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"The 'Mutiny' at Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks," July 28, 1919
rather than the next day when the Committee should either have succeeded or failed in its attempts for better food. When the men who did not go to their wings,- and there were many of them – had filed into the yard, there was no attempt on the part of the authorities to put them to work. On the contrary, they were told to go back to their wings.
Tony, the Committee President, then made another heroic attempt to avert the strike. Under his influence, most of the men in the third and fourth wings marched into the yard, and a few from the seventh wing. Against there was absolutely no attempt on the part of the officers to assist him. No one was outside to put the men to work. A tactful officer could have got several hundred men to work at the time, but none appeared. With those as a nucleus, the others would not have held out long. Besides several hundred paroles, office men, men in the power plant, ice plant, etc. were already at work having eaten at early mess. The bakery, butcher shop, mess hall and kitchen men were working, but after hanging around in the yard for some time, waiting either to be put to work, or for the remainder of the man in the wings to come out, the men from the third and fourth wings, and others, slowly melted back into the rotunda.
I had been among those who went directly to the yard from the mess hall. I was not striking; I do not believe in strikes because they are weapons of coercion, and I believe that love, not force and coercion, is the solvent for human troubles. Yet when I went to the yard I was run back into the wing. When Tony made his appeal in the seventh wing, after the third and fourth wings had gone out, I was one of the few from our wing to follow him into the yard. When the crowd in the yard was not put to work, and began to return inside. I went to Vocational Training Office, and volunteered for temporary work in the mess hall during the strike. I was assigned to work there and did K.P. during both of the noon messes. Then the shift to which I had been allotted went off duty. I tried to get out into the yard, but the iron barred doors were locked. There was only one thing to do – that was to return to the wing, which I did.
The men were quiet and orderly. Several men made speeches, using absolute order and refrainment from violence or any semblance of it. In the middle of the afternoon, it was announced that Colonel Rice had telegraphed to Washington the demands of the strikers, which had been presented to him. they were these:- General military amnesty, better food and more tobacco; Also it was announced that no one would be required to work until the reply had been received, although we knew that office men had been told to go back to their wings during the afternoon. The full significance of the latter statement was not apparent until the next morning, then the cooks, K.P.s, a power plant