Page images

BUOYING THE END OF A BROKEN CABLE. In the upper corner is shown the laying of the shore end of the cable at Cordova.

ship and the lives of the men engaged in factured in New Jersey, transported by the duty. Success finally came and Seat- rail and sea, installed between Valdez tle talked to Sitka, and Sitka talked to and Sitka and thrown open to commerValdez.

cial business in five months and twelve In the service of cable laying a detach- days.” ment of the Signal Service did the more The crew of the Burnside was comarduous and technical work "with such posed of Filipinos, and there also was a success as to reflect new credit on the detachment of “Little Brown Brothers” resourcefulness of the American soldier." who were used as cablemen. General

In writing of the cable laying an officer Allen has commended them "for activity, of the Signal Service has said: “The willingness, thoroughness and reliabilcelerity with which the Valdez-Sitka ity," and he has added, "the previously cable of over five hundred miles in expressed good opinion of the services length was put under contract, manufac- of the Filipinos as crew and cable men tured, transported, and laid, illustrates has been strengthened by late experiAmerican possibilities. Congress appro

ences." priated the money on April 24, the con- The cable lines of the Alaskan system tract was awarded, the cable was manu- are "safe down under the water.” The

land lines are exposed to the storms of every season, to landslides, to snowslides, to freshets and to forest fires. Over their safety the sentinel chain of Signal Service Corps men keeps watch day and night. Repair parties are ready to start at any moment from any station when word or sign of trouble comes. It is necessary frequently in the heart of the Alaskan winter for the men to make long sledge journeys while the mercury in the thermometer keeps company with the buib.

The officers and enlisted men on Alaskan duty keep Washington in touch with Nome, and if communication is broken experience has told the headquarters authorities that at the first signal of trouble a detachment is starting on its way over the mountain or through the valley or down the ice of the river to make the repairs which will put the Cap

STRINGING A WIRE, ital once more in touch with the remotest point of the military line far flung there was no butcher shop on the con

through the wilder- venient corner. The government officials ness.

do curious things occasionally. It is One detachment of hard when stationed on Pennsylvania Signal Corps men Avenue to realize that a man cannot get stationed far in the all the food and any kind of food that he interior of Alaska wants anywhere in the world. The extra lived eleven months allowance of milk, syrup and butter was without tasting fresh allowed, but the condition was made that meat. One man de- it should not be issued at any Alaska post veloped scurvy, and where more than three men were stato prevent an epi- tioned. So it was that where four men demic of the trouble were gathered together bent on doing the government was their duty the scurvy wolf was at the asked for an extra door, but where three men were assemallowance of butter, bled they sent him hungry away by feedsyrup and condensed ing themselves with the milk and the milk for the rations butter and the syrup which a discrimof the men stationed inating government said was good for where game was three, but not for four. scarce and where It was said in one of the opening para

graphs of this article that, "no American soldier would wait thirty minutes or thirty seconds for an order to save life." Congress recently gave to Sergeant Roy F. Cox of the Signal Service certificate of merit for not waiting on orders to go on an errand of mercy. A few words

hidden away in the army "FARTHEST North" WIRELESS STATION AT NOME,

records tell what the Ser



[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

geant did to secure Congressional recog- to Fairbanks. He arrived there with the nition. His certificate of merit

merit was prospector still living and he lives today, granted “for highly meritorious service altough it was necessary to amputate in traveling thirty miles in a severe bliz- both his legs. Sergeant Cox was an inzard, rescuing a civilian from freezing mate of a hospital for a long time, beand dragging him by sled sixty-five miles cause of illness due to exposure, but he to Fairbanks."

recovered and the experience in no wise Word came in to a little detachment weakened his love for the service. He of the Signal Corps that a prospector, a is a Signal Corps man today and he has man seventy years old, was perishing in his certificate of merit, a thing which is his hut at a point thirty miles distant. prized above all other things by the The cold was as severe as any that the American soldier, for it is the equivalent Alaskan winter knows, and a blizzard of the English Victoria Cross which is was raging. The conditions were such given only "For Valor." that no one was asked to volunteer to go Sergeant James E. Hogan did a deed to the rescue, for it was thought certain which was almost the count

art of that that death awaited the man who would of Sergeant Cox. He also won his certry to hit the trail that day. In fact tificate of merit. The records of telethere was no trail. Sergeant Cox said graph line construction and maintenance he was going and he went. He made in the Alaskan territory contain many the thirty miles with a dog sled and stories of courage and of self-sacrifice found the prospector apparently almost of the officers, commissioned and nonat the point of death. He gave him food commissioned, and by the privates of the and medicine and then knowing that the Signal Corps of the United States Army. services of a surgeon were necessary at

In appreciation of the service in once if the man's life was to be saved, he Alaska of the men of the Signal Corps started on the journey of sixty-five miles of the United States Army it does not

[graphic][ocr errors]



seem that one can do better than to use the words of an official "who has seen and who knows." He says:

"These soldiers stand ready at all times 'to hit the trail the instant that a wire goes down or a call for help comes. They are willing. They risk life and

limb, asking no questions and doubting nothing. The extreme conditions of the service and the necessity of the continued maintenance of communication have demonstrated the spirit of the American soldier who has sacrificed himself to the work.”


Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,

In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,

Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right;
And the choice goes by forever, 'twixt that darkness and that light.



В у



O count the salmon in Alaskan periment to determine the possibility and

rivers would seem to be a merit of the plan.
task not merely stupendous The stream in question is the Wood
but impossible. Yet it is being River, which, for the purpose of census-

accomplished in a very sys- taking, was closed for the time being to tematic way by the government Fisheries the commercial fishery. There was no Bureau, and for a purpose of utmost trouble about arranging this, because the practical importance to the future of the Fisheries Bureau, under authority becommercial salmon fishery in that part stowed upon it by Congress, has absolute of the world.

control over all the salmon streams of So far is this true, indeed, that the cost Alaska. It tells the canning concerns of taking the salmon census is being de- where and when they may catch fish, and frayed, up to date, by two of the biggest when and where they will not be allowed canning companies—the Fisheries Bu- to catch them. If it chose, it could susreau having no funds to meet the expense pend the salmon fishery altogether for involved, which amounts to about $6,000 an indefinite period in Uncle Sam's a year. This, however, it should be Arctic province. understood, covers the cost only of What it wants to do, however, is to counting of salmon in one large river, keep the fishery going, and to make sure which was picked out for an initial ex- that the supply of salmon shall be main



« PreviousContinue »