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NATIONAL ENCAMPMENT. The Twentieth Annual National Encampment was held in Baltimore Sept. 3, 4 and 5, 1918, and, so far as Massachusetts was concerned, it was a success in every particular. More than 350 from Massachusetts attended, and this was the largest number of Comrades and members of the Auxiliary from Massachusetts to attend a National Encampment. Comrades that attended showed great interest, and attended practically all the business sessions of the Encampment. Senior Vice Department Commander Shea was appointed to the Committee on Acts and Resolutions; Department Inspector Scott was appointed on the Enactment Committee, and I, in addition to being appointed on the committee to count and sort ballots, was also appointed on the committee to wait upon President Woodrow Wilson. With the committee I met the President in the east room of the White House Friday, September 6. During the Encampment parade the Comrades of this Department had practically the right of line of the Spanish War Veterans, and turned out in great numbers showing that Massachusetts was in the forefront of the Spanish War Veterans of the Nation, and the Comrades left Baltimore with every intention of attending the next National Encampment at San Francisco. As a result of the interest and activity shown by the Department of Massachusetts, Comrade Gardner W. Pearson, former Adjutant-General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was appointed Inspector-General, and I was appointed on the National Legislative Committee. The Department of Massachusetts now takes its place as the most active Department within the organization.
GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC. As customary this year, I was a guest at the annual banquet held by the Grand Army of the Republic at their annual Encampment, and have also attended many other of their social and public affairs. At my suggestion Past Department Commander Frederic E. Foye and the Department Chaplain, Rev. Dr. William F. Dusseault, were elected members of the Grand Army Memorial Building Association. I was elected to the board of directors. The chairman of the board of directors is Comrade Charles K. Darling of Camp 55. Relations grow more cordial as our interests draw closer.
LEGISLATION. This year I appointed the Legislative Committee, and they organized earlier, I believe, than at any other time in the history of this Department. The work that it has accomplished will be shown more definitely in the report of that committee. I attended every meeting of the committee, and practically every hearing at the State House on bills affecting our organization. During the past three months I have been to the State House on every week day, and averaged from two to five hours a day doing all that I could to assist the committee in its work. Every meeting of the committee has been most harmonious, and it is working for the best interests of the organization. The fight made by the committee, with the assistance of Department Headquarters, to defeat in the Constitutional Convention a resolve to deprive veterans of their right to petition for preferential legislation, used about $17 of the $25 appropriated for the work of the committee by the 1918 Encampment. Knowing that the Boston Municipal Council, U. S. W. V., had a surplus of badges from its 1918 Encampment, I requested that it donate them to the Department Legislative Committee to raise funds to continue the work. The council very generously donated the badges to the Department Commander for this purpose, and $55.80 has been realized, up to the present time, with more to come. Of this amount, $25 was secured through the individual effort of the Department Adjutant, Dan D. Brothers, at the Baltimore Encampment, whereby, making a slight change, he used the Boston badge as the Department badge for the Encampment. The balance of the badges was given in charge of the First Assistant Department Adjutant, Charles C. Donoghue, and under his direction the balance of the money was obtained. Both these Comrades are members of the Department Legislative Committee, and I believe that this is the first time in the history of the organization that a legislative committee financed its own work without calling upon the Camps or the Department for assessment of contribution from their funds. The thanks of the Department should be given the Boston Municipal Council for the donation of the badges, the Department Adjutant and the Assistant Department Adjutant for raising the funds, and also to those Comrades who so kindly bought the badges. The Maj. M. J. O'Connor Camp 4, South Boston, paid for its share of the badges, and also donated the sum of $5 to be used for legislative purposes. Under Rules and Regulations at the present time the Department Commander may not accept donations without the approval of the Department Council of Administration, and no action has been taken in regard to accepting this $5 which this Camp donates for this specific purpose, and I suggest that legislation be enacted by the Encampment so that voluntary contributions for legislative purposes, after being accepted by the Department Commander, with the approval of the Department Council of Administration, shall not revert at the close of the year to the general fund, but shall be set aside for the purpose donated. I take this occasion to extend my personal thanks to the Department Legislative Committee.
SOLDIERS' HOME COMMITTEE. The Department Encampment of 1918 appropriated the sum of $50 to be spent at the discretion of the Committee for Entertainment, etc. The committee arranged and conducted an entertainment which was attended by myself, the Department Adjutant, Past Department Commander Hedtler, Commander Bernard Laughlin of Camp 24, Chelsea, the Department Quartermaster, a number of other Comrades, and all the members of the committee. Under the direction of the chairman, Past Commander A. Collins Stewart, and Past Commander Charles F. Parker it was carried out in an admirable manner.
PARADE OF THE 26TH DIVISION. April 25 was the day which New England set apart, with the approval of the United States government, for the official reception of the Yankee Division. When the heroes of the war were receiving the plaudits of the people, I was able to arrange for a prominent part to be taken by the Spanish War Veterans of Massachusetts, and through my efforts we were given the position of honor in front of the State House, where, instead of receiving grandstand seats, seats were provided by the park department of the city of Boston on the sidewalk, which brought our Com
rades nearer the marching hosts. The enthusiastic greeting by our Comrades to those wounded heroes brought in return a most earnest demonstration of sincere comradeship. This was so clearly shown that it brought the most favorable comment from the Governors of New England who were present, and forever cemented a true spirit of comradeship between the veterans of this war and the Spanish War Veterans.
DEPARTMENT OFFICERS. I wish to thank all the officers who have so faithfully served me on my staff this year. Without their co-operation the results accomplished could not have been effected.
SENIOR VICE DEPARTMENT COMMANDER. Senior Vice Department Commander Comrade Jere J. Shea has been a tower of strength to the Department in the western part of the State. I have been called upon at times, when matters of importance came up in that section of the State, to give him full authority to use his own judgment in handling the situation, and in every case he has proven his ability to cope with anything affecting organization matters that might be left in his charge. I must particularly give him credit for the fight he made in the water shops of the Springfield Arsenal in keeping Comrades of our organization in their positions after receiving furloughs; also the magnificent work that was done by the Comrades in his vicinity, under his direction to assist in the fight in all legislative matters, national and departmental. He has also been present at several of the Department Council of Administration meetings, and has made a number of official visits to different Camps through the Department. His work has shown him to be a most able, efficient and conscientious Department officer.
JUNIOR VICE DEPARTMENT COMMANDER. The Junior Vice Department Commander represented the Department at many functions where our organization was invited to be present, and has made, with myself, many official Department visits entirely at his own expense. On the committees to which he has been appointed he gave of his time willingly, and performed his duties to the very best of his ability.
CHIEF OF STAFF. Comrade William H. Hogan since accepting his appointment has served ably and efficiently whenever called upon by me. His work and suggestions, with reference to the relation of our organization to the present war veterans, show that he has given the matter exhaustive study, and arrived at a definite conclusion which will be of future value. The interest shown by this officer in attending all meetings at Department Headquarters and giving freely of his advice on all questions was of the utmost value to me and the Department. His work clearly indicates that he is the right type of a Comrade for a Department officer.
DEPARTMENT ADJUTANT. In the first part of my report I referred to this officer, but I must add that his work has proven my selection of him for the office a good one.
DEPARTMENT QUARTERMASTER. Comrade George P. Field, Department Quartermaster, has served that office for fifteen years, and his experience and knowledge of Department financial affairs cannot be estimated. He has always been willing to devote his time and give his advice, requiring that the Rules and Regulations governing the financial affairs of the Department be strictly observed. I found him a very valuable, conscientious and devoted officer.
DEPARTMENT INSPECTOR. Comrade Joseph F. Scott, Department Inspector, performed the exacting and difficult duties of his office in a manner that reflects great credit upon the business capacity of this Comrade. Exceptional ability, rare judgment and an untiring devotion to duty have placed this officer on a very high plane. Through his suggestions to me for Comrades to work as his assistants, and which I appointed, the work has been completed in a most satisfactory manner at the smallest expense in the history of the Department. He also accompanied me on more official visitations than any other Department officer without expense to the Department. He was frequently at Department Headquarters, indicating that the interests of the organization are a first consideration with him.
DEPARTMENT JUDGE ADVOCATE. Comrade Jerome A. Petitti has proven himself a high type of Department officer, citizen and Comrade, and he was an able counsellor to the Department, one who weighed all matters coming before him in a wise and able manner. Camps and Department Headquarters received his legal opinions in a courteous and expeditious manner. I found his presence at council meetings of especial value.
DEPARTMENT SURGEON. Comrade Edwin D. Towle attended meetings of the Department Council of Administration and conducted all matters pertaining to his office in a highly satisfactory manner, and I wish to thank him for his hearty co-operation and support.
DEPARTMENT CHAPLAIN. Comrade William F. Dusseault has co-operated with Department Headquarters in every possible manner, having attended all meetings of the Department Council of Administration and given his advice on many occasions. During the year our Department Chaplain was honored by the Massachusetts House of Representatives electing him to the office of Chaplain of that body for the year 1919. There were a number of other candidates for the office, and Department Headquarters took up the interest of Comrade Dusseault and rendered every possible assistance to insure his election. A number of circular letters were sent out from Department Headquarters to the incoming members of the State Legislature for 1919. These circular letters were sent out over the signatures of the Comrade himself, the commander of Camp 15 and myself. This matter appears later in the Encampment report, under “Circular Letters."
DEPARTMENT MARSHAL. Comrade Abner B. Jubrey was frequently at Department Headquarters, accompanied me on official visitations, and held himself in readiness for any call that I might make upon him. He has filled his office efficiently and well.
DEPARTMENT HISTORIAN. Comrade Fred R. Hesse has been intensely interested in the work of Department Historian, being constantly in communication with Department Headquarters, and has kept an accurate record of the present administration. The 1918 Encampment appropriated $50 for the extension of this work, but this Comrade was able to conduct the affairs of his office for a nominal sum, refunding a substantial balance. His work as chairman of the National Itinerary Committee was shown by the great number of Comrades who attended the Encampment at Baltimore.
DEPARTMENT PATRIOTIC INSTRUCTOR. Comrade Charles F. Glover accompanied me on a number of visitations, has attended meetings at Department Headquarters, and has assisted me in many other ways. I found him intensely interested in the affairs of our organization, and ever willing to render every possible service.
ASSISTANT DEPARTMENT ADJUTANTS. At the beginning of my report I outlined the work accomplished by the Second Assistant Department Adjutant, Comrade George A. Hanna. I have also found this Comrade a valuable officer and willing worker. Comrade Charles C. Donoghue, First Assistant Department Adjutant, has proven himself of very great value. He relieved the Department Adjutant of very much detail and routine Department work, for which I wish to extend to him my sincere thanks. He accurately recorded all correspondence received and sent; sent out all notices to Department officers; and made himself useful in so many ways that his services were absolutely indispensible.
CONCLUSION. During the year I have found it necessary, in order to obtain results, to call upon “live” Comrades in addition to the Camp officers throughout the Department, and as a result a very close spirit of comradeship and co-operation exists to-day in this Department. Every Camp, every officer and every Comrade being intensely interested in the work, they are willing to do their share to place the United Spanish War Veterans in the forefront of all patriotic organizations in Massachusetts. The disturbed condition of our country, due to the war, has forced the Spanish War Veterans into a position never before attained, and because of the wonderful cooperation given by every Comrade within this Department I have been able to meet conditions as they arose and accomplish wonderful results during the past year, and however momentous were conditions of last year, the conditions that will arise next year will be even greater. The World War veterans are rapidly forming their or