The most senior military appointment for the war we recall seeing, signed in the immediate afternoon of American mobilization
On May 7, 1915, the British Cunard liner Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat, and almost 1,200 passengers were lost, including 128 Americans. The public was outraged and cries for war resounded. Wilson officially clung to his position of neutrality, and the United States was far from prepared for a large-scale...
On May 7, 1915, the British Cunard liner Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat, and almost 1,200 passengers were lost, including 128 Americans. The public was outraged and cries for war resounded. Wilson officially clung to his position of neutrality, and the United States was far from prepared for a large-scale war, much less one overseas. In 1914, when the conflict began, the United States had less than 100,000 soldiers.
In March 1917 Wilson’s steadfast neutrality was pushed beyond even his limits, when the British intercepted and deciphered a telegram sent by German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German ambassador to Mexico. In it, Zimmermann said that Germany intended “to begin… unrestricted submarine warfare” and that the ambassador should “make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.” Later that month, German U-boats attacked and sank three American merchant ships; that was the last straw. On April 2, 1917, Wilson called Congress into an “extraordinary session,” to request a declaration of war against Germany. He assured members of Congress that “the world must be safe for democracy” and that “[the United States has] no quarrel with the German people…” but only with its “little groups of ambitious men who… use their fellowmen as pawns and tools.”
The Chief of Engineers is a principal United States Army staff officer at The Pentagon and the senior service engineer for the Department of Defense, responsible for integrating all aspects of combat, and general and geospatial engineering across the Joint Force.
From 1900 to 1910, Frederick Abbott served as the assistant to the Chief of Engineers in the United States Army. Later, he was simultaneously principal assistant to the Chief of Engineers, commandant of the Army Engineer School, and commandant of Washington Barracks. In 1917 Abbott was promoted to brigadier general in the regular army. During the absence of the Chief of Engineers to France, Abbott became acting chief and commanded thirty-five thousand engineer troops in the Washington, D.C., area.
Document signed, October 5, 1917, being Abbott’s original appointment to Brigadier General to take over the duties of the Chief of Engineers in the absence of the standing head, who was sent to fight in Europe. It is signed by Woodrow Wilson as President. H.P. McCain as Adjutant General and Newton Baker as Secretary of War.
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