"You're in the Army Now"
Shortly after the declaration of war on April 6, 1917, Major Palmer E. Pierce, an aide to Secretary of War Baker, settled uncomfortably into a chair under the inquisitorial gaze of the Senate Finance Committee. Before the Senators lay a bulky sheaf of documents, presenting in fine detail how the War Department anticipated spending the three-billion- dollar appropriation it was requesting. What, inquired Chairman Thomas S. Martin of Virginia, were the principal items in this unprecedentedly vast and confusing budget? Major Pierce began to recite: "Clothing, cots, camps, food, pay.... And we may have to have an army in France."
"Good Lord!" interjected Martin. "You're not going to send soldiers over there, are you?" 1.
Martin had reason to be startled. With other Americans he was still absorbing the President's unexpected request for an army to be raised by conscription, a radical departure from the traditional reliance on volunteering, and from Wilson's own previously expressed position. Now came the suggestion that the conscript army was to be sent overseas—a yet more drastic step that few, whether civilian or strategist, had seriously contemplated. Those two questions—how to bring a large____________________