|Letter from Hargrove Bellamy to Robert Bellamy - #1|
|Letters - Hargrove Bellamy Correspondence|
|Tuesday, 20 March 1917 00:00|
K. A. House
My Dear Father,
I am writing to you to-night on a subject which, coming from me is perhaps quite unexpected, and which is of such a serious nature that it should demand the attention of every American citizen, namely; "The possibility of the United States entering into a state of war in the immediate future or perhaps, very probably, in the next few days." We have in this case, and as the United States seems to do in all others, quietly sat and watched the impending clouds hover over us until we are caught wholly unprepared in the midst of the storm. The whole thing in a few words is that we have deliberately ignored the numerous signs of the approaching crisis and as the result, we are wholly unprepared to meet and to combat with the great crisis which we knew was inevitable. Now this is the very thing which I am striving to avoid in my own case. I realize the importance of equipping myself now for the approaching dangers. In the event of the United States becoming involved in war, one of the first acts of the President would be to call for volunteers, and many others such calls until finally conscription is forced upon us. Now comes the question of whether I should answer the first call, or the second and third, or finally to face the disgrace of conscription. If I was alone in the world and had no ties of love and obligations, I would be one of the first to inlist, but having such ties, I fell my duty towards mother and you, and therefore, I am submitting this question to you to be carefully thought over and for you to decide what shall be my actions in the immediate future.
Intense interest over this subject prevails at present among the students and we have organized a company of over a hundred men who have pledged themselves to drill three times a week under the supervision of an army officer, and to receive instructions in military tactics. This is a step toward preparedness, and after a required amount of training, it enables one to enter the army as a officer. Now, if something unforseen should prolong the impending crisis for several months, I have decided, with your permission, to take a months training at Plattsburg beginning the 2nd of June. This months training will be of an unestimable value to me in case of war and if war shouldn't come, it would be a great benefit to me both mentally and physically. They pay all my expenses including rail-road fare, travelling expenses, clothing, equipment and etc. The only requirement is a pair of walking shoes. I will appreciate it if you will inquire into this and see for yourself the many advanttages it offers. Now Father, give this letter your careful consideration and let me know as soon as possible your advise and decision on such serious subjects.
Your devoted son,