“Time out” was taken in the Thirtieth division’s week long “civil war” yesterday afternoon as the officers and enlisted men of both sides laid aside their guns and helmets and headed for the portable post exchanged to wash the dust of battle away with soda-pop and candy.
The 18,000 officers and men of this National Guard division moved out of For Jackson last Monday night for the first war games in which the entire division has participated since its arrival at Fort Jackson last September.
The battle is being conducted between those two traditional enemies, the “Blues” and the “Browns.” Maj. Gen. Henry D. Russell, Thirtieth division commander is leading the “Blues” while the “Browns” are commanded by Brig. Gen. T. E. Marchant.
Neither force has been given the location of the other and each is moving against the other with the clash expected to take place possible today.
Officers of the First corps from Columbia are supervising the week-long maneuver and act as directors of the “free” maneuver.
Besides their complement of the First corps officials, the defending “Blue” division – Sixtieth Brigade and division headquarters units- is being aided by the One Hundred and Second Cavalry and the planes of the One Hundred and Fifth Observation squadron, which are operating from their base at the Columbia airport.
The various phases of battle are developing from Blaney, whose citizen awoke Tuesday to find their village completely surrounded by the “Blue” forces, and from Haithcock pond, start of the “Brown” force’s advance.
Road from Columbia and Fort Jackson leading out to the maneuver area of both forces continue to be jammed with rumbling army trucks, carrying supplies, ammunition and messages to and from the two maneuvering forces.
Miles of telephone wire are being strung and rolled up as fast as the maneuver develops keeping the men of the Twentieth Signal company busy, while portable radio setts maintained the chain of communication between the units within the fighting forces. Uncle Sam has gone a long way in providing the “comforts of home” for his fighting forces even when they are out in the field.
Warm and appetizing meals, upon which all armies are supposed to travel, are just one of the many comforts that are brought to the men while they are “out on the Range” and away form their bunks and mess halls.
For instance almost as eagerly awaited as the arrival of the field kitchen is the coming of the mail trucks bringing not only the letters from mother and sweethearts but the daily newspaper enabling the men to keep in touch with the European conflict as well as their own “private war.”
The mail truck yesterday travelled a distance of some 70 miles in delivering letters, packages and newspaper to the maneuvering soldiers.
Most important of all however are the hot meals provided by the mobile field kitchens, a far cry from Confederate war days, when the individual soldier did his own cooking, or World war days, when the men in the trenches consumed canned foods as the main part of their diet.
Trucks of the One Hundred and Fifth Quartermaster regiment are rumbling along night and day, bringing up food and supplies to be prepared over the portable gasoline stoves arranged in the back of the regimental trucks.
Warm pup tents and two blankets help much to soften the ground upon which the soldiers sleep nights, keeping campaigning soldiers warm and dry. Some soldiers don’t even go to the trouble of unrolling their packs for pitching shelter tents and sleep on the ground with their packs for pillows.
Besides the medical detachments of each regiment, One Hundred and Fifth Medical regiment companies are attached to each fighting force to care any hospitalization cases that might occur.
Religious needs are met by the one or more chaplains that are accompanying each regiment into the field.