced by a large percentage plans were made in this branch to begin sending home units from Remount Depots as fast as Depots could be closed. On May 9, 1919, the first Remount Squadrons were placed on the priority list for return to the United States. These Squadrons were No. 315, 316 and 328. This marked the beginning of the breaking up of the Remount Service in France with prospects bright for an almost complete dissolution soon after the signing of peace.
143. A.E.F. Project of July 10, 1917, made provision for Remount personnel consisting of two Base Remount Depots (2 Headquarters and 14 Remount Squadrons), one line of Communication Remount Depot (1 Headquarters and 14 Remount Squadrons), one Army Remount Depot (1 Headquarters and 5 Remount Squadrons),and five Corps Remount Depots (5 Remount Squadrons); these were to be sent in five phases in accordance with a priority schedule.
That Project was replaced by Priority Schedule of October, 1917, which provided for 4 Headquarters and 31 Remount Squadrons to be distributed through five phases, and were for the establishment of two Base Remount Depots, one Advance Remount Depot (in place of one Line of Communication Depot), one Army Remount Depot and five Corps Remount Depots.
144. Because of the fact that the supply of animals did not meet the requirements of the combatant troops, the need for establishing immediately a large personnel for distinctive Remount work was not then considered urgent, the intention being to issue animals fast as they arrived to the organizations. However, conditions in France soon demonstrated that all animals, regardless of the source from which derived, must first be placed in Depots for a certain period of quarantine, breaking, shoeing and conditioning. This necessitated providing a permanent personnel, especially trained in such work.
145. Until such time as Remount personnel should arrive in France various combatant troops were detailed for Remount work. The use of combatant troops for Remount purposes is not entirely satisfactory for the reason that being trained for combat they are in an emergency taken away from Remount duty for that purpose. They do not take the same interest in Remount work that troops do who have been enlisted and specially trained for this purpose.
146. With the anticipated receipt of animals from the French, beginning March 1, 1918, memorandum under date of February 12, 1918, was submitted recommending that each troop of the 3rd Cavalry, (which came to France for Remount duty and arrived in November, 1917) be reinforced as soon as possible to an enlisted strength of 250. This was disapproved but replacement to bring the troops of the 3rd Cavalry to authorized strength was to be furnished as soon as available.
147. It was estimated that by March 1, 1918, there should be in operation three Base Remount Depots, one Intermediate Remount Depot, two Advance Remount Depots, and one Corps Remount Depot. The 3rd Cavalry, if reinforced as requested, and the Remount unit of the first phase would make about one-half the personnel authorized by the Table of Organization for these Depots.
148. In March 1918, other combatant troops were assigned to the Remount Service, viz., the 2nd and 15th Cavalry, the 116th Ammunitions Train, and Ammunitions Train of the 32nd Division (the assignment of the latter organization was only temporary and to take care of the situation existing at Coetquidan.)
149. Owing to the numbers of animals being acquired from various sources, it was found that even with combatant troops engaged in Remount work (equivalent to about 33 Remount Squadrons) the personnel was insufficient. Memorandum dated May 11, 1918, was therefore sent to Chief Quartermaster, A.E.F., showing the condition of personnel in detail, and requesting 43 additional Remount Squadrons.
Up until this time no Remount personnel had arrived from the United States, but four Remount Squadrons, which were to be sent in place of two Auxiliary Remount Depots were expected to arrive shortly. These four Remount Squadrons finally arrived May 12, 1918.
150. On June 24, 1918, memorandum was submitted to Commanding General, Service of Supply, in response to a memorandum calling for an estimate of Remount personnel required, showing that 89 Remount Squadrons were needed in addition to the combatant personnel (equivalent to 33 Remount Squadrons) then on duty in the Remount Service; or 122 Remount Squadrons in the event that combatant personnel was removed from Remount Service. It was not contemplated at this time that combatant troops would be thus relieved, and of the 89 Remount Squadrons estimated necessary it was requested that 55 of them be given a priority schedule for 30 to be sent over in July and 25 in August, 1918.
151. A new proposed Project for troops submitted to the Remount Service under date of July 14, 1918, necessitated tabulation of the requirements of this Service to coincide with said Project. Memorandum giving detailed tabulation of personnel required was therefore submitted under date of July 16, 1918.
152. On August 5, 1918, in response to instructions from Commanding General, Service of Supply, directing that an estimate be made showing personnel required in the Remount Service to replace Cavalry then on duty, memorandum was submitted stating that 31 Remount Squadrons would be required for this purpose. It was recommended that a cable to the Quartermaster General be sent as follows:
“129 Remount Squadrons required up to June 1919 for Remount Service. 9 Squadrons are now here, leaving 120 to be supplied. Request that 31 Remount Squadrons be sent immediately to relieve Cavalry now on Remount duty and that the balance consisting of 89 Remount Squadrons be supplied at the following rate: 12 in September, 12 in October, 9 in November, and 8 each month from December 1918 to June 1919 inclusive.”
153. As a result of the requests dated May 11th, June 24th, July 14th, and August 5th, 1918, the following cablegram was sent:
“No. 1569-S; August 7th, 1918.
AGWAR, Washington. Paragraph 1. For the Chief of Staff. In each subparagraph A below are given the items of priority schedule for the First Army yet to be shipped according to our records after deducting the arrivals recently on.
Subparagraph A. Most urgent that Service of Supply, Auxiliary troops and replacements, sailing of which classes has been postponed in the past, should, so far as possible, have absolute priority over Divisional troops. If this is not done the inevitable result will be the diversion of combat troops to Service of Supply duty, which is undesirable from every point of view.
154. Upon the signing of the Armistice, November 11, 1918, there were 36 Remount Squadrons in France, with 10 reported about to arrive. The last of these 10 arrived November 27, 1918. In addition there was on Remount duty the 3rd and 15th Regiments of the Cavalry and 10 pack trains. Memorandum was sent to Personnel Division, Office Chief Quartermaster, showing this condition, and stating it was considered that the Remount Serve could get along with 71 Remount Squadrons, leaving a balance of 25 Squadrons required. A few days later request was forwarded to Personnel Division, Office Chief Quartermaster, and cancellation of shipment of all Remount personnel.
155. Because of the large number of animals arriving at Base Ports from the United States, and the non-arrival of promised Remount personnel, it became necessary to have additional personnel detailed for Remount duty. Accordingly, as necessity demanded, numerous memoranda were sent to the Commanding General, Service of Supply, beginning with first memorandum of November 11, 1918, requesting such personnel, which was supplied as promptly as possible by the temporary detail of combatant and labor troops. The detailing of these troops was absolutely necessary and met the existing emergency; at no time was the need for specially trained Remount personnel more keenly felt. Remount Squadrons arrived as shown in the following paragraph.
156. REMONUT SQAUDRONS. These Squadrons were organized in the United States, the personnel being composed of men experienced in the handling of animals. Request was made by the A.E.F. to have a number of these Squadrons sent to France, but there never were sufficient of them on hand to properly care for the animals.
The first four Squadrons, numbers 301-302-303-304, sailed from Hoboken, April 30, 1918, and arrived at St. Nazaire May 12, 1918.
These Squadrons took part in every phase of animal care in the A.E.F. and were in constant demand for duty in Armies, Corps and at Remount Depots. The services rendered by them were invaluable where ever they were placed, and those that were sent to Armies received the commendation of the Army authorities, not only for the Remount work they performed but for the assistance they gave in evacuating debilitated animals. The services rendered by these squadrons, compared with the services rendered by combat troops detail for Remount duty, shows conclusively that experienced personnel should be provided for handling of animals.
157. During the activities of the Remount Service in the A.E.F. from the beginning of operations in France in June, 1917, to the date of the signing of peace, thirty-eight Remount Depots were operated, one Depot at Angeles was constructed but not used; one temporary Depot was put in operation in the Le Mans Area, authority for four more Depots was secured but not constructed due to the signing of the Armistice and two Remount organizations operated sales centers at Toulouse and Miramas. On the date that peace was signed there were two Remount Depots in operation, both of which were in Germany for the use of the Army of Occupation.
158. Conditions under which Remount Depots were established both in France and it Germany did not make for the best results. Depots had to be operated where large numbers of animals were to be held. In peacetime it is possible to make long moves with animals but in the A.E.F. it was necessary to forestall every possible movement, which involved railways or long delays.
In the early history of the Remount Service in France plans were made to handle animals coming direct from the French civilians. Where there were centers to which animals had to be delivered it was necessary to arrange with the French Government for the procurement of a place to hold these animals. That accounts for the number of little depots, which dotted many sections of France. They were called “annexes” by the French but they operated as Depots for the American Army. As the need for the smaller depots in various sections disappeared they were returned to the French Government.
159. In the Depots established by the U.S. Army in France it was necessary to work out a new method of caring for animals. The personnel that had been trained in the United States had been used to the corral system, but that was inadequate in France as animals had to be trained and conditioned before being issued to combat organizations. During the major portion of operations there was a great shortage of animals, which precluded that training which had been prescribed by the Remount Service.
160. Many innovations were tried out and found successful. The system of exercising animals, the addition of hay-cutting and oat-grinding machines to the equipment of Depots among other improvements brought about better conditions in the Remount Service. The hay-cutting and oat-grinding machines, motor propelled, were found to be highly successful and when the process of dismantling Depots began permission was secured for shipment to the United States of twelve of these machines for use in the Depots there.
161. After nearly two years of work in the field, officers of the Remount Service had worked out various schemes whereby it was possible to obtain a greater degree of efficiency. Standing orders were made up in each Depot for routine work. These order made it possible for each detail to secure results without a great deal of duplication of effort and lost motion. Such orders pertained to shipping instructions, standing orders for feeding, exercising and general care of animals, orders for convoying animals overland, orders for issuing and receiving officers, form for convoy orders, equipment carried by conveys, orders for convoy by train, instructions for attendants on trains. Depot standing orders, orders for unloading animal transports, detail for unloading convoys, were made up and submitted to these Headquarters by the various Depots. These instructions were followed out and proved successful. Equipment for a model Remount Depot was also compiled.
162. Following is a list of Depots in France that were used by the U.S. Army and afterwards abandoned:
REMOUNT OFFICERS WITH ARMIES, CORPS AND DIVISIONS
163. The first Remount Officer to be assigned to a corps received orders July 5, 1918, to proceed to Headquarters of the First Army for Remount duty. He was assigned to the First Corps, where he aided organizations int the handling of their animals through the Chateau-Thierry operations and also conducted part of the evacuation of the sick and wounded animals to the rear. After the first Remount Officer was assigned to combat organizations at the front, steps were taken to place Remount Officers with each Army Headquarters and Division Headquarters.
164. With the arrival of more officers from the United States it was possible to place Remount Officers with every Corps and practically every division at the front. The Remount Officers inspected the animals of the various organizations with a view toward helping correct conditions rather than criticize. They also aided in the working out of priority list for the issuing of animals to divisions wherever there was a shortage. It was the duty of the Division Remount Officers to keep in touch with every organization in his division and report to the Corps Remount Officer. Conditions that could not be corrected by the Corps Remount Officer were turned over to the Army Remount Officer for final action.
165. The following instructions for Army, Corps and Divisions Remount Officers were, upon the request of the Chief Quartermaster, A.E.F., issued by General Headquarters, October 10, 1918, to C.G., First Army:
1. The following should be embodied in instructions for Remount Officers on duty with Army, Corps and Divisions:
FUNCHTION OF DIVISION REMOUNT OFFICERS
(a) To frequently inspect all animals of the divisions, making recommendation to the Commanding General thereof as to care, training and conversation.
To meet all trains and road conducting parties arriving with assignments of animals; to inspect these consignments and report to the Chief of Remount Service any complaints as to the condition, special attention being given to the shoeing. Render assistance to conducting officer and see that he obtain a receipt for the consignment. Form No. ____, Remount Service, should be signed by the officer deputed by the Army, Corps or Division to take over the animals. The Division Remount Officer should not sign the receipt except there no officer is present, in which case the receipt should be signed by the senior non-commissioned officer of the Army, Corps or Division and countersigned by the Division Remount Officer. He should see that conducting parties start on return journey as soon after handing over the animals as possible, and that all animals arriving are handed over to a representative of a Division or unit to whom they are consigned.
To submit to the Army Remount Officer on the 15th and 1st day of each month report showing present animal status and all receipts and losses since last return.
FUNCTIONS OF CORPS REMOUNT OFFICER
(b) The same as those of Division Remount Officer as regards animals of Corps troops, and the submission to the Army Remount Officer of a bi-monthly report on Form No. 68, Remount Service, showing present status and all receipts and losses of animals of Corps troops; also the co-ordination and supervision of the work of the Division Remount Officers.
FUNCTIONS OF ARMY REMOUNT OFFICER
(c) The same as those of Division Remount Officer as regards animals of the Army Troops
166. Following are the instructions, which governed the work of Division Remount Officers in one of the Corps, which worked out exceptionally well:
Division Remount Officers should, before beginning the inspection of an organization, call upon the Commanding Officer thereof and obtain through him the names of the officer or officers of his organization whom he expects to hold responsible for the proper stable management; there after in visiting the various organizations the Remount Officer should call upon such responsible officers to accompany him on his tours of inspection.
The following routine, if followed, will be found by the Remount Officer to greatly facilitate his inspections, and will enable him to check up on improvements made since last visit.
PICKET LINES – It should be carefully observed whether the picket lines are frequently changed. Unless an unusually good standing has been secured, picket lines should be changed every few days to enable the old standings to dry out and to be cleaned.
See that picket lines are not strung along the contour line of rising ground, but are run up and down the hill. This enables the picketed horses to secure level standing, whereas if the picket lines follow the contour, one side of the line will leave the horses with most of their weight resting on the hind feet, while the other side will have the most weight resting on the rear quarters. Stable sergeants should be instructed how to provide simple and efficient drains to keep the standings as well drains as possible.
Note whether collar, saddle or shoulder sores are unduly prevalent. Carefully observe the conditions and flesh of the animals. Where it is found that great differences in flesh exist, it is well to presume that the animals which are poor are being carelessly handled or else are slow eaters, or are timid and being robbed of their feed by the more aggressive or rapid eaters. A separate picket line should be arranged for the thin animals, and it should be insisted that a feed guard be established to carefully watch all the lines during feeding, and see that the poor animals particularly are allowed to consume their full rations; also that the hay is not tramped and wasted, and that the feed bags are shortened where they are found to habitually throw their feed bags so as to largely waste their grain they should be knee haltered while feeding so as to keep them from pitching their heads and spilling their rations.
It should be observed whether any method is provided to avoid feeding on the ground and hay nets and wire feed racks should be suggested.
Picket line should be taut and breast high and halters should be just long enough to allow the animal’s head to reach the ground. Long halters shanks are a common cause of rope burns.
If within range of shellfire, animals should be picked is small detached groups to minimize causalities. Insist that only such animals as are absolutely necessary be kept in forward positions.
WATERING – Inquire how often and when horses are watered. They should be watered as frequently as possible, as it is a fact that horses frequently watered keep in much better flesh than those, which are not. All horses should be watered three times, and preferably four times a day, never less than twice. Examine watering point; see that the best and most sanitary provisions have been made regarding it. Watering points should be selected as nearly as practicable; so as to enable the watering parties going to or from them to avoid main or much traveled roads. In no case should be the watering point be nearer than 60 yards of the main road.
Observe the water discipline. Not more than two horses should be watered at a time by any one man. If men are scarce and one man must lead a number of horses, let the next man hold all but two of the horses and see only two are led to the stream by any single man. Do not allow crowding at the water hole. See that there is a distance of at least five feet between the line of horses drinking and the next in line in waiting. Do not under any circumstances permit a hurrying or crowding of the animals while drinking.
Endeavor to have a commissioned officer present at all waterings, and if not possible to do this see that a competent N.C.O. is on the job. This matter is very important.
Provide one or two extra waterings for the picket line of thin animals.
When organizations are in a position for any length of time, see that provision is made for watering troughs if the watering stream has a muddy bottom.
Officer in control of watering should see that kicking animals are watered separately.
FEEDING – Inquire about system of feeding. Hay should be fed three times a day. It is important that a hay feed be given the animals early in the morning before the men go to their breakfast. This takes the edge off the animals’ appetite and encourages him to consume his grain without bolting. Grain should be fed an hour or two after each hay feeding and should be fed the last thing at night. Endeavor to give four grain feeding a day, if possible. For thin animals at least one feeding a day should be cooked or at least a soaked ration. In cooking or steaming the grain it should be cooked only until it bursts open. Warm steamed feed is a splendid thing to bring emaciated animals back to condition. Bran should be fed in accordance with the necessities of the animal, and stable sergeants should all be warned to carefully observe any scouring animals or any animals which are off their feed. These should be given special treatment. Hay should be shaken loose on a paulin before being fed and the chaff and seeds should be saved and fed in the next grain ration. If it is necessary to feed the hay on the ground, picket lines should be arranged so that the animals are widely spaced, so that they may not eat each other’s ration. Too much stress cannot be placed upon the necessity of a vigilant feeding guard, who will watch the feed line and see that nothing is wasted and that each animal gets his portion. Look around and see if soldiers are using the hay for their own feeding. Drivers should be encouraged to rustle for their horses. The potato and carrot peelings and cabbage leaves from the kitchen are excellent feed. Remount Officers should be on the lookout at all times for pasturage for their animals.
One half to one ounce of salt should be fed to each animal a day. When animals are not in rest areas and rock salt licks cannot be provided, it is better to feed them table salt. Care must be taken that the salt is not spilled on the ground as this encourages the animals to gnaw on the earth. A good method of feeding salt is to make a salt brine and sprinkle it upon the hay. Examine oats and hay and report upon condition of it.
GROOMING – Careful inspection should be made of the animals to see how frequently and thoroughly they have been groomed; also whether the manes have been roached down tight to avoid becoming a breeding place for lice. Men should be advised that the curry comb is to be used only to loosen muddy and matted hair. The grooming instrument is a brush and Remount Officers should take off their coats and demonstrate the proper method of grooming. The men must be made to put their weight against the brush when it is being used, and it should be insisted that the operation be a vigorous and athletic one. A good vigorous grooming which brings the skin of the horse into a clean healthy glow is one of the most important items of good horse management. When animals are found to be poor or emaciated, have them groomed three or four times a day if possible, and complete the grooming with a massage delivered with cupped hands. See that the docks and sheathes are cleaned at frequent intervals, also see that the eyes and nostrils are kept clean.
SHOEING – Observe the condition of the hoof and see whether the horseshoer and been properly trimming it when shoeing the horse. Because of cold shoeing and hasty shoeing, a very large percentage of the horses is found to have very elongated hoofs. Also see that the hoof is not pared down too closely and made stumpy or clubby. Note the condition of the shoes, whether they are too short or too long; too wide or too narrow. Examine the horses heels and see if they show signs of trouble. A great many horses heels are sore because the shoes are not long enough to prevent undue bruising of the heels. Hoof had be picked at every grooming and the packed material carefully cleaned away. Pick a number of horses yourself so that you may judge whether this point is being properly cared for, and also that you may judge of the condition of the horses’ frogs, bars and soles. Impress upon the commander of the organization visited that men should be warned that when shoes are loose they should immediately be pulled from the hoof. In France many horse have been made seriously lame through wearing a loose shoe and finally stepping on the sharp toe clip, which is found on the French shoes. Insist that all shoes be removed and feet trimmed once a month. If possible, have a good Horseshoer detailed as your assistant and through him arrange to standardize the shoeing methods of your Division.
NOSEBAGS – See that nosebags are not allowed to lie on the ground. Provide a picket line for them and insist that as soon as they are taken off the horse’s head they are turned inside out and placed on the picket line in the air. Remount Officers should be very strict in insisting that nosebags are kept out of the dirt and kept in a sanitary condition. Have them washed occasionally when near running water. See that grooming kits are not kept in nosebags. It should also be found out how many nosebags are in the organization visited and arrangements made to provide each horse with a bag.
BITS AND HARNESS – It should be observed whether the brides and bits are thrown upon the ground. It is very important that the bridles and bits particularly be kept clean. Endeavor to get the stable sergeant to rig up a harness poles to keep harnesses off the ground. See that bits are scoured frequently and not allowed to get rusty or dirt coated. Observe harness and see whether same is oiled and clean and see that sweat is not allowed to gather on the parts which touch the horse. See that saddles are also kept off the ground and are cleaned and that blankets are sanitary.
ROAD DISCIPLINE – One of the most important duties of Divisional Remount Officers is to carefully observe the horse transport during marches and see that a character of discipline it obtained which will best conserve the animals. He should note whether the collars are properly fitted and whether the traces are too short or too long. He should give particular attention to the loin croup straps and see that these are not too short. He should observe that weak animals are not expected to do the same work as much stronger animals and that good judgment and proper consideration is shown by all drivers and riders. All riders should be made to dismount immediately at all halts and saddle girths should be loosened and every opportunity given to the horse to recuperate. Men should be encouraged to show their horses special attention by giving them bits of grass or a handful of grain whenever possible. Such little attentions are very encouraging to jaded animals. No man should be allowed to ride upon vehicles except the driver and the brakemen, and the Remount Officer should observe that brakes are applied at proper times and intelligently. Special attention should be paid to the handling of carts and not more than one man should be allowed to ride on the cart seat. It should also be seen that animals are not expected to perform impossible tasks and Remount Officers should see that horses are not urged into performing feats they are unable to accomplish.
EVACUATION – When animals are found to have become so poor, or emaciated or weak, that they are unable to continue in active service, they should be immediately be evacuated to the Corps Remount Squadron. If the Remount Officer’s instructions are not compiled with, a report of this fact should be made in writing to the organization commander, and if animals are not then evacuated the matter should be brought to the attention of the Corps Remount Officer. Officers should carefully observe the condition of the animals in their Division and see that they are not worked beyond the point of rehabilitation.
STABLE SERGEANTS – Stable Sergeants should be selected with much care and should be carefully instructed by their officers. The Officer should back up the stable sergeant and see that orders given are strictly obeyed. Frequent suggestions and encouragement should be given the sergeant by the responsible officer. It too frequently happen that the stable sergeant is not given sufficient support by his commanding officer and he finds it impossible to get his orders carried out. Disciplinary action should be inflicted when the Sergeant’s orders are not obeyed so that the Sergeant may obtain the respect of his men. The responsible officer also should make frequent inspections of the entire stable regime so as to see that everything is being kept up to the proper standard. Find out if the stable sergeant is keeping a forage book. Also if they personally inspect the amount of forage received and know that the quantity checks with the requisition.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND CRITCISM – The primary asset of a Division Remount Officer should be tactful, helpful criticism. Suggestions will accomplish wonders, and the attitude of the Remount Officer should be that of one who is endeavoring to help improve the condition of the organization and not that of one who is unduly critical and fault finding. The Remount Officer should be as quick to command as to criticize. Only when distinct inertia is found should he advise disciplinary action, in which case matters should be taken up with the organization commander. If the trouble still exists, the matter should be taken directly with the Commanding General. It is desirable also that copies of all letters, both criticism and commendation, which may be written by the Divisional Officer be sent to the Corps Remount Officer. When an organization is found to have made a marked improvement in its horse discipline it is only proper that a memorandum to that effect be sent to the Commanding General, with a copy to the regimental commander.
167. After Remount Officers had taken up their duties with Armies, Corps and Divisions, there was noticeable change for the better. The men taught how to care for their animals. The work between Remount Officers and Commanding Officers was accomplished without friction. The results obtained proved the wisdom of the assignment of Remount Officers to combat troops.
168. Remount Officers in Divisions, Corps and Armies rendered reports twice a month. This report made it possible to compile priority lists for the future distribution of animals and enabled the Chief of the Remount Service to know the animal conditions in the various combat units.
169. Before the First Army was formed, and while the American troops were fighting under French leaders, it was brought out clearly that the animal question was one of utmost importance and would remain so at least during the ensuing year. Units had to be horsed. At the same time men were as badly needed. A large percentage of the men were unused to horses. Under those conditions it was almost an impossibility to improve conditions of the animals, which were overworked from the time they left American Remount Depots for the front, or were turned over by Allied units to aid in carrying out the plans of the Allied Command.
170. Prior to the Chateau-Thierry drive there had been two Remount Officers with troops and the work of these two proved the deciding factor in the Remount Service being directed to carry out the plan of placing Remount Officers with Armies, Corps and Divisions.
171. It was found that the little mules that had been obtained from the French were capable of doing much good in the American Army. These little mules were used in carrying food to the lines. They were also used to haul the machine gun carts. In doing this work the little mules released larger animals, which were so badly needed for other uses.
172. The Remount Officer was assistant to the Chief Quartermaster in accordance with G.O. 122, G.H.Q., dated July 26, 1918. The Remount activities of the First Army were under the supervision of G-1 and the Veterinary Corps also functioned under that bureau. On August 24, 1918, in compliance with G.O. 139, G.H.Q., Remount activities were transferred from G-1 to G-4. This order was revoked September 15, 1918, by G.O. 157, G.H.Q. The plan of having Remount Officers assigned to each Corps and Division having been approved by G-1 of the First Army, seven additional Remount Officers reported for duty August 29, 1918, and were assigned to various units. As the other Remount Officers reported they were assigned to Corps or Divisions until the First Army had a complete roster. 173. With the number of combat troops constantly increasing in the A.E.F., the animals situation grew from a serious condition to a critical stage which was reached just prior to the St. Mihiel drive. It was an impossibility to fill all requisitions of the First Army at that time and a priority schedule within the Army was established among the divisions, based upon their animal strength and the comparative requirements. This priority was established by G-1 of the Army and the issues were made by the Army Remount Officer.
174. Delivery of animals was made both by rail and overland. When sent by rail animals delivered at the railheads of the Corps and Divisions; if overland, delivery was made in accordance with orders given by the Army Remount Officer. In both instances animals sent up to the First Army were always accompanied by personnel from the Remount Depots. In rail shipments animals were sent eight to one French car. Overland, twenty animals were hitched to a leading line and in the way three men were enabled to handle a section. Twenty animals were usually sent on a line but thirty could be handled.
175. After the success of Allied arms at Chateau-Thierry it was essential that every effect be made to handle evacuations promptly to insure the recovery of as many animals as possible. On August 9, 1918, Remount Squadron No. 302 reported to the First Army upon request of G-1, to assist in these evacuations. This organization was stationed first at Claye-Souilly for five days and then moved to Penonorie Farm near Chateau-Thierry, where the Squadron took up the work of an Army Mobile Veterinary Hospital, taking over approximately 600 unserviceable animals which had accumulated in the Corps Mobile Veterinary Hospital of the First Corps. These animals had not been evacuated due to the shortage of Veterinary personnel. They were evacuated by rail by the Squadron to S.O.S. Veterinary Hospitals. Under date of August 12, 1918, Remount Squadron No. 302 was ordered to duty as Remount Squadron of the Third Corps.
176. After Remount activities had been transferred from G-1 of the Army to G-4, August 24, 1918, the priority list for animal supply was made up be the latter branch of the General Staff.
The extreme shortage of animals made it essential that all severable animals be shipped direct from S.O.S. Remount Depots to combat troops. For this reason no Army Remount Depot was established as had been contemplated.
177. There being no Army Veterinary Hospital and large numbers of evacuations to be handled when Remount Squadrons No. 301 reported for duty with the First Army September 6, 1918, this organization was ordered to Heippes where an Army Evacuation Station was established. Animals evacuated to this station where relayed by rail to S.O.S. Veterinary Hospitals.
178. Remount Squadron No. 304 arrived at Toul September 11, 1918, for duly with the First Army. This Squadron was sent to Jeanne d’Arc Caserne where an Evacuation Station had been established by Veterinary Hospital No. 5.
179. With the St. Mihiel drive already planned and combat troops placed for their work, every effort was made to bring these troops to the highest point possible in efficiency, as far as animals were concerned. A call for animal aid was sent to the S.O.S. It was the first work for the American Army to accomplish by itself and the Commanding General was determined to carry out the program with all possible speed.
180. The following telegram was sent to the Commanding General, S.O.S., September 7, 1918, by the Chief of Staff, First Army:
Headquarters 1st Army, September 7, 1918
To: Commanding General S.O.S.
Number 29 G-4 R You are advised that the situation with reference to the First Army is critical period desire to emphasize this fact period. We were given assurance that animals would be forthcoming at the rate of four hundred per day period. They are not being received period. There is no time for delay in this matter period. If animals are available comma request that they be shipped at once and pressed by every means possible period. Request this wire be acknowledged and assurance given that animals will be forwarded at stated.
181. On September 8, 1918, the following message was sent by the Chief of Staff, First Army:
Headquarters 1st Army, September 8, 1918
To: Commanding General S.O.S.
Number 32 G-4 R. Referring to our telegram number 29 G-4 R regarding critical situation animal supply First Army no answer received period. Request some assurance be given that shipments will come forward immediately that is 400 per day period. These animals are needed and needed now.
182. The following message was sent to G.H.Q. the same date;
Headquarters 1st Army, September 8, 1918
To; G-4, G.H.Q.
Number 33-G-4 R . Following telegram to C.G., S.O.S., repeated for your information period quote. Referring our telegram number 29 G-4 R regarding critical situation animal supply First Army no answer received period. Request some assurance be given that shipments will come forward immediately that is 400 per day period. These animals are needed and needed now period unquote. Can you do something to assist in getting animals?
183. On September 9, 1918, a third request was made upon the Commanding General, Services of Supply:
Headquarters 1st Army, September 9, 1918
Commanding General, Service of Supply
Number 35 G-4 R. Have sent two telegrams Number 29 G-4 R, September seventh and Number 32 G-4 R, September eighth, calling attention to critical situation as to need for animals in the 1st Army but have received no information whether animals will be supplied or not. Definite answer is requested as to whether or not animals are to be supplied. It is important to know whether the Army is to get animals or not within the next few days. Definite answer requested.
184. The following message was received September 9, 1918, by the Commanding General, First Army, from G.H.Q.:
249 A GN SI 52 OB
HAEF September 9 1918
Commanding General First Army
Number 2919 G-1 Your No. 33 G-4, every effort is being made to hurry French on the deliveries of these animals. Your Remount Officer and Remount Officer at Neufchateau are kept constantly in touch with the situation.
185. In reference to the shortage of animals the following telegram was sent September 10, 1918, by Commanding General, S.O.S.
Received at 5A O 84 OB
Tours, Sept. 10, 1918
Commanding General 1st Army, WATERFALL
Q-543 Reference phone conversation this date regarding your wire 29-32 and 35 G-4 and our answer Q-540. French authorities assure they are doing everything to expedite shipments, however they are not shipping to schedule of 400 per day. It is a conservative estimate that animals will not be received by 1 st Army in any number before September 20th.
186. Conditions were critical at that time. The following message was sent September 23, 1918, by the First Army to G-4 at G.H.Q.:
Headquarters 1st Army, September 23, 1918.
Number Seventy-Seven G-4. Following is an example of the wires being received in this office giving remount situation. This from Fourth Corps One G Number Eight Four. Attention G Four. Horse situation most serious in this Corps. All Divisions badly in need of animals. Division are placed in the situation of not being able to properly evacuate animals in view of the fact that no replacements are available consequently the animals which are only partially fit for duty are retained by organizations rather than evacuate same due to fact that the unit in question will be not without proper facilities for movement. Can anything be done in this matter? Cannot something be done to require French to deliver animals? With motor transportation short and animal transportation so reduced on account of shortage of and unfit conditions of animals supply presents a grave problem where active operations are considered.
187. After the St. Mihiel drive and American troops were deep in the Argonne, the following message regarding the animal situation was sent to the Commanding General, S.O.S., from G.H.Q.:
HAEF October 8, 1918
B87A 242 OB1 Ex rush
Commanding General S.O.S. Tours
Number 3271 G-1 The Military situation demands that extreme measures be taken to supply the First Army immediately with additional animals. The Commander-in-Chief directs that you ship at once the First Army all horses in Cavalry Organizations and approximately 50 percent of all other animals now in Services of Supply organizations or activities only animals suitable for combat service should be selected. Arrangements should be made to expedite delivery of every possible animal from Hospitals to Remount Depots. All animals in Remount Depots which are in even fair condition for combat service should be shipped at once without being held for training or for any other purpose. Animals should be shod locally before shipment whenever this will not involve unusual delay. All animals except those of the reserve supply wagon train now at Nevers will be turned in to nearest Remount Depots for shipment period. Animals of reserve supply wagon train will be shipped direct from Nevers upon orders from Chief Remount Service. You are authorized to hire animals locally, with drivers when necessary, for purpose of replacing animals shipped to the First Army. Every possible measure should be taken to expedite shipment of greatest possible number of animals in the least possible time. Make arrangements for prompt forwarding animals and telegraph progress frequently to these Headquarters.
OCQM October 11th, 1918
Copy to: Remount – T and C.
188. To carry out the instruction of the Commander-in-Chief the following message was sent October 11, 1918, by the Chief of Remount Service to the following Remount Depot Commanders:
TELEGRAM – OCQM –S.O.S.
Tours, October 11, 1918
C.O. Remount Depot Bourbonne-les-Bains, Haute Marne
C.O. Remount Depot La Celle Bruers, Cher
C.O. Remount Depot Carbon Blanc, Gironde
C.O. Remount Depot Claye-Souilly, Seine-et-Marne
C.O. Remount Depot Gievres
C.O. Remount Depot La Rochelle
C.O. Remount Depot Lux, Cote D¢Or
C.O. Remount Depot Merignac, Gironde
C.O. Remount Depot Montiers-sur-Saulx, Meuse
C.O. Remount Depot St. Nazaire
C.O. Remount Depot Selles-sur-Cher, Loire-et-Cher
C.O. Remount Depot Sougy, Nievre
Military situation demands that extreme measures be taken to supply the First Army immediately with additional animals period S.O.S. organizations have been ordered to turn in approximately fifty percent of their animals to Remount Depots period Hospitals have been ordered to expedite delivery of all possible animals to Depots. All animals in the Remount Depots, which are in even fair condition for combat service, should be shipped at once without being held for training or any other purpose. Animals should be shod before shipment. Sufficient animals not fit for combat service will be held for routine work at Depots. Shipments will be made to the First Army through R.O. St Dizier Department Haute-Marne as fast as animals become available without further orders from this office. Daily telegraphic report must show accurately animals turned in and those shipped. If unusual delay in obtaining cars is experienced wire this office. This does not affect previous orders for shipment. R-238-D
189. To aid in supplying animals for the First Army the S.O.S. units were stripped of all available serviceable animals and they were rushed to the Front. The Garden Service suffered also as the animals turned over to that branch were recalled. The Remount Depots were literally swept. While there was some adverse criticism at first regarding many of the mules purchased in Spain, it was realized that they performed the duties for which they were procured. At that time any animal that could pull a gun or carry a pack was of the highest conceivable value. The animal situation in the First Army was such that evacuations that should have been made were not carried out, due to the fact that military necessity forced organization commanders to hold their animals until a maximum of service had been obtained from them.
190. There were nine evacuation stations maintained for the purpose of handling evacuations from the First Army. The first of these stations began operations September 7, 1918, and the last one closed November 22, 1918. During the time these stations were in existence 23,378 animals were handled. Nearly all of these stations were handled by Remount Squadrons which were doing Veterinary Corps work, inasmuch as that Branch of the Service did not have the personnel to handle evacuations. It was a question at the time of saving the lives of animals and at the same time there was no time for training of animals by these Squadrons as animals ready for combat purposes were sent the organizations without preliminary work.
191. The statistical report of the First Army covering the period from September 7, 1918, to November 15, 1918, shows that there were 12,507 animals evacuated; 2,037 died, 1,334 destroyed, 734 killed, 587 disposed of, cause not stated; 151 condemned and sold and 42 missing. Of the twenty-four Divisions reporting in this compilation two Divisions, the Fourth and the Ninetieth ran a close race as to total losses through various causes. The Ninetieth led by one animal having lost 1,474 animals while the Fourth lost 1,473, The Fourth Division lost 751 through evacuations, 296 died, 225 destroyed and 201 were killed. The approximate animals strength of the First Army during that period was 88,411 and out of that number only 42 were reported as missing.
192. As soon as the St. Mihiel drive proved successful the First Army swung Northward and started into the Argonne. In this drive the shortage of animals was still acute with evacuations still extremely essential. In order to make evacuations promptly stations were established just behind the lines. As the lines advanced new evacuation stations were established. Remount Squadron No. 314 reported to the Army October 5, 1918, and was ordered to Autrecourt where an evacuating station was established. All animals received there were shipped back to S.O.S. Veterinary Hospital. On the same date Remount Squadron No. 303 reported to the Army and was placed on duty with the First Corps. Another Squadron, No. 312, reported to the Army October 9, 1918, and was ordered to duty with the Fifth Corps.
193. At the same time the three Corps in the Army, the First, Third and Fifth, each had a Remount Squadron. These organizations acted as delivery units. The priority schedule was compiled by G-4 of the Army and animals coming forward passed through the hands of the Remount Squadrons, the Corps Remount Officer obtaining a copy of the priority schedule of Corps from G-1 of the Corps and arranging the necessary details for the delivery.
194. Under adverse circumstances efforts were made by the Remount Service to keep the Army as nearly mobile as possible. Throughout the Argonne offensive there was continual switching of animals from one organization to another. On November 8, the Army Remount Officer was directed by the Commanding General of the Army to equip, fully, the First, Second, Forty-Second and Eighty-Ninth Divisions, the Sixty-Sixth Field Artillery Brigade and such sanitary troops and other Corps as form a part of a complete Corps. The Army Remount Officer at once took steps to carry out this task. At the same time priority was asked for the First, Second, Sixty-Seventh and One Hundred and Fifty-Second Brigades. On November 13, 1918, a memorandum was sent out by G-4 of the Army calling for result of action taken by ten o’clock that night from all Chiefs of branches. The switching of animals at that time was for the formation of the Third Army. The Remount Service of the First Army, by making a search through other Divisions in the Army, secured enough animals for the horsing of the Corps.
195. There was but little time in which to effect the transfer. The numbers of animals in artillery brigades were stripped down to 400. This number was believed sufficient to move the material of the Brigades to the railheads as from those points trains were furnished to complete the journey to the training area.
196. The care of animals was uppermost in the minds of those in authority in the First Army and the Remount Officer enjoyed splendid cooperation throughout the operations in the field and later in the rest area. From the time that the Remount Officer assumed his duties with the First Army steps were taken continually looking toward the betterment of animal conditions. The first instructions were sent from the Army to Division Remount Officers September 28, 1918, defining the position of Divisional Remount Officers. This letter was followed October 13, 1918, by the publication of General Order 24, First Army, which set out clearly the functions of Division, Corps and Army Remount Officers. Memorandum No. 8 followed November 1, 1918, in which the observations of a Commanding General of a Field Artillery Brigade, during service with many organizations in training and at the front, were embodied.
197. Efforts were made continually to take care of animals under all conditions. At time animals were used until exhausted.
198. One thing which aided considerably in the saving of animal lives was the inculcation of the idea that sufficient forage should be carried forward with the guns to feed the animals for twenty-four hours. This gave the forage wagons and other trains ample time to go forward. In some instances this had been impossible and at times it was with great difficulty that animals were able to get their forage when unhitched from the guns.
199. The question of keeping animals supplied with gas masks came up frequently and it was requested by the Army that animals coming forward be supplied with masks before being shipped from Remount Depots. An extra supply was kept on hand by Division gas officers.
200. After the Armistice and the Third Army has been organized, the First Army was ordered into a training area with Bar-sur-Aube as headquarters. After getting settled into the new area, plans were immediately pushed forward getting the animals of the Army in better condition. On December 5, 1918, the Army was notified by G.H.Q. as to the new distribution of animals for the three Armies in the field and that in the issue of animals in the future that the First Army’s needs would be considered after the Second and Third Armies had been filled. After the foregoing plan had been announced the Commanding General, First Army, was notified by G.H.Q that the number of animals allotted would exceed the requirements of the Army but all would be issued to organizations. On December 10, 1918, the First Army was notified that the Commanding General, S.O.S., had been authorized to issue convalescent animals from Remount Depots to Divisions in nearby Advance Section areas. In that way it was possible to fit weak animals for combat service. Due to the return to the United States of many troops the First Army was informed by G.H.Q. that more animals would be issued than outlined in the letter of December 5, 1918.
201. The mange situation, which had been giving considerable anxiety for sometime, brought about the trying out of sulphur gas chambers. The Chief Veterinarian of the First Army recommended these chambers. A purposed plan was drawn up and presented to G-1 of the Army. All Chiefs of Sections, Services and Departments, Corps and Divisions, were notified February 3, 1919, of the instructions relative to the treatment of mange by the veterinarians of the Army and Corps and Division Commanders and Commanding Officers of independent units were directed to decide upon the location of the gas chambers.
202. On February 8, 1919, an Animals Transport Inspection Service was originated in the First Army. These inspectors were instructed to cooperate with Remount Officers and Veterinarians in carrying out the provisions of the order forming the Service.
203. February 18, 1919, the First Army was notified of the critical situation developing from the shortage of hay in the A.E.F. Orders were issued from G.H.Q. cutting the hay allowance in half and increasing the grain allowance by twenty-five percent. During the time the hay allowance was so low animals were grazed whenever possible and every effort made to keep the animals fit. On March 15, 1919, with the arrival of sufficient hay for immediate needs the old allowance of hay was restored.
204. As Divisions were ordered home the animals were either absorbed by other organizations or turned in to Remount Depots. On April 20, 1919, the First Army passed out of existence; the troops were placed under control of the Commanding General, S.O.S. The Divisions that were not sent home were given other destinations.
205. Plans of G.H.Q. looking forward the formation of the Second Army were carried out in the fall of 1918. It was not until October 1918, that the Second Army became a reality. Headquarters were established in Toul. Plans were laid for the drive to start November 14, 1918. The signing of the Armistice November 11, 1918, put and end to these plans and the Second Army never engaged the enemy.
206. Anticipating the formation of the Second Army, A Remount Officer was assigned August 27, 1918. From that date until the actual formation of the Second Army he was on duty in the office of the Regulating Officer at Is-sur-Tille, where he looked after shipments of animals through that place.
207. The first step taken by the Second Army Remount Office was to send a request to the Chief of Remount Service for a sufficient number of Remount Officers so that one might be assigned to each of the Divisions. Remount Officers worked according to instructions from G.H.Q. which defined their status. At that time the Remount personnel consisted of two Corps Remount Officers and two Remount Squadrons. Remount No. 304 was stationed at Jeanne d¢Arc Caserne near Toul to assist in the evacuation of animals. This Squadron has been with the First Army as one of the Army Squadrons and came into the Second Army in a similar capacity. Remount Squadron No. 306 was on duty with the 4th Corps and was stationed at Marechal Ney Barracks, Toul.
208. Subsequently Remount Squadron No.304 was used by the Army for the establishment of an Army Remount Depot at Jeanne d¢Arc Caserne. Later this Depot was moved to Marechal Ney Barracks, Toul. Debilitated animals which had been pronounced by Veterinarians to be free from contagious diseases were evacuated to this Depot. Every precaution was taken to get the best service possible out of animals. In connection with handling an Army Remount Depot, Remount Squadron No. 304 delivered many animals overland to organizations. After a period of recuperation and light work they were returned to combat organizations, thereby saving them to the Army and at the same time saving the Government the expense of shipment and treatment in the Veterinary Hospitals.
209. The number of animals on hand from October 10, 1918, to November 11, 1918, was insufficient to keep organizations in the Army at anything like the proper degree of mobility. The scarcity was due to the fact that there were but few animals in the S.O.S. and those that were available were shipped to the First Army, due to tactical conditions. In an effort to place the animals received where they were most needed, the Commanding General, Second Army, directed that the Corps Commander receiving the animals to so distribute them that proper units might be kept mobile. The Army Remount Officer gave instructions to the Corps Remount Officers regarding this new order.
210. In order to conserve animals, Bulletin 6, Headquarters Second Army, was published in which the observations of the Inspector General were quoted.
211. The shortage of animals led to the establishment of a priority schedule, which made out by G-4 of the Army. Requirements of the Divisions were forwarded by G-1 of the Division to G-4 to the Army, who in turn wired the requisition to the Commanding General, S.O.S., and designated to him the point of delivery. This system of delivering animals direct from the S.O.S to Divisions prevailed until October 26, 1918, when the policy of delivering to the Corps was adopted.
A system for the evacuation of animals was adopted. Animals were evacuated by the Division Mobile Veterinary Unit overland to Corps Mobile Hospitals. From the Corps Mobile Hospitals the animals were transferred either overland or by rail to S.O.S. Veterinary Hospitals. This system was used until in the latter part of the operations when a change was made. Army Evacuation Stations were installed, one at Weinville, one at Grosrouvres and another at Belleville. Those stations were established at points near railheads and in such a situation that they were easily accessible to all Divisions in a specified area. Animals were convoyed overland from Division Mobile Veterinary Hospitals to these Army Evacuation Stations and from the latter place to S.O.S. Veterinary Hospitals by rail. To assist in the evacuation of animals that were unable to travel overland motor trucks were used as ambulances. These ambulances were constructed so as to accommodate five animals.
213. On November 2, 1918, G.O. No. 12, Second Army, was published. In this order an Animal Transport Inspection Service was inaugurated, (not part of Remount Service). This order called for the detailing of officers with the Army, Corps and Division who would operate under the supervision of the Inspector General’s Department. The duties of the Inspectors involved the supervision of the care of animals, including their feeding, grooming and shelter as well as evacuation and care of the sick. They also inspected harness and all horse drawn vehicles. However, these orders, which were preliminary ones, were never carried out. The Animal Transport Inspectors functioned under G-1 of the Army
214. After the signing of the Armistice it was possible to take better care of the animals. Steps were taken by the Commanding General to bring about the best results under improved conditions. November 13, 1918, Administrative Bulletin 14 was published which impressed upon Remount Officers, Inspectors and Veterinarians the importance of fitting animals for field service and long marches. Later Administrative Bulletin 29 was published directing that all animals of the Second Army be rough shod.
215. The Commanding General of the Second Army was notified by G.H.Q December 5, 1918, that the shipment of animals from the United States had been discontinued and that animals in the future would be distributed among three Armies, with the Third Army being given priority over the other two and the Second Army with priority over the First Army. Two days later it was announced that the Second Army was about to be used as an army of occupation and special effort was made to get all animals and transportation in the best possible condition. These plans were never carried out.
216. After the conclusion of operations in November 1918, there were thirteen Remount Officers and two Remount Squadrons in the Second Army. One Remount Squadron No. 306 went with the Fourth Corps into the Third Army, leaving Remount Squadron No. 304 as the only Squadron in the Army.
217. Up until the signing of the Armistice organizations had held on to animals that were unfit for combat services for existing conditions had been such that they could not be released at once. Shortly after the signing of the Armistice it became necessary to increase the animal strength of one Corps Headquarters one Division and two Brigades preparing to march into Germany with the Third Army. The only means of supplying these organizations with animals was by transferring sound ones from the remaining Divisions in the Second Army. As there was but a short time in which to procure these animals it worked a great hardship on them and it resulted in there being a great many evacuations. An effort was made to give the Third Army the best animals available for the march to the Rhine.
218. After the Third Army had started toward the Rhine it was found that the means provided for the evacuation of animals enroute were inadequate. To remedy this, in the event of the Second Army moving into Germany, one evacuation station was installed at St. Jean and another between St. Jean and the Luxembourg line. It would then have been possible to handle evacuations along that route properly.
219. It was the policy of the Army to retain and recuperate animals in the Army area unless they were extreme cases. The appearance of mange in the Army brought a combined fight against the disease by both the Remount Service and the Veterinary Corps. A system of disinfecting stables, harness and other horse equipment was begun. The Army evacuation stations at Weinville and Grosrouvres were used as hospitals and dipping vats were installed.
220. All organization commanders were directed to have their animals go through these vats. In December 1918, animals from the United States began arriving in the Army at the rate of about a 1,000 a day. These animals were far the best that had been received by the Second Army, and it encouraged the officers and men greatly in the task of taking care of them.
221. Divisions and other organizations were cautioned about the evacuation of serviceable animals. About the same time the Commanding General of the Second Army was directed by G.H.Q. to issue all animals so that the highest degree of mobility for the entire Army would be attained. An additional Veterinary Evacuation Unit was established at St. Jean les Buzy and several watering places for animals were established to aid in caring for animals. The receipt of animals and motor transportation by the Army let to the publication of G.O. 24, Second Army, arranging for the bringing of the personnel to a point where the highest efficiency would result.
220. The campaign for the betterment of conditions throughout the Army was waged even harder after January 1, 1919. Administrative Bulletin No. 2, Second Army, was published January 2, 1919, in which the observations of the Commanding General, Fifth Field Artillery Brigade were quoted regarding the thoughtlessness of drivers and others having animals in their charge. To aid this campaign plans were made for the holding of an Army horse show sometime in the Spring. The Horse Show was planned to demonstrate to the officers and men what could be accomplished in the handling of animals and to give them clearer ideas on the subject of animal management. After the shows had been carried through to the Army Show, the breaking up of the Second Army caused this final show to be called off but the results obtained by starting the movement and carrying it up, the Army shows were satisfactory to those who fostered the plan.
223. In February 1919, the forage situation became acute and February 19, 1919, the Commanding General, Second Army, was notified by the Regulating Officer at Is-sur-Tille that the hay situation was alarming and requested that good hay not to be issued for bed sack for the men. The following day an order was received from G.H.Q. directing that the hay allowance be reduced fifty percent until the emergency was passed. The grain ration was increased by twenty-five percent. The Commander General of the Army directed that all animals be grazed to aid in supplementing the hay ration. On March 15, 1919, the arrival of sufficient hay in the A.E.F. caused G.H.Q. to notify the Second Army that a full forage ration would be resumed.
224. Disposal of condemned animals to the French authorities had been practiced since the formation of the Second Army but as the number exceeded the number desired by the French some difficulty was encountered in getting the French to receive them. The led to G.H.Q. giving the Second Army permission to sell to local butchers where the French authorities failed to accept condemned animals when ten days has elapsed after the French Regional Commander had been notified. On February 27, 1919, authority was received by the Army from G.H.Q. to sell in Luxembourg at public auction, animals that were unsuitable to be continued in the military service.
225. During the time the Second Army was in the process of being broken up a great improvement was noted in the care of public animals. A school for Army Officers at Commercy, which embraced a ten-day course, gave young officers the rudiments of the officers’ work and an insight into the care of the animals that they had not learned during the time they were in the midst of operations. Some officers in an effort to improve conditions made mistakes.
226. There were 18,354 animals in the Second Army December 23, 1918, and the report of March 29, 1919, showed 27,416 on hand. From December 23, 1918, to March 29, 1919, a total of 8,792 animals were received from the S.O.S.
227. When the Second Army was actually formed there were 18,966 animals on hand in the eight divisions and four brigades. The average number of animals to the brigade was 1,631 and the average number per division 1,561. On November 11, 1918, there were 22,875 on hand.
228. The Second Army ceased functioning April 15, 1919, and organizations not otherwise assigned passed under the control of the Commanding General, S.O.S., and were scheduled to leave for the United States as soon as possible.
229. The following recommendations are made by the Remount Officer, Second Army:
1. The Remount Service operates entirely under G-1 or G-4 and not to be divided between the two as at present.
2. The care, receiving and distribution of animal within the Army be entirely under one head, preferable the Remount.
One of the difficulties encountered under the present system of having both a Remount Service and Animal Transport Service was the overlapping duties and conflict of orders. Consequently, the efficiency of Remount Officers was to a certain extent lost, as they had not the authority to carry out their own ideas.
The Remount Officer should be the logical man to be responsible for the care of animals, as he is usually a man who has been specially trained in this sort of work.
The Animal Transport Inspector can be of great assistance if his inspections are properly made, and of a practical nature. It is my belief, however, that he should make all of his recommendations through the Remount Officer and should not be allowed to take corrective measures on the spot.
3. The office of Army, Corps and Divisional Remount Officers be embodied in the Tables of Organization.
4. Animals be issued from the S.O.S. to Army Remount Depots and from there issued to Corps Remount Depots according to priority for distribution to organizations.
5. All animals be supplied with nose bags, gas masks and hay nets before leaving S.O.S. Remount Depots.
6. Sufficient number of rest farms or recuperative depots be established in Army area, to which animals shall be evacuated before they become thoroughly debilitated.
230. After the signing of the Armistice November 11, 1918, the Third Army became a reality and was designated to occupy a certain area in Germany with Army Headquarters at Coblenz. The switching of Corps and Divisions into the Third Army was completed with ease but the task of securing enough animals to make that Army mobile necessitated the stripping of the First and Second Armies. As all animals in both the First and Second had been through a long, hard siege, it was an impossibility to turn over enough good animals to enable the new Army to make the long march to the Rhine without many evacuations.
231. The rate of March through East France, Luxembourg and through Germany to the Rhine was fast, thereby placing added strain upon the animals. The March to the Rhine started November 17, 1918, and ended December 14, 1918. The artillery of the 32nd Division was called upon to make a minimum of 30 kilometers and a maximum of 35 kilometers on December 5, 1918, and the following day the schedule called for the artillery to make a minimum of 25 kilometers and a maximum of 30 kilometers. During the March to the Rhine the 32 nd Division lost 515 animals; 343 being evacuated and 172 having died or been destroyed. On that March the Third Army evacuated 1,700 animals.
232. There were numerous hardship in handling in the handling of the animal situation during this long March. The evacuation and forage problems were the largest. A large part of the time there was hardly more than half enough forage. Steps were taken to procure hay from the inhabitants but with the addition of the small amount that could be secured the total was far from sufficient. The forward movement was to fast for wagon trains to be on had when the artillery rested at night. There was also considerable difficulty encountered in the receipt of forage at railheads.
233. The evacuated animals were handled by Remount Squadrons and in some instances animals had to be convoyed overland for long distances. In the 42nd Division 2,200 of the poorest animals in the Division were transported from 80 to 120 kilometers by Remount Squadrons with a loss of only three animals.
234. The work of handling evacuations and keeping animals in the best conditions possible under the circumstances was begun with the start for the Rhine. On November 20, 1918, General Order No. 2, Third Army, was issued In this order wide scope was given both Remount and Veterinary Officers. On November 30, 1918, General Order No. 7, Third Army, was published in which the forage allowance for the various classes of animals was fixed. This order also made it obligatory for an officer to be present when animals were watered. The general care of animals of the Third Army was outlined in this order. On December 18, 1918, General Order No. 12, Third Army, was published relative to the establishment of the Army School at Coblenz.
235. The 50,430 animals divided among the Army troops, Corps troops and the ten Divisions of the Third Army were for the most part in poor condition. That number of animals were in the Third Army when that part of Germany, lying about Coblenz, was occupied by American troops. There were 9,316 cavalry horses, 25,691 draft horses, 14,561 draft mules and 862 pack and riding mules in the Third Army. On May 1, 1919, there were 49,079 animals in the Third Army.
236. After Remount activities in the S.O.S. became smaller in April 1919, it was possible to send enough Remount Squadrons to the Third Army to care for all excess animals. A Remount Depot was built at Wengerohr, which had an estimated capacity of 8,000 animals. Forty corrals of two acres each were constructed. In each corral there were hayracks, feed troughs and water troughs. It was planned to hold surplus animals of the Army at that point. Remount Squadrons 301, 309, 310, 312 and 344 were sent to Wengerohr to handle the new depot.
237. At the time the new Depot was planned it was believed that there would be a great surplus of animals in the Third Army but sales authorized by the U.S. Liquidation Commission brought down the number until there were but few in excess of the tables of allowance. According to the tables of allowance in effect in April 1919, each Division was allowed 5,920 animals. The excess of animals was caused by the return of Divisions to the United States leaving their horses and mules in the hands of the Army. The better animals were held in Divisions and those unfit for service were inspected and condemned and sold locally. However, this system of getting rid of animals did not encompass the desired results and there were thousands of animals that were fit for some service and were not eligible to be sent before a Board for condemnation. Animals destroyed to prevent suffering, if not diseased, were sold to local butchers.
238. The number of animals accumulated in the Divisions until it as necessary to provide an outlet for the increasing stream of horses and mules turned in by organizations. Additional Remount personnel were sent to the Third Army from the S.O.S. On May 1, 1919, there were eleven Remount Squadrons, three Remount Officers with the Headquarters Third Army; five officers with the three Corps and seven officers with the seven Divisions in the Third Army at the time.
239. Seven of the twelve Squadrons in the Third Army were scattered throughout the area held by the Army of Occupation. Aside from the five Squadrons at the Army Depot at Wengerohr the other seven were on duty in the remaining six Remount Depots in Germany. Remount Squadron No. 302, handled a Depot of approximately 600 animal capacity at Ehrinbreitstein across the Rhine from Coblenz; Remount No. 303, operated the Depot at Coblenz-Lutzel with a capacity of 500 animals. At this Depot the Third Army carried on its Equitation School. Aside from caring for animals that were exercised, trained and issued, the Squadron also cared for the animals used by the classes in the school. Remount Squadron No. 304, which was ordered to the Third Army after the Second Army disbanded, opened a Remount Depot at Steinsel with a capacity of 500 animals. Remount Squadron No. 306 was stationed at Hausen, where there was stable room for 600 animals. Remount Squadron No. 314, operated a Depot in Coblenz.
240. One of the finest places used by the American Army in the A.E.F. was at Treves where a Remount Depot opened soon after the Army of Occupation reached the Rhine. The former designation of the Remount Depot at Treves was Kasernement Jager Cavalry Regiment No. 7. The Depot was operated by Remount Squadrons No 311 and 322.
241. At this Depot there were 14 stables constructed entirely of brick, forming a square with a drill field in the center. The drill field was equipped with jumps. The 14 stables contained 818 5 and a half foot stalls and 25 box stalls 12x12 feet. The stalls were separated by iron pipe kicking bars. These kicking bars were four inches in diameter and were suspended by chains. Floors and mangers were of concrete. There were no hayracks, all long forage being cut and fed with grain. In place of bedding of straw Peat moss was used. This is very similar to tanbark. There was a system of drainage whereby all urine drained to a central tank where it was pumped out and hauled away and sprinkled over fields as a fertilizer. The ventilation was good, there being two foot vents every twenty feet.
242. The riding halls were 250 x 60 feet, divided in the center by a brick partition with a six-foot passage at each side. Each hall had a crushed rock foundation and a three-foot coat of Peat Moss.
243. The Horse Show at Coblenz in the Third Army was no of the best ever held in the United States Army. From April 23rd to April 27th, 1919, every variety of animal and animal transportation was shown. There were a great many other events in the carnival, but the strides made by the troops of the Third Army in caring for their animals and animal equipment was amazing.
244. Division Horse Shows were held first and later the Corps participation all leading up to the Army Show which began April 23, 1919, at Coblenz. All these shows were successful.
245. When it was decided to concentrate all the surplus animals in the Third Army at the two Remount Depots, Kripp and Wengerohr, the Depot at Treves was abandoned June 7, 1919, and the personnel ordered to the two large Depots for duty.
246. During January 1919 it was found that the French Government was unable to take over the condemned animals of the Third Army in Germany, and authority was obtained January 30, 1919, to dispose of these animals to the local population within the occupied territory.
247. On March 10, 1919, the Commanding General, S.O.S., recommended to the C in C that surplus animals in the Third Army be sold in the occupied area, care being exercised to prevent these animals from leaving that territory. On March 13, 1919, the question was placed before the Liquidation Commission, by G.H.Q. On March 15, 1919, the Liquidation Commission approved the sale of unsuitable animals in Germany.
248. During February 1919, authority was obtained for the sale of animals in Luxembourg. At the same time unsuccessful efforts were made to sell animals of the Third Army to the Belgian Government.
249. On March 12, 1919, when two divisions were ordered back to the United States, another request was made on the Liquidation Commission to allow animals to be sold in the occupied area. This request was refused.
250. On April 10, 1919, authority was given to sell 2,000 surplus animals, and on April 17, 1919, additional authority was secured for the sale of 5,000 more. This authority was followed up April 21, 1919, by permission from the Liquidation Commission to sell 5,000 more animals when the animals previously authorized had been sold. This authority was extended so that animals that became surplus in the future could be sold without further reference to the Liquidation Commission.
251. At the time that Peace was signed plans were under way for the disposition of the remaining animals in the Third Army. A Commission representing the Polish Government was in Coblenz on the date that Peace was signed with a view to selecting 5,000 animals for their Government. Financial arrangements offered by the Commission had already been approved by the Liquidation Commission. A deal was also pending with the French Government whereby all animals that were available would be taken over as fast as the troops of the Third Army were released for return to the United States.
DISPOSAL OF ANIMALS IN THE A.E.F.
After the Army of Occupation had settled down on the Rhine and the First and Second Armies had been given their full quota of animals according to the Table of Allowances, it was found that there existed a surplus of animals in the A.E.F. For eighteen months the Remount Service had been taxed to the utmost to supply a sufficient number of animals to keep the various units in the A.E.F. mobile. On the first of January 1919, there were 192,386 animals on hand in the A.E.F., and as it was not feasible to return many of them to the United States, it was necessary that plans made for their disposal. At the time the Depots were filled with animals and the prospects were that there would be a constantly increasing stream of surplus animals from the combat divisions, as these units were released for the return to the United States.
253. There were five agreements made up to the signing of Peace with the French Government regarding the disposition of the animals of the U.S. Army in France. These agreements were dated February 14, 1919; April 7, 1919; May 9, 1919 and May 14, 1919. The first of these agreements, a tentative one, was made in January 1919, by which the French Government was to sent a Commission to the various Remount Depots of the U.S. Army and select approximately 15,000 animals to be disposed of by the French Government for the U.S. Army. These animals were to be branded with a “A” on the neck and the serial and depot number on the left hind foot. According to this agreement, the American Government was to deliver these animals to points designated by the French. It was also agreed that after fifteen days, if the animals were not called for, that the French Government would pay for the forage consumed by them until they were actually turned over. These animals were to be sold at auction and the Board appointed by the French Government placed a minimum price on each animal. The conditions under which these animals were to be sold were outlined in a letter of December 16, 1918.
254. After this arrangement had been tentatively agreed upon, the Finance Officer of the A.E.F., on February 10, 1919, in a letter to the Under Secretary of the Liquidation of Stocks in France, informed the French Government that a Civilian Commission was enroute at that time from the United States and that instructions had been received that no contracts should be entered into by the Commanding General, S.O.S., which might hamper the work of this Commission. However, the letter stated that conditions were such that there was an immediate need for the disposal of surplus animals of the U.S. Army, at that time in the Remount Depots, and that the Commanding General, S.O.S., was ready to assume the responsibility of the disposal of these animals. This proposal was accepted by the French Government February 14, 1919.
255. Working under the agreement that the French would take such animals as were suitable, from the U.S. Remount Depots, the French Commission, which had been appointed, visited several of the U.S. Army Remount Depots and selected 15,081 animals, which they sold at auction to French civilians. An accounting for the animals disposed of by this Commission, under the agreement, was to be made on June 30, 1919, to the United States. The 15,081 animals selected were taken from the following Depots: St. Nazaire, Meucon, La Rochelle, Merignac, Carbon Blanc, Selles-sur-Cher, Gievres, Sougy, Lux, Bourbonne-les-Bains, and Nancy. In all 1,326 Cavalry, 4,703 Light Artillery, 737 Heavy Artillery, 5,216 Draft mules, and 3,099 pack mules were chosen. These animals were sold in accordance with the agreement as laid down by the letter from the Conseiller D’Etat, Directeur General, of December 16, 1918.
256. This sale was the most disadvantageous of any made by us. The French Commissions sold these horses very much below their real market value and by strict adherence to their priority system at the auction; the horses were sacrificed at probably not over half of what we could have sold them for. This also resulted in lowering the market value and when we finally commenced to auction our own horses, it took some time to raise it to what it would have been before the French sold these 15,081.
257. It was apparent that the number of animals becoming surplus would increase steadily as the forces of the A.E.F. diminished, and steps were taken with the Liquidation Commission at Paris, looking toward the disposal of animals in the A.E.F. in large numbers.
258. On March 7, 1919, the General Sales Agent, in a letter to the Chief of French Mission, American Services in Paris, authority was requested to dispose of all surplus animals by auction. On March 12, 1919, the Chief of French Mission replied, that the Sous Secretaire D’Etat Aux Finances had confirmed his agreement to the proposals in the letter from the General Sales Agent, A.E.F. It was in this letter that a request was made that these auction sales be not confined to the immediate neighborhood of the U.S. Army Remount Depots. On March 13, 1919, the C.G., S.O.S., was notified by the General Sales Agent of the confirmation of the approval by the French for the auction sales.
259. On April 7, 1919, another agreement was entered into, whereby 1,208 animals were disposed of. Of that number, 1,003 were selected from the 79th Division. Notification of this agreement was made by the General Sales Agent to the C.O. of the U.S. Remount Depot at Toul.
260. An agreement was made in Paris, April 26, 1919, between the General Sales Agent, the Minister of Liberated Regions, whereby 18,100 animals would be turned over upon completion of an arrangement at a satisfactory price. Through this agreement 17,000 animals were purchased by the Commission.
261. On May 9, 1919, an additional agreement was made with the French Government for the purchase of the animals of the 6th and 7th Divisions. A Commission was sent to the area where these two Divisions were billeted and selected 7,575 animals.
262. On May 16, 1919, another agreement was reached where the French Government agreed to take over 26,000 animals of the Third Army at once and 12,000 that would become available at a later date. This agreement was similar to that of April 27, 1919. Up to the time that this report is submitted, only 7,250 animals have been accepted by the French.
263. After authority had been received to sell the animals of the A.E.F. by public auction, Remount Depot Commanders were informed that steps would be taken at once towards the disposition of animals that were on hand in the Depots at that time, and those that were to be turned in. Depot Commanders were informed that it would be essential to secure a French auctioneer for these sales. The French law required that in addition to the selling price, the purchaser pay the auctioneer 8 in a half percent of the price. Out of the 8 in a half percent of the State Registration Tax would be two and a half percent; the balance, six percent went to the auctioneer. There was an organization of Auctioneers in France, and through that body arrangements were made for the procurement of auctioneers for the various Depots. In the agreement with these auctioneers they were required to advertise the sales they were to hold. They also incurred any other expenses that were necessary, incident to the sales. Great care had to be taken by the Remount Service in carrying out these sales, as advertised, as relating to the number and classes to be offered, as the French law required auctioneers to offer whatever they had advertised. Under the law, is was possible for a prospective purchaser to sue the auctioneer for failure to carry out the contracts implied in the advertisement.
264. There were 600 Auction Sales held in France through these French Auctioneers. Following is a list of Depots and the number of sales, which they held:
Meucon – 23
St. Nazaire – 21
Merignac – 49
La Rochelle – 60
Carbon Blanc – 40
Selles-sur-Cher – 90
Gievres – 59
Sougy – 80
Lux – 77
Bourbonne – 10
Montiers – 24
Commercy – 5
Nancy – 12
Verdun – 13
Vendome – 3
Miramas – 25
Sales were held as far in the northeast of France as Longuyon and as far to the southeast as Nice. The furtherest point South where sales were held was Marseilles. Sales were held along the Spanish border to the West Coast. Sales were also held in Paris and then as far in the Northwest of France as Villedieu. The country embraced within these points was covered by sales at auction. The Remount Service would have gone further into Northern France, but for the fact that the English were offering large numbers of animals at prices, according to reports, that were not equal to those as received by the American Government.
265. While direct authority was not given for private sales, it was found that many of the farmers did not care to buy animals at auction when they had no chance of finding out whether or not they would work, ride and drive. For that reason it was decided to offer animals at private sales in the Remount Depots. This feature proved a distinct success and better prices were obtained than at auction. This step was taken to comply with the spirit of the agreement with the French, as well as to procure the best price obtainable for our animals. Through the private sale system it was possible for a farmer to go into a Depot, select an animal, see it worked and ridden and decide whether or not the animals was suitable. It was found that it was better to offer animals with long manes, long tails and shaggy fetlocks. The shaggy animals apparently was more sought after by the French buyers.
266. Aside from conducting auction and private sales in the Depots, it was decided that it would be necessary to establish sales centers in various parts of France, that were remote from the Remount Depots. One center was established at Paris, on at Miramas, one at Le Mans, one at Toulouse and another at Vendome. The latter was established for the purpose of disposing of the animals of the 6th Cavalry that became surplus. One Remount Squadron was sent to Le Mans to take care of the surplus animals. as they became available in the Embarkation Center there. This Sales Center was established merely for the purpose of disposing of animals as they became surplus in that area. The center at Toulouse was established to dispose of surplus animals from the Remount Depot at Merignac. These animals were shipped to Toulouse and disposed there by auction. A few animals from Carbon Blanc were also disposed of at Toulouse, but all sales were reported from the Remount Depot at Merignac.
267. The sales center established at Miramas, was on a more pretentious scale. The animals from many of the Depot were shipped there to be sold. Animals were disposed of there both at auction and private sales, practically all of them at auction. One Remount Squadron was sent to care for those animals, prior to, and during the sales. After the market at Miramas had become satisfied, arrangements were made and auctions held in various towns in that vicinity.
268. On March 30, 1919, an agreement was entered into with the Tattersall Company at Paris, for the disposition of a certain number of animals there each week. In this agreement a majoration charge of 11 percent over and above the purchase price was paid to the Tattersall Company, by each purchaser, to cover the State Registration and Municipal Taxes, and the commission for the sale. In addition to the 11 percent, which was paid by the purchaser, the American Army agreed to pay the Tattersall Company 5 percent of the sale price, to cover all expenses connected with the receiving, stabling, feeding and handling of the animals from the time they were received until they were sold.
269. One trainload of 120 animals was shipped to Paris April 14, 1919. On April 21, 1919, 250 animals were shipped to the Tattersall Company. After that time, under the agreement of soundness was made on these animals.
270. Animals were shipped to the Tattersall Company two days prior to the sale, where they were given time to recover from the trip before being brought on the floor for sale. One officer, representing the Remount Service, attended all these sales, checked each individual sale and receiving the money for the animals bought from the Tattersall Company. A program was printed by the Tattersall Company showing the description of each animal to be sold. In this way a purchaser could identify the animals offered from the program.
271. The prices obtained at Tattersalls were fair only, and on April 30th, the Chief Remount Service, cancelled the contract with that company, to date from May 18, 1919. However, under verbal agreement by which the American Government paid Tattersalls 15 francs per head, instead of 5 percent as formerly, several sales were held in Paris after May the 18th. Under the new agreement, when a shipment arrived more than two days in advance of the sale, a charge of 10 francs per head was added by the Tattersall Company.
272. Through the Auction and private sales held in the A.E.F. 112,828 animals had been disposed of up to the date of the signing of peace. Of this number 52,971 were disposed of at auction and 59,857 at private sales.
273. The following table shows the total auction and private sales in the Remount Depots, the Sales Centers, Divisions, and sales to Germans in the occupied territory, up to the date of the signing of peace.
The following table shows the animals turned over to the French Government under provisions of various agreements:
Note: Price obtained at Auction sales held under French supervision have not yet been reported to the Remount Division
275. After the question of the disposal of animal in the A.E.F. was taken up, it was decided to ascertain the attitude of the War Department regarding the return to the U.S., of the private mounts and such animals of the army, which might be of more than ordinary service to the army schools and other places in the U.S. Army. It was proposed to use the best of the animals in the army schools in the U.S. On March 23, 1919, regulations regarding the return of animals to the U.S. were sent to the C.Gs of the three armies by the C of C. The number of animals was limited to 100 private mounts. A quarantine of 90 days in France and a similar period in the U.S. were required by these regulations, which were forwarded from Washington. Animals to be returned to the U.S. placed under the care of the Veterinary Corps during the quarantine period in France. An isolation Depot was established at Camp de Souge. Later permission was obtained to return 100 suitable public mounts in the U.S. These animals were to be selected from the best in the A.E.F. According to the authority received, the animals were to be placed in quarantine in France for 30 days and for 150 days after their arrival in the U.S. Authority for the shipment of 10 additional private mounts to the U.S. was received June 25, 1919, these animals to go into quarantine July 15, 1919. A request was made on the War Department to allow all animals in quarantine, for the return to the U.S., to be shipped on one vessel August 15, 1919. No reply had been received in answer to this request on the date of this report.
ANIMALS ON HAND IN THE A.E.F., NOVERMBER 11, 1918
276. Horses – Cavalry; 27,317 and Draft; 94, 692. Mules – Draft; 40,919 and Pack; 3,616 for a total of 166,554 animals.
Of the 166,554 animals on hand, 16,000 of them were in Veterinary Hospitals.
277. Following is a table showing the various sources and the number of animals received by the U.S. Army in France, by classes, the grand total, the total number of deaths reported up to December 31, 1918, and the total remaining on hand December 31, 1918:
279. With reference to memorandum from G-4 dated April 14th the following information regarding the Animal Situation in the A.E.F. was submitted:
281, From July 1, 1917 to March 1, 1919, a total of 242,959 animals had been received of which 54,668 or 22. 5 percent died; 4,569 or 1.8 percent had been condemned and turned over to French Military Authorities for disposal; and 4,939 or 2.03 percent had been condemned and sold to butchers. The total loss of the A.E.F. from July 1, 1917, to March 1, 1919, or a period of 21 months, was 64,176, or 26.4 percent of the total number of animals received (242,939). The average monthly percentage of loss at that rate being 1.25 percent.
Note B: Increase in deaths in October 1917, due to the fact that reports for deaths in October 1917, due to the fact that reports for deaths during previous months were only received from a few organizations, a great number only received in October, aggregating deaths during 3 previous months.
Note C: Increase in losses by condemnation and sales beginning December 1918, is due to the fact that after the Armistice all unserviceable animals were condemned and sold to the French Government.
283. It was estimated that the cancellation of contracts for public animals by the A.E.F. saved the United States 33,533,000 dollars based on the following data;
Cost on Delivery to Organizations of 50,000 animals at 487.06 – 24,353,000.00 dollars
Cost of Feeding the Same for 6 months at Rate of 1.02 dollars – 9,180,000.00 dollars
Total cost – 33,533,000.00 dollars
284. The following is showing the estimated daily cost of keeping an animal in a Remount Depot of the A.E.F.
1. DIRECT CHARGES
a. Forage Ration – 1.02 dollars
b. Veterinary Supplies - .002
c. Wear of Horseshoes - .003
2. OVERHEAD CHARGES
a. Pay and Rations of Personnel - .766 dollars
b. Leases of Grounds and Barracks - .008
c. Fuel and Light - .008
d. Remount Depot Office Expenses - .005
e. Estimated Original Cost of Construction (Daily Pro-rate per animal) - .166
f. Depreciation of 10 percent on value of Q.M. Ordnance and Vety. Property (Daily Pro- rate per animal) - .250
Total from the above – 2.308
NOTE: British estimates show cost of .82 dollars per day but this does not include pay and rations of personnel. In addition, our figures show .50 more forage based on freight charges at .60 dollars per ton.
285. Following is a detailed statement showing the average cost of an animal in the United States, the cost to hold the animal for two months in a Remount Depot in the U.S., cost of railroad transportation in the U.S., and the cost of ocean transportation to France and the cost to maintain an condition the animal in a Remount Depot in France covering a period of one month before issuing;
286. The average life of an animal in the A.E.F., based upon figures for the period from July 1917 to October 1918 was three years and three months; figures based upon the period from July 1918 to October 1918 show the average life of an animal to be two years, eleven months and twenty-two days. These figures were made upon periods that were favorable to the longevity of animals.
a. That it is a bad policy to depend upon the detail of combat personnel to care for animals in Remount Depots.
b. That Remount Officers and personnel enlisted and trained for the Remount Service should be provided and go with the first troops of an Expeditionary Force. This personnel should be for use in the Headquarters office, Office of Chief Remount Officer of the Line of Communications, Headquarters personnel for Depots, Headquarters personnel for a group of Depots and Remount Squadrons.
c. That it is a bad policy to delay the construction of Remount Depot; that they should be constructed as soon as possible after need is determined; that the most important parts of depots to construct, where mud is prevalent, are the roads and standings; that unless depots are constructed and ready to receive animals there will be a large number of unfit animals due to improper care.
d. That nothing should be spared to have animals in the hands of troops properly taken care of; that Remount Officers should be attached to the Headquarters of Armies, Corps and Divisions, and that they should have the necessary assistants to properly supervise and give instruction in the care of animals.
a. It is very strongly recommended that the Veterinary Corps and Remount Service be combined together in one Animal Corps servicing directly under the General Staff and Independent of any other supply bureau. The work of these two services is so nearly parallel that they should be controlled by a common Chief to coordinate their operation.
b. That in the case the Remount Service remains as at present, a branch of the Quartermaster Corps, that members of the Quartermaster Officers’ Reserve Corps, suitable for Remount Duty, should be listed on a separate list, for duty in the Remount Service.
c. That the Remount Service be charged with the operation of all schools for the instruction of Officers and Men in the care and handling of animals and equipment.
d. That a manual for the Remount Service be prepared covering the following sections;
(1) Purchase of animals
(2) Shipment of animals by rail and water
(3) Management and care of animals covering the proper feeding, watering, grooming, shoeing, saddling, packing, exercising, training, conditioning, fitting harness, etc.
(4) Organizations and operation of a Remount Depot
(5) Construction and equipment of a Remount Depot of 1,200, 2,400 and 3,200 capacity
(6) Organization and Operation of a Remount Service of an Expeditionary Force covering:
a. Organization and Operation of Main Office
b. Organization and Operation of Office of Chief Remount Officer, Advance Section, Line of Communication
c. Records and Statistics
d. Instructions for and duties of Army, Corps and Division Remount Officers and Reports to be made by same
f. Duties of Corps Remount Depots
g. Equipment of a Remount Squadron
h. And other necessary instructions
289. It would be not be fitting to close this report without an expression of appreciation of the excellent services rendered by the officers and enlisted men of the Remount Service. They have performed their duty loyally and energetically and have demonstrated beyond a doubt the importance of a well organized Remount Service in an Expeditionary Force.
END OF REPORT
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