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"The 'Mutiny' at Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks," July 28, 1919
and ice plant shifts, etc. were not allowed to go out to work, and we found ourselves on a bread and water diet, with squads of armed men, and machine guns in the yards, and with armed sentries in the riot galleries opposite the seventh tier in each wing. The third, fourth and seventh wing were quiet an orderly, but a good deal of noise proceeded from the sixth wing, where most of the overseas men were located. During the day, five shots were heard from the sixth wing, and we saw two prisoners later carried on stretchers to the hospital.
That afternoon, this wing (the seventh) voted practically unanimously to go back to work. The Committee man who took the news to the barred door (every man had been warned to keep away from the door under penalty of being shot or tried for mutiny), returned with word, that Col. Smith was in Kansas City, and we could have no reply until the next morning, when he returned. This I believe was only an excuse on the part of the authorities who were not willing for the strike to be over yet, because I myself saw Colonel Smith in the yard an hour afterwards, as I was peering through one of the barred windows. The reply came the next morning, in the shape of a decreased bread ration. Wednesday we had received a third of a slice twice during the day, Thursday it was half a loaf, for the whole day. Thursday was distinguished also by several examples of criminal brutality on the part of the officers. From the sixth wing proceeded considerable noise and racket. One officer standing on a pile of boards between the sixth and seventh wings emptied his revolver into the sixth wing. He shot at figures which he saw between the bars of the window. By no means was it possible for him to distinguish one man from another at that distance. Furthermore, any action inside could not have enabled nay [sic] man to escape from the wing; or to injure any soldier or officer on guard outside. The brick walls re thick, and the windows stoutly barred and nearly inaccessible. But further proof that the action was nothing more than brutal blood lust was evidenced by the action of another officer of a few minutes later. He sat with his chair tilted back against the corner of the prison wall, (mounted on the top of the sentry tower above him, was a machine gun turned on the sixth wing. Near him on a bench were a half dozen sentries armed with rifles with bayonets. The officer was in no personal danger. Over a hundred feet away was a thick brick wall pierced with many rows of heavily barred windows. Fully fifteen feet within that wall rose six tiers of cells, with corridors surrounding them. (On neither side of the wing was it possible for any one on these corridors to come nearer to the barred windows than the fifteen feet.) On the tiers ranged several hundred helpless, unarmed, half starved prisoners. And yet this officer and gentleman” sat there was elbow on knees and from time to time, as he glimpsed a figure within,