Camp Devens - Entering the Grounds - WW1 Cantonment 1918
The men walk down the street for half a mile, cross the railroad tracks, and come in sight of the camp.
"Well, will you look at that?" cries Brown in an awe-struck voice.
"Some little camp, what ?"
"I thought we were going to live in tents. Wooden buildings, it looks to me."
The procession halts at the main gate. The trooper dismounts, salutes an officer, and asks for instructions. The major consults a book.
"District forty-four, depot brigade," he announces.
"Orderly, have these men examined and then report to Captain Reed, 4th Battalion. North Adams men, aren't you? District twenty-one goes —"
The column goes through the gate and up the main highway.
A bugle blows. At this, the first sign of military activity, the men glance around dubiously.
"What's that ?" asks one.
"Mess-call," answers the cavalryman curtly.
"Yes, mess, chuck, grub, food, don't you get that ?"
Soon they come to the cross-roads and are enabled to get a good view of the camp. To the left are the artillery barracks, and further along, Baldwin's Restaurant. Thousands of laborers, their white badges pinned conspicuously on their hats, are making a mad rush for dinner. From all parts of the camp they come, leaving their implements behind them. They regard the coming soldiers in a friendly manner and wave their arms in every direction as if to say :
"See what I've done for you. Isn't it a good job?"
Around the bend the column goes, every man hot and perspiring. On the right is the parade ground, stretching along for half a mile. On one side of it the men see long lines of infantry barracks laid out in perfect order. In front of them is the depot brigade, — their destination.