The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of War ( Baker )

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith, for your information, copy of a telegram dated February 11th,42 from Mr. John F. Stevens, [Page 503] of the Russian Railway Service Corps, who is now in Harbin, stating that the western contingents of the Czecho-Slovak troops who were endeavoring to proceed eastward are meeting with many difficulties in their progress. Mr. Stevens states that about one hundred trains are stalled west of Irkutsk, and that the Czech rear guard is near Nizhne-Udinsk proceeding on foot and under fire. Other reliable information indicates that the Czech rear guard is somewhat nearer Irkutsk, having reached Zima, a station roughly two hundred miles west of Irkutsk. This information confirms that the Czech contingents are proceeding on foot. I also understand that the last American contingents have already left Chita.

The Americans in the Railway Service Corps are, I understand, remaining at the points previously assigned to them, in order to assist the movement of the Czechs, and I would suggest the possibility of their being seriously embarrassed in their efforts to assist the eastward moving Czecho-Slovaks by the lack of American armed support originally distributed along the railroad for the express purpose of supporting them.

I have [etc.]

Frank L. Polk
  1. Not printed.