Mail Tribune 100, March 4, 1919
The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.
March 4, 1919
65TH GREETED ON RETURN BY GREAT DEMONSTRATION
One of the greatest demonstrations in local history took place yesterday afternoon at the Southern Pacific depot when thousands of persons gathered in honor of the return home of the Medford contingent of the 65th artillery and to bid the boys welcome. So great was the crowd from Medford and vicinity — in fact from all parts of the county — that when the long train stopped and the 15 65th boys, who were scattered throughout the various coaches and mostly in the rear, stepped off they were at once swallowed up by thousands closing in around them.
Although arrangements had been made to keep the crowd back from the train and give the wives, mothers and next of kin first chance to greet the boys, the second the train stopped the crowd broke through the lines, sweeping the many Elks aside who were acting as special police. Everything was chaos and haphazard after that. There was much cheering and flag waving, band playing and singing.
And all the time the multitude kept pressing closer until between the waiting train and the express company office and depot was packed a dense mass of humanity, all eager to catch even a glimpse of some of the overseas veterans.
But each 65th man was surrounded closely by hundreds of well wishers and hand shakers, and in truth the majority of the immense throng did not even see one of these boys. Others only saw from one to three of these boys who spent 70 days and nights of fighting on five sections of the western front, hurling 15,000 tons of steel at the German lines, losing three men killed and 99 wounded and gassed and providing spectacular performances in moving a train three miles long long stretches in record time.
And the regiment gained further fame through being to only outfit to use the famous heavy 9.2 field guns of the English and outside of the heavy guns mounted on railway trucks, the heaviest mobile ordnance in the American expeditionary forces.
In the meantime led by the high school band, the high school student body of 150 sang patriotic and popular camp songs and gave all kinds of stunts in the yell line. Many in the crowd joined in the singing as copies of the songs had been distributed. There were myriads of big and small flags scattered throughout the crowd which were much waved. The 1,300 school children of the city were present in a body and so for that matter was almost everyone else of Medford and vicinity who was not bed ridden.
Finally the trainmen were able to move the train out from the depot and with its departure the fun came to a sudden close, the various 65th soldiers hurrying away to their homes, as did the crowd.
Most people present thought that only three Sixty-fifth soldiers came. About 10 had arrived home during the three days previous.