Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida

Newspaper Abstracts

  • The Sun (Jacksonville, Fla.), May 12, 1906, p. 1, col. 2.
    "IN THE SUN'S CHARIOT
    Intimate Talks Between Publisher and Reader

    Your attention is directed to the symposium on the condition of the state milita which begins in this issue—
    General Sackett who commands the first bregade of F. S. T. contributes a most interesting paper—

    Look for General Sackett's article in the number and when you have found it, read it carefully. …"
    [Transcribers note: The General Sackett mentioned is probably Gen. John Warren Sackett (1860-1918), #I64960 in the Sackett family database.]
  • The Sun (Jacksonville, Fla.), May 12, 1906, p. 3, cols. 1–3.
    "WHAT AILS THE MILITIA
    A Symposium on this Subject to be Conducted in the Sun for the Purpose of Finding the Cause and Prescribing the Remedy for the Decline in Military Enthusism Among Floridians
    For some time is has been apparent that the people of this State were losing interest in the State militia.
    Several companies have disbanded during the past year, notably, Wilson's Battery of Jacksonville, one of the oldest companies in the State; and it is known that several more companies are in danger of being overtaken by the same fate.
    Believing that local military companies are necessary in order that the people may have that sense of security in their lives and property that is essential to the pursuit of happiness, THE SUN, has inaugurated this symposium for the purpose of locating the trouble and stopping it.
    THE SUN has addressed a letter to each military man in the State, requesting an article on the subject.
    The first answer received came from Brig. Gen. J. W. Sackett, which we print below; others will follow as fast as they reach us.
    An earnest request is made of all who have knowledge of military matters, to engage in this discussion. This request is proffered to those who may not have received written requests from us, to whom we give our thanks in advance for the favor done us.
    GENERAL SACKETT'S PAPER
    Jacksonville, Fla., May 8, 1906.
    Mr. Claude L'Engle, Editor Sun, Jacksonville, Fla.:
    Dear Sir—In response to your request to give my views regarding the condition of the military companies in the several communites of the State, the following is submitted:
    THE STATE TROOPS.
    Prior to the Spanish-American War, the military organizations throughout the State served a two-fold purpose, the primary object of course, being the protection of the homes and firesides of our people and the common weal in other directions. In general, forming a bulwark behind which, in times of need, law and order could find assistance and protection should riot overrun any portion of our fair domain, or a common foe dare trespass upon our paramount rights and privileges. Aside from this patriotic purpose these several organizations composed societies which afforded the members many social advantages in their club features and the frequent entertainments, which were of such a nature that it was considered a high privilege to be permitted to participate in them. It was not always an easy matter to become a member of these organizations. Applicants, besides possessing the prerequisites necessary to make a soldier, had to stand the test of the ballots of the members, who were jealous of this right and carefully guarded against the admittance of any one whose social standing and general character was such as to unfit him to associate with the other members on terms of equality. Further, it was required that the members pay for the privilege of belonging to the organization in the form of monthly dues. The organizations supplied their own uniforms, and frequently portions of their equipment, besides equipping their armories with furniture and literature and apparatus for athletic exercises, amusement and recreation. They generally had funds in their treasury which they augment from time to time as occasion required by giving fairs and entertainments, which the public patronized liberally. As a rule, the organizations were not large, consisting generally of from sixty-five to forty active members.
    Then came the Spanish-American War. Every military company in the State was extremely anxious to participate, and I believe without exception promptly volunteered. To make themselves eligible, however, it was necessary for each company to recruit to about three times its former strength. In fear of not being able to present themselves with a sufficiant number of men who could pass the required examinations, the highways and byways were searched, and every available man was accepted, without special regard to his standing in the community. In consequence the morale of the troops was much lowered and the esprite de corps in the several organizations, which formally existed, was lacking. Notwithstanding this, to their credit be it said, the First Florida Volunteers formed a most excellent body of men, and had opportunity been afforded them there is no question that they would have acquitted themselves in a manner at least above reproach. But instead of going to the front with the first expedition, as had reasonably been expected, month after month followed of arduous and disagreeable camp duty, with sickness and disease stalking through their company streets, due to the unsanitary location of their camps, for which those in higher authority were responsible. During this time they were buoyed up, however, by rumors and occasional preparations with the ostensible object of joining the next expedition. Disappointment after disappointment followed, until when finally ordered to be mustered out, the men had become generally discouraged with their experience, and for a considerable period of time afterwards little or no interest was manifested in military affairs throughout the State. Public-spirited officers and men, realizing the importance of maintaining military organizations in various localities in the State, attempted to re-establish the former condition of affairs, but with indifferent success, although during this time troops rendered material service to the city of Jacksonville at the time and subsequently to the calamity of the great fire. Finally under the leadership of our present Adjutant General, and under the stimulus of Federal aid, as provided in the act of Congress generally known as the Dick bill, the State Troops assembled in encampment in Jacksonville in 1903 with at least a semblance of their old-time spirit. The two encampments since and the participation in the war maneuvers at Manassas have been the means of imparting valuable experience and information to the officers and men. But during the interims great difficulty has been experience in maintaining the organizations in a condition approaching standard efficiency. The reason appears plain. The men have little or no incentive to attend drills other than their innate patriotism, for which it is only too plainly apparent, practically no appreciation is given by the average citizen in whose interest he is devoting his time and service. Uniforms, as well as equipment, are now supplied by the general Government, and there is no pressing necessity for entertainments to raise funds for the purchase of supplies, without which the organization could not be maintained; consequently these opportunites of interesting the general public in military affairs and of commingling with the other members of the social world is not afforded them. Here in Jacksonville there is no opportunity at present to introduce the club features of the former organization, for the reason that the quarters afforded in the present armory are inadequate for the proper storing of the military equipment alone. The officers find it necessary to share among them all one small room in the tower for office purposes and a place to keep their company records. And here let me say for the officers: Good officers, as a rule, are found only among men of affairs. Under the new law much more is expected of them than formally. While this may not appear to be much to the regular officer, who is accustomed to perform such duties as a matter of routine day in and day out, it is much for the officer of the citizen soldiery. His hours of leisure are needed for relaxation from mental and bodily strain occasioned by his daily occupation. When he has to devote, say only part of his leisure to the study of Drill Regulations, Organization and Tactics, and Security and Defense, to say nothing of the Army Regulations, and further to concentrate his mind on company affairs and records, taking up the broken threads where he left off some time before, fill out forms and prepare his reports, he has tasks that are very trying to the average man, and for which he generally has occasion to feel are far from being appreciated, even if he executes such tasks faithfully and uncomplainingly. Notwithstanding all this, I am satisfied our officers would willingly undertake and perform all that is expected of them if they were assured the cooperation of the business man, the citizens in general, and last but far from least, the ladies of the home circles of the members of their organizations.
    The business man should be sufficiently alive to his personal interests and exhibit sufficient patriotism to encourage the military spirit among his employees and in his family, and not placate his conscience with the idea that their are plenty of others who can do this without interferring with his own business or financial arrangements. It is recognized as a fact that the most valuable employees make the best military men. Instead of deducting from the usually meager vacation allowed his employees the time required for military service, he should willingly accord this time in addition. He should carefully avoid connivance with an employee who wishes to shirk his military duty and solicits his aid in the respect, requesting permission to say that his employer will not permit him to be absent from his work for such purpose.
    A new and commodious armory, centrally located, with sufficient vacant space surrounding it and so located that it could be readily defended, should be provided in the city of Jacksonville at the earliest day practicable.
    With such co-operation and increased facilities, the writer feels certain that within a short time the troops would attain a standard of efficiency which would at least compare favorably with, if not excel, the best to be found anywhere. Very respectfully,
    J. W. Sackett,
    Brigadier General Commanding First Brigade, Florida State Troops."
    [Transcribers note: This is Gen. John Warren Sackett (1860-1918), #I64960 in the Sackett family database.]
  • The Sun (Jacksonville, Fla.), May 19, 1906, p. 11, cols. 1–3.
    "WHAT AILS THE MILITIA
    A Symposium on this Subject to be Conducted in the Sun for the Purpose of Finding the Cause and Prescribing the Remedy for the Decline in Military Enthusism Among Floridians
    For some time is has been apparent that the people of this State were losing interest in the State militia.
    Several companies have disbanded during the past year, notably, Wilson's Battery of Jacksonville, one of the oldest companies in the State; and it is known that several more companies are in danger of being overtaken by the same fate.
    Believing that local military companies are necessary in order that the people may have that sense of security in their lives and property that is essential to the pursuit of happiness, THE SUN, has inaugurated this symposium for the purpose of locating the trouble and stopping it.
    THE SUN has addressed a letter to each military man in the State, requesting an article on the subject.
    This symposium began last week with a very interesting paper from Brigadier-General J. W. Sackett, commanding First Brigade, Florida State Troops, whose knowledge of military affairs gives weight to his opinion.
    The second letter received was from Capt. W. H. Lyle of Live Oak, formerly in command of the Live Oak Company, but now retired.
    CAPTAIN LYLE'S PAPER.
    …"
    [Transcribers note: The Brigadier-General J. W. Sackett mentioned is Gen. John Warren Sackett (1860-1918), #I64960 in the Sackett family database.]
  • The Sun (Jacksonville, Fla.), June 2, 1906, p. 11, cols. 1–3.
    "WHAT AILS THE MILITIA
    A Symposium on this Subject to be Conducted in the Sun for the Purpose of Finding the Cause and Prescribing the Remedy for the Decline in Military Enthusism Among Floridians
    Believing that local military companies are necessary in order that the people may have that sense of security in their lives and property that is essential to the pursuit of happiness, THE SUN, has inaugurated this symposium for the purpose of improving the militia organizations in this State.
    THE SUN has addressed a letter to each military man in the State, requesting an article on the subject.
    This symposium began three weeks ago with a very interesting paper from Brigadier-General J. W. Sackett, commanding First Brigade, Florida State Troops; the second paper was from Capt. W. H. Lyle of Live Oak, formarly in command of the Live Oak Company, but now retired.
    The third paper follows:
    BY COL. JOHN S. MAXWELL.
    …"
    [Transcribers note: The Brigadier-General J. W. Sackett mentioned is Gen. John Warren Sackett (1860-1918), ID #I64960 in the Sackett family database.]
  • The Sun (Jacksonville, Fla.), July 21, 1906, p. 5, cols. 1–2.
    "…
    Pa—I see, Algy, that you have been tainted by what you've seen written in the papers that are against drainage because their bosses, or the people who become their bosses by paying for their space, have said about this surveying business. There have been two United States Government surveys made of the region around Lake Okeechobee and from the lake to the gulf. One was made in 1879, under the dirction Col. Gilmore. Another was made by Capt. J. W. Sackett, under the direction of Capt. Black. Although these surveys were made eight years apart, the reports on file in the War Department at Washington are almost identically the same. Capt. Sackett's report shows a difference between his survey and that of the 1879 survey as to the water level at a point 43 miles from the point of beginning, of little over two inches.

    Pa.—There you have struck it, my son. The reason why these thorough surveys have not been made is that Capt. Sackett reported, in 1887, to the War Department, that it was impossible to survey this region. …"
    [Transcriber's note: Above excerpted from an on-going article concerning the draining of the Everglades.]
    [Transcribers note: The Capt. J. W. Sackett mentioned is probably Gen. John Warren Sackett (1860-1918), #I64960 in the Sackett family database.]

Source:
Website Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). (Researched & transcribed by Michael Trickey).