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Philip Dru Administrator : a Story of Tomorrow 1920 - 1935 online

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them to help finance your campaign?"

"Happy thought! If you succeed in doing that, Gloria, you will become
the Joan d'Arc of our cause, and unborn generations will hold you in
grateful remembrance."

"How you do enthuse one, Philip. I feel already as if my name were
written high upon the walls of my country's Valhalla. Tell me how great
a fund you will require, and I will proceed at once to build the golden
ladder upon which I am to climb to fame."

"You need not make light of your suggestion in this matter, Gloria, for
the lack of funds with which to organize is essentially our weakest
point. With money we can overthrow the opposition, without it I am
afraid they may defeat us. As to the amount needed, I can set no limit.
The more you get the more perfectly can we organize. Do what you can and
do it quickly, and be assured that if the sum is considerable and if our
cause triumphs, you will have been the most potent factor of us all."

And then they parted; Gloria full of enthusiasm over her self-appointed
task, and Philip with a silent prayer for her success.



CHAPTER XIX

WAR CLOUDS HOVER


Gloria was splendidly successful in her undertaking and within two
weeks she was ready to place at Philip's disposal an amount far in
excess of anything he had anticipated.

"It was so easy that I have a feeling akin to disappointment that I did
not have to work harder," she wrote in her note to Philip announcing the
result. "When I explained the purpose and the importance of the outcome,
almost everyone approached seemed eager to have a share in the
undertaking."

In his reply of thanks, Philip said, "The sum you have realized is far
beyond any figure I had in mind. With what we have collected throughout
the country, it is entirely sufficient, I think, to effect a preliminary
organization, both political and military. If the final result is to be
civil war, then the states that cast their fortunes with ours, will, of
necessity, undertake the further financing of the struggle."

Philip worked assiduously upon his organization. It was first intended
to make it political and educational, but when the defiant tone of
Selwyn, Thor and Rockland was struck, and their evident intention of
using force became apparent, he almost wholly changed it into a military
organization. His central bureau was now in touch with every state, and
he found in the West a grim determination to bring matters to a
conclusion as speedily as possible.

On the other hand, he was sparring for time. He knew his various groups
were in no condition to be pitted against any considerable number of
trained regulars. He hoped, too, that actual conflict would be avoided,
and that a solution could be arrived at when the forthcoming election
for representatives occurred.

It was evident that a large majority of the people were with them: the
problem was to get a fair and legal expression of opinion. As yet, there
was no indication that this would not be granted.

The preparations on both sides became so open, that there was no longer
any effort to work under cover. Philip cautioned his adherents against
committing any overt act. He was sure that the administration forces
would seize the slightest pretext to precipitate action, and that, at
this time, would give them an enormous advantage.

He himself trained the men in his immediate locality, and he also had
the organization throughout the country trained, but without guns. The
use of guns would not have been permitted except to regular authorized
militia. The drilling was done with wooden guns, each man hewing out a
stick to the size and shape of a modern rifle. At his home, carefully
concealed, each man had his rifle.

And then came the election. Troops were at the polls and a free ballot
was denied. It was the last straw. Citizens gathering after nightfall in
order to protest were told to disperse immediately, and upon refusal,
were fired upon. The next morning showed a death roll in the large
centers of population that was appalling.

Wisconsin was the state in which there was the largest percentage of the
citizenship unfavorable to the administration and to the interests.
Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska were closely following.

Philip concluded to make his stand in the West, and he therefore ordered
the men in every organization east of the Mississippi to foregather at
once at Madison, and to report to him there. He was in constant touch
with those Governors who were in sympathy with the progressive or
insurgent cause, and he wired the Governor of Wisconsin, in cipher,
informing him of his intentions.

As yet travel had not been seriously interrupted, though business was
largely at a standstill, and there was an ominous quiet over the land.
The opposition misinterpreted this, and thought that the people had been
frightened by the unexpected show of force. Philip knew differently, and
he also knew that civil war had begun. He communicated his plans to no
one, but he had the campaign well laid out. It was his intention to
concentrate in Wisconsin as large a force as could be gotten from his
followers east and south of that state, and to concentrate again near
Des Moines every man west of Illinois whom he could enlist. It was his
purpose then to advance simultaneously both bodies of troops upon
Chicago.

In the south there had developed a singular inertia. Neither side
counted upon material help or opposition there.

The great conflict covering the years from 1860 to 1865 was still more
than a memory, though but few living had taken part in it. The victors
in that mighty struggle thought they had been magnanimous to the
defeated but the well-informed Southerner knew that they had been made
to pay the most stupendous penalty ever exacted in modern times. At one
stroke of the pen, two thousand millions of their property was taken
from them. A pension system was then inaugurated that taxed the
resources of the Nation to pay. By the year 1927 more than five thousand
millions had gone to those who were of the winning side. Of this the
South was taxed her part, receiving nothing in return.

Cynical Europe said that the North would have it appear that a war had
been fought for human freedom, whereas it seemed that it was fought for
money. It forgot the many brave and patriotic men who enlisted because
they held the Union to be one and indissoluble, and were willing to
sacrifice their lives to make it so, and around whom a willing and
grateful government threw its protecting arms. And it confused those
deserving citizens with the unworthy many, whom pension agents and
office seekers had debauched at the expense of the Nation. Then, too,
the South remembered that one of the immediate results of emancipation
was that millions of ignorant and indigent people were thrown upon the
charity and protection of the Southern people, to care for and to
educate. In some states sixty per cent. of the population were negroes,
and they were as helpless as children and proved a heavy burden upon the
forty per cent. of whites.

In rural populations more schoolhouses had to be maintained, and more
teachers employed for the number taught, and the percentage of children
per capita was larger than in cities. Then, of necessity, separate
schools had to be maintained. So, altogether, the load was a heavy one
for an impoverished people to carry.

The humane, the wise, the patriotic thing to have done, was for the
Nation to have assumed the responsibility of the education of the
negroes for at least one generation.

What a contrast we see in England's treatment of the Boers. After a long
and bloody war, which drew heavily upon the lives and treasures of the
Nation, England's first act was to make an enormous grant to the
conquered Boers, that they might have every facility to regain their
shattered fortunes, and bring order and prosperity to their distracted
land.

We see the contrast again in that for nearly a half century after the
Civil War was over, no Southerner was considered eligible for the
Presidency.

On the other hand, within a few years after the African Revolution
ended, a Boer General, who had fought throughout the war with vigor and
distinction, was proposed and elected Premier of the United Colonies.

Consequently, while sympathizing with the effort to overthrow Selwyn's
government, the South moved slowly and with circumspection.



CHAPTER XX

CIVIL WAR BEGINS


General Dru brought together an army of fifty thousand men at Madison
and about forty thousand near Des Moines, and recruits were coming in
rapidly.

President Rockland had concentrated twenty thousand regulars and thirty
thousand militia at Chicago, and had given command to Major General
Newton, he who, several years previously, won the first medal given by
the War Department for the best solution of the military problem.

The President also made a call for two hundred thousand volunteers. The
response was in no way satisfactory, so he issued a formal demand upon
each state to furnish its quota.

The states that were in sympathy with his administration responded, the
others ignored the call.

General Dru learned that large reinforcements had been ordered to
Chicago, and he therefore at once moved upon that place. He had a fair
equipment of artillery, considering he was wholly dependent upon that
belonging to the militia of those states that had ranged themselves upon
his side, and at several points in the West, he had seized factories and
plants making powder, guns, clothing and camp equipment. He ordered the
Iowa division to advance at the same time, and the two forces were
joined at a point about fifty miles south of Chicago.

General Newton was daily expecting reënforcements, but they failed to
reach him before Dru made it impossible for them to pass through.

Newton at first thought to attack the Iowa division and defeat it, and
then meet the Wisconsin division, but he hesitated to leave Chicago lest
Dru should take the place during his absence.

With both divisions united, and with recruits constantly arriving, Dru
had an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men.

Failing to obtain the looked-for reënforcements and seeing the
hopelessness of opposing so large a force, Newton began secretly to
evacuate Chicago by way of the Lakes, Dru having completely cut him off
by land.

He succeeded in removing his army to Buffalo, where President Rockland
had concentrated more than one hundred thousand troops.

When Dru found General Newton had evacuated Chicago, he occupied it, and
then moved further east, in order to hold the states of Michigan,
Indiana and Western Ohio.

This gave him the control of the West, and he endeavored as nearly as
possible to cut off the food supply of the East. In order to tighten
further the difficulty of obtaining supplies, he occupied Duluth and all
the Lake ports as far east as Cleveland, which city the Government held,
and which was their furthest western line.

Canada was still open as a means of food supply to the East, as were all
the ports of the Atlantic seaboard as far south as Charleston.

So the sum of the situation was that the East, so far west as the middle
of Ohio, and as far south as West Virginia, inclusive of that state, was
in the hands of the Government.

Western Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, while occupied by General
Dru, were divided in their sympathies. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and every
state west of the Mississippi, were strongly against the Government.

The South, as a whole, was negligible, though Virginia, Kentucky,
Tennessee and Missouri were largely divided in sentiment. That part of
the South lying below the border states was in sympathy with the
insurgents.

The contest had come to be thought of as a conflict between Senator
Selwyn on the one hand, and what he represented, and Philip Dru on the
other, and what he stood for. These two were known to be the dominating
forces on either side.

The contestants, on the face of things, seemed not unevenly matched,
but, as a matter of fact, the conscience of the great mass of the
people, East and West, was on Dru's side, for it was known that he was
contending for those things which would permit the Nation to become
again a land of freedom in its truest and highest sense, a land where
the rule of law prevailed, a land of equal opportunity, a land where
justice would be meted out alike to the high and low with a steady and
impartial hand.



CHAPTER XXI

UPON THE EVE OF BATTLE


Neither side seemed anxious to bring matters to a conclusion, for both
Newton and Dru required time to put their respective armies in fit
condition before risking a conflict. By the middle of July, Dru had more
than four hundred thousand men under his command, but his greatest
difficulty was to properly officer and equip them. The bulk of the
regular army officers had remained with the Government forces, though
there were some notable exceptions. Among those offering their services
to Dru was Jack Strawn. He resigned from the regular army with many
regrets and misgivings, but his devotion to Philip made it impossible
for him to do otherwise. And then there was Gloria whom he loved dearly,
and who made him feel that there was a higher duty than mere
professional regularity.

None of Dru's generals had been tried out in battle and, indeed, he
himself had not. It was much the same with the Government forces, for
there had been no war since that with Spain in the nineties, and that
was an affair so small that it afforded but little training for either
officers or men.

Dru had it in mind to make the one battle decisive, if that were
possible of accomplishment, for he did not want to weaken and distract
the country by such a conflict as that of 1861 to 1865.

The Government forces numbered six hundred thousand men under arms, but
one hundred thousand of these were widely scattered in order to hold
certain sections of the country in line.

On the first of September General Dru began to move towards the enemy.
He wanted to get nearer Washington and the northern seaboard cities, so
that if successful he would be within striking distance of them before
the enemy could recover.

He had in mind the places he preferred the battle to occur, and he used
all his skill in bringing about the desired result. As he moved slowly
but steadily towards General Newton, he was careful not to tax the
strength of his troops, but he desired to give them the experience in
marching they needed, and also to harden them.

The civilized nations of the world had agreed not to use in war
aeroplanes or any sort of air craft either as engines of destruction or
for scouting purposes. This decision had been brought about by the
International Peace Societies and by the self-evident impossibility of
using them without enormous loss of life. Therefore none were being used
by either the Government or insurgent forces.

General Newton thought that Dru was planning to attack him at a point
about twenty miles west of Buffalo, where he had his army stretched from
the Lake eastward, and where he had thrown up entrenchments and
otherwise prepared for battle.

But Dru had no thought of attacking then or there, but moved slowly and
orderly on until the two armies were less than twenty miles apart due
north and south from one another.

When he continued marching eastward and began to draw away from General
Newton, the latter for the first time realized that he himself would be
compelled to pursue and attack, for the reason that he could not let
Dru march upon New York and the other unprotected seaboard cities. He
saw, too, that he had been outgeneraled, and that he should have thrown
his line across Dru's path and given battle at a point of his own
choosing.

The situation was a most unusual one even in the complex history of
warfare, because in case of defeat the loser would be forced to retreat
into the enemies' country. It all the more surely emphasized the fact
that one great battle would determine the war. General Dru knew from the
first what must follow his movement in marching by General Newton, and
since he had now reached the ground that he had long chosen as the place
where he wished the battle to occur, he halted and arranged his troops
in formation for the expected attack.

There was a curious feeling of exultation and confidence throughout the
insurgent army, for Dru had conducted every move in the great game with
masterly skill, and no man was ever more the idol of his troops, or of
the people whose cause he was the champion.

It was told at every camp fire in his army how he had won the last medal
that had been given by the War Department and for which General Newton
had been a contestant, and not one of his men doubted that as a military
genius, Newton in no way measured up to Dru. It was plain that Newton
had been outmaneuvered and that the advantage lay with the insurgent
forces.

The day before the expected battle, General Dru issued a stirring
address, which was placed in the hands of each soldier, and which
concluded as follows: - "It is now certain that there will be but one
battle, and its result lies with you. If you fight as I know you will
fight, you surely will be successful, and you soon will be able to
return to your homes and to your families, carrying with you the
assurance that you have won what will be perhaps the most important
victory that has ever been achieved. It is my belief that human liberty
has never more surely hung upon the outcome of any conflict than it does
upon this, and I have faith that when you are once ordered to advance,
you will never turn back. If you will each make a resolution to conquer
or die, you will not only conquer, but our death list will not be nearly
so heavy as if you at any time falter."

This address was received with enthusiasm, and comrade declared to
comrade that there would be no turning back when once called upon to
advance, and it was a compact that in honor could not be broken. This,
then, was the situation upon the eve of the mighty conflict.



CHAPTER XXII

THE BATTLE OF ELMA


General Dru had many spies in the enemies' camp, and some of these
succeeded in crossing the lines each night in order to give him what
information they had been able to gather.

Some of these spies passed through the lines as late as eleven o'clock
the night before the battle, and from them he learned that a general
attack was to be made upon him the next day at six o'clock in the
morning.

As far as he could gather, and from his own knowledge of the situation,
it was General Newton's purpose to break his center. The reason Newton
had this in mind was that he thought Dru's line was far flung, and he
believed that if he could drive through the center, he could then throw
each wing into confusion and bring about a crushing defeat.

As a matter of fact, Dru's line was not far flung, but he had a few
troops strung out for many miles in order to deceive Newton, because he
wanted him to try and break his center.

Up to this time, he had taken no one into his confidence, but at
midnight, he called his division commanders to his headquarters and told
them his plan of battle.

They were instructed not to impart any information to the commanders of
brigades until two o'clock. The men were then to be aroused and given a
hasty breakfast, after which they were to be ready to march by three
o'clock.

Recent arrivals had augmented his army to approximately five hundred
thousand men. General Newton had, as far as he could learn,
approximately six hundred thousand, so there were more than a million of
men facing one another.

Dru had a two-fold purpose in preparing at three in the morning. First,
he wanted to take no chances upon General Newton's time of attack. His
information as to six o'clock he thought reliable, but it might have
been given out to deceive him and a much earlier engagement might be
contemplated.

His other reason was that he intended to flank Newton on both wings.

It was his purpose to send, under cover of night, one hundred and
twenty-five thousand men to the right of Newton and one hundred and
twenty-five thousand to his left, and have them conceal themselves
behind wooded hills until noon, and then to drive in on him from both
sides.

He was confident that with two hundred and fifty thousand determined
men, protected by the fortifications he had been able to erect, and
with the ground of his own choosing, which had a considerable elevation
over the valley through which Newton would have to march, he could hold
his position until noon. He did not count upon actual fighting before
eight o'clock, or perhaps not before nine.

Dru did not attempt to rest, but continued through the night to instruct
his staff officers, and to arrange, as far as he could, for each
contingency. Before two o'clock, he was satisfied with the situation and
felt assured of victory.

He was pleased to see the early morning hours develop a fog, for this
would cover the march of his left and right wings, and they would not
have to make so wide a detour in order that their movements might be
concealed. It would also delay, he thought, Newton's attack.

His army was up and alert at three, and by four o'clock those that were
to hold the center were in position, though he had them lie down again
on their arms, so that they might get every moment of rest. Three
o'clock saw the troops that were to flank the enemy already on the
march.

At six-thirty his outposts reported Newton's army moving, but it was
nine o'clock before they came within touch of his troops.

In the meantime, his men were resting, and he had food served them again
as late as seven o'clock.

Newton attacked the center viciously at first, but making no headway and
seeing that his men were being terribly decimated, he made a detour to
the right, and, with cavalry, infantry and artillery, he drove Dru's
troops in from the position which they were holding.

Dru recognized the threatened danger and sent heliograph messages to his
right and left wings to begin their attack, though it was now only
eleven o'clock. He then rode in person to the point of danger, and
rallied his men to a firmer stand, upon which Newton could make no
headway.

In that hell storm of lead and steel Dru sat upon his horse unmoved.
With bared head and eyes aflame, with face flushed and exultant, he
looked the embodiment of the terrible God of War. His presence and his
disregard of danger incited his soldiers to deeds of valor that would
forever be an "inspiration and a benediction" to the race from which
they sprung.

Newton, seeing that his efforts were costing him too dearly, decided to
withdraw his troops and rest until the next day, when he thought to
attack Dru from the rear.

The ground was more advantageous there, and he felt confident he could
dislodge him. When he gave the command to retreat, he was surprised to
find Dru massing his troops outside his entrenchments and preparing to
follow him. He slowly retreated and Dru as slowly followed. Newton
wanted to get him well away from his stronghold and in the open plain,
and then wheel and crush him. Dru was merely keeping within striking
distance, so that when his two divisions got in touch with Newton they
would be able to attack him on three sides.

Just as Newton was about to turn, Dru's two divisions poured down the
slopes of the hills on both sides and began to charge. And when Dru's
center began to charge, it was only a matter of moments before Newton's
army was in a panic.

He tried to rally them and to face the on-coming enemy, but his efforts
were in vain. His men threw down their guns, some surrendering, but most
of them fleeing in the only way open, that towards the rear and the
Lake.

Dru's soldiers saw that victory was theirs, and, maddened by the lust of
war, they drove the Government forces back, killing and crushing the
seething and helpless mass that was now in hopeless confusion.

Orders were given by General Dru to push on and follow the enemy until
nightfall, or until the Lake was reached, where they must surrender or
drown.

By six o'clock of that fateful day, the splendid army of Newton was a
thing for pity, for Dru had determined to exhaust the last drop of
strength of his men to make the victory complete, and the battle
conclusive.

At the same time, as far as he was able, he restrained his men from
killing, for he saw that the enemy were without arms, and thinking only
of escape. His order was only partially obeyed, for when man is in


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Online LibraryEdward Mandell HousePhilip Dru Administrator : a Story of Tomorrow 1920 - 1935 → online text (page 6 of 14)