The Army AlphabetBy L. Frank BaumPictures by Harry Kennedy1900 Geo. M. Hill CompanyA represents the Army great, The safeguard of our nation. Whene’er our country goes to warIt fights with desperation; And when we do not care to fight It forces arbitration.B represents the Bayonet, Tis useful in a fight; For when tis pointed at the foeHe takes to instant flight, Or else is pricked quite full of holesWhich spoils his appetite. C represents the tin Canteen, A water bottle quaint.It cheers the worn and weary, andThe wounded when they faint. When soldiers have their canteens full They seldom make complaint.
D represents the Drummer boys, They’re young and frolicsome; Drum majors drill the boys with skillTo beat and roll the drum, And soldiers march in better time Behind the drum’s “tum tum!”E represents the Enemy, He’s also called the foe.In war he’s a necessity; We could not fight, you know, Unless an enemy stood near In waiting for the blow. F represents the starry Flag, For which our soldiers fight.When on the battle field it waves It is a glorious sight, And every one who sees it knows Our cause is surely right. G represents the GeneralWho issues the commandTo march into the awful frayAnd all repulse withstand, Until the battle’s fairly wonAnd victory’s
H represents the Helmet worn By brave artillerymen; It shades their eyes so they can seeThe foemen now and then, And pop a shot, well aimed and hot, To thin their ranks again. I represents the Indian ScoutEmployed to slyly creepUpon the army of the foe, And at its movements peep.He’s full of cunning and of guile, And harmless, when asleep. J represents the Journalist, He’s always in the van, And wires his paper all the newsWith truth, whene’re he can.He’s very brave, and full of fun, And quite a useful man. K represents the big KnapsackEach soldier has to bear. It is his trunk, and cupboard too; He packs it with great care. For it contains his spare wardrobe, And oft his bill of fare.
L stands for the Lieutenant, Each company has two. The Captain orders them around, And bullies them, tis true; But they in turn, can nag the men, And so of course they do. M represents the Medal wonBy heroes brave and true;Tis pinned upon the soldier’s breastFor all the world to view. A mark of manly courage, But worn by very few.N represents the Red Cross Nurse, Her name all soldiers bless; Mid shot and shell she bravely walksWith skill their wounds to dress.Gentle alike to friend or foe, All love and tenderness. O represents the Orderly, Who dashes to and froAnd swiftly carries the command To charge upon the foe. He’s quite a useful fellow, butIs scolded if he’s slow.
P represents the Prisoner, A luckless man is he; For he is seized and marched away Into captivity, And cannot fight again until His captor sets him free. Q stands for the QuartermasterTis he who deals our foodAnd medicines and clothing And many things as good.He’s very kind to soldiers, When he is in the mood. R represents the Rifle grimWhich all the soldiers shoot.When they are marching on parade The rifles voice is mute.When war is rife, the rifle’s strifeWill make the cowards scoot. S represents the glist’ning SwordThat every Captain wears. Tis in its sheath in times of peaceIn war aloft he bearsThe gleaming blade, and sore afraidIs every foe he scares
T represents the Tent so whiteIn which the soldier sleeps, While just outside throughout the night,A watch the sentry keeps, To see no prowling enemyUpon the sleeper creeps. U represents the UniformSo handsome and so gay, That ev’ry dashing soldier wearsIn his own jaunty way. No wonder ev’ry maiden’s eyesUpon the soldier stray. V represents the Volunteer, In front you’ll always find him, Defending well his country’s cause, For every day reminds himOf mother, home and oftentimes, “The girl he left behind him.”W is the Wagon trainThat carries the suppliesOf food and ammunitionTo where the army lies.Sometimes tis captured by the foeWhen taken by surpriseX represents the Xalatin, A trumpeter is he; He wakes the soldier in the mornWith tuneful reveille, Or calls to arms, Or sounds the charge, Or toots the jubilee. Y represents the Yankee-yellThat stands for victory. On ev’ry foe it works a spellWhich causes him to fleeBefore the might of those who dwellIn this land of the free. Z represents the fierce Zouvave, No power can him withstand. The way he rushes on the foeIs wonderful and grand; And, ev’ry time he fights, his lifeHe carries in his hand. And now we hope all boys and girls, And men and women too, Will look with love and reverenceUpon our boys in blue, For nation never army hadOf men more brave or true.