I posted this item two years ago on the Mid Week at Work Thread. It occurs to me that it may very well be appropriate for the Wyoming National Guard was going through in Cheyenne these few days, a century ago:
As can be seen from my entry yesterday, there's some indication the Guard entrained on September 26, 1916. And I've reported that elsewhere, years ago. And maybe some did leave on September 26, but I now doubt it.
All around the water tank, waiting for a train
A thousand miles away from home, sleeping in the rain
I walked up to a brakeman just to give him a line of talk
He said "If you got money, boy, I'll see that you don't walk
I haven't got a nickel, not a penny can I show
"Get off, get off, you railroad bum" and slammed the boxcar door
He put me off in Texas, a state I dearly love
The wide open spaces all around me, the moon and the stars up above
Nobody seems to want me, or lend me a helping hand
I'm on my way from Frisco, going back to Dixieland
My pocket book is empty and my heart is full of pain
I'm a thousand miles away from home just waiting for a train.
Jimmy Rodgers, "Waiting for a Train".
Rather, in looking at it more fully, the typical Army hurry up and wait seems to have been at work. The Guard was supposed to entrain on September 26, but the cars didn't show up or didn't in adequate numbers. It appears, also, that the Colorado National Guard was entraining at the same time, and that may have played a role in this. Be that as it may, I now think the September 26 date that I have used, and others do use, in in error.
What seems to have happened is that most of the Guardsmen entrained on the night of September 27, late.
But where were they going?
That will play out here as well, but original reports in these papers said they were going to San Antonio. Then it was reported that nobody knew where they were going.
Well, they went to Deming New Mexico, which isn't far from where this all started off, in Columbus.
Rodgers didn't record Waiting For A Train until 1928, and he wasn't recording in 1916. Too bad, this would have been a popular song with those troops.