Scripto | Transcribe Page

Log in to Scripto | Recent changes | View item | View file

"The 'Mutiny' at Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks," July 28, 1919

http://wwi-co-dev.swarthmore.edu/plugins/Dropbox/files/TheMutinyPage12.jpg

« previous page | next page » |

Current Page Transcription [edit] [history]

the hospital. The one who was taken there from this wing was revived and sent back to the wing, being told that the hospital was full.

This morning (Monday) there has been no bread at all, but the cooks have been called to duty, and it is rumored that we are to eat this noon and tonight go to work tomorrow morning. No one has had a bath for over a week, nor a shave. There has been no change of underwear, for nearly two weeks, because of the last bath day, before the strike, neither underwear nor towels were distributed, who wished could bathe, and without drawing himself put on again the grimy, fetid, underclothing he had been wearing. Although a Sanitary Squad is supposed to have killed the vermin in the cell during the last month, this wing at least is infested with bedbugs, which cause many a suffering, sleepless night. Clean handkerchiefs have not been issued in over a month.

Examining the penalties which have been inflicted for this so-called mutiny, and remembering that there has been no violence on the part of the prisoners, and that the authorities not only made no effort, to separate strikers from non-strikers, but actually sent back from their jobs hundreds of men; it is to be seen that great injustice has been done. The penalty divide themselves into two classes:- collective penalties and individual penalties. The former are those which is physically impossible to inflict upon the guilty without inflicting upon the innocent. In this class fall lots of yard privileges, etc, in fact the re-enforcement of all those restrictions which made up the “iron rule.” The chief injustice of these, apart from the infliction upon innocent and guilty alike, lies in their inhumanity and their unsanitary nature. For instance, to be shut up in the wings Saturday afternoon and Sundays, and evenings after work, during these hot summer days is not only torture but is extremely unhelpful. The air is hot, and stuffy and impure, the worst effect is upon those hundreds of prisoners whose daily work confines them indoors. Now they will rarely get any sunlight or fresh air.

But the most horrible injustice lies in the infliction of the individual penalties. These consist of home and barrack paroles and in the loss of “good time.” (Five days good conduct time for each month served in the first year, and ten days on each month the following years is allowed all prisoners unless taken away as punishment. Only good time already earned can be forfeited.) Many men by losing the home parole privileges have in effect had six months, a year, and sometimes more added to their sentences; and added just as they were about to be released. Yet these men were among those who did not strike, precisely because their release was so near, that they wished, naturally, to avoid any kind of trouble. Here is the case of

Current Page Discussion [edit] [history]