Ferdinand Heinrich Grautoff.

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uniform exactly as it was described in Japanese characters on the paper
which he had received on landing, and which had more than once been
officially revised or supplemented as the result of information received
from chance acquaintances who had paid him a visit.

Everything worked like a charm; there wasn't a hitch anywhere. No one
had paid any particular attention to the fact, for example, in
connection with the fair to be held in the small town of Irvington on
May eighth, that numerous carts with Japanese farmers had arrived on the
Saturday before and that they had brought several dozen horses with
them. And who could object to their putting up at the Japanese inn
which, with its big stables, was specially suited to their purpose. At
first the Japanese owner had been laughed at, but later on he was
admired for his business ability in keeping the horse trade of Irvington
entirely in his own hands.

When on the following day during church hours - the Japanese being
heathens - the streets lay deserted in their Sunday calm, the few people
who happened to be on Main Street and saw a field battery consisting of
six guns and six ammunition wagons turn out of the gate next to the
Japanese inn thought they had seen an apparition. The battery started
off at once at a sharp trot and left the town to take up a position out
in a field in the suburbs, where a dozen men were already busily at work
with spades and pick-axes digging a trench.

The police of Irvington were at once notified, a sleepy official at the
Post Office was roused out of his slumbers, and a telegram was directed
to the nearest military post, but the latter proceeding was useless and
no answer was received, since the copper wires were long ago in the
control of the enemy. Even if it had got through, the telegraphic
warning would have come too late, for the military post in question, of
which half of the troops were, as usual, on leave, had been attacked and
captured by the Japanese at nine o'clock in the morning.

A hundred thousand Japanese had established the line of an eastern
advance-guard long before the Pacific States had any idea of what was
up. During Sunday, after the capture of San Francisco, the occupation of
Seattle, San Diego and the other fortified towns on the coast, the
landing of the second detachment of the Japanese army began, and by
Monday evening the Pacific States were in the grip of no less than one
hundred and seventy thousand men.

* * * * *

When, on Sunday morning, the Japanese had cut off the railway
connections, they adopted the plan of allowing all trains going from
east to west to pass unmolested, so that there was soon quite a
collection of engines and cars to be found within the zone bounded by
the Japanese outposts. On the other hand, all the trains running
eastward were held up, some being sent back and others being used for
conveying the Japanese troops to advance posts or for bringing the
various lines of communication into touch with one another. In some
cases these trains were also used for pushing boldly much farther east,
the enemy thus surprising and overpowering a number of military posts
and arsenals in which the guns and ammunition for the militia were

Only in a very few instances did this gigantic mechanism fail. One of
these accidents occurred at Swallowtown, where the mistake was made of
attacking the express-train to Umatilla instead of the local train to
Pendleton. The lateness of the former and the occupation of the station
too long before the expected arrival of the latter, and coupled to this
the heroic deed of the station-master, interfered unexpectedly with the
execution of the plan. The reader will remember that when the express
returned to Swallowtown, Tom's shanty was empty. The enemy had
disappeared and had taken the two captive farmers with them. The mounted
police, who had been summoned immediately from Walla Walla, found the
two men during the afternoon in their wagon, bound hand and foot, in a
hollow a few miles to the west of the station. They also discovered a
time-table of the Oregon Railway in the wagon, with a note in Japanese
characters beside the time for the arrival of the local train from
Umatilla. This time-table had evidently been lost by the leader of the
party on his flight. Soon after the police had returned to the
Swallowtown station that same evening, a Japanese military train passed
through, going in the direction of Pendleton. The train was moving
slowly and those within opened fire on the policeman, who lost no time
in replying. But the odds were too great, and it was all over in a few

By Monday evening the enemy had secured an immense quantity of railway
material, which had simply poured into their arms automatically, and
which was more than sufficient for their needs.

The information received from Victoria (British Columbia) that a fleet
had been sighted in the Straits of San Juan de Fuca, whence it was said
to have proceeded to Port Townsend and Puget Sound, was quite correct. A
cruiser squadron had indeed passed Esquimault and Victoria at dawn on
Sunday, and a few hours later firing had been heard coming from the
direction of Port Townsend. The British harbor officials had suddenly
become extremely timid and had not allowed the regular steamer to leave
for Seattle. When, therefore, on Monday morning telegraphic inquiries
came from the American side concerning the foreign warships, which, by
the way, had carried no flag, ambiguous answers could be made without
arousing suspicion. Considerable excitement prevailed in Victoria on
account of the innumerable vague rumors of the outbreak of war; the
naval station, however, remained perfectly quiet. On Monday morning a
cruiser started out in the direction of Port Townsend, and after
exchanging numerous signals with Esquimault, continued on her course
towards Cape Flattery and the open sea. It will be seen, therefore, that
no particular zeal was shown in endeavoring to get at the bottom of the

A battle between the Japanese ships and the forts of Port Townsend had
actually taken place. Part of the hostile fleet had escorted the
transport steamers to Puget Sound and had there found the naval depots
and the fortifications, the arsenal and the docks in the hands of their
countrymen, who had also destroyed the second-class battleship _Texas_
lying off Port Orchard by firing at her from the coast forts previously
stormed and captured by them. They had surprised Seattle at dawn much in
the same way as San Francisco had been surprised, and they at once
began to land troops and unload their war materials. On the other hand,
an attempt to surprise Port Townsend with an insufficient force had
failed. The Americans had had enough sense to prohibit the Japanese from
coming too near to the newly armed coast defenses, and the better watch
which the little town had been able to keep over the Asiatics had made
it difficult for them to assemble a sufficiently large fighting
contingent. The work here had to be attended to by the guns, and the
enemy had included this factor in their calculations from the beginning.

How thoroughly informed the Japanese were as to every detail of our
coast defenses and how well acquainted they were with each separate
battery, with its guns as well as with its ammunition, was clearly
demonstrated by the new weapon brought into the field in connection with
the real attack on the fortifications. Of course Japanese laborers had
been employed in erecting the works - they worked for such ridiculously
low wages, those Japanese engineers disguised as coolies. With the eight
million two hundred thousand dollars squeezed out of Congress in the
spring of 1908 - in face of the unholy fear on the part of the nation's
representatives of a deficit, it had been impossible to get more - two
new mortar batteries had been built on the rocky heights of Port
Townsend. These batteries, themselves inaccessible to all ships' guns,
were in a position to pour down a perpendicular fire on hostile decks
and could thus make short work of every armored vessel.

Now the Japanese had already had a very unpleasant experience with the
strong coast fortifications of Port Arthur. In the first place,
bombarding of this nature was very injurious to the bores of the ships'
guns, and secondly, the results on land were for the most part nominal.
Not without reason had Togo tried to get at the shore batteries of Port
Arthur by indirect fire from Pigeon Bay. But even that, in spite of
careful observations taken from the water, had little effect. And even
the strongest man-of-war was helpless against the perpendicular fire of
the Port Townsend mortar batteries, because it was simply impossible for
its guns, with their slight angle of elevation, to reach the forts
situated so high above them. And if the road to Seattle, that important
base of operations in the North, was not to be perpetually menaced, then
Port Townsend must be put out of commission.

But for every weapon a counter-weapon is usually invented, and every new
discovery is apt to be counterbalanced by another. The world has never
yet been overturned by a new triumph of skill in military technics,
because it is at once paralyzed by another equally ingenious. And now,
at Port Townsend, very much the same thing happened as on March ninth,
1862. In much the same way that the appearance of the _Merrimac_ had
brought destruction to the wooden fleet until she was herself forced to
flee before Ericsson's _Monitor_ at Hampton Roads, so now at Port
Townsend on May seventh a new weapon was made to stand the crucial test.
Only this time we were not the pathfinders of the new era.

While the Japanese cruisers, keeping carefully beyond the line of fire
from the forts, sailed on to Seattle, four ships were brought into
action against the mortar batteries of Port Townsend which appeared to
set at defiance all known rules of ship-building, and which,
indestructible as they were, threatened to annihilate all existing
systems. They were low vessels which floated on the water like huge
tortoises. These mortar-boats, which were destined to astound not only
the Americans but the whole world, had been constructed in Japanese
shipyards, to which no stranger had ever been admitted. In place of the
ordinary level-firing guns found on a modern warship, these uncanny gray
things carried 17.7-inch howitzers, a kind of mortar of Japanese
construction. There was nothing to be seen above the low deck but a
short heavily protected funnel and four little armored domes which
contained the sighting telescopes for the guns, the mouths of which lay
in the arch of the whaleback deck. Four such vessels had also been
constructed for use at San Francisco, but the quick capture of the forts
had rendered the mortar-boats unnecessary.

We were constantly being attacked in places where no thought had been
given to the defense, and the fortifications we did possess were never
shot at from the direction they faced. Our coast defenses were
everywhere splendidly protected against level-firing guns, which the
Japanese, however, unfortunately refrained from using. With their
mortar-boats they attacked our forts in their most vulnerable spot, that
is, from above. With the exception of Winfield Scott, the batteries at
Port Townsend were the only ones on our western coast which at once
construed the appearance of suspicious-looking ships on May seventh as
signs of a Japanese attack, and they immediately opened fire on the four
Japanese cruisers and on the transport steamers. But before this fire
had any effect, the hostile fleet changed its course to the North and
the four mortar-boats began their attack. They approached to within two
nautical miles and opened fire at once.

What was the use of our gunners aiming at the flat, gray arches of these
uncanny ocean-tortoises? The heavy shells splashed into the water all
around them, and when one did succeed in hitting one of the boats, it
was simply dashed to pieces against the armor-plate, which was several
feet thick, or else it glanced off harmlessly like hail dancing off the
domed roof of a pavilion. The only targets were the flames which shot
incessantly out of the mouths of the hostile guns like out of a
funnel-shaped crater.

By noon all the armored domes of the Port Townsend batteries had been
destroyed and one gun after another had ceased firing. The horizontal
armor-plates, too, which protected the disappearing gun-carriages
belonging to the huge guns of the other forts, had not been able to
withstand the masses of steel which came down almost perpendicularly
from above them. One single well-aimed shot had usually sufficed to
cripple the complicated mechanism and once that was injured, it was
impossible to bring the gun back into position for firing. The concrete
roofs of the ammunition rooms and barracks were shot to pieces and the
traverses were reduced to rubbish heaps by the bursting of the numerous
shells of the enemy. And all that was finally left round the tattered
Stars and Stripes was a little group of heavily wounded gunners,
performing their duty to the bitter end, and these heroes were honored
by the enemy by being permitted to keep their arms. They were sent by
steamer from Seattle to the Canadian Naval Station at Esquimault on the
seventh of May, and their arrival inspired the populace to stormy
demonstrations against the Japanese, this being the first outward
expression of Canadian sympathy for the United States. The Canadians
felt that the time had come for all white men to join hands against the
common danger, and the policy of the Court of St. James soon became
intensely unpopular throughout Canada. What did Canada care about what
was considered the proper policy in London, when here at their very door
necessity pressed hard on their heels, and the noise of war from across
the border sounded a shrill Mene Tekel in the white man's ear?

* * * * *

There were therefore no less than one hundred and seventy thousand
Japanese soldiers on American soil on Tuesday morning, May ninth. In the
north, the line of outposts ran along the eastern border of the States
of Washington and Oregon and continued through the southern portion of
Idaho, always keeping several miles to the east of the tracks of the
Oregon Short Line, which thus formed an excellent line of communication
behind the enemy's front. At Granger, the junction of the Oregon Short
Line and the Union Pacific, the Japanese reached their easternmost
bastion, and here they dug trenches, which were soon fortified by means
of heavy artillery. From here their line ran southward along the Wasatch
Mountains, crossed the great Colorado plateau and then continued along
the high section of Arizona, reaching the Mexican boundary by way of
Fort Bowie.

Only in the south and in the extreme north did railroads in any
respectable number lead up to the Japanese front. In the center,
however, the roads by way of which an American assault could be made,
namely the Union Pacific at Granger, the Denver and Rio Grande at Grand
Junction, and further south the Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fé, approached
the Japanese positions at right angles, and at these points captive
balloons and several air-ships kept constant watch toward the east, so
that there was no possibility of an American surprise. In the north
strong field fortifications along the border-line of Washington and
Idaho furnished sufficient protection, and in the south the sunbaked
sandy deserts of New Mexico served the same purpose. Then, too, the
almost unbroken railway connection between the north and the south
allowed the enemy to transport his reserves at a moment's notice to any
point of danger, and the Japs were clever enough not to leave their
unique position to push further eastward. Any advance of large bodies
of troops would have weakened all the manifold advantages of this
position, and besides the Japanese numbers were not considerable enough
to warrant an unnecessary division of forces.

And what had we in the way of troops to oppose this hostile invasion?
Our regular army consisted, on paper, of sixty thousand men. Fifteen
thousand of these had been stationed in the Pacific States, composed
principally of the garrisons of the coast forts; all of these without
exception were, by Monday morning, in the hands of the Japanese. This at
once reduced the strength of our regular army to forty-five thousand
men. Of this number eighteen thousand were in the Philippines and,
although they were not aware of it, they had to all intents and purposes
been placed _hors de combat_, both at Mindanao and in the fortifications
of Manila. Besides these the two regiments on the way from San Francisco
to Manila and the garrison of Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands,
could be similarly deducted. It will be seen, therefore, that, only
twenty-five thousand men of our regular army were available, and these
were scattered over the entire country: some were in the numerous
prairie-forts, others on the Atlantic coast, still others in Cuba and in
Porto Rico. Thus twenty-five thousand men were pitted against a force
not only seven times as large, but one that was augmented hourly by
hundreds of newcomers. On Monday the President had called out the
organized militia and on the following day he sent a special message to
Congress recommending the formation of a volunteer army. The calls to
arms were posted in the form of huge placards at all the street-corners
and at the entrances to the speedily organized recruiting-offices. In
this way it was possible, to be sure, within a few months to raise an
army equal to that of the enemy so far as mere numbers were concerned,
and the American citizen could be relied upon. But where were the
leaders, where was the entire organization of the transport, of the
commissariat, of the ambulance corps - we possessed no military
train-corps at all - and most important of all, where were the arms to
come from?

The arsenals and ammunition-depots in the Pacific States were in the
hands of the enemy, the cannon of our far western field-artillery depots
had aided in forming Japanese batteries, and the Japanese flag was
waving above our heavy coast guns. The terrible truth that we were for
the present absolutely helpless before the enemy had a thoroughly
disheartening effect on all classes of the population as soon as it was
clearly recognized. In impotent rage at this condition of utter
helplessness and in their eagerness to be revenged on the all-powerful
enemy, men hurried to the recruiting-offices in large numbers, and the
lists for the volunteer regiments were soon covered with signatures. The
citizens of the country dropped the plow, stood their tools in the
corner and laid their pens away; the clattering typewriters became
silent, and in the offices of the sky-scrapers business came to a
stand-still. Only in the factories where war materials were manufactured
did great activity reign.

For the present there was at least one dim hope left, namely the fleet.
But where was the fleet? After our battle-fleet had crossed the Pacific
to Australia and Eastern Asia, it returned to the Atlantic, while a
squadron of twelve battleships and four armored cruisers was sent under
Admiral Perry to the west coast and stationed there, with headquarters
at San Francisco. To these ships must be added the regular Pacific
squadron and Philippine squadron. The remaining ships of our fleet were
in Atlantic waters.

That was the fatal mistake committed in the year of our Lord 1909. In
vain, all in vain, had been the oft-repeated warning that in face of the
menacing Japanese danger the United States navy should be kept together,
either in the west or in the east. Only when concentrated, only in the
condition in which it was taken through the Straits of Magellan by
Admiral Evans, was our fleet absolutely superior to the Japanese. Every
dispersal, every separation of single divisions was bound to prove
fatal. Article upon article and pamphlet upon pamphlet were written
anent the splitting-up of our navy! And yet what a multitude of entirely
different and mutually exclusive tasks were set her at one and the same
time! Manila was to be protected, Pearl Harbor was to have a naval
station, the Pacific coast was to be protected, and there was to be a
reserve fleet off the eastern coast.

And yet it was perfectly clear that any part of the fleet which happened
to be stationed at Manila or Hawaii would be lost to the Americans
immediately on the outbreak of hostilities. But we deluded ourselves
with the idea that Japan would not dare send her ships across the
Pacific in the face of our little Philippine squadron, whereas not even
a large squadron stationed at Manila would have hindered the Japanese
from attacking us. Even such a squadron they could easily have destroyed
with a detachment of equal strength, without in any way hindering their
advance against our western shores, while the idea of attempting to
protect an isolated colony with a few ships against a great sea-power
was perfectly ridiculous. The strong coast fortifications and a division
of submarines - the two stationed there at the time, however, were really
not fit for use - would have sufficed for the defense of Manila, and
anything beyond that simply meant an unnecessary sacrifice of forces
which might be far more useful elsewhere.

After our fleet had been divided between the east and the west, both the
Pacific fleet and the reserve Atlantic fleet were individually far
inferior to the Japanese fleet. The maintenance of a fleet in the
Pacific as well as of one in the Atlantic was a fatal luxury. It was
superfluous to keep on tap a whole division of ships in our Atlantic
harbors merely posing as maritime ornaments before the eyes of Europe or
at the most coming in handy for an imposing demonstration against a
refractory South-American Republic. All this could have been done just
as well with a few cruisers. English money and Japanese intrigues, it is
true, succeeded in always keeping the Venezuelan wound open, so that we
were constantly obliged to steal furtive glances at that corner of the
world, one that had caused us so much political vexation. Matters had
indeed reached a sorry pass if our political prestige was so shaky, that
it was made to depend on Mr. Castro's valuation of the forces at the
disposal of the United States!

In consideration of the many unforeseen delays that had occurred in the
work of digging the Panama Canal, there was only one policy for us to
adopt until its completion, and that was to keep our fleet together and
either to concentrate it in the Pacific and thus deter the enemy from
attacking our coasts, regardless of what might be thought of our action
in Tokio, or to keep only a few cruisers in the Pacific, as formerly,
and to concentrate the fleet in the Atlantic, so as to be able to attack
the enemy from the rear with the full force of our naval power. But
these amateur commissioners of the public safety who wished to have an
imposing squadron on view wherever our flag floated - as if the Stars and
Stripes were a signal of distress instead of a token of
strength - condemned our fleet to utter helplessness. In 1908, when
there was no mistaking the danger, we, the American people, one of the
richest and most energetic nations of the world, nevertheless allowed
ourselves in the course of the debate on the naval appropriations to be
frightened by Senator Maine's threat of a deficit of a few dollars in
our budget, should the sums that were absolutely needed in case our
fleet was to fulfill the most immediate national tasks be voted. This
was the short-sighted policy of a narrow-minded politician who, when a
country's fate is hanging in the balance, complains only of the costs.
It was most assuredly a short-sighted policy, and we were compelled to
pay dearly for it.

The voyage of our fleet around South America had shown the world that
the value of a navy is not impaired because a few drunken sailors
occasionally forget to return to their ship when in port: on the
contrary, foreign critics had been obliged to admit that our navy in
point of equipment and of crews was second to none. And lo and behold,
this remarkable exhibition of power - the only sensible idea evolved by
our navy department in years - is followed by the insane dispersal of our
ships to so many different stations.

How foolish had it been, furthermore, to boast as we did about having
kept up communication with Washington by wireless during the whole of

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