Warren G. Harding photo

Order to Major General Henry T. Allen to Withdraw U.S. Forces from the Rhineland

January 10, 1923

The President has decided to return to the United States immediately all troops of your command, except Graves Registration Service.

The San Mihiel. making one trip only, will be dispatched from New York about Jan. 12 to Bremen or Hamburg. Cable which you want.

You will utilize the maximum capacity of this vessel for earning personnel and all freight except officers' mounts. Excess supplies will be disposed of in accordance with law and regulations. Excess personnel will be transported on commercial liner to New York, arrangements to be made by you. Complete detailed instructions relative to movement were mailed to you Jan. 9. 1923, and are summarized as follows:

Approximate capacity of transport 80 first class, 40 second class, 980 troop class passengers; cargo capacity with troops, 1,600 measured tons.

Return voyage will be to Savannah, then Charleston, then New York.

Disembark at Savannah, Ga.: Headquarters and Service companies and one battalion. Eighth Infantry, with authorized medical personnel for station at Fort Screven, Ga. four technical sergeants, one sergeant and twenty-two privates and privates, first class. Quartermaster Corps, for station in Eighth Corps Area.

At. Charleston, S.C.: One battalion and two battalion sections of headquarters and service companies with authorized medical personnel for station at Fort Moultrie, S.C.; three technical sergeants. Quartermaster Corps, for station in Fourth Corps Area.

At New York: At remaining troops, commissioned, warrant officers and enlisted men and all freight not pertaining to Eighth Infantry for distribution in First, Second, Third and Fifth Corps areas.

Organizations will return with individual equipment, colors, authorized household effects and records only.

Instructions furnished in letters March 6 and 27, 1922, reference supplies to be returned, have been modified and arranged by priority in each branch in letter of Jan. 9, 1923. Supplies to be returned are in general those directed by previous letters and instructions contained therein may be accepted as a basis until letter of Jan. 9, 1923, is received.

No motor vehicles, paints, oils, greases, substance stores or public animals will be returned and only such authorized officers' mounts as are now owned by officers desiring to ship.

Surplus roadmaking machinery desired by Department of Agriculture may be transferred to a department representative in accordance with instructions of June 8 and 16, 1922.

The American Army of Occupation now totals 1,188 persons, of which 1,043 are enlisted men, 117 are officers. 4 army nurses and 10 warrant officers. Though the normal capacity of the St. Mihiel is about 950 enlisted men and 50 officers, War Department officials believe the vessel will be able to accommodate the entire force when allowances are made for those who must be left behind in the interest of the Graves Registration Service and the sale of Government property.

General Allen will return on the St. Mihiel, but will leave behind a very small detachment to remain in charge of army property and arrange for its sale.

Source: The New York Times, January 11, 1923.

Warren G. Harding, Order to Major General Henry T. Allen to Withdraw U.S. Forces from the Rhineland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/355764

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