As the correspondence from his military career begins, Monty is 28 and about to be commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army Reserve. He has just wrapped up his law practice as Horton & Montgomery in Spartanburg, SC where he had previously spent time in a noted firm Bomar & Osborne that employed Wofford graduates before he went out on his own for a brief year. After college he taught for a year, dabbled with law at his father’s office and then went on to Harvard Law where he graduated in 1914. He was nurturing a solo law practice when the United States declared war on Germany and the mobilization was underway; then he was closing down his fledgling practice in anticipation of the draft.

Some forty years later, Monty’s oldest sister Mabel recalled his decision to enlist. He realized “that as a single man without dependents he would be drafted, he closed his law office, in May, 1917 and entered Officers Training Camp at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.”[1] Congress passed The Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917. Monty’s calculated response suggests he anticipated the law and had probably thought through this decision with his family. There is no evidence that he was enthusiastic about the need to go to war or that his decision was motivated by an overabundance of patriotism. He was just doing what was required of him.

His Local Board Number 3 tried to catch up with him at his YMCA address where they sent a Notice Of Call And To Appear For Physical Examination, dated July 28, 1917, that demanded his appearance at the Local Board on August 1, 1917. By then he was at Fort Oglethorpe two weeks away from being commissioned a Second Lieutenant.

[1] Monty’s sister Mabel Montgomery privately published a family memoir Limbs On Our Family Tree in 1955. Though these were her reminiscences, she would have consulted Monty on the brief biography she included.

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