Charles Gates Dawes.

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service has not been more on the line, they have both made
very fine records. Beman has been promoted for merit and
has been recommended for still further promotion, although
I am afraid that the order recently issued by the War De-
partment against any further promotions after November 1 1
in the American Expeditionary Forces will prevent his re-
ceiving his second promotion. He had been in charge of
most responsible work and is at present at Marseilles, where,
as I understand it, he is supervising part of the unloading
and transportation system. The only reason that I am not
writing more of the achievements of these two nephews is
because I have not been recently in contact with them. What
I say in praise of them is reported to me by their superior
officers who have stated that their work has been noteworthy.
Returning again to myself: Those things for which I shall
be best remembered in this war when its history is written
will not be those which I shall remember best. In all the
reviews, celebrations, and gatherings which may be before
me in the future there will always be in my mind the picture
of what went on to make them possible and the wonder
whether the millions buried in the wheat-fields and along
the roadsides of Northern France can know of them. There
is no tie like the tie of blood, and while in our international
deliberations the English and I have at times almost fought,
it has all ended in our loving each other as brothers because
we were sincerely united in a common purpose. I was
touched to learn inadvertently that my good friend Major-
General Ford, representing the British army on our Board,
had been especially instructed by the English War Office to
defer in every way possible to my suggestions in Military
Board relations. This was not necessary, for I do not think
General Ford and I could find any subject on which we did
not agree. But I must not speak of my regard for the Eng-
lish without speaking also of my regard for the French. Out



of struggle, danger, and difficulty rise the enduring friend-
ships. I find that General Pershing is deeply attached to
General P6tain and regards him about as I do Ptain's great
assistant, Colonel Payot. Payot recently brought me in, to-
gether with a picture of himself, a picture from Marshal
Foch inscribed to me. These, together with a picture of the
fight of the Marines in Belleau Wood, which General Har-
bord who commanded them gave me, I sent home by an
American officer yesterday.

I do not know when I shall be through my army service.
For the present I am needed here and General Pershing says
he wants me to remain and return with him. I shall still
have some months of work. The way my Staff Department
of the army has been built up is something like this. I started
in a single room doing things largely with my own hands. In
this way I became acquainted with every detail and method.
This was possible when the business of the American Expedi-
tionary Forces was starting and comparatively small. When
I had completed the machinery for coordinating and in-
creasing the supplies of our army, General Pershing began
to call on me in cases where great emergency existed. The
first emergency was the organization of coal shipments from
England and the distribution scheme in France. This I
carried on simply to such a point as met the existing crisis
in coal supply. Then came the emergency call for labor and
a consequent building up by me of a Labor Bureau organi-
zation which I turned over, with nearly 50,000 militarized
employees, to the Army Service Corps on the 1st of Septem-
ber. Because of similar emergencies referred to me I created
the organizations of the Board of Contracts and Adjust-
ments, the Technical Board which coordinates the electrical
power of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, the
Bureau of Accounts and the Bureau of Reciprocal Supply,
all in addition to my original work as Chairman of the Gen-
eral Purchasing Board and General Purchasing Agent. In
addition, with General Pershing's powerful assistance, I had


much to do with the creation of the Military Board of Allied
Supply. With the dwindling load upon the General Pur-
chasing Board, incident to the reduction of the army, as
soon as I can get rid of these other organizations I feel that
I can properly leave the service since the General Purchasing
Board work is well organized. A financial officer of the Gen-
eral Staff is being named now that the war is over to take
over two of my bureaus. 1 As fast as possible those organiza-
tions which have been built up, under the pressure of emer-
gency, around my personality and because I was the only
executive Staff officer in Paris, will be thrown back into the
regular army organization where they properly belong,
leaving me with only the General Purchasing Board, my
membership on the Military Board of Allied Supply, and my
duties in connection with inter-army supply negotiations as
representing General Pershing and General Harbord; with
the latter I must necessarily be engaged somewhat as long
as I am in France. But I must complete my work and remain
as long as duty requires. My deep attachment for General
Pershing if nothing else would impel me to stay here until
he is completely convinced that it is all right for me to go.

The General has now become one of the first figures in
the history of our nation, but to me he is as always the
faithful and affectionate friend and congenial associate of
twenty-four years' standing. His head is not turned in the
least. Every accession to his popularity arouses in him the
fear of a reaction which may hamper him in that work
which is nearest his heart the proper handling, care, and
return of his army to America.

In the length of this letter and the variety of subjects
covered, you must not think I have forgotten after all my
chief purpose in writing it, and that is to evidence to you,
as I would try to do to Father if he were living, my desire

1 See Report of Daily Activities, November 21, paragraph 8. Appendix
C, vol. ii, p. 233.


that you know now as always my impulse is to lay at your
feet whatever accomplishments may be mine in grateful
recognition of what you have always been to me in life.
Your affectionate son


Paris, Monday
November 25, 1918 (9.40 P.M.)

GENERAL PERSHING has just left my room at the hotel where
we took dinner together and spent the evening. The pressure
of the situation is lessening, and we have no longer the
emergencies involving human life hanging heavily over our
heads. He arrived in Paris this afternoon from the trip
during which he entered Luxembourg with his army, and also
went over to Brussels when the King of Belgium entered
that city. At his home this afternoon I telephoned General
Harbord to come to Paris to-morrow bringing Colonel Hull
with him for a conference with the General on our policy of
contract cancellation and methods of general liquidation.
The bulk of the liquidation of material property left by the
army in France we agree should be left to a civilian commis-
sion at least, that is our present judgment as to the wise
course to pursue.

Have been quite busy at important matters since my last
note. A part of my work and experiences I covered in a letter
to Mother dictated to my stenographer at length. My
cousin Junior Ames (K. L., Jr.) visited me at the hotel. He
has been in the fighting from St. Mihiel to the end and has
done himself great credit. He is a Lieutenant in Colonel
Foreman's old 1st Illinois, now an artillery organization.
He, William, Gates, and Charles have all done well in the

Colonel Boyd told me this afternoon that the French
Government, on the instance of the Chief of Staff, French
Armies of the North and Northeast, had notified General
Pershing of its desire to name me a Commander of the Legion


of Honor, and that the General had expressed his approval of
the decoration. I appreciate greatly this action on the part
of the French. 1

I am pushing my organization built up at such effort back
into the regular organization of the army as fast as I can now

1 France, November 24, 1918

Cabinet du Marechal Petain

Grand Quartier General Francflis

The Chief of Staff of the Armies of the North and of the Northeast
has submitted to General Pershing a proposition to appoint to the grade
of Commander of the Legion of Honor, General Charles G. Dawes, of our
service, and to the grade of Chevalier of the Legion. of Honor, ist Lieu-
tenants Thomas Cassady and Alexander Hune Keith.

General Pershing is very pleased to learn of the distinction which it is
proposed to confer upon these officers, and would be glad to see them dec-
orated provided these propositions still maintain.

Very truly yours


Colonel, A.D.C.

Anerican Candidature for a decoration in the Legion of Honor

Proposition made by the President of the Comite Interallie des Ravitaille-

For the grade of: Commander of the Legion of Honor.

In favor of: DAWES, CHARLES G.

Grade: Brigadier-General.

Corps or Service: Engineer Corps.

Functions: President of the Purchasing Board, Representative of the
American Army on the Comite Interallie des Ravitaillements.

Date of arrival in France: August, 1917.

Date on which relations were established with the French Service making
propositions: April, 1918.

Duration of these relations: Still in course, nine months.

French decorations already received: None.

General appreciation: Has always had at heart to ensure the most intimate
liaison and the most complete cooperation between the French and
American Services; always endeavored to smooth out all difficulties and
to assure the most cordial understanding between the two armies, as
well as the most effective aid from the American Army to the French


President of the Comite Interallie des Rai-itaillements
Signed: CH. PA vox

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that the war is over, and the emergency is lifted. It was built
around my personality and because I was the only executive
staff officer in Paris and therefore in constant contact with
the French Government whose attitude in regard to all our
army matters was so important. Still it will probably be some
months before I can leave the army for my old life. I want to
stay until I have fully completed my work which I ought to
do and then get home as soon as possible.

At the Military Board of Allied Supply meeting next
Friday, now that at the last meeting I secured the issue of
orders to the three armies for a report of their condition as of
October 3ist in regard to men, supplies, ammunition, muni-
tions, transportation, etc., I propose to ask for additional
information to be preserved for the future consideration of
military students of the war. While much of interest is tran-
spiring around me, I have to force myself to keep notes. The
merely spectacular in life will never lack description. What
my notes have recorded for the most part is the current of that
great river of effort, so far as I have had part in it, which has
made possible all these spectacles. I long for peace and quiet
for a time.

Paris, Tuesday
November 26, 1918 (9.30 P.M.)

I AM very tired after a day spent largely in conference with
General Pershing, General Harbord, E. R. Stettinius, Special
Representative of the Secretary of War, Colonel Hull, Judge
Advocate and new Finance Officer of the A.E.F., in which was
settled the plan to be recommended to the War Department
and, so far as the A.E.F. is concerned, followed, in liquidating
the immense property and plant of the American army in
France. Was personally squarely up against the question of
my duty to stay and help in the more prosaic but no less
necessary work of liquidation. Much as I desire to return to
home and business and to comparative rest, there was no
alternative but to cheerfully acquiesce in the feeling of my


associates that I must stay until I am clearly not needed.
Accordingly General Pershing had Harbord and me prepare
an order in which Stettinius (ex officio), Colonel Hull, and my-
self were detailed as an Advisory Settlement Board of the
A.E.F. "to consider and recommend policies connected with
the disposition of war supplies, material and equipment per-
taining to the A.E.F., etc.," under command of the Command-
ing General, Services of Supply. The liquidation of fixed
property was recommended by cable to the War Department
by General Pershing to be undertaken by a commission of
five. Considered myself fortunate to have escaped the draft
on the latter proposition.

I wish selfishly I could stop my military work at this junc-
ture. Personally there is nothing to gain by success and much
to lose by mistake. However, I did not enter the army as a

Late in the afternoon General Pershing, General Harbord,
and myself and others went to the Signal Corps photographic
plant and saw some wonderful pictures, including those taken
of the trip when the General decorated Marshal Haig.

Harbord, Hull, and Lieutenant-Colonel Collins dined with
me at the hotel.

Paris, Thursday
December 3, 1918 (9.30 P.M.)

AT the last meeting of the Military Board of Allied Supply,
which was held at my office, I secured the issuance of orders to
the three armies also Belgian and Italian armies in France
for the preparation of the record of their respective Services
of Supply from the beginning of the war, covering questions
of policy, changes in policy and the reasons therefor, etc.,
for preservation in the records of the Board. General Ford,
of the English army, demurred somewhat, maintaining that
this could be done better after the war, to which Payot and I
took the contrary view. Ford, with his customary good hu-
mor and spirit of helpfulness, then agreed. He states that it


will take the English army six months to complete its record
report. General Harbord, who was present and addressed the
Board, has already started the work for our own army, as has
General Moseley of G~4, G.H.Q. I am sure that no literature
of the armies will exist after the war so instructive and il-
luminating as this which I have been instrumental in having
prepared that is, from the standpoint of the Service of
Supply and its relation to the conditions at the front and its
military strategy. I think I have covered all the points upon
which information will be chiefly desired though, of course,
I have probably omitted something.

In the great press of work of the last week my visits and
work with Herbert Hoover remain in memory. He outlined
his plans for feeding Europe so far as it has been possible to
formulate them. His present liaison with our army is through
my office. He shared my frugal lunch on the office desk the
other day. General Pershing called me by telephone the
other night. He is very much annoyed by the newspaper talk
about him as a candidate for the Presidency and was con-
templating a statement about it, strongly denouncing such
gossip. He desired my opinion about making a statement.
I advised it was not worthy of notice at least at present.
John will never be rushed off his feet. He sincerely depre-
cates anything of political kind. His future lies in his chosen
work as he views it. I do not wonder, however, that he is
talked of for this position. Many American statesmen in
recent years have spread their sails for the popular winds. .
John, in any gale however severe, always lays his course by )
the compass.

My friend John McCutcheon is here and brought me a pic-
ture of my new grandson now three months old. I am
afraid it will be a long time before I see him, much as I should
like to do so. William, Charles, and Gates, my three nephews
fine boys have also visited me this last week.


Paris, Sunday
December 8, 1918 (ro p. M.)

DURING the last week, at the suggestion of our Advisory
Liquidation Board of three, prepared a plan for the A.E.F. to
follow, subject to the modifications which the War Depart-
ment may hereafter impose, in liquidation of current sup-
plies and assets. Read the plan over the telephone to General
Pershing and to Harbord, both of whom approved it. The
Board afterward approved it without change and it will
therefore pass into orders. It is based upon the plan originated
by General Pershing covering the acquirement of property,
modified to provide for disposition of property.

The French Government has informally submitted to the
A.E.F. for discussion the question of that Government taking
over all our property, either to liquidate with concurrence
of an American representative, or to pay a lump sum for it.
We are considering this on both sides. Am in favor of some-
thing of the kind for many reasons. Attended many con-
ferences, including one with Stettinius (who has done won-
derful work) and Tardieu and Ganne.

I feel the load lifting and am no longer under a strain.
General Harbord spent two days here this week. McFadden
left to-night for the United States after a wonderful record
of usefulness to the A.E.F. as the representative in France of
the War Trade Board.

Paris, Thursday night
December 19, 1918 (10.15 p - M -)

AM just in from a four days' trip over the Services of Supply.
Last Saturday President Wilson arrived. My headquarters
office was filled to see him pass on the Avenue where he re-
ceived a very great ovation from the French people. Har-
bord, General Ford (B.E.F.), John McCutcheon, and I spent
that evening together. Sunday morning Harbord, Hull, and
I conferred with General Pershing upon the situation created
by the Comptroller of the Treasury, who has made a ruling



making it impossible for our country to settle its business in
France honorably without a change of law. General Pershing
decided upon a policy and cables were prepared for trans-
mission to the War Department by Colonel Hull. Harbord,
General Ford, Mr. Hurley of the Shipping Board, John Mc-
Cutcheon, and I then left for Coubert to attend the last
meeting of the Military Board of Allied Supply to be held at
those headquarters. Hoover had expected to go with me, but
Wilson called him into conference just as we were about to
start. However, at the meeting I made the inquiry of Payot
as to how much the French army could assist in transporting
relief supplies to the devastated districts and arranged for con-
ference between Payot and Hoover upon statement of former
that the French army would assist.

Am meeting with some reluctance on the part of the Eng-
lish to immediately furnish information as to their rear service
for reasons which they gave me in confidence and which I
cannot disclose. However, in time we shall get it. They are
anxious to cooperate in every way.

We arrived in Paris again Sunday evening. General Travers-
Clarke and Major-General Ford met us there. They dined
with us and at midnight we took General Harbord's special
train for our trip. In the party were Harbord, Travers-
Clarke, Carter, Ford, Colonel Maud, John McCutcheon at
the start. At different points some fell out and new ones came
in, including Senator Wadsworth of New York, E. N. Hurley,
General McCoy, General Jadwin, and others. First day at
Gievres ; second day, Bordeaux and surrounding installations ;
third day at St. Nazaire and Nantes; fourth day, Tours.
The trip was arranged in honor of our British guests. It was
a success. Enjoyed visiting the officers of my old regiment
still at St. Nazaire.

General Ford brought an artist with him who is employed
by the British Government. He started my crayon portrait
for the British War Office collection, which I considered an


While visiting the staff at Tours I received a tonnage
statement showing that during the whole first six months of
the existence of the A.E.F. in France, from June to Decem-
ber 31, 1917, only 347,653 tons of material were shipped
to us from the United States. Last month alone (November)

Statement of Transatlantic Cargo Unloaded in France
and Transatlantic Tonnage Saved by Purchases in
Europe to December 31st 1918 (Ship Tons)

Thousands of Ship Tons

Total to December 31, 1918

Ship Ton*

Purchases in Europe
Transatlantic Cargo Unloaded



17, 36?. 331


* Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Ian. feb. Mir. Apr. Miy Jun. Jul. Aug*Se2. Oct. Nov. Dec.

1917 1918

639,659 tons were shipped. What the A.E.F. would have
done without the General Purchasing Board may be inferred
from the fact that the United States shipped us only 4,826,-
516 dead-weight tons from June, 1917, to December 31, 1918,
whereas we secured on this side during that period at least
8,300,000 ship tons and I think my final figures will raise
this latter estimate to nearly 10,000,000 ship tons. I had


not fully realized, myself, how dependent upon my organ-
ization the A.E.F. had been for its supplies until I received
these figures from the staff to-day as to shipments from the
United States. The shipments from England amounting in
the same period to 1,725,105 tons (June, 1917, to December i,
1918) were secured during a critical period, and are in ad-
dition to the shipments from America. These latter ship-
ments, however, were under the General Purchasing Board.

It can be inferred from the above how important has been
coordination with our allies and good understanding with
them in the matter of their aid in meeting our continual
crisis in supplies. No wonder we had to "work on our toes"
in the General Purchasing Board and the General Purchas-
ing Agent organizations. While at times encountering among
our own and the Allied representatives some distrust of each
other and a tendency among subordinates to sometimes
befog their true situation in supply dealing in order to get
the best of a negotiation, I have always found the highest
authority honest in statement. Thus I have always relied,
in times of difficulty and supply emergency, upon this prin-
ciple for comfort and inspiration for perseverance in effort:
In supply negotiations between allied governments in war
to understand is to agree. I therefore never feared to reveal
at once our exact situation whether strong or weak.

July 22, 1919

Memorandum : For General Dawes.

I HAVE collected the following approximate figures con-
cerning the amount of money expended by the A.E.F. for
supplies procured in Europe. Exact figures cannot be ob-
tained at the present moment, as many matters are still in
suspension, in some cases amounting to very large sums, but
the estimate is intended to cover the amounts properly due
which have not yet been definitely fixed.

The figures are based primarily upon reports to you from
the individual purchasing officers, which have recently been
checked up again with these officers.

The following approximate estimate is submitted :


Quartermaster Corps $362,000,000

Ordnance Department 308,000,000

Engineer Corps 208,000,000

Air Service 65,000,000

Medical Department , 50,000,000

Chemical Warfare Service 12,250,000

Signal Corps 10,750,000

Motor Transport Corps 8,000,000



Lieutenant- Colonel, Engineers

Paris, December 23, 1918 (10.30 P.M.)

GENERAL PAYOT (he was made General to-day), Herbert
/ Hoover, and Lieutenant De Sieyes (interpreter) have just

left my room, where we have spent the evening discussing
means of transporting supplies to the devastated regions of
France. Hoover is going to ask Pershing to allow me to be
made the chairman of a military commission to take charge
of the relief of the German civilian population. I do not
know whether this task will come to me or not, but I have
made up my mind that it is no time for me to shirk continued
work in the face of the present need for action, and so I have
given up thought of a return home for many months. I am
impressed greatly with Hoover. He is clear, direct, intensely

Online LibraryCharles Gates DawesA journal of the great war (Volume 1) → online text (page 20 of 30)