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Determining the Facts

Reading 3: Colonel Hornbrook's Recruiting Announcement

Because Castolon was far from the kinds of activities many young soldiers would want for their free time, Colonel Hornbrook wrote a recruiting broadside that he hoped would entice men to enlist. It was printed in February 1920.

Red Blooded Men Take Notice!

Do you ever long for the great outdoors?

Does the silent appeal of Nature, as exemplified by rugged mountains, deep canyons, rocky precipices, all equally inspiring get you?

Does being in a vast and undeveloped section, 100 miles from the railroad, strike a sympathetic note in your heart?

Does the idea of patrolling this historic and history making country where every man is on his own, make your pulse beat a bit faster?

Would you like to be in one of the wildest, least explored sections and the only real frontier of the greatest nation on earth?

Is there a man to whom hunting--and the best to be had in the United States at that--camping out for days and cooking your own meals under the bluest sky on earth, with the added zest that at any time the crack of a bandit's rifle may call you to the really serious business of being a solider, is there a real man I repeat, to whom these things do not appeal?

Join the Fifth Cavalry, hunting and fishing par excellence, deer and quail in abundance, rabbits by the thousands, with the added thought that at any moment the tables may be turned and you may be the hunter, hunted.

We get hunters in this district from Maine to California. The Government pays you to be here. This is an opportunity for any outdoors man who is a real sure nuff hunter and trapper who wants to see real untrammeled Nature at her best.

Join the Fifth Cavalry if you are for really honest-to-God outdoor life and next to nature stuff. We have it and are enjoying every minute of it, and we are calling to any man--and that is every man--whose heart and soul yearns for the riches we have, and who hasn't the necessary riches to enjoy them.

The Fifth Cavalry wants real men: men who like to rough it. We need you and you need us and our wonderful Big Bend District with all its vastness, all its wildness, and that added zest of danger that all he men desire. Sign up now while the spirit moves.



Questions for Reading 3

1. Which document, Captain Lafferty's report or Colonel Hornbrook's recruiting announcement, do you think painted a more accurate picture of life in small Army posts like Castolon? Why?

2. Describe three items in Colonel Hornbrook’s recruiting notice he hoped would attract men to enlist under his command. Would you have enlisted after reading this notice? (As it turned out, the Big Bend District which Hornbook commanded was disbanded a few months after this announcement was published.)

3. Why might Colonel Hornbrook have used these particular descriptions to enlist men?

4. Do you think this is a fair recruiting broadside? How might you try to enlist men if you were in the same situation?

Reading 3 was excerpted from Earl H. Elam, "Big Bend Archives: The Big Bend Military District and Colonel James J. Hornbrook's Recruiting Announcement," The Journal of Big Bend Studies, V.II, pp. 117-121, January 1990.

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