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"The 'Mutiny' at Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks," July 28, 1919
"You will now step forward one by one to the desk as your number is called, so that the sergeant may check your place of work. Then you will line up to be searched. All unauthorized articles will be taken from you. Your wings are now being searched and all contraband is being removed. That is all.”
All this time, we had been standing in the blazing sun, while he stood in the shade. The one man gave out – he was not taken to the hospital but allowed to lie in the shade for a time. When some of the other wings went through this ordeal, as many as a dozen men were overcome by the effect of the heat and exercise on their empty stomachs. A few were carried to the hospital. We were searched in groups of about ten. We had to strip out there in the open. The hot pavement burned our stockinged feet, pencils, pencil holders, odd styles of shoes, shirts or trousers were taken. Some fellows were left nearly naked. Those who had garters lost them. The man next to me lost two bits of twine, with which he had tied his socks up. A doctor passed perfunctorily up the line and asked each man if he felt all right. As each batch was searched, it was marched off under the guard of a “hard boiled sergeant”, and allowed to sit down in the shade of a building. When all had been searched we were marched back to the wing. Here utter confusion greeted us. Clothing, sheets, blankets, toilet articles and letters were indiscriminately mixed up with the straw from our bed ticks, which had been slashed open. Pencils, writing paper, books, extra towels and clothing, shelves, rude homemade tables or chairs, pictures – all were taken. Everything which added a little comfort to the grim stone walls of our cells were gone. Even the mirrors in the end cells in each tier where the wash bowls were, and which had been placed by the authorities themselves, had disappeared. Several men, especially among the few remaining C.Os had lost valuable books, which were in no sense of the word contraband. They were their own personal property, and had been examined and permitted by the Intelligence Office. As far as is known they were destroyed along with other articles.
Sunday morning brought another small ration of one third of a loaf of bread. That day, the sixth wing, the second and third class prisoners in the basement, and the colored men were put through the same ordeal. A special machine gun was set up about 60 feet from where the red and yellow number men rested while waiting for their comrades to be searched. And it was pointed directly at these unarmed men who were already under heavy armed guards, many fainted in the sun.
During the day six and possibly more men in the wings collapsed from weakness and lack of food. They were carried on stretchers to