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Ninth Army Corps

About the time of the armistice there were organized the Eighth and Ninth Corps, and they functioned until the troops were demobilized. They were made up in part of the units of the old First, Second, Third, and Fourth. The staffs were taken from other staffs, or from line officers who had shown a special aptitude. Each staff expected to furnish officers to new staffs, as fast as they were created, and there were understudies who could take their places promptly.

The Ninth Corps was organized November 26th, 1918, and was commanded by Major General Joseph E. Kuhn. It included the 33rd, 35th, 88th and 79th Divisions. The insignia is a monogram design embodying the Roman numeral '"IX" set in a circle, the design in red on a dark blue circular background.

Brigadier-General Joseph E. Kuhn was appointed president of the War College on 17 January 1917. Brigadier-General Joseph E. Kuhn was appointed a general officer in early 1917 from a colonelcy in the engineer corps - an unusual selection from the staff, which escaped criticism because of the officer's ability. Prior to that time he was for two years American Military Attache with the German Armies in the field from the commencement of hostilities in Europe, and was probably more thoroughly conversant with the German training methods than any other officer in the country. Since the declaration of War by the United States he had made two trips abroad.

The outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, late on 8 February 1904, created intense international military, naval, and diplomatic interest. The U.S. was to dispatch 12 official military observers to the Imperial Japanese forces, nine from the Army (one was unofficial) and three from the Navy. Of the eight official observers, five produced reports. Four of these reports the Second (Military Information) Division of the General Staff published in 1906 and 1907. These four officers included Major Joseph E. Kuhn, Corps of Engineers. Kuhn believed that since this was the first great war since 1877, "one might reasonably expect some startling and original methods." But the opposite was true. This "war was conducted by both sides along strictly orthodox lines."

As the only U.S. observer to be in Manchuria for nearly the entire war, Kuhn observed that "Machine guns, used sparingly at first, rapidly demonstrated their value and were employed in increasing numbers in the later stages of the war." He then continued, "It seems certain that this weapon will play an important part in the future, and the equipment and tactics of machine guns should receive serious and prompt consideration for our army."

Lieut. Colonel Joseph E. Kuhn, Corps of Engineers, was relieved from duty as director of The Army Field Engineer School on August 5, 1912.

The War College Division of the General Staff made a study of the mode of training of the Army. The date of that was 04 May 1917, and the questions they considered at that time were, first: "Shall the Army be assembled in regimental camps or brigade camps or division camps?" They finally determined that it should be in division camps. They then drew up a memorandum covering several pages, as to the mode of selecting and organizing these camps, signed by Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn, then president of the Army War College. This report recommended, first, that the department commanders should be charged with the duty of making such selections for the troops to be raised or trained within their respective departments; and, second, that they should appoint boards of officers to investigate and report upon the available camp sites.

At the outset of the war the uncontrolled production and possession of explosives obviously became a serious menace to the safety of persons and property and the successful conduct of military operations. At that time high explosives, more particularly the ordinary low grade dynamites, were very extensively used in this country in the arts and industries and even in agriculture for blasting and loosening refractory ground; also in quarrying and mining. It was distributed down to even little country grocery stores, throughout the more sparsely settled communities of the United States, where people can go and buy it by the box or buy it by the pound, and no questions are asked. It is just like buying ammunition for shotguns.

Even in the years immediately preceding the entrance of the United States into the Great War explosives were employed in attempts to wreck munitions plants as at Eddystone, Pa., or to interrupt transportation and conveyance by demolition of munition-laden cars as at Black Tom Island, N. Y., or by attacks on ships, bridges, and viaducts. Outrages with explosives, such as that which Holt inflicted on the Senate reception room, United States Capitol, were not infrequent, and often caused serious loss of life and injury to persons as well as destruction of property.

The necessity for Federal regulation was recognized by governors of the New England States who impressed it upon the War Department as an immediate and imperative need, and Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn, then Chief, War College Division, General Staff Corps, United States Army, was assigned to determine the best medium through which the desired action could be secured. As a result Dr. Van H. Manning, then Director of the Bureau of Mines, was requested to bring this matter to the attention of the Congress and to assemble and present information essential to the proper consideration of the legislation sought.

Joseph E. Kuhn organized the 79th division and went to France with it rather than become chief-of-staff, which was offered to him. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt once said "I would be glad to serve under General Kuhn." By July, 1918 the Seventy-Ninth Division was under the command of Major-General Joseph E. Kuhn. The division was a part of the Fifth Army Corps of the First American Army. The 79th Division, National Army, was drawn from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Major-General Joseph E. Kuhn, who was in command, was well-known as an able engineer officer. He had served as an attache with the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War, seeing more of the operations than any other single foreign officer; and he had been an attache in Germany early in the Great War, afterward becoming president of the War College in Washington. Aside from this equipment his untiring energy, his high spirits, and his personality fitted him for inculcating in a division confidence in itself and its leadership.

The Fortieth Division had not been away from Camp Kearny very long before another division began its organization there. This was the 16th Regular Army Division under Maj.-Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn. Its work of training was not far advanced, however, before the news of the Allies' victory came over the cable and wire to San Diego, resulting in a tumultuous celebration which will go down into local history as the happiest in which those living here in 1918 ever had part. The guns on the western front in France had hardly been silenced by the order resulting from the armistice negotiations before whistle, horn, bell, human throats and other noise making devices and agencies began a bedlam of joy in San Diego. The war actually over, the 16th Division was soon demobilized and Camp Kearny before many months was a mere shadow of its former importance. Perhaps the best training ground in the country, largely, of course, by reason of its climatic advantages, it was not retained as a permanent camp.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:36:08 ZULU