Memories of Camp Cody Weblog

August 18, 2018

Vestige of Camp Cody by C. A. Gustafson – Part 3 of 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Kromeke @ 2:29 pm

Five ditching machines were engaged in the undertaking. Major Fred Simonds, contracting quartermaster, recruited Mexican labor at twenty-five cents an hour for an eight-hour day. A ten-hour shift yielded time and a half for two hours.

The camp’s water requirements amounted to two million gallons daily. In the event of fire, an auxiliary plant was utilized to pump heavy quantities for short periods. Storage of water was contained in two huge wooden tanks, each with a capacity of 100,000 gallons.

As the 34th division was building itself to full strength in mid 1918, downtown Deming was peaking in its wartime prosperity. There were eight theaters in the traditional business section. A proliferation of billiard parlors, soft-drink establishments, lunch counters and novelty stores dotted the area. Watermelon stands offered the ripe-red fruit, packed in ice. A nickel bought a U-EAR-UM pie with a scoop of ice cream.

War is mankind’s most wasteful enterprise. It is lavish in its execution; it is wasteful in it aftermath. The half-million dollar sewer system in Camp Cody was hardly finished when World War One ended. Orders were issued to disconnect and abandon the network.

Today, the spillway remains in formidable condition after ninety-plus years. As it lies on private property, anyone considering a visit to it is advised to request permission from the owners. Guard dogs keep a watchful eye on the area.

Another viable relic of the Camp Cody days lies a little west of North Eighth Street. It is a swimming pool that was used by the soldiers. Only the skeletal ruins remain, also on private property. (The pool was removed in January of 2018.)



August 11, 2018

Vestige of Camp Cody by C. A. Gustafson – Part 2 of 4

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Tags: — Michael Kromeke @ 5:41 pm

Accounts of Camp Cody often state that troop strength was about 30,000. That, of course, was for only a brief period of time. When the 34th Division shipped out to Fort Dix in September 1918, the count dropped to around 3,000. Then the formation of the 97th Division began, and numbered about 8,000 at war’s end.

The lament of many visitors to Deming is that there are hardly any physical vestiges remaining from the Camp Cody era. There are a few that are generally not know and little publicized.

Plans for a new sewer system for the camp were approved in June, 1918. The structure was such that it began at the west end of Camp Cody and flowed eastward. Adjacent to the Mimbres River, a huge spillway was constructed to complete the disposal process and empty into the river. This large septic tank was approximately 100 feet long and 80 feet wide. It was divided into 12 sections and had a capacity of 2,500,000 gallons. The project cost was an estimated half million dollars.

The late Dannie Simonds was age thirteen at the time and employed as a water boy. He was witness to most of the construction. After the expansive excavation, wooden forms were placed to contain the mixed cement. Simonds estimated that about 100 men at the site were stationed at four-foot intervals to tamp the concrete.

Other crews were digging trenches and laying tile. Mainline sewers connected latrines and shower baths, while secondary lines serviced the mess halls.


August 4, 2018

Vestige of Camp Cody by C. A. Gustafson – Part 1 of 4

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Tags: — Michael Kromeke @ 2:37 pm

Despite its remoteness and relatively small population, the City of Deming has been the stage for an amazing number of events that were memorable locally and pertinent nationally as well.

One of the most notable of these was the establishment of Camp Cody on the northwest fringe of the, then, town in 1917.

The United States declared war on Germany April 6, 1917. With the conscription of men for the army underway, the existing military post were unable to handle the rapid expansion. Thirty-two camps were established around the country for training new conscripts. By mid June, Deming received word it would be the site of one of the camps, and to be named Cody after the famous buffalo hunter.

The encampment was to occupy and greatly expand upon the site of Camp Deming, which had closed only four months before. The latter bivouac was abandoned after Pershing had withdrawn his Punitive Expedition from Mexico.

Construction of Camp Cody began in July, 1917 and continued its rapid pace to the end of the year. When work was at its height, a force of 3,000 men were employed. Carpenters received $8.25 per day, while plumbers and carpenter foremen garnered $9.63. A bricklayer foreman earned $11 for a shift.

The military reservation measured two-and-a-half miles east and west, and one-and-a-quarter miles east and west, and one-and-a-quarter miles north and south. This figures out to about 2,000 acres.

The estimated cost of Camp Cody was a little over two million dollars. The building consumed 18 million feet of lumber. An analogy was made that if this lumbar were converted to board an inch thick and a foot wide, then placed end to end, the expanse would reach from New York City to San Francisco.


Three Camp Cody Soldiers

July 28, 2018

Camp Cody Gets Official Order for Demobilization of Troops – Part 2 of 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Kromeke @ 5:28 pm

Camp Is To Be Salvaged and Abandoned, Says Order Received by Brig. General Lindsay From Adjutant General of Army at Washington; Men Are To Be Transferred or Discharged in Accordance With Orders.

Transfer Prior to Discharge.

“All enlisted men at your camp eligible for discharge, who entered the military service at a point east of a line running through Camp Funston, Kansas and Camp Travis, Texas, will be organized into detachments according to states and will be sent for discharge to the camp in or near their respective states.”

“A copy of these instructions will be sent with each detachment and will constitute the authority for their discharge from military service.”

“Officers will be disposed of as provided for in general instructions from this office.”

To Abandon Camp.

“You will proceed at the same time to salvage and abandon Camp Cody and will disposed of all supplies and transportation except those pertaining to the base hospital, in accordance with instructions received from the chief of supply departments concerned.”

(Signed) “Harris, Adjt. Gen.”

Captain W. B. Hankla, commanding the personnel branch, says it will take until after January 1 to carry out these orders. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Monday, December 2, 1918


At Least Two Camps May Be Permanent Post

Although orders have been issued for the abandonment of the 15 big tent camps, it was learned at the war department that this was not to be taken to mean that the sites have been definitely rejected as possible locations for permanent military posts. On the contrary, at least two of them are known to be under consideration in this connection. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Monday, December 2, 1918


July 21, 2018

Camp Cody Gets Official Order for Demobilization of Troops – Part 1 of 2

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Tags: — Michael Kromeke @ 2:23 pm

Camp Is To Be Salvaged and Abandoned, Says Order Received by Brig. General Lindsay From Adjutant General of Army at Washington; Men Are To Be Transferred or Discharged in Accordance With Orders.

Orders for demobilization were received by Brig. General James R. Lindsay from the war department, as follows:

“Demobilize all units of your camp, including the 97th division and permanent camp organizations, with the exception of the base hospital, and discharge immediately such of the enlisted personnel as is eligible for discharge under general instructions already issued from this office.

Attention is invited to such of the circulars as are applicable.

Some Can Remain

“Enlisted men who entered the military service prior to April 1, 1917 and who desire to remain permanently in the military service, will not be discharged, but will report to the commanding general, southern department, for assignment, and will be transferred by you in accordance with his instructions.”

Physically Disabled Men.

“Enlisted men not eligible for discharge by reason of physical disability, will be segregated into groups according the state from which they came and will be transferred to a development battalion in a camp in or near their respective states, after arrangements have been made by you with the commanding officer of the proper camp to receive them.”

“The chief of staff corps have been directed to advise you as to the disposition of specially qualified officers and enlisted men of their corps, required at other camps, and you will transfer such officers and men in accordance with instructions.”

“All other enlisted men of staff corps organizations at your camp will be discharged as provided herein.” – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Monday, December 2, 1918


July 14, 2018

Camp Cody Fights and Races Stopped

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Tags: — Michael Kromeke @ 7:51 pm

Deming Officers Enforce Sunday Laws

District Attorney J. S. Vaught and Sheriff W. C. Simpson notified the promoters of the Bobby Waugh and Otto Wallace fight, programmed to take place at Camp Cody, that it was in violation of the Sunday law of this state and that event was postponed until Monday night, when it will be pulled off at the Crystal theater. The county officers did the same at Turner amusement park and the horse races to be held there were called off. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Monday, January 14, 1918

Boxing Match At The Camp Cody Stadium

Boxing Match At The Camp Cody Stadium

July 7, 2018

Camp Cody Officers Adopt Jegou’s Girls and Give them $11,000

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Tags: — Michael Kromeke @ 5:41 pm

Two little daughters of the late Lieut. Jean Jegou, French army officer, who lost his life by drowning in a desert “wash” north of Deming Friday evening, together with Lieut. Fernand Herbert, French army, and Sgt. E. Picard, American chauffeur, will be taken care of for life by the generous officers of the 34th division of the United States Army, which has been training at Camp Cody, Deming, New Mexico, for more then ten months.

The little girls, whose address in France was not know here, were adopted by the Camp Cody officers who raised $11,000 for the fatherless ones within a few minutes after General John A. Johnston, division commander, had called the officers together with the suggestion that they might assist. Each officer give $10. The sum will probably be invested in Liberty bonds, giving the little ones an income for life. Major H. M. Nelly, division adjutant, and Major C. B. Robins, Iowa brigade adjutant, took charge of the fund. Lieut. Jegou was a poor man, the son of hard working parents, and had fought for France from the beginning of the war. Deming citizens may give more to the fund. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Wednesday, July 31, 1918

Lieutnant Jegou

Lieut. Jean Jegou

June 30, 2018

Non-Effective Men at Camp Cody Decreasing

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Tags: — Michael Kromeke @ 2:43 pm

In commenting upon the constant decrease in the number of non-effective members of the 34th division, Major H. M. Nelly, division adjutant, says in Weekly Bulletin No. 82.

“The constantly decreasing non-effective rate is very gratifying to all who are vitally interested in the health and effectiveness of this division. The improvement is not only seasonal, but reflects the intelligence and devotion to duty of the regimental medical officers and the company officers.”

“The early detection of bad habits and of minor ailments is a characteristic if the officers of those organizations which have the low non-effective rates and it is also noticeable that in these same organizations the men are very loyal to their officers. The conclusion is not difficult to draw.”

“The number of sick per thousand for this camp as a whole for Friday, April 19, 1918, was 26.14. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Monday, April 22, 1918


Non-Effective Rate at Camp Cody 21.9 per 1000 for Division

The already good health of this camp and the division continues to improve. The non-effective rate per 1000 men on Friday, April 26, was only 21.9 men for the 34th division proper and 23.6 men for the entire camp. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Monday, April 29, 1918


June 23, 2018

Camp Cody Chairman Finley says Buy Football Tickets Now

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Tags: — Michael Kromeke @ 3:24 pm

“No need of enthusiasm at Deming and Camp Cody. They are already enthused,” stated C. H. Finley on his return from a trip to those points to boost the Bliss-Cody football game at the high school stadium Thanksgiving. “Gen. Lindsay, of Camp Cody, is about the most enthusiastic booster of the big game. He says that such a worthy event is a great thing for the morale of the soldiers, and I want to assure Fort Bliss fans and players that nothing is being left undone over there to win Thursday. They are clean sports out to win. I am assured that they will bring between 2,000 and 3,000 on their special.

“All the details of the game were completed, all the officials decided on except one. Until complete the list will not be announced. We did not succeed in getting the exact lineup of the Camp Cody team, but ascertained that it is composed largely of collegians and well know professionals. We were treated royally, but when official business was over, we were done. Nobody is allowed to witness their practice.

“What we need here now is for the big downtown public to get on their mettle for this big annual charity event and all buy tickets now. There is an abundance of enthusiasm at Fort Bliss, plenty of it at the high school. With our business men, clerks and everybody taking hold, the stadium must be filled. It all goes for charity, the cause could not be more worthy. Buy tickets now. That helps. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Monday, November 25, 1918


Camp Cody Football Team

June 17, 2018

Nine New Lieutenants Joins Engineers At Camp Cody

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming — Tags: — Michael Kromeke @ 3:57 am

The 109th engineers at Camp Cody have received from Camp Lee, Va nine new second lieutenants, all of whom, except the last named, are of the national army and the one excepted is of the national guard. They are 2nd Lieutenants Stanley B. Marsh, Earl P. Manley, James L. Mayer, Milton S. Hindholm, Victor C. Light. Bert Lund, E. C. McFadden, D. J. Lynch jr., and James Luchini. – El Paso Herald Newspaper – Friday, June 14, 1918


Col. Martin and Staff at Camp Cody

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