Log Cabin Memorial - Veterans 314th Infantry Regiment A.E.F.

Diary of Albert J. Miller
Company I, 314th Infantry

314th.org - 314th Infantry - Albert J. Miller - Diary photo

We are grateful for the efforts of Donald Paul Miller,
son of Pfc. Albert Joseph Miller, who transcribed the diary you read below

FOREWORD Back in the early days of 1914 it seemed inconceivable that within a few short months the greatest powers in Europe would be enmeshed in war. There existed a keen rivalry for leadership in commerce, especially between Great Britain and Germany. Years before, in order to better balance power in Europe, two notable alliances were formed:
1. The Triple Alliance entered into by the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy) and
2. The Triple Entente or .Allies. (Great Britain, France, and Russia). Each group represented tremendous power.
When Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated on June 28th, 1914, while visiting Sarajevo in Bosnia, Austria suspected a Serbian plot and sent an ultimatum to that country on July 23, followed by a declaration of war on July 28.
Russia protested and mobilized her forces which Germany resented, declaring war on Russia on August 1, and on France on August 2nd, on which date she invaded Belgium. England then joined her allies--France and Russia--and on August 4th. Italy refused to fight against the Entente and later (May 23, 1915) threw in her lot with England and France. Montenegro had favored Serbia from the beginning and joined the Allies along with Japan and Portugal, while Bulgaria and Turkey came to the aid of the Central Powers.
These events occurred in such quick succession it was barely possible to realize the stupendous nature of the conflict which actually started on August 2nd, when Germany invaded Belgium and Russia invaded Germany.
The German troops advanced rapidly through Belgium and into France. The Belgians resented this violation of their neutrality, resisting with all of their might, but the multitude of German troops pressed right on. Reports of the barbarism and cruelties of the German troops--bloodshed, persecution, and wanton destruction--the miserable plight of the fleeing refugees, filled our papers. This war brought forth many new and startling weapons such as aeroplanes, zeppelins, submarines, armored tanks and siege guns of unheard of caliber. Poisonous gasses and liquid fire next made their appearance, and because of the deadliness of these modern weapons both sides soon resorted to trench warfare with miles of barbed wire entanglements to hamper enemy assaulting troops. Camouflage was used everywhere. Boats at sea, roads and guns were painted in bizarre fashion to blend with the surroundings. Uniforms too, were chosen with the same intent.
We supplied immense quantities of arms, ammunition and all sorts of supplies to the warring nations, receiving enormous prices. Germany.s fleet was partly bottled up in the North Sea but several battles have taken place and the German submarines were creating havoc with shipping all over the world. The loss of life on both the French and Russian fronts was stupendous. There were many prophesies (quoting Revelations) that the end of the world had arrived. Many agents were sent here by both sides to spread propaganda in their favor but the Allies soon seemed to gain control of the press. Germany.s renowned spy system was functioning in full force. Although the German forces continued to push forward, her colonies were gradually succumbing. The British fleet had Germany pretty well blockaded, and on February 18, 1915, Germany.s official submarine blockade of Great Britain went into effect. The German armies continued to push forward in France with appalling losses on both sides, and they defeated the Russians and invaded that country as well.
The Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk with great loss of life on May 7, 1915. This incident, together with the violation of the neutrality of Belgium, caused much criticism of Germany. German successes continued through the following year. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania were invaded, and, in France, Verdun was under attack.
On December 20, 1916, President Wilson wrote his first Peace Note, but Germany on February 1, 1917 announced unrestricted submarine warfare, warning all nations of her intention to sink merchantmen regardless of their nationality. The United States immediately broke diplomatic relations with Germany. On March 11, 1917, the Czar of Russia abdicated and that country seemed virtually out of the fight. The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917.
On May 18 1917, the "Selective Service Act" went into effect, ten million men registering for service, and although it was predicted that rioting and trouble would ensue, everything ran very smoothly. There were however a number of .conscientious objectors. and .slackers. that had to be rounded up. Many rushed to enlist in the Navy, or the Medical Corps, or signed up to work in the shipyards, thereby being exempt from the draft.
I registered on June 5th, 1917, passed the physical examination and was placed in Class 1A (subject to call for active service). America has loaned many millions to the Allies and Germany seems to have far the better of the argument so far. Russia, a republic now, in the hands of the Bolsheviks (Lenin) and Romania have both signed for peace with Germany, and on March 23rd, the Germans started to bombard Paris from a distance of 75 miles. Big cantonments sprang up here--the numbers were being called from Washington, and every day groups of .rookies. were leaving for camp. Liberty Bonds were being sold and the country was working up quite a frenzy.
I was then living in a furnished room at 428 Vanderbilt Ave. In Brooklyn, and had joined the 9th Coast Artillery of New York for training prior to call, but as we were so busy at the office, I had little opportunity to drill. May 19th, 1918 I arrived home in Philadelphia to spend a two week vacation, and received notice to report for mobilization to Camp Upton (N.Y.) On May 28th. Nitsche, Roberts and Woods had just left for Camp Meade in Maryland, so I decided to try to get with them. I made this request to the Board in Brooklyn which was granted with instructions to report to Local Board #16 in Philadelphia. There I was ordered to report for transportation June 3, 1918.
That night all the folks came up to say good-bye, and we had a good time singing and playing the songs then popular. I fully expected to get home again before leaving for overseas as each week a certain number of passes were granted. It was the custom of each home that had a member in the service to hang a small flag with a star called a service flag, and when leaving the following day with Father and Uncle Joe, I hung the flag and we started for 24th and Chestnut Sts. Where we enjoyed a good drink before I left.
AT CAMP MEADE The trip down was uneventful, but when I left the train after arriving at camp about 4 P. M., I met 8 other fellows bound for the same place. Just at this time a Negro deserter came in handcuffed to a cop. We were then marched clear across the camp with the cop and coon in front and as we passed the barracks we were greeted with shouts of .Oh, wait till you get that shot in the arm!. (Meaning the inoculations). About 7:30 we were registered in Co. 23 Depot Brigade, assigned to a tent, given 3 old blankets and then marched to the Mess Hall. The regular mess was over, but we received scrambled eggs, spinach and bread and then returned to our tent. These tents held four men and were furnished with iron cots. Taps sounded at 10 P. M. And revile the next morning at 6:30 A. M. I slept fine and the mess is good. Although our captain is very strict he explained that the first lesson is discipline and some of this bunch surely need it. Then followed another physical examination which I passed, but two fellows in our tent were turned down. After taking our fingerprints and vaccinating us, we received the first shot in the arm. Some of the crowd became quite sick and feverish but it did not effect me at all. Short drill and then we were measured for our uniforms. Recruits are arriving here all day and night. I received mail from home and went to a Y.M.C.A. open air auditorium at night. The band was there with a song leader--looks as though we are going to sing the Germans into submission. The drilling is not so bad--the worst part being .policing up. the company street--picking up every cigarette butt, match stick, etc. As we have not yet received our uniforms, we cannot leave the company street but Woods and Nitsche came up to see me.
June 9, 1918 Received a box from home (Chocolate, etc.) And also a little pick from Anna (to assist in spearing the cigarette butts). Today we received our second shot and again felt no ill effects. Hicks of Pomona Terrace is top kick of #24 Co. Depot Brigade and came over to see me. Also signed up for $10,000 insurance. It is very hot during the day but quite cool at night. Eight of us, including myself, have been picked as an alert squad to assist in drilling the others.
June 12, 1918 Received our 3rd and final shot and moved to Co. # 44. We have our uniforms now, our hard worked civvies have been sent home.
June 13, 1918 Today's mail brought another box of chocolates from Sophie and we certainly appreciate them. My sweater, air pillow and writing tablet (gifts from the folks and Gray) are envied by the whole crowd--I have to keep close watch on them. Had a soft job today--orderly at headquarters--and tonight I go on guard.
June 14, 1918 It rained all night and at 4 A. M. 200 men arrived from Rhode Island, drenched to the skin. Tonight I expect to see a show, .Her Soldier Boy,. and will try to get in touch with Nitsche, Woods and Roberts. They are in the 315th Infantry, 79th Division. This division has been here since last fall, and they are now preparing to go overseas.
Received good news today--the kids were both promoted in school and Anna received a raise in salary. We have plenty of amusement at night--Movies, a Y.M.C.A. hut with victrolas, etc., and we can go to the canteen now where we can purchase most anything. Cannot get a pass yet owing to our transfer and the failure of our papers to follow us in time. We are all raving about it. The past week we had no drill at all--got sore and decided to drill ourselves. Saw a good show, .Love O. Mike.. There is a nice bunch of fellows in our tent now (Two druggists from Kansas City, a Scotchman from New York, a School teacher from Washington, a nice Swedish boy, and myself). The 79th Division is preparing to sail and in the final examination some were found unfit, leaving a few vacancies in each company. We were marched down to their quarters to fill in the gaps. I am assigned to Company I, 314th Infantry Regiment.
June 29, 1918 As we don.t expect to remain here long, and as I haven.t had a chance to see the folks since I left, I wired suggesting that Anna and Amy visit me here--thought they could sort of break the news gently. They came down Sunday, and although they seemed depressed when they learned we expected to leave soon, we had a very pleasant time.
June 30, 1918 Received our .dog-tags.. My identification number is 3114986. I wanted a chance to apply for the Officers. Training School, but outside of that disappointment I am getting along fine. We are getting special drills in the use of Gas Masks.
When we.ve finished washing the plates of tin,
When the darkness falls and the gang comes in,
That.s the time when the talk and the tales begin
In the circle about the fire:
The talk of the way the day was spent,
Of the things we did and the places we went,
Of pleasant ventures that brought content,
And sated the heart.s desire.

The pipes are lighted, the fellows sit
Or sprawl about as the shadows flit,
And there is freedom of thought and wit
Till the light of the embers dims
And then comes singing--from foolish times,
Of .pretty maidens. and .kindly moons..
To old, old songs like your mother croons,
Soft lullabies--or hymns.

The night breeze rustles the leaves above,
And we talk of the things we are fondest of,
The men we like and the girls we love,
Who make life worth the fight
Till the ash grays over the glowing coals,
And the spirit of drowsiness controls,
And each man into his blanket rolls,
With the sleepy word, .Good-night!.
July 1, 1918 Received wire (money) from home. We were notified that the 4th will be celebrated here the same as Sundays (visitors allowed). It seems like the last chance to see the folks, but I don.t like to notify them of that as I don.t know how they will take it.
July 3, 1918 Sent wire to Uncle Joe stating that we would be in camp on the 4th.
July 4, 1918 Father, Mother, Uncle Joe, Sophie & Elwood came down to see me. Big crowd here! Everybody has their gang down (except O.Brien, who joined us). Each one is a hero to his own group.
There were many sad scenes when the time came for them to leave. That night was very gloomy in camp as we felt that many of us would never see our folks again.
I spotted him, by gracious, in the twinklin. of an eye,
Out of more.n a thousand soldiers when the Big Review went by;
Out of more darn men and horses and artillery--why say!
I knowed him in a minute when I heard the first band play!
They was mighty like, them youngsters, as they all swung down the line,
Lookin. straight ahead and keepin. step and marchin. mighty fine.
But I spotted him the minute he was nigh enough to see
And a kind of pleasant shiver came and run all over me.

If you.d ast me how I done it, I don.t know as I could say,
But he looked a little slicker than the rest of them some way,
He was buttoned up some neater and his head was purty high,
Just a little wee bit higher when he went a-marchin. by;
And he stepped a little spryer, so it sort o. seemed to me,
And he never seemed to tire, but went marchin. with a free
And a steady, smooth and swingin. stride;
They all looked mighty fine,
But you couldn.t help spot him when
They all come down the line.

They was just a little difference--not much I'm free to say,
But they was a little difference--a little in the way
That he held his head and shoulders, and you might not hardly see
What it was, but I can tell you it was plain as day to me.
He stood just a little straighter than most anybody there,
Sort o. carried himself better and his shoulders was more square,
And I couldn.t help but notice how durn trim he was and tall,
And he ketched the time and step a little better than them all.

You don't have to take my judgement; I might favor him it.s true,
Favor him among them others, as a Daddy.s apt to do,
But his Mother, she was with me, and she says to me, says she
.Jim looks trimmer, straighter, taller than the others seem to be
And he marches on some spryer and his shoulders is more square,
And his blouse is buttoned slicker than most anybody there!.
Which she seen the same as I did and was said before she heard
What I thought when I first seen him, and corroborates my word!

MAGIC By Ida McIntosh Zumstein

The little house is brown and down at heel,
The casements crumble, and the porches sag,
Complaining hinges hold a crooked gate
And from the chimney sullen smoke wreathes lag;
But, as I pass, within a window hung
I see a service flag with triple stars-
And all at once the walls grow tall and fair,
And not an ugly line their beauty mars;
Carved, stately pillars welcome at the door,
A beckoning finger from each chimney starts,
And, in a moment changed, the little house
Becomes a palace filled with royal hearts.

UNDERSTANDING By Margaret E. Sangster

Now, when I stand in some great crowded place,
I see the souls of other women stare
Out of their eyes--and I can glimpse the care
And worry that has banished light and grace
From every life.  Upon each woman-face
I see the mark of tears, the hint of prayer
That one short year ago, had not been there--
I see what time will never quite erase!

Before you left, I did not notice eyes;
Because I knew that I might touch your hand,
I did not dream the dread that swept our land.
Ah, dear, the months have made me very wise--
Now, one with every throng, I understand,
And heart meets heart, and I can sympathize!
July 5, 1918 We were called out of bed at 4:45 A.M., burnt the straw in our mattresses, packed our barracks bags and rolled our packs expecting to leave any moment. But, we hung around until the following day when we broke camp at 6:15 P.M. and hiked to the railroad station. As we were lined up ready to leave, mail came in and I received a carton of cigarettes from Sophie. We were given a great send off all along the line. Wrote a post-card to the folks and dropped it from the train in Baltimore. As the censorship is very strict and anything pertaining to dates, location, condition or morale of the troops is deleted, I instructed the folks that if everything was O.K. I would start my letter to them with the letter .I.. I dropped a short letter to them from the train as we passed through Philadelphia.
July 8, 1918 We arrived at Jersey City at 3:45 A.M., but remained in the cars until 7, and then boarded a ferry for Hoboken at 10 o.clock. The Red Cross supplied us with coffee, buns and post-cards there. Our packs sure are heavy! We boarded the Leviathan at 3:15 P.M. (The converted German S.S. Vaterland which has been interred here since the beginning of the war is said to be the fastest and biggest transport afloat. Appropriated by the U.S. for use as a troop transport, it is rumored that the submarines are especially anxious to get her). No signs of alarm among the bunch though.
In spite of the immensity of the ship, it is very crowded (13,000 on board including 10,000 troops). We all lined up on deck to get a last look at the harbor as we sailed at 7 P.M. Strange to see the Hudson Terminal Buildings and all the familiar landmarks and yet seem so far away. I could even see our office windows (at 30 Church St.) Where I was plugging away less than two months ago. Owing to the death of Mayor Mitchell who had just been killed in an aeroplane accident, all flags were at half mast. As we pass down the harbor, we all cheer and the boats salute us as we pass them. We have a convoy of destroyers with us.
They tell us tales of camouflage,
The art of hiding things;
Of painted forts and lowered guns,
Invisible to wings.
Well its nothing new to us,
To us, the rank and file;
We understand this camouflage
We left home with a smile.

We saw the painted battleships
And earthen-colored trains,
And planes the hue of leaden skies,
And canvas-hidden lanes.
Well, we used the magic art
That day of anxious fears
We understand this camouflage,
We laughed away your tears.

They say that scientific men
And artists of renown,
Debated long on camouflage
Before they got it down.
Well, it came right off to us,
We didn.t have to learn;
We understood this camouflage,
We said we.d soon return.

We understood this camouflage,
This art of hiding things;
It.s what.s behind a soldier.s jokes
And all the song he sings,
Yes, it.s nothing new to us,
To us, the rank and file,
We understand this camouflage,
We left home with a smile.


At first we wuz gay as the ship slipped away
From the land where we.d lived all our lives,
An. we laughed, an. we sang, till the whole harbor rang
And threw kisses to Mothers and Wives.

But after a while, as we stood there in file,
An. the people wuz only a blur,
Things sort o. calmed down, and we just watched the town,
till we couldn.t see nothin o.  her.

Say, then we felt blue, an. you couldn.t tell who
Felt the worst, for we all darn near cried;
.Twas jus. like when night is a-comin in sight,
An. you.ve just been where somebody.s died.

First thing we knew came a roar, an. it grew
Till I.ll bet that the Kaiser could hear;
Fer there off one side, lookin. at us with pride,
Wuz Liberty! Who wouldn.t cheer?

I s.pose she.s still there with the crown in her hair
An. her lamp givin. light to the land;
That may all be so, but there's lots of us know
How we still feel the touch of her hand.

Sometimes in the night when there aint any fight,
An. we.re standin. on guard all alone,
Like an angel o. grace she comes near, an. her face
Cheers our hearts which wuz colder.n stone.

In the thick of a scrap, with sweat oozin. like sap,
She puts her cool hand into ours;
An like that everywhere we c.n feel that she.s there
With her help and her smile like the flowers.
THE TRIP OVER The weather could not have been better. After our last long look at the U.S.A., we were marched down to our bunks. We each have a meal ticket showing our bunk number and location. My bunk is located on F-Deck (4 decks below) directly opposite the entrance to the large marble swimming pool to one side of the main stairway. The German signs and notices are still here, but the swimming pool is now used as a storage area for our barrack bags. The bunks are arranged in tiers of 4 with scarcely room to wriggle between. Each bunk consists of a piece of canvas fastened to steel posts, and on this must go all our belongings and on top of them, ourselves. They are using every precaution to escape submarines--the boat is finely camouflaged and all the port holes are painted dark blue. No lights at night except the blue lights below. We have to give up all our matches, cameras and flashlights, and we are constantly cautioned not to throw any debris in the water such as match sticks or cigarette butts lest a Sub pick up our trail. The guns aboard are always on the alert. There is a strict rule necessitating wearing our life-coats continuously, and we must carry our canteens filled with us always. They serve us only two meals a day which are very good, and it takes all day to do that. Each company has a designated place in line--a continual stream--after we receive our chow, our meal ticket is punched (no chance for seconds) and we are then marched up to B-Deck for air and exercise. Then we go down below to give the others a chance. During .Abandon Ship Drill. each company has a designated spot opposite a life boat or raft to march to--some turmoil--the whole bunch marching at once like a lot of worms.
July 8, 1918 Guard duty for me today, but I don't mind it much as it gives me a chance to get up on deck.
The song the Bugle Sings in the Heart of Molly Anne

You're so near,
You're so near,
To me now, my own lad!
I'm ashamed of the hours I.ve been weak;
I am sorry for the tears I have shed
When I should have been glad.
But I'm brave now
In the strength of the vow
I took when you last kissed my cheek
And laid your dear hand on my head.
To that vow I.ll be true--And
I'm marching with you!

With the first rays of light I arise
And watch with fresh hope in my eyes
The dark turn to light
And the night turn to day;
And my heart is as full as the cool morning air
With the sweetness of light, dear lad!
Each hour I am thinking of you,
My heart keeping time
With your step as you march on your way.
When at ease I am ever near you;
See me there,
And forget you were dreaming of home;
For I'm here with you lad,
I am here.

When you're saying good-by to the old U.S.A.
I can guess that your heart may be sad
At the great emptiness of the Hour of Farewell--
But be GLAD!
When you sail I.ll be sailing with you;
When you land I.ll be welcoming you!
On the red fields of dread,
In the ditches of war
I will go.
Feel my hand on your arm
And know--
I am bidding you 
Through the black hours of watching and waiting in dread,
When your heart is long gone and your soul is quite dead,
I am with you then, lad-of-mine, watching with you,
Though my cheer and my hope have fled.
Through the din of the battle,
.Mid the busting shell,
Through the fire of the demons, through the horrors of Hell,
Though we meet Death itself, I.ll stay with you,
If a stretcher should bear you away,
I.ll be near you and praying that day,
Though my heart despair, dear,
Though all shaken with fear, I.ll be with you, dear lad,
On that day!

Whatever shall come,
Who can tell,
But I.ll march, lad, with you
At your side;
Wherever you go, I.ll go bravely with you.
Bugles, blow!
July 9, 1918 On guard 5 to 7 A.M. and 1 to 3 P.M.
July 10, 1918 On guard 7 to 11 A.M. and 7 to 11 P.M.
July 11, 1918 On guard 7 to 10 A.M. This guard duty is not looking for Subs--the gobs do that--just policing our own bunch to see that they obey all the precautionary rules, and to break up congestions, etc. On July 10th a Submarine was sighted but it disappeared. We also saw two British destroyers. When we passed through the Gulf Stream it was very hot. During our airing up on deck we had to strip, and then the hose was put on us. We enjoyed it and undoubtedly needed it. To shave or wash with this salt water is impossible--we are a terribly dirty and well bearded bunch. The gobs, who have fresh water for washing, are very popular just now. We are all trying to get them to sneak some water down to us. Their supply is limited, however, so we don.t get much. Goddard is acquainted with a couple of them from Newport, and so through him I managed to get some water, and also, several times at night they came down with some eats from their mess, which is far superior to ours. Our rifles are thick with rust; we look like a lot of pirates. Having lots of fun though. John Miller (a Pennsylvania Dutchman) has the bunk above me, Goddard is directly opposite and O.Brien below me. It is a continual Dutch and Irish comedian scrap all the way over. Walter Miller is our company musician- a very clever violinist. He plays for us a great deal, and he is also detailed to play for the officers on the upper decks. They have it great up there.
The weather continues fine. We have movies at night now on our deck (below the water line). It was very warm today, so I slipped off my life-coat, slipped by the guards and up to B-Deck for an unauthorized stroll. There is always a crowd up there getting aired. I got up alright, but was caught by an officer and got a bawling out for taking a chance on the life-coat.
Rumors as to our destination are many and varied--Russia, France, Italy or England? They change every day. The Medical Department has now started a barrage of lectures warning us to beware of the wild French women, but officers and men alike seem to be taking it all as a joke.
July 12, 1918 We are now in the war zone. It is slightly cloudy, but we have games on deck and movies at night. We are all getting a little fidgety and peevish due, I suppose, to the lack of exercise and stuffy quarters.
July 13, 1918 Receive orders to sleep in full uniform, including shoes.
July 14, 1918 Eight destroyers appear again as our convoy. It seems that they spread out for several days but have closed in on us again.
July 15, 1918 Called at 3:45 A.M. to pack up. It is raining. We arrive in the harbor of Brest at 1 P.M. and get our first view of France. It seems very quaint, with a number of small fishing boats idling around with their varied colored sails. We lay out here in the harbor until 8:20 P. M. When we are loaded onto tiny ferry boats which take us ashore. We then hike about five miles through darkness and pouring rain over big hills deep with mud, with our heavy packs. All along the road there are a bunch of French kids begging cigarettes, chewing gum, chocolate and singing .Hail, Hail, The Gang.s All Here.. They sure reaped a harvest. About 1:30 A. M. We reached an open field on top of a high hill (four miles back of the city) and we are ordered to pitch pup tents. This is supposed to be a rest camp. The fellows are all in poor shape and weak from the stuffy quarters on board ship, but this is a joke as a rest camp. It is still pouring and so dark we can't see a thing. That hike with those big packs (containing everything we thought we needed when we left the States) was certainly a tough one--we could not see where we were going, and the mud, rain and ruts kept us stumbling and falling the entire distance--they were still straggling in as I write this. A lot of the gang were too tired to bother about their tents and just flopped in the mud. Quite a contrast to the sand we used to cuss at Fort Meade! Corporal Rooney fortunately had a stump of a candle, and by its light we succeeded in getting a tent up, and so we bunked together for the remainder of our first night in Sunny France. Everything sodden and soaked.
by Katherine Tynan

Paradise now has many a Knight,
Many a lordkin, many lords,
Glimmer of armor, dinted and bright,
The young Knights have put on new swords.

Some have barely the down on the lip,
Smiling yet from the new-won spurs,
Their wounds are rubies, glowing and deep,
Their scars amethyst, glorious scars.

Michael.s army hath many new men,
Gravest Knights that may sit in stall,
Kings and Captains, a shining train,
But the little young Knights are dearest of all.

Paradise now is the soldiers. land,
Their own country its shining sod,
Comrades all in a merry band;
And the young Knights. laughter pleaseth God.
By Theodosia Garrison

War laid bugle to his lips, blew one blast-and then
The seas answered him with ships, the earth with men.

Straight, Death caught his sickle up, called his reapers grim,
Famine with his empty cup, came after him.

Down the stairs of Paradise hastened angels three,
Pity, and Self-Sacrifice, and Charity.

Where the curved, black sickles sweep, where pale Famine clings,
Where gaunt women watch and weep, come these of wings.

When the red wrath perisheth, when the dulled swords fail,
These three who have walked with Death--these shall prevail.

Hell bade all its millions rise; Paradise sends three;
Pity, and Self-Sacrifice, and Charity.
July 16th Our mess is very poor, but a bunch of us slipped away through a small wood to a little town near here and stopped at a cafe where we bought champagne at $2.00 a quart. On the way back we picked a lot of ferns from the woods and spread them on the ground in our tents in order to soak up some of the water and to give us a nice soft bed. It was discovered, however, so we had to take them back to the woods again, after a lecture--.Never touch any Frog property.. We have learned that the Yanks have already been in action at Cantigny in May, and at Chateau Thierry last month, and held their own very well. There are now 1,100,000 Americans over here, we are told--five in the S.O.S. (Services of Supply) for every one in combat.
July 17th I was put on a detail and sent to Brest to load trucks of mail and deliver it to the railroad station. We met a couple of Yank, Tommies and Australians. There are many German prisoners here loading coal.. I managed to slip away for a few hours and bum around near a little school. The kids all ran out and showed me their books, but they could only speak French and thought it peculiar that I could not understand them. I gave them a few sous, took a snooze and then returned to the dock to the rest of the detail. There was only one man there out of the entire crowd (everyone else had scattered as I did at the first opportunity). At length we found most of them and returned to camp.
July 18th We drilled a short time in the morning and then were sent down to the old Napoleon Barracks in Brest to load supplies. These old Barracks are built of heavy stone in the form of a hollow square with a large drill or parade ground in the centre. We returned to camp, and in the afternoon hiked to Brest in a round about way that seemed about ten miles. Although the distance was not so great, our condition must still be rather poor as it seemed pretty hard, and a number fell out. We had a review after we reached Brest, presumably for the mayor of that town, but the natives did not seem to pay much attention to us--I suppose the are quite accustomed to these things.
July 19th We were supposed to have revile at 2:30 A.M. but the entire outfit slept until 4:30. It is still raining! We rolled our packs, received three days rations and left hurriedly for a terrible hike to the railroad station at Brest, through rain and mud with our water soaked packs; packs and men scattered all along the road, sprawled out in gutters and in the fields, completely exhausted. We are all hollow-eyed, dirty and all in, looking worse than a bunch of hoboes. Goddard and I have not failed to finish a hike yet, and remark about some of the big husky fellows who are absolutely out. At last we board tiny box cars at 11:30 A.M. and ride continuously until midnight of July 22nd (over three days). These cars are supposed to accommodate either eight horses or forty men. At the sound of two little peeps of a little tin whistle, they start. All we have to eat is cold corn beef.
By S.E.Kiser

I have growled some, I acknowledge: and I.ve had my gloomy days.
When I reckoned it was foolish to keep on in honest ways.
I.ve been filled with jealous feelin.s, readin. of the rich and great;
But I.ve lately got to feelin. mine ain.t such a dismal fate.

I ain.t livin. in no palace, where there's pictures on the walls,
And those marble females standin. all stark naked in the halls;
But my boy is over fightin. where the chunks of shrapnel whiz,
So I needn.t feel embarrassed when folks ask me where he is.

Years ago, before the trouble on the other side began,
I considered Henry Simpson an almighty lucky man;
Owned a factory in the city, had an office that was fine,
And a son who went to college--just about the age o. mine.

We.d been country boys together, him no better off than me,
But he had a knack of seein. chances I could never see;
First made money tradin. horses, then got into bigger deals-
Seemed as if good luck was always keepin. close upon his heels.

Once I was in his office, never seen the like before-
Had a dozen clerks around him and a boy to tend the door;
A young lady sat beside him; she was takin. dictates down-
Made me wish I.d had the gumption to get prominent in town.

We.d been country boys together--me and Henry Simpson had-
But my visit to his office didn.t seem to make him glad
No, he didn.t have to give me no excuse made up of lies;
But I will admit his coldness kind o. filled me with surprise.

I had often envied Henry for the great success he.d won,
And I.d often growled and grumbled and felt slighted; but I'm done!
Let him have his big stone palace with its costly things inside;
I'm the one just now who.s feeling purty gol-durned satisfied.

Henry got his boy exempted--it was that .essential. plea;
Wasn.t any more essential than a cow.s fifth leg would be.
My boy.s just been decorated where the shells and bullets whiz,
And I needn.t make excuses when folks ask me where he is.


Roll, roll, roll, over the rails of France,
See the world and its map unfurled, five centimes in your pants.
What a noble trip, jolt and jog and jar,
Forty we, with Equipment C, in one flat wheeled box car.
We are packed by hand,
Shoved aboard in .teens,
Pour a little oil on us
And we would be sardines.

Rations? Oo-la-la! And how we love the man
Who learned how to intern our chow in a cold and clammy can.
Beans and beef and beans, beef and beans and beef,
Willie raw, he will win the war, take in your belt a reef.
Mess kits flown the coop,
Cups gone up the spout;
Use your thumbs for issue forks,
And pass the bull about.

Hit the floor for bunks 6 hommes to one homme.s place;
It.s no fair to the bottom layer to kick .em in the face,
Move the corp.ral.s feet out of my left ear.
Lay off sarge, you are much too large, I'm not a bedsack, dear.
Lift my head up, please,
From this bag of bread;
Put it on somebody.s chest,
Then I.ll sleep like the dead.

Roll, roll, roll, yammer and snore and fight,
Traveling zoo the whole day through and bedlam all the night,
Four days in the cage, going from hither hence;
Ain.t it great to ride by freight at good old Unc.s expense?

We remain in the cars after we reach our destination from midnight until 8:20 A.M. and then hike. We are under heavy marching order (laden down like mules) and our condition is very poor -- three days on that train without sleep and little to eat has us all groggy before we start. We march 50 minutes and then .fall out to the right of the road,. for ten minutes rest Must keep our place in ranks and cannot drop out without special permission, but the energy required to run up to ask for permission makes that impossible. One big husky Italian (Tossi) just could not keep going--he kept falling. The Captain ordered those in back of him to keep shoving him along. Every village we come to, we howl, thinking it is our destination, but they kept us going on and on, and how those pack straps dug into and blistered our shoulders. Then they began to drop off--and those of us who kept on seemed to lose all feeling and sense of direction or sight. Things seemed blurry and some guy would suddenly veer off at a right oblique and try to walk all over you. Goddard and I kept plugging on until finally we were up at the head of the line--so many had dropped out. Even during the 10 minute rest periods once each hour, it is poor dope to lie down, as the packs are so heavy it takes a lot of exertion and the help of one or two others to get on your feet again. We thought the others were bad, but I guess this is our first real hike. At last another village, and the order .loose packs and wait until further orders!. Lord! What a relief! Our feet are full of blisters and our backs and shoulders almost broken.
Joyce Kilmer

My shoulders ache beneath my pack,
(lie easier, Cross, upon His back)
I march with feet that burn and smart,
(Tread, Holy Feet, upon my heart.)
Men shout at me who may not speak,
(They scourged Thy back and smote Thy cheek.)
I may not lift a hand to clear
My eyes of salty drops that sear,
(Then shall my fickle soul forget
Thy agony of Bloody Sweat?) My rifle hand is stiff and numb,
(From Thy pierced palm red rivers come.)
Lord, Thou didst suffer more for me
Than all the hosts of land and sea,
So let me render back again
This millionth of Thy gift.  Amen.
We are at Ampilley-Le-Sec, where we are put into billets. I am in a hay loft with 10 others. This is a small, very dirty, farming town about one century behind the times. They still use oxen and the old fashioned tread mills. Food is very scarce. I had some American money left and being very hungry, offered a Frog one dollar for a piece of their black war bread, but he refused, in spite of the fact that they love those dollars. He said it was all he could get for his family.
July 23, 1918 We had a rifle inspection today, and according to Lt. Berry my rifle was .rotten!. It was in pretty bad shape. They had all gotten pretty rusty on our trip over, and we have no oil. My thong case is missing. We had nothing to clean them with but straw. Notices have been put up stating that it is permissible for us to drink light wines and beer between the hours of five and eight P.M. The beer is very poor compared to our old lager back in the States.
July 24, 1918 We packed up and left on trucks at 9 P.M. for a very crowded and uncomfortable ride. We had to sit cramped up with our equipment until 2:45 in the afternoon of the following day, as the trucks somehow got lost. Eighteen hours without sleep, eats, or a comforting stretch. July 25th
In Training We scramble off the trucks and learn we are in Genevrieres, Hte. Marne, a small farming town. Most of these towns are alike--a church, a town hall, a few large and a number of small houses--all stone and all grouped together with their farms in the outlying districts. The houses contain a few rooms for the tenants and an adjoining room for the cattle, etc., all under one roof. Over each front doorway there is a little religious figure, usually in a glass recess in the wall. In front of the houses are the inevitable manure piles, but inside they are quite clean. Their conveniences are very crude, all cooking is done on open fireplaces, their only illumination is oil lamps, their brooms consist of small twigs tied on a stick. They all wear smocks and big wooden shoes (sabots) when outdoors, and seem to exist on cheese, nuts and wine. This town seems a trifle cleaner, the scenery undoubtedly is beautiful and the people most congenial. There is a large stone cross at the entrance to the town and wonderful plums all over, which we are not supposed to touch, but try to stop us! I am billeted with twelve others in a small stone house of two rooms. Walter Miller, Brown, Tossi, Creighton and I have the back room. There is a small court of similar houses which we have named .Rooney.s Alley,. as Corporal Rooney has been placed in charge of the street. This is the only house that is entirely vacant--most of the other fellows are either stuck in barns or stables.

I.ve slept with horses and a sad-eyed cow,
I.ve dreamed in peace with a bearded goat,
I.ve laid my head on the rusty plow,
And with the pigs shared table d.hote.
I.ve chased the supple, leaping flea
As o.er my outspread form he sped,
And heard the sneering rooster.s crow,
When I chased the rabbit from my bed.
I.ve marked the dog.s contented growl,
His wagging tail, his playful bite,
With guinea pig and wakeful owl.
I.ve shared my resting place at night,
While overhead, where cobwebs lace,
Like curtain drapes the oaken beams,
The spiders skipped from place to place,
And sometimes dropped in on my dreams.
And when the morning, damp and raw,
Arrived at last as if by chance
I.ve crawled from out the rancid straw
And cussed the stable barns of France.
And sometimes when the day is done
And lengthening shadows pointed long,
I dream of days when there was sun
And street cars in my daily song.
But over here -ah!- What a change,
The clouds are German--silver lined--
Who worries when we get the mange?
What boots it if our shoes are shined?
The day speeds by and night again
Looms up a specter grim and bare;
We trek off to the hen house then
And climb the cross barred ladder there-
Another biologic night
Spent in a state sans peace, sans sleep;
And as I soothe some stinging bite,
I mark the gentle smell of sheep
The smell that wots of grassy dell,
Of hillsides green where faeries dance.
The vision.s past--I'm back in hell,
An ancient stable barn of France.

We.ve slept with all the gander.s flock,
By waddling duck we.ve slumbered on-
In fact we.ve slept with all the stock,
And they will miss us when we.re gone.
We.ve seen at times the nocturne eyes
Of playful mice on evening spree,
And the coastwise trade at night he plies
With Brother Louse on a jamboree.
We.ve scratched and fought with foe unseen,
And with the candle hunted wide
For the bug that thrives on Paris green,
But cashes in on Bichloride.

Perchance may come a night of stars,
Perchance the snow drift through the tile,
Perchance the evil face of Mars
Peeks in and shows his wicked smile;
.Tis then we dream of other days
When we were free and in the dance
And followed in the old time ways,
Far from the stable barns of France.
Directly behind our billet is located quite a nice Academy. Mons. Dursant is the head of it and resides there with his wife and daughter (a pretty girl about twenty years old). Their place is nicely furnished, and they are well educated, refined and very pleasant. The rest of the townspeople seem to look up to them.
Opposite us, on the same little street, lives a little fellow about twelve named Lucien, with his Mother and Grandparents. His Father is at the front. They are very poor, but are always trying to do something for us.
July 26th Reveille at 7 A.M., but our billet is quite a distance from Company headquarters where the bugle is sounded and we did not hear it. We slept until 8:30 and got by with a reprimand. Today we had to .police. the entire town. As the people drive their cattle from their homes through the streets to the surrounding hills, there is always a lot of .policing. needed. We attempted to make a good job of it by ridding the houses of the manure piles, but they got sore and put up a howl. It seems they are very proud of these piles. Our company is scattered all over the town, and at 10 P.M. I was sent by Capt. Maim to locate three men. At night there are no lights at all, and as the town was still strange, it took me a couple of hours, but I found them and took them to the orderly room.
July 27, 1918 We were notified today that we might be sent to the front at any moment, and hereafter must drill eight hours a day. Our meals are still very scant and poor and the weather is quite cool. I managed to pass rifle inspection today. In the evening, a fellow from L Company (a pianist), Walt Miller and I visited the Durants, where we sat around talking and playing until long after taps. Walt played fine.
Mons. Durant speaks English quite well and he is very entertaining. When we told him we hoped to be back home by Christmas, he laughed and said he thought it ridiculous. It was his opinion that the Allies would eventually win, but that it had now become a question of resources and could hardly be determined in less than ten years. This we later found to be the prevailing opinion here. As we left, this fellow from Company L (I have forgotten his name) said, .Well, Pershing said Heaven, Hell or Hoboken by Christmas, and it sure doesn.t look like Hoboken!.
By Sarg. Rocke

The throbbing tone of a violin
With the tingling thrill of the concert-hall,
Played to a group in a trooper.s tent,
To ears attuned to a bugle.s call;
A melody wrung by his fleeting bow
With master touch and facile ease,
To wing its way through the flapping walls-
A Kreisler Caprice--his .Viennese..

As his fingers stop on the lilting strings
To touch a note to glowing life,
It seemed to be unthinking waste
To pledge this gift in futile strife-
A genius risked against a shell,
A talent thrown without a thought
On scales now bent with human weight-
Is peace to be so dearly bought?
July 28, 1918 After attending Mass in the French Cathedral and writing some letters, we took our dirty clothes down to the Town Wash House, a square ledge of stone surrounding a pool of water with a roof overhead, and cleaned them up a bit in regular Frog fashion. This method consists simply of wetting and soaping the clothes, laying them over the stone ledge and banging them with wooden paddles. And, do they get clean! In the afternoon we again called on the Durants, and Mlle. Durant gave me a picture of herself and her mother taken in their garden. In the evening, our Protestant Chaplain--a fine man from up state Pennsylvania--hld services in Durant.s garden and delivered one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard. He is treated rather mean by the rest of the officers--allotted to a very poor billet and given the cold shoulder.
July 29th to 31st, 1918 Nothing new except very stiff bayonet drilling and skirmishing, and push and pull exercises. The skirmish drill is not so bad, but the push and pull exercises to strengthen the arm and shoulder muscles are tiring. The rifle is held as if ready to fire--shoved out and pulled back innumerable times. The bayonet drill is the toughest though. On guard! Long point! Pull out! Short point! Hand over! Pull out! Butt swing! Face smash! Cut down! Rest! Charge! (Yelling and making faces as per orders). Then, Gas! And then the same stuff with our masks on. Then a short lecture--1" into the throat, 2" into the body--don.t dig too deep or you can't get your bayonet out and you.ll be out of luck. These drills make the Close Order drills (squad right and left-at attention) seem easy. Our mess is still very poor. We have been eating lots of omelettes purchased at the cafe at the rate of $.75 a dozen eggs, but a new order has ben issued prohibiting this as the French people claim they can not afford to pay what we are willing to pay and therefore could not get any from the store merchants who held them for us.

Get up, get up, you sleepy head,
And grab your socks and trou;
Get up, get up, get out of bed,
You're in the Army now.

Get up, get up, you carrion beast,
Get up and dig for chow;
It don.t matter what you think,
You're in the Army now.

Get up and powder, rouge and curl,
And dress--no matter how-
But don.t be late for reveille,
You're in the Army now.

Get up, you foozle, ninny, boob,
there's eggs and cheese and ham,
(For officers) and slum for you,
You slave of Uncle Sam.

But don.t you fret or don.t you furore,
For honest Injun! How
Would you have felt if you were not
In Uncle.s Army now?
August 1, 1918 We had inspection of our trench clothes, and I received a letter from Anna, the first mail since I arrived in France.
August 2, 1918 Another day of hard bayonet and skirmish drills. Little Lucien, living opposite our billet, meets us every night with a bucket of nice cold water, and when we complain if our mess is very scant or poor, his Mother makes us fried potatoes and bullion. His Father is in the service, but hasn.t been home for some time--they are very poor but will not accept a franc.
We have some great arguments at our billet. Corp. Miller can't understand why we should have to endure all this suffering and hardship while others have it easy back home or in Paris. A spunky fellow, though, --not exactly kicking but can't see the logic of it. Poor Tossi--a strapping big Wop, very obliging and genial--can't speak much English and always in trouble with his lieutenant, Boggs of the first platoon. Lt. Boggs has a system of punishment called .Walking the Bull Ring!. At night, after drill and the guard is out, instead of resting, the victim must walk all around the town, a given number of laps, with a full pack. Tossi, however, found an old stove pipe which, with a shelter half wrapped around it, looks like a full pack, and yet is extremely light. He disappears every night and returns just at taps--drunk and crooning a song which he keeps up, smiling until he falls asleep, in spite of the hob nail shoes thrown at him.
August 3, 1918 We received our overseas caps, turning in our old campaign hats. A YMCA opened up in the Town Hall. It seems fine, as they have a victrola, magazines, etc. although their prices at the canteen are rather high. Cigarettes, crackers and chewing gum is about all they have. Every day there is a bulletin posted on the door of the Town Hall by the French, presumably for our benefit, since it is printed in English. It tells of the situation at the front--always ending with very good, and sometimes using five or six .verys..

Impatient for the K.P..s sign, the soldiers stood in lengthy line.
They stood in file instead of rank, and some were fat and some were lank,
But each was bent upon one feat--to get more slum than he could eat,
To get there quick with his mess tin, and gobble it down and fall back in;
They lined up long before the hours, and got well soaked by frogland showers.
On one foot first and then the next, and shooting bull from every text,
They grouched because the non-com.s led, and wondered why they ate ahead.
They.ve got the stripes, and we must mind--non skums first and us behind.

There goes a guy a-sneakin. in; give him a soak under the chin.
Don.t let em in; take up the slack; straighten the line and make .em go back.
Wadd.ye mean by buckin. the line; git out o. here; git back behin.;
Don.t git hard or git back at me; I.ll bust your bean on that there tree.
A mess kit flashed up in the air, a fight began right then and there;
The others yelled in highest glee; he bucked the line ahead of me.
It served him right to get his due; I.ll bet a franc he.s Wop or Jew.
They kept their places there in line, and made that bird fall in behind.

They sang a verse of some old song, and cussed the cook and cussed him strong;
They.d sing some more and then repeat, and then they.d yell .When do we eat?.
.Who won the war?. they yelled with ease, and always answered: the M.P.s..
And down the line there came the cry, but they were backed up by the .Y..
I wonder what they.ll have by gum!  You know darn well that they.ll have slum,
With carrots and turnips and meat, and that.s the stuff we.ve got to eat.
And then the doors swung open wide, and all rushed in to get inside.
And spilt the slum on blouse and pants, for such is life in far-off France.

Darkness covered heaven.s dome,
Time for taps had slowly come;
My feet were sore, my strength was spent.
I stumbled t. bed within my tent.
I thought of you, my mother dear;
Of father.s grave, and shed a tear.
I thought of God and his great Son;
I fell asleep, for taps had blown.
August 4, 1918 Beautiful day. I wrote a number of letters and it was impossible to find a card to send for Mother.s birthday. I sent a little booklet which I found in the YMCA. On guard 7:45 to 9:00 P.M.
August 5, 1918 The Yanks have entered the battle line at Toul--we can hear the heavy guns here and are warned to be ready. Taught the new French formation (advancing with tanks). At night we had movies which we certainly enjoyed.
August 6, 1918 Raining. French formation again. Turned in all our extra clothing and everything we could possibly do without.
August 7, 1918 On K.P. (Kitchen Police). Not much to do except carry water--same old mess, but we get a little more of it while on K.P. as we put our share away first.
August 8, 1918 Very hard drilling today. Close formation (squads right and left, etc.) and push and pull exercises (to strengthen our arm muscles and steady our aims). At night, two girls and a flat foot from the States arrive and sing and dance for us.
August 9, 1918 Raining. Lt. Berry takes us out to drill but leads us to a stable where we fall out and sit around with the cattle and chickens while he reads to us concerning various formations. He speaks with a rather low, pleasing voice and it is all we can do to remain awake at these talks. In the afternoon we held a review with a band before the Major. At 6:30 our band gave a concert and at 7:30 P.M. we had a violin and piano recital by a French man and woman. They were good, but not much appreciated here.
August 10, 1918 We spent the morning digging trenches. In the afternoon we hiked four hours, and when we returned we received our trench hats and gas masks. In the evening we again had a band concert.
August 11, 1918 Wrote letters. Although we are only supposed to drink light wines and beer, we find no trouble in getting cognac or Cherry Brandy (which I prefer). The beer is poor. There certainly is a lot of gambling in this outfit, and some are cleaning up pretty big.
August 12, 1918 Problem today--trying to take pretended machine gun nests. Long gas drill to acquire speed in donning masks.
August 14, 1918 Start before daylight for a long hike up in the mountains. Wonderful scenery--passed many flocks of sheep and their old shepherds with their long ancient crooks. We pitched pup tents on the side of a high hill in a most beautiful, peaceful spot. The targets are located on another high hill with a deep valley intervening. We shot at those targets from various positions--a few squads at a time (my average was very good), and then in turn had to take our position at the targets to change and mark them. These targets are placed over a deep trench, and at a signal we pull them down, patch them up and raise them again, and then the bullets fly right over our heads.
None of these guns shoot perfectly, usually a little to either side, but always the same, so that after about three shots you can tell just which way it is shooting and aim accordingly. Later, the captains of several companies shot. Capt. Maim used my rifle. It is scorching hot up here and very cool at night. When not shooting, we have it very easy. I am feeling great. There is talk of making snipers of those who attain good averages, but as far as I can see they are not recording the averages--just trying to remedy any faults they detect. Our chow is much better up here--one day we even had small beef steaks--quite a relief from cold salmon, corn beef and slum. The sun is so hot that some of the fellows are quite sick with sunburn. I am bunking with Sergeant Meder who just received a letter from home stating that his Mother is very sick, and he is quite downcast.
August 19, 1918 Returned from range.
August 20th Regimental problem. We left at 4:30 A.M., given a piece of bread and a mess kit full of cold salmon to last us all day. We reached our destination after hiking in the hot sun for hours. I have been sent to headquarters as Regimental liaison. It was a very easy day. We had several towns to take and hills to capture, but as we runners are used only when necessary--when the phones or other means of communication are inoperative, all we did was lie around in the grass all day. I suppose our Signal Corps was functioning perfectly. One of the officers with us remarked, .Hell, if this is all there is going to be to it, --pretty soft.. However, carrying that salmon around in the hot sun must have ruined it. It smelled and tasted so rotten that we could not eat it even though we were as hungry as wolves.
About nightfall, word came in that all our supposed objectives were taken and we were ordered to return to our companies. This was easier said than done. They had probably meandered miles during the course of the day, and we had no idea where to find them. Two other runners from the same battalion and I started off, trusting to luck. We did not hurry or worry very much, stopping in several cafes along the way. I did not reach our company in Genevierres until 10 P.M.
August 21, 1918 Easy day, but scarcely anything to eat.
August 22, 1918 Grenade drill all day. We practice throwing hand grenades from the trenches we dug previously. We rather enjoy this, but the darn things go off very easily and suddenly. We are sort of nervous that the fellow next to us will not get theirs away in time after pulling the ring out. We are instructed too, that when we reach the trenches and a grenade is thrown in, one of us should fall on it to prevent it killing the entire bunch. Fortunately, they did not designate any particular one to do this trick.
August 23, 1918 Easy range work today. We put up life-size paper targets shaped like men in the opposite trenches and tried to hit them without exposing ourselves. This place is thick with bees and bugs of all kinds due, they say, to the scarcity of birds which the guns have frightened away.
August 24, 1918 We are still drilling hard in the wheat fields around here and along the roads. It rains so much that everywhere is mud and big clods of earth cling to each shoe making them feel like ton weights. We turned in our barracks bags.
August 25, 1918 Church services in the morning. We receive our pay in the afternoon. At night we are filled with champagne and most of our money has changed hands through Black Jack or Craps.
August 26, 1918 Drilling hard, but a Recall blows at 2:30. Our mess is still very scant and poor. I am supernumerary on guard duty, but I am not called out of the guard house.
August 27, 1918 Another problem is presented to us today, and again I am Regimental liaison and do not have a thing to do after reaching our destination. This time .I. Company marches right back past us, and I join them.
August 28, 1918 French fever or Flu breaks out in our Company and many are sick. Very easy day.
August 29, 1918 Walter Miller and I both got up feeling punk. He felt so bad that he went on sick call after revile and was sent to the hospital. I reported for drill which was very easy. After a couple of cherry brandies at noon, I felt much better.
August 30, 1918 We had a hard drill today. The alarm was given to put on gas masks. This is not unusual, but generally we keep them on for a few minutes and then remove them. Today, we kept them on for four hours during drill. I had a big chew of tobacco in my mouth when the alarm was given and did not bother removing it. A lot of us were caught in the same predicament and we all had to keep the masks on, choking and sweating until we could not see. It was some relief to finally take them off. We are plentifully supplied with chewing tobacco and razor blades, but no cigarettes, jam, sugar or candy. I guess those items don.t get beyond the S.O.S. We received two days rations to hold on to until further notice. At midnight the bugle sounded fire call, so we all jumped up and ran through all of the French houses for buckets, etc. and then discovered it was only a trial. The Frogs must have thought us crazy.
August 31, 1918 We put up pup tents in a field for the sick as half of the company is down with it now. Very easy day. I feel fine.
September 1, 1918 We had church services in the morning. We got paid. Our company is put in quarantine. We hold inspection.
September 2, 1918 The entire day was occupied by Divisional inspection.
September 3, 1918 We had a Regimental problem today, and it was an easy day for me. We sent a number of men from our company to the Base Hospital. We passed a field of sugar beets on our way back from the problem, and we fell out alongside the road there to rest. We sure made a raid on that field--without being seen. We get so little in the way of sweets that they tasted great.
September 4, 1918 I am orderly today, but I have nothing much to do. We are all ordered into pup tents in the field. Corp. Butler (a traffic cop from Newport, R.I.) And I bunk together. He seems to be always worrying lately, not as congenial as the crowd in our old billet, but most of them are in the sick camp. These darn pup tents are small. With all of our equipment tucked in, a tin hat for your pillow and a bayonet stuck in your ear, there is not much room. Then too, if it is raining and you happen to touch any part of the tent, it will leak right through that spot. However, we manage to sleep fairly well.
Grace S. Richmond

Somehow they.ll all be different-
Oh God, we know it well!
They.re not the same who went away
To fight the fires of hell.
Their boyish eyes--now eyes of men--
Will look us through and through,
To see if what has come to us
Has made us different too.

Oh, they will have new standards then,
These changed, new boys of ours,
And by them they will measure us,
With all their strange new powers;
They.ll find if we are petty still-
And narrow--and unfair,
And in that searching gaze of theirs
We.ll feel our souls laid bare.
Against that Day of Judgement Days
We must make ready fast,
Lest they shall be ashamed of us
When they come home at last;
For we should drink of sorrow,
Yes, the very deepest cup,
If in that Day, in their clear eyes,
We could not measure up.
Aline Kilmer

I do not know which is worse when you are away;
Long gray days with the lisping sound of the rain,
And then when the lilac dusk is beginning to fall,
The thought that perhaps you may never come back again;

Or days when the world is a shimmer of blue and gold,
Sparkling newly all in the dear Spring weather,
And with a heart that is torn apart by pain,
I walk alone in ways that we went in together.

Claudia Cranston

I must make my mourning
Over into song;
To the one who left me
Mourning would be wrong,
Mourning would be wrong.

Work must be my grieving,
Smiles the only sign;
Weeping were unworthy
Such a loss as mine,
Such a loss as mine.

Work must be my worship,
Cheerfulness my prayers;
Less would be unfaithful
To the one who dares,
To the one who dares.

Spirit his to chide me,
Were my laughter fled,
Though I found his body
Lying with the dead,
Lying with the dead.

Work must be my grieving,
Love must hide my loss,
Still my lips be smiling
When they kiss the Cross,
When--they kiss--the Cross.
Margaret E. Sangster

Somehow I never thought that you would go,
Not even when red war swept through the land-
I somehow thought, because I loved you so,
That you would stay.  I did not understand
that something stronger than my love could come,
To draw you, half reluctant, from my heart;
I never thought the call of fife and drum
Would rend our cloak of happiness apart!

And yet, you went....And I--I did not weep-
I smiled instead, and brushed the tears aside.
And yet, when night-time comes, I can not sleep
But silent lie, while longing fights with pride--
September 5, 1918 Rain all day--light drill. At night we had a concert with a couple of singers from the YMCA.
September 6, 1918 It is raining again. Colonel Oury came and spoke to us. .America doesn't like this fighting game, but we are in it now so let.s go to it and have it over!. Steady rain all day.
The big guns up on the Toul Sector are getting very lively and are plainly audible here. Our mess is still very poor and we are all kicking about it. After drill we just about reach our billets, which are scattered all over the town, when mess call sounds. We drop our equipment, grab our mess kits and rush like mad to line up. If there happen to be any seconds, those in the front of the line have the better chance to eat quickly and line up again. After the line up there is the usual wait and then the non coms come leisurely up and take their place at the front of the line. Then there are the sneakers-in, especially among the Wops. They are very clannish over here, get along fine with the Frogs, and are very arrogant. We give both the non coms and the sneakers-in a great razzing, although the non coms have the right to step in front. The shave tails and dug-out kings, as they call the officers--when they are not around-- do not eat at our mess. Judging from the number of officers of the line knocked off, the term dug-out kings should, it seems, apply only to the higher ups. As the line files past the cooks and K.P..s, a spoonful of the chow is put in each mess kit--then the next man puts on a piece of bread, and another fills your cup with what they call coffee. Mush, corn willy, gold fish, slum, sow belly or beans. Usually the coffee has no sugar or milk, and on the rare occasions when there is any, it can scarcely be noticed. We hear of jam and chocolate rations but never see them. The bread is often moldy. There is a lot of grumbling about the Yanks being the poorest fed and clothed outfit over here. We then sit on the ground, anyplace, with our cups by our side,-- and they always seem to capsize--with swarms of wasps so thick that you can hardly avoid biting into them. We try to rush through for seconds, which are seldom available. After we are through, there is one bucket of lukewarm water, placed in the middle of the road. As we pass, we are allowed one dip of the mess kit which is then supposed to be clean and to pass inspection. So far we have worn our fatigue uniforms (blue or khaki color denims) almost continually. Mine are of khaki color, about four sizes too big. Steve Jones, our Mess Sergeant, and the cooks, Eddie Borrell, Johnson and Grass, are all nice fellows and try hard, but they haven.t much to work with. No signs of the Salvation Army yet.
September 7, 1918 We maneuver in the morning. It is still raining. Just as we went out to drill in the afternoon, we were notified to be ready to move, probably at 2:30 A.M. We all knew what that meant and Lt. Berry said, .Well, this is the end of as perfect day for us.. We returned to our billets, scrambled around to get everything ready, but don.t have (Army stuff).

Theodosia Garrison

When down the mud-black Flanders road
The ranks file by,
You know not that I walk with you,
But there am I.
You limp a little--laugh, and do not care--
It is my feet that leave the blood-stains there.

Through all the fury and the flame,
The hate and wrath,
Through all the days of dread and pain,
I share your path.
You take it as the day.s work undismayed,
It is my flesh that is shrinks and is afraid.

There is no burden on your strength
I do not bear,
There is no horror that you face
But I am there.
There is no wound that you may ever know
But that my heart is shattered by the blow.

And if from out the Sower.s hand
Your life is thrown
A seed against the harvest--there
I too am sown.
You will attain the Grail in that last breath,
But I shall only know the sting of death.

And if at last--at last you come
To home--to me,
Only the woman that you left
Your eyes will see,
And you will never know I enter, too,
And share the rapture of return with you.
(In the simple measure of .Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.)

I pray thee Lord, to bless and keep,
In trench, in air and on the deep,
Our soldiers who for freedom fight:
Make them invincible in might.

Teach us at home our duty, too
That we our fullest part may do;
And for our enemies we pray-
Show them the error of their way.
September 8, 1918 At midnight we were al packed. It is pitch dark and pouring rain. The people here are very sad because we are leaving. Lucien.s Mother is very sick with a high fever, but she insists that we (5 of us) have a farewell bite with them. She is in bed, but has the door open so that she can see us. The old Grandmother served fried egg sandwiches, coffee, wine and prune brandy. They feel very bad. I busted my pack strap and the old man fixed it for me while we ate. We hung around all night, mostly occupied by saying goodbye to the little cafe. It is still pouring.
We finally left at about 7:15 A.M. The entire population lined up to see us leave for the front. They were crying and ran up to kiss us as we left. We still had very heavy packs. The regulation pack is about 72 pounds, but they are usually well over 100 pounds with the few extras we don.t want to part with, and then too, they become water soaked. We hiked for four hours, and for some reason it seemed terrible. The gang sure did suffer, and many dropped out. We had been up all night and were not in the best of condition. My one strap busted again and I had a sweet time trying to balance that load, but stuck it out. Our .Y. man hiked along with us and although he had nothing at all to carry, he complained bitterly. We kidded him and he told us that he had a son, and if he were old enough to go to war, he would shoot him before he would allow him to suffer like this. We had very little rest and no eats and our shoulders were sore from the straps cutting in. At last we reached La Ferte--rested, and left there on box cars at 4 P.M.
September 9, 1918 We arrived at Mussey at 4 A.M. We were so crowded on the train it was impossible to sleep. We left here at 8 A.M. for another grueling 2and ½ hour hike to Veel. Here we were put in lousy wooden shacks. Bunks in them were built in tiers like on board ship coming over, but made of chicken wire. The inhabitants here all ran indoors when they saw us coming. A negro division had just vacated and before they left had quite a battle among themselves, and had shot up the town. Anyway, that is what we gleaned from the stories the people told us after they came out of their shells and pointed to bullet marks on the houses. We rested up a little. We had not been in town more than one hour before O.Brien came in with a skinful, Aley Henderson, one of the Sergeants, almost ditto and feeling quite important while at the same time trying to borrow a few francs in anticipation of a trip to town. Fenton has mysteriously gotten hold of a couple of Saturday Evening Posts,--there is a big crap game on and one of the cooks is walking down the road with two mademoiselles. Goddard and I start exploring. All extra clothing, etc. are stored and those who are not fit for action are weeded out.
September 10, 1918 I am on Kitchen Police. It rains all day. K.P. over here means nothing more than chopping wood and lugging water. We are in reserve for a drive on St Mihiel.
September 11, 1918 It is still raining and gloomy. No drill today, but we had gas mask inspection followed by an unexpected rifle inspection. Lt. Berry described my rifle as .Rotten. and instructed Mike Hartman to take my name with seven others. Hartman, our top kick, is a hard boiled sort, formerly a cop in Brooklyn but now of the regular army. We got along pretty good though. Anyway, we had to drill in the afternoon while the rest of the company rested. It just happened that all of us who were caught had been on K.P. the day before while the rest of the bunch were polishing up. We could not speak from the ranks and explain this, however, so we just had to soldier.

Katherine Haviland Taylor

The Shrine of Great Desires before me, I bent low,
.Give me,. I whispered, .give me fame that I may know--Happiness..

I held out hands and they were filled
With work, hard work, and lying flattering--So I had willed!

I bent, entreating hands outspread before the Shrine once more.
.Give me,. I whispered, .love.  Throw wide the door!.
I found my heart an aching, bursting thing,
I.d heard love sing.

.Give me,. I whispered, .peace!.
(A dearest one was taken far away.)
And then with that one great desire,
I brushed aside the rest and smiled--
Mary Carolyn Davies

If he came now!
My heart would be like a once quiet street
Hung with gay lanterns on a fete night, wild
With singing!  And my heart would be a child
Sleepily walking to a kiss, then flinging
Sleep from it, springing
With all too ready feet,
Out of the night, into the world again,

And finding that its toys were all once more
There where it left them, waiting on the floor
To be played with again.  My heart would be
An opened book filled full with witchery,
Filled, too, with pain,
An opened book that had been left too long
Upon a dusty shelf.  It would be a song
In a young mouth.  And it would be buds, too,
Opening under the moon, and shivering at the dew,
But liking it.  And it would be a flame,
Red in the night.  I used to be glad when he came,
But not so very glad--because I thought
That I would always have him.  Then war caught
Him up from me, and bore him out
To be where danger is; and killed my doubt,
My hesitation and half fears.  Ah, how
I would run to welcome him, if he came now.

When darkness fell the infantry would take to the road and march many kilometers to the front.  
After fighting for hours they would return, take on refreshments and go on the march again to probably another front. 
 In all their marches they seemed to have but a single thought--to keep up with the man in front.

By Frederick H. Laager

.Twas wet and cold,
You shivered all day,
And you were tired.
You held your way.
Up to the lines,
Again you went,
And same old thoughts
on him you spent-
The man in front.

Though it was dark,
You saw his back,
And took great care
To keep in track,
.Close up,. you heard
The sergeant yell,
And get your lead-
You nearly fell-
The man in front.

You often wished
That he would stop,
For into mud
You then could drop.
You knew it was
Soft place to sleep,
But stumbling on,
His pace you.d keep--
The man in front.

Your legs and arms
Were stiff and sore
From the march and pack
That long you bore.
But patient still,
You jogged along,
And watched one back
In all that throng--
The man in front.

One back, no more,
You watched for miles,
In long, drear march,
In column files,
Your limbs were numb,
Your mind in daze,
From keeping up
With what would craze--
The man in front.

Another sergeant, Bainbridge, (also an old regular) used to tell us .there ain.t nothin. too G-D- good for a sojer--or nothin. too G-D- bad! Jest keep yer mouth shut and your bowels open, and never volunteer!. We took it easy enough, only drilling when an officer approached, and were only at it about a half hour when the Captain (Maim) came along and yelled, .Squad Halt!. He asked the corporal what the H-- the idea was. This was the first opportunity we had to explain. He said, .Well, remember that (the rifle0 is the only friend you have now between you and the Boche, take care of it. and dismissed us. We can hear the heavies all day.
September 12, 1918 Very poor mess and we certainly are hungry. We manage to buy some grapes and cheese from a sour old woman who had one full cheese and sold slices @ ½ franc per slice--realizing big profits perhaps, but she also had in her cash pile a few United Cigar Store coupons someone had passed on to her as U.S. money. We pulled through on that hunk of cheese (without bread) however. We are very close to Bar-le-Duc, a dirty but lively town, with plenty of cafes, theaters, etc. It was noted in peace times for its jams, and perhaps was not so bad then, but it is on the road to Verdun and it has been partly shot up and is always overrun with soldiers and prisoners of war.
September 13, 1918 Orders to move to the front. A lot of rickety trucks on the road driven by Chinese. We leave at 6 P.M. and there is some speculation as to whether we are going to get in at St Mihiel. We hike to Bar-le-Duc and pile on the trucks, about 25 men and packs to each truck, and go toward Verdun. The stuffy and cramped quarters on the boat and trains had nothing on these things; there is no room to move, and if you get a cramp in the leg, the whole gang has to get up to let you stretch. Little Morris Slup was on the floor quietly complaining with three or four packs and guns lying on op of him. We bawled him out for squirming, but he couldn.t stand it any longer, and at last we had to get up and discovered that two of his toes were badly squashed. We are told that this is to be the greatest drive in the history of the world. We sing part of the way until gradually it gets very dark and desolate. Two of the trucks collide in the dark (there are no lights) but no one is hurt. There is not a light or a soul to be seen except occasional artillery signal flashes and roars. We can only see through the back of the trucks as they have us all covered like the old stage coaches--one officer on each truck sitting with the driver. Occasionally, as we pass through the dark, ruined, deserted villages, we can see a French sentry. It is a very weird ride--quick flashes of very powerful searchlights scanning the sky for planes. Once caught in a beam, other beams swung on it trying to dazzle the aviator and showing the target to the anti-aircraft guns. They usually manage to get away. Then, as we near the trenches we see a number of star shells, flares and rockets. There is a beautiful light that bursts into four different flames that burn while hanging in mid-air for about five minutes, and a parachute star that burns about three minutes, blotting out all the other stars. At last we arrive in the reserve line about 1 AM. The dark roads are all blocked with artillery rolling up. Then we start a hard hike up hill to Brocourt Woods--black, misty and cold--prolonged sound of marching feet and rattling carts--we strain our eyes, trying to see the man directly in front--stumbling forward into pitch dark nothingness, but always forward. We halt occassionally coming to an abrupt stop by running into the man in front. The men curse, the officers curse, our packs are heavy, we don.t like to stand there holding them. At last the stream starts forward again, we shift our rifles to a new rubbing spot and growl .How much further?. Suddenly, some one yells .Gas!. Down goes everything and on go our masks. It is a false alarm--some bright youth yelled just to get a rest, but we sure had a hard time getting straightened out again there in the darkness. We finally arrive at a bunch of dirty little shacks and dugouts in the woods (Camp Deffory) and bunk for the rest of the night. Quite cold, and the rats pester us all night. The guns are roaring and signal lights are flashing continuously.
September 14, 1918 Our sector (4 1/2 kilometers) is the Verdun, Le Mort Homme Hill 304 battleground facing the German Hagen-Stellung Line. About 15 kilometers beyond this is the Hindenburg Line. Our front line consists of battered, crumbling outpost trenches, zigzagging through shell holes sometimes only waist deep- each trench holding 30 men, with about 1/4 mile between each trench. These outpost trenches are to give warning of attack, to resist to the utmost, and die as loudly as possible. The tension is very great at first--we try to peep over and one shot from the German lines brings forth a fusillade. These trenches are connected with the support trenches (1,000 yards in the rear) by communicating trenches. The main line of resistance is about 1,000 yards further back. In this line the trenches are larger, the bottoms covered with broken duck-boards, and the sides strung with telephone wires.
The reserve lines are in the woods directly behind, with pathways leading up to the main line of resistance. Wires are stretched along the pathways to guide the way at night. The weird, desolate, shell pitted stretch of about 300 yards between our outposts and the German front lines is No Man.s Land. Barbed wire, helmets, broken rifles, bones and debris are all around. Looking ahead, there are a number of steep hills and ravines, small clumps of trees and underbrush--all shot up. On the horizon is Montfaucon, called the .Little Gibraltar,. the German Crown Prince.s observation post.. This is about 6 kilometers behind their front line, and heavily fortified. About one kilometer ahead of our front is the town of Malancourt which is all in ruins, and to the left, the Malancourt Woods. The 313th and the 315th entered the trenches last night with the 313th on the left and the 315th on the right. Two companies of each are in the outpost trenches. Great aeroplane activity today. There are two observation balloons above the Bois de Brocourt which the Germans are trying to get. Late in the afternoon, however, a German plane comes over, circles around them several times, sends them both flaming to the ground, and gets away. The observers land safely in their parachutes.
They are shelling us occasionally, but hitting further back around our Divisional Headquarters in Ajicourt (sp?). We are living on our reserve rations--corned beef and hard tack. Sheridan found a little stove and conceived the brilliant idea of making a synthetic Irish Stew. So he and I both chucked a handful of corned willy into his mess kit, broke up a piece of hard tack, added a little water and cooked the mess. We ate it all right, but it wasn.t much of a success. All night long there are thousands of star shells, rockets and flares sent up, mostly from the German lines. A Bosche plane comes over. Zoom, zoom, zoom and then Bang!--Swish! And then the anti-aircraft gunners try to get him. We can see the little white puffs hitting all around him, but he gets away, and then reappears a little closer, while we expect a bomb to land on us at any moment. All night long there is the continuous rumble of the heavies.
September 15, 1918 Nice day, but we are very hungry. You just wake up, shake yourself, push your hair back under your helmet, and your toilet is complete! Nothing to eat at all, and we are hoping for supplies of some sort--even corn beef would go good. Today is Sunday. I try to keep track of the days by checking them off in my diary book--every day is alike here. About 9 A.M. they start shelling us proper. Most land about 200 yards off. We are ordered into dugouts.
We are on a hill, directly behind a road which they seem to have spotted. Expect a heavy gas and artillery attack tonight. During the night we are sneaked over to Recicourt (sp?) Woods (Camp Gendarme).
September 16, 1918 Again we are warned of an expected heavy bombardment, and to keep close to the dugouts. Our kitchen finally comes up and is camouflaged in a thicket. We sneak out, one squad at a time, and quickly return with hot slum and coffee, and maybe we do not relish it! I am feeling great, for no good reason at all. The St Mihiel drive is over. We were in support but did not see any real action. At 6 P. M. orders are received to move again at nightfall. We are all set at 8 P. M. To move off, but the moon comes out shining brilliantly and the Germans pull off an air raid. We scatter into dugouts and flatten against trees, etc., and the hill just rocks! After the excitement, we get all set again, and again the bombing planes come over, but this time they are chased off by Allied planes. We finally get started at 9 P. M., sneaking along as close to the woods as possible, with each platoon separated by a wide interval. I am connecting file between the 1st and 2nd platoons. Whenever the 1st platoon halts I have to warn our platoon, but there are times, going through long dark stretches when it is impossible to see those in front. Then, I have to softly call to them to keep in touch. The moon disappears and the usual rain start in. What a long hard hike we have, blindly stumbling, falling and dropping behind in the darkness. Our slickers are short and the rain drains down the back of our legs and seeps into our shoes, and after our legs and feet are thoroughly wet, it is torture. We get so tired that our minds scarcely function; no talk, our only desire is rest; then, into more woods which reek with gas fumes and decayed flesh. Afraid of getting lost, so we stumble on-dazed-can't see the man in front, but just lurch ahead to catch up and feel him near. Death seems very close. At last we arrive in the support line in Boise de Plesse at 2:30 A. M. And just flop in the mud where we are, and sleep.
September 17, 1918 Still raining. I wake in a pool of water and smoke a cigarette in lieu of breakfast. Learned that there had been a gas alarm during the night, but I must have slept through it. The woods are quite dense here, especially the underbrush. We put up a pup tent and thoroughly camouflage it with branches, etc., but I mosey around little further and find a tiny shack. A couple of fellows from the 316th with their One Pounder had already discovered it, but they make room for me. It is drier than the tent and within sight of our outfit. I told Harry Fiske, the corporal of our squad, where to find me, so everything is fine. We crawl in, seal up every crack with leaves etc., and have a smoke. Smoking is absolutely forbidden at night, so that is one we slipped over on the A.E.F.! All night long the German planes keep zooming over us and bombing continuously-near, far off, then gradually getting closer-we don.t know at what minute our little shack will get it.
September 18, 1918 During the night 3 big naval guns were planted in the woods near us and commenced firing. We feel sure the Germans will soon locate them, and so we are expecting retaliation. Mike Hartman, the top-kick, nosed into our little shack and ordered me back to the squad. I am assigned to a rifle squad. There are also bombers, rifle grenade squads and automatic weapon squads. Mel Goddard is in an automatic squad and has to tote a Browning Automatic Rifle around with him. They are heavier than the ordinary Enfield but shoot nice and rapid--when they don.t jam. We all carry hand grenades and have a trench knife, one of which was issued to each squad. They are mean looking stickers about 1 foot long, including the hilt which is studded with brass knuckles. The blade is about 8 inches long, three-sided, tapering down to a needle point.
September 19, 1918 Still raining. Our artillery starts a heavy bombardment early in the morning. I am on guard all day (2 hours on and 4 hours off). We are all busy digging duck holes. The soil is so rocky, it is hard work, aand then night after night of rain, mud and fatigue--sleeping in wet woods in wet blankets--rumors, contradictory orders, all sorts of misery. Buglers are stationed around looking for planes, and they sound .Attention. as soon as one is sighted, and .Recall. as soon as it disappears, or if they learn it is an Allied plane. The German planes are marked with a large black cross, whereas the Allied planes have a circular device of red, white and blue. At .Attention. we all freeze in whatever position we chance to be.
September 20, 1918 Thorough inspection of arms today. Gassed at 4 P.M. during mess. Leave at 7 P.M. for a different sector through the mud and flop in briary undergrowth, soaking wet and very uncomfortable at 11 P.M.. We camouflage everything we possibly can. German planes continue coming over. Two gas alarms during the night. Called at 4 A. M., but nothing doing. Heavy shelling. We lost some men here, including Sgt Stryder.
September 21, 1918 Walter Miller returned to us from the hospital.
September 22, 1918 (Sunday) Between 5 and 6 A.M. we have heavy shelling. Two attacks on the 313ths front line. Drove them off but we lost 4 killed, 11 wounded, and 1 prisoner. The 316th are next to us, and during the afternoon one of the men got over to our outfit to look me up. He said he was a cop in Brooklyn, was engaged to a friend of Clara Nelsen, and had been trying to get in touch with me for months. I only had a few minutes conversation with him as I was called on guard duty.
September 23, 1918 These nights seem long. I have found a way to sneak an occasional smoke, however, by lying flat on the ground with a blanket over my head. Received 15 letters and a money order ($5) from the office.
September 24, 1918 We have been notified that the greatest offensive of the war is about to start (80 kilometer front) and that we will have the honor of being the first regiment over the top. Lt. Berry asked me if I could read military maps, and told me to follow and accompany him in action at all times. But I was later called to the Company P.C., along with George Younger, where we were told to prepare to report to Regimental Headquarters as Regimental Liaison Runners and await further orders. A number of German balloons went up today and there was great airplane activity. Our heavy guns are also getting more active. The enemy seems uneasy, sending up star shells and flares all night, during which the 33rd Division took over the outpost trenches (to deceive the enemy).
September 25, 1918 Cold drizzling rain. Ordered to report to Regimental Headquarters as liaison, and placed on Post #1 on a chain of runners established between the Regimental Sgt Major up to the front lines. A corporal and I are posted here at Headquarters with Colonel Oury and the Sgt. Major. I carry messages from here to Post #2 along a road, keeping close to the woods until I see a tin can lying in the road. There, a fellow is waiting in the woods to relay the message to Post #3, which is hidden further up with still another identifying mark, etc.. Carried several written messages during the afternoon. The code word for the 313th is .Incite,.. for the 314th .Instruct,. 315th, .Invade,. and 316th .Invent.. The Chaplain came up to us and told us that if we would write a letter home, he would take care of it in case we became casualties, but would hold them if we came through all right. We both wrote short notes and then kidded each other to shake off the blues. Later in the afternoon, Col. Oury assembled all the officers of the Regiment and gave them a little talk. He told them we were going to jump off from the front lines on Dead Man.s Hill, and had to get into position this night, and then gave them our objectives. Some of them started kidding, but others were very serious. One officer and 4 scouts from each Company were sent out to establish platoon positions in the front line. We were all stripped down for battle--all unnecessary clothing and bedding were discarded, and we had our emergency rations (1 can of corn beef and 1 package of hard tack) about 4 grenades each, and 200 rounds of ammunition (2 bandoliers and a belt full). About 7 o.clock, one company after another came slinking past us in the darkness until all had gone and we were left alone. The corporal did not know what to do, but I thought it foolish to squat there and suggested that we go to Post #2, pick up the runner there, and follow up the chain, which we did. As we neared Post #4, he came toward us and told us he had a message from the front calling us in, so we guessed right. We were slinking along in the darkness when suddenly we heard the whimper of a shell and then the shriek as it flew over us, and then another just to the left, and we surely hit the dirt into shell holes and ditches with our noses pressing the ground. They came faster and faster, one landing close enough that we felt the shower of dirt that it kicked up. It died down and we proceeded, but there was a constant roar of guns and the sky was brilliant with flares and rockets. During the night patrols were sent out to determine where to cut the barbed wire while officers stealthily measured and fixed tape-lines from which the attack is to be made. Outposts were still held by the 33rd Division with the 315th and 316th in the line of resistance, but at 19 hundred hours the 313th and the 314th left for the front lines, and near midnight the heavies started in as the infantry swept past to the front line. It seemed ghastly, groping along in the dark, the 313th and the 314th feeling their way past the 315th and 316th and relieving the 129 (33rd Div.). We are stationed outside a dugout (Regimental P.C.--[Post of Command]) with the Liaison Officer. We stand in the trenches with our feet soaking, and recline against the back of the trench and try to rest, but it is impossible. The 37th Division is on our left and the 4th Division on our right. The 157th Brigade (the 313th and the 314th) are to attack with the 158th Brigade in reserve, 1,000 yards to the rear. We are told that our Divisional front is 11,600 yards.
September 26, 1918 2:30 A.M. Desolation everywhere. All the trees dead--rusty barbed wire--terrible stench and plenty of rats. The main objective (Montfaucon) is on a high hill across a bleak and devastated valley. We are told there has been a lot of fighting around here, but the Germans have held this land against all attacks. It is the Crown Prince.s observation post and is called the Little Gibraltar. Suddenly the moon came out, full and bright, and immediately afterward our guns started (2,700 of them); guns of all calibers. The sound of the guns firing and the noise of the shrieking and whistling shells, high explosive and gas, is terrific. Everything is murky from smoke, with constant red flashes from our guns in the rear and from over the horizon ahead, as the shells moan, whine and shriek without stop. There are frantic signals over the German lines and then the whole horizon seems to flash and flame red as our shells explode. Their retaliation seems rather feeble in comparison, yet shells are falling out in front of us in No Man.s Land, throwing lots of dirt. The .Minniewerfers explode with deep hollow plumps and geyser up dirt, stones and whining pieces of metal. After our barrage started we crawled out of the trenches and into shell holes in order to rest better, but the Liaison Officer came along, very nervous and excited and put us back in the trenches, posting us at various points. We nearly broke our necks slipping around on those duckboards. Younger and I were put together and then the Louie disappeared for over an hour, so we again climb out and try to rest in turns. Thousands of rats are running around. We are all ordered to fix bayonets, and at 4:30 A.M. all outfits report .All Set!. Twenty seconds before H-Hour, Gas Company filled No Man.s Land with a smoke screen. At 5 h 30, the artillery concentrated for 25 minutes on the enemy front line. The scouts crawled out to cut the barbed wire at the command .Scouts Out!. Then .L Company over!. .I Company over!. .3rd Platoon advance!. That.s us. Advance Companies (L, I, and M with O in support) go over in Combat Groups--30 paces (10 to 15 meters) and advance in waves with fixed bayonets into a valley parallel to woods through which the 313th, on our left, is advancing, then across Forges Brook. The concussions and flashes at every point deafens and blinds us. Our barrage moves forward 100 meters every 4 minutes. The Germans start a counter barrage which goes over our heads into the support outfits. The ground is so rough and shell-pitted that we make very slow progress; the thick smoke and fog cause squads and platoons to get all mixed up, and our barrage begins to pull away from us. I don.t see anything of the Boche, but occasionally hear the whine of a machine gun bullet. Just as we reach the enemy trench it began to get lighter, and all we can see are a few dead bodies, some with arms twisted, others with jaws wide open and teeth bared--nasty sight. We pass through a ruined town (Haucourt) on our right, through which runs the German front line which continues down the valley, through a deep swamp. We can hear German machine guns in our rear, which we must have passed unobserved in the fog. The machine gun fire is getting much heavier and we begin to run into nests, a few of which are taken. Colonel Oury and his detachment capture 5 gunners and by about 10h we reach the southern edge of another town of ruins (Malancourt). As the fog begins to lift, and from every point on the compass, come machine gun bullets--ahead, behind, and now on our flanks. It is deadly fire and we hug the earth. We are swept with machine gun fire from Malencourt, from a trench on top of a hill on the right, and from the north-west. The front lines continue right ahead leaving the machine gun nests to the second wave. It seems like two battles, one ahead and one directly behind. Now comes the sudden shriek and plump of the gas shells. We sweep our heads from side to side to see better out of the clouded eye pieces of our gas masks. The guns we call Whiz Bangs explode and spew jagged pieces of shrapnel singing through the air. Many are getting hit now, all around. After every roar you can hear cries of .First Aid!. I guess everyone is scared. You try to think that all the bullets don.t find their marks and that many wounds are slight flesh wounds. I went over from the position in the trench where we were stationed, which is to the right of our Company, and now I am trying to work my way toward the others. I have a red band on my arm to denote that I am a runner, and I feel that it is a conspicuous mark for snipers etc.. 9/27 5h the 314th attacks, I Company on the left, E Company on the right, in the lead, with scouts out front. From the moment we emerge from the trench in darkness, stiff resistance starts. We are hit with machine guns with severe enfilading fire fronts from both flanks, but mostly from a stronghold now a half kilometer away on our left and a point in Cuissy, one kilometer to the north east. Astride the road (Malencourt to Montfaucon highway) the enemy has placed machine guns all along the road. It is so dark that they can not hit us as much as they might have. But then we can't see them either. Without knowing it we passed a number of machine gun nests. Very hard going. We encounter a series of emplacements in front of that stronghold, each of which is protected by radiating fire from their rear. It is impossible to flank them. Mike Hartman gets one nest. Ray Koch worked up a flank and drew fire while the rest of the platoon rushed a nest and took the guns. Just at daylight--a rainy, foggy, miserable morning, --rushed again and took strongholds. At 6h reorganized (The roads behind us are crowded for miles with ambulances, ammunition trains, kitchens, etc.. The roads are all shot up). [At 7h the 313th left the Bois de Cuissy and started down the gentle slope toward the bottom of the valley and then up the steeper slope toward the ruins on the hilltop] in the woods to the right. At 7h we (Company I, etc.) Spring forward along the Malencourt--Montfaucon Road midst continuing harassing fire from heavy artillery. The approach to Montfaucon is an open plane sloping upward. There is no concealment except an occasional bush. This is discernable for miles and swept by enemy artillery. Their artillery is located in the Argonne Hills about 10 kilometers due west and Hill #378 on the far side of the Meuse River about 10 kilometers to the east. There is also heavy fire from the north. We are hit with incessant and terrific fire of high explosive shrapnel from three sides as we come out into the open. There is no answering artillery fire from our side. We attack with the 313th,[ 2nd battalion on the left, 1st battalion on the right, and 3rd in support, with 6 French whippet tanks ahead of them]. Withering machine gun fire, and the enemy is throwing hand grenades as we swarm up the hillside. At 11h the 2nd battalion enters the outskirts of Montfaucon on the left, while the 1st and 3rd battalions go through the streets and along the right edge for about 45 minutes, mopping up snipers in the ruins, under constant shell fire. The 314th.s leading battalion passes through a small wood on the roadway and then advances into the open. Subjected to destructive artillery fire. We have a 1 pounder platoon from Headquarters Company with us. I Company is hung up by machine gun fire, and George Niedig is sent with a message to the Battery Commander asking for 1 pounder fire. As they come up Sergeant Owens reaches them [telephone?] and gives them locations of enemy strong points. Sergeant Owens and Bill Seaman kept up liaison with the 1 pounders. Seaman is badly burned by Mustard Gas. Succeed in reducing the machine gun nests and we moved forward. The shell fire is deadly. Sergeant Strides is killed by heavy artillery high explosive shells while encouraging us to attack. By noon we leave the road at a crossroad and strike across Payel Farm into woods (Tuilerie) east of Montfaucon. Resistance is great in the woods, and we capture 4 77millimeter guns. Colonel Oury is put in charge of both the 314th and 315th Infantry and command is reorganized. [The 313th at 13h is on a plateau in front of Montfaucon with the 316th in Montfaucon.] 310 Machine Gun battalion and 147 Field Artillery move up to back us up. The 314th itself is put under Lt Col McKenny and ordered to attack Nattelois from the right flank and enter the north side of the town. 314th 315th } 1st Bat 314th to fill the gap in the line 2nd Bat 3rd Bat 2nd Bat 3rd Bat} on the left. Terrific resistance is }encountered from the start. 1st Bat 1st Bat } Heavy artillery sweeps the entire area with decimating fire. The lines drop--automatics open up stutteringly. Here and there a group rushes forward, drops and crawls ahead cautiously again, creeping on forward--delayed--harassed--terribly punished--leaving dead and wounded behind--and on again. The wounded are moaning .First Aid! First Aid!. Machine gun bullets spew the ground--shrapnel hails down--we crawl on. We are all in a state bordering on exhaustion. We.ve had no supplies as yet since we started, we have had only a few hours rest, and we are all drenched. We try to push forward again, but the high explosives, shrapnel and machine gun bullets are too much as we are unsupported. (We could make little use of artillery). We manage a slight advance by evening, and are ordered to dig in. We bivouac about a half kilometer north of a line--Montfaucon--Bois de la Tuilerie. Wayne Horton killed. [the 313th.s afternoon attack started at 15h 30 with an artillery barrage and two platoons of the 316th with them. They were halted in the open. French tanks hit but then quit. They dug in about 1 kilometer north of Montfaucon]. We are all exhausted--our rations are gone--we have no water.
September 28, 1918 The 313th and the 314th are relieved by the 315th and the 316th in the murky hours preceding a misty dawn. There is heavy artillery fire. At 7:30h the 315th jumps off, with the 314th in support. We are swept by an enfilading fire. German planes flying low are pouring machine gun volleys into us. There are about 20 enemy planes overhead, some firing into the infantry and some working further back. They down our Observation Balloon in the rear. French planes are not in evidence. The 315th goes about 200 meters and then are stopped by terrible machine gun and sniper fire from the Bois de Beore and the Bois de Septarges. The Germans have laid down a terrific barrage in front of Natillois. The 315th advances (and we follow) in short rushes. At 10h 50 minutes they enter Natillois and capture several 77meter guns on the right of the town where the road forks. Advance through to Hill 274 and one kilometer further north and at 13h halt and reorganize. At 13h 45 minutes we launch an attack with 2 large and 4 small French tanks; the object is Madeline Farm in the heart of the Bois de Ogons. From 16h to 16.30h there is a barrage, and they go out with tanks into an inferno of machine gun and artillery fire. There is a German balloon up which is directing fire. The two big tanks receive direct hits and are bowled over--the small tanks withdraw. Reach the woods of the Bois de Beuge and machine gun fire grows heavier. They could not advance and are ordered to consolidate their lines on the reverse slope of Hill 274. At 18h we start assault again in line of skirmishers. A shell lands in front of me hitting a Lieutenant and a Private and knocking me 10 feet. I run for the woods ahead --bullets like hail. See some wooden shacks in the woods and pelt them with grenades--we take several machine gun nests and 11 prisoners. The woods are full of machine gunners and snipers. We are ordered back to the hill to dig in. We call Hill 274 .Suicide Hill.. We dig in for the night. The 314th in support runs into many machine gun nests and much artillery fire. Sgt Ross gets one alone. Teddy Brunett and Louie Schaeffer killed. That night was one of horror. There was a steady rainfall all night, the ground was mire and shell holes were muddy lakes. We were swept by enemy machine gun fire, soaked to the skin, and there is no rest. There is a steady pounding of enemy artillery. Shrapnel and high explosives burst in front of us, to our rear, in our midst and overhead, while we crouch in water-filled shell holes listening to piteous cries and moans from the wounded. Hungry, awfully dark and we know only by their breathing that anyone is near--can't see even 1 yard ahead. All night our artillery tries to silence the German guns, but enemy fire gets more severe toward daybreak. (At midnight, orders are received for the 79th to advance. The orders reached Brigade Headquarters and were forwarded to Regimental Headquarters, where they were turned over to me to get to Battalion Headquarters. Location of Battalion Headquarters is uncertain, the path is under heavy fire and dark. Ran into Regimental Machine Gun Company about 600 yards from the front and was warned by an officer not to advance as I might find myself in the enemy lines--disregarded this and delivered the message.
September 29, 1918 (Sunday) From 5h on the Germans are shelling all the way back to Malencourt, and especially, north of Montfaucon where support reserve units are waiting. At daylight the German Observation balloon goes up, and it stays up all day except for two instances when it was hauled down when Allied planes appeared nearby. When the balloon goes up, the fire at once becomes more effective and severe--high explosives, shrapnel, Phosgene and Mustard Gas. Men are weary and faint from lack of sleep and lack of food, and the cold, and the chill from continual rainfall. The ground is a sticky morass and the air is a living hell of shell fire. There are 4 French tanks with the 315th. At 7h we advance over Suicide Hill. Met by scourging machine gun fire. (The 314th, 3rd battalion in Div. Reserve). The lead-off Companies yell and rush across open country and into the underbrush on the edge of the Bois de Ogons but terrible flanking fire opens up on the rest of the Companies as they come across. (The 316th has many hand to hand encounters with machine gunners in the woods--search through the underbrush for snipers.) We can pay no attention to the wounded, some of whom have been lying here since yesterday. Both the 314th and the 315th are badly shot up. Major Allen killed.

	{  Message from liaison officer to Kuhn: .found Companies of the 314th held up on Hill 274 and in woods}

	{  -9h45 min Col. Oury sent a message by runner--reached Kuhn at 11h 15  
            Wounded can't be cared for need litters and ambulances if it wont interfere with ammunition.}
(316th ordered to hold its position but the 1st battalion is so depleted it could not stay in the open and so it withdrew to the woods. Just as General Nicholson dashed forth on horseback through intense artillery fire and in full view, and gave orders for an attack on Boise 250. When he saw the terrible condition of the men he found Col Sweezy of the 313th and ordered him to attack. The 316th followed at 800 meters).
The 315th is ordered to take a holding position in front of Natillois. They withdraw from the woods and fall back to hill 274. Under direct fire and swept by high explosive and shrapnel they withdraw to the south slope and dig in. All 4 Regiments are mixed together and try to weed their men out. The wounded are dying from lack of attention and exposure. The 314th, as badly hit as the 315th during the latter part of the afternoon--lying in the open--relieves the 315th at night, takes over the front and digs in.
At 10h a German plane dropped several flares over the 315th first aid station on the southern edge of Natillois. Immediately shells came over killing a majority of the wounded.
The 314th first aid station was in the open on the Montfaucon--Natillois road (½ kilometer south of Natillois, but it was shelled and took up a new position in Fayal Farm. American artillery was nearby, and they may have been trying to get the artillery. There were big Red Crosses on top of the first aid station. William Sullivan killed.
Septmber 30, 1918 We held the line all day until relieved by the 3rd Division. We stumbled back exhausted and haggard to bivouac that night near Malancourt. Sam Cottrell and Ray Kotch killed. We start out again. There are streams of trucks filled with wounded and dead-lying all along the road. Ran across several wounded Company I men and Captain Main who directed us to the Company.
TROYON SECTOR (South of St Mihiel. Again on the front but in a quieter area in which no major offensive is planned.)
October 1, 1918 Terrible hike. We have nothing to eat, and we are all so weak with hunger, and we are in shreds. What clothes we have are ripped and torn from the barbed wire. Everyone is glassy-eyed and dumb--all in both physically and mentally, and we just stagger along. At last we stop in an open field next to the Boise de Hesse. At the order to .Fall out!. everyone just drops. Later we pitch pup tents and have roll-call--many are missing. Then, suddenly we get orders to prepare for action as a heavy German attack is expected during the night. Part of the Regiment on a fast emergency hike to the woods beyond Vaux, but later they return.
October 2, 1918 At last we get something to eat! We receive a piece of bread, a small sliver of bacon and a cup of coffee. I am ordered to Regimental Headquarters as liaison, and have a pretty easy day as there are few messages. Report back to the Company at night and find that they have moved into the woods. This was supposed to be a rest sector with light fighting compared to what we have been through, but the story we hear is that there was an unofficial agreement between the Allies and the Germans that patrols would not be fired upon during the daytime if they were only going between the lines to get water at the only creek around, but the outfit just before us got nervous and shot up a couple of enemy units, and since then the fighting has been heavier.
October 3, 1918 I am Regimental liaison again. Received 10 letters today--they certainly were welcome, and helped to bring my mind back in focus with the human world again--everything seemed so uncanny. I am recalled by the Company, and we leave at 8PM for another tortuous hike which lasts until 3AM. We are all in--the horses too. A number have dropped dead in their tracks.
October 4, 1918 We are bivouacked in the woods (Demicourt),--dead tired and starving. I saw Raymond Roberts for a few minutes--first time since we left Fort Meade. We had just about greeted each other when we were ordered to fall in immediately, and we leave again on another big hike from 2PM to 9PM. We are all in--nothing to eat all day except one piece of dry moldy bread and one cup of coffee. Bivouacked in the woods.
October 5, 1918 When I awoke I discovered Company H, of the 315th was right next to us so I looked up Herman Nietsche. It was the first time I had seen him over here, but again we were called away for formation, and we started on another hike from 8AM until 7PM. Still no meals. Once, during the day we passed a couple of loaves of moldy bread lying on the side of the road, but there was such a scramble for them that we only got about a bite. We are all in terrible condition--no rest, no food, nerves shattered--feet sore and everyone has dysentery. At last we arrive in a wood on top of a high hill (Belle Valle). There are some old French billets here, but so filled with lice that we cannot use them, so we bunk outside on the ground again. Everyone was ranting during the hike that they wanted to go back to the front and yelling about those damn lucky stiffs who got knocked off!! The officers just looked at us dumbly; they are all in too, and didn.t seem to know what it was all about. However, we got a little rest, and then at 11PM we were called out again to learn that our rolling kitchen had arrived. We each got a cup of coffee and a mess kit of rice. We went at it like wolves--yelling and clawing. Gee! That was one of the best feeds I ever ate. Our orders are to hold the front line for the Troyon sector, 13 kilometers north of St Mihiel. The 314th and 315th stay in billets until further orders while the 313th and 316th take up the Zone of Resistance. We are to fully relieve the 26th Division by October 8th. When we get food the rats are always a problem. We sleep with any open food we have under our heads--like a pillow--and the rats try to nudge us out of the way. We get pretty used to it.
October 6, 1918 Rested today--very good
October 7, 1918 Have found billet in a wooden shack with 6 others
October 8, 1918 During the night, between 8PM and 9PM the 313th took over the zone of observation from the French. Patrol duty, ordered to try to take prisoners. We meet a German patrol in No Mans. Land and shoot them up. They surrender and the Sgt orders two of them to carry a wounded officer on their overcoats. One of them had a bad stomach wound and he kept pointing to it and saying .Nein, nein.. The Sgt made him do it anyhow and his whole stomach started to bleed and spill out. He fell down and was killed.
October 9, 1918 During the night the 316th moved up to the zone of observation. The 314th is in support of the 313th and the 315th is in support of the 316th. Night after night we are engaged in tours in the zone of observation. We are drenched with gas and racked with shrapnel and high explosives. Star shells burst over us--red, green and white--then an orange flash and silence for an instant followed by a low whine mounting into a scream and bursts with resounding crashes. The 313th and 316th send out reconnaissance patrols every night. Picked men creep out in the darkness to get information. This keeps the enemy constantly worried. Combat patrols are sent out to get the German outposts and eliminate enemy patrols. Received reserve rations and a number of letters--one from Emma.
October 10, 1918 Rested all day and left at midnight for Recourt (about 15 miles). Arrived 7:30 AM- awful hike-very dark night. Airplane attack just before we left.
October 11, 1918 Rested in billets. Our kitchen got lost but finally arrived late in the day.
October 12, 1918 Rested and were able to clean ourselves in a creek. Patrols every night. A lot of our guys don.t like the Enfield rifles we carry, because they are so heavy. On patrol they drop them and pick up Springfields if they can find them. They are ordered back to get Enfields since our ammunition will not work with Springfields.
October 13, 1918 German raid is expected and we are sent out on patrol. We get caught in a violent barrage, but we are able to get back to our lines. Raining, but there is a canteen open.
October 14, 1918 Drill for four hours-allowed to drill without ammunition--except guards. I have a touch of neuralgia. Other fellows have dysentery.
October 15, 1918 Neuralgia--police duty. Patrols every night. We hear story of fellow who switched to a German raincoat while on patrol because they are longer and darker. Killed by our own people as he came back into the lines.
October 16, 1918 The Germans launch a barrage and a raid on ½ platoon of Company K, 316th. Our outposts saw them and allowed them to creep past, and then opened fire on them with automatic rifle. The rest of the ½ platoon also fired--killed 1, took 1 prisoner and the rest scattered in confusion. (One officer and 16 men in the patrol. Raining.
October 17, 1918 My face is swollen greatly. The medic wants me to go to the hospital as he could not locate the cause of the swelling. I tell him to paint it with iodine which he did. He insists I stay indoors and gives me aspirin. Chow very poor.
October 18, 1918 Nice day. No improvement and face swollen still more. I ask Medic to wait another day before going to the hospital. Went to church in the afternoon with Mel Goddard.
HOSPITALS 10/19/18 to 10/24/18
October 19, 1918 The pain has all but disappeared but my jaw is greatly swollen and discolored. I drilled in the morning, but at 1 P.M. I was ordered to report to the Medical Corps. When I got there I was tagged and shoved into an ambulance with several others. I told them that I would rather stick it out as our Company expected to move soon, and I did not want to get separated from them. But the Looie said that I may get back that night or the following morning in time to catch them. A YMCA man had come up yesterday with supplies, and I had bought a box of cigars and cigarettes which were still unopened. I had to leave them behind with my other belongings.
Our first stop was at the Field Hospital, a crude affair with just a couple of squad tents. There we were examined again. Some were kept there, but they said that I had some kind of abscess on the jaw bone that looked very bad and shoved me back into the ambulance. Next stop, the Evacuation Hospital at Souilly. This was quite a place, the main door leading directly to the railroad tracks. It was very crowded, with continuous streams of men coming in. Without examination, I was put into pajamas and then into a regular bed with sheets, pillows, etc., and there were women nurses. That was the first bed I had seen since we had left home. What a crowd there! Stretchers were strewn all along the aisles--I don.t know why I was fortunate enough to get a bed, but Gee! It sure felt good. It was the first time I had slept out of uniform in months, but I managed to hold on to my blouse, britches and shoes, which I stuck under my pillow as I felt sure they had made a mistake putting me in a bed. I had told them so when they insisted on giving me a bed, but they said that was the order on the tag. I argued that the medical Louie back at the Company had said that I would return that night. I also told them that I had nothing to eat all day--it was then about 10 P.M.--and I wanted to go and find some chow. But the nurse said that she would fix me up and brought me some hot rice and a cup of coffee. Did that taste good!
I thought then that I might as well get a good rest and return to the outfit in the morning, but the bedlam was awful--yelling, moaning and swearing. Then the fellow next to me went nuts, jumping out of bed, screeching and leaping over the stretchers on the floor, knocking over the other wounded and bleeding himself from a wound in the side. He was cornered, brought back and tied down, but every once in a while he would throw a fit.
At the foot of my bed was a machine gunner, all shot up in the head, lying on a stretcher. We were talking together when they brought in another stretcher and placed it alongside him. This new occupant was all covered up with a blanket and lying face downward. We thought he was dead. When we nudged him and he did not answer, we pulled down the blanket and saw it was a German. The machine gunner grabbed him by the ear, yanked his head around and spat a full cud of tobacco right in his face. I told him to lay off that nut stuff, as the guy looked ready to pass out, but he said, .Look what they did to me, and they got my brother too!.
Occasionally they would look us over, remove those who had died, and put one of the waiting men in the empty bed or stretcher. At midnight a couple of orderlies came in with blankets and took me to the surgeon. He lanced the jaw and sent me back to bed. I told him that there was no pain at all, that I had left all of my equipment with the Company, and that I had to return the following morning. He said, Sure, we.ll see.. But at 5 A.M. I was awakened by a nurse and two orderlies with a stretcher, and was told I was on my way to the Base Hospital. I told them that there must be some mistake; that the surgeon had said I could return to the Company.
They took my tag out of the room, but came back and insisted I get on the stretcher to be carried out to the French red Cross train. I kicked like hell and told them that I could lick both of the orderlies and carry them on the stretcher, but the nurse said that it was orders, so I had to climb back on again. The coaches were arranged in tiers of three and I had a middle bunk. There was one French orderly in charge of each coach, and we kept him busy with calls for water, etc.. As soon as the train pulled out, I got into the clothes I had smuggled aboard and sat with the Frog at the side door. As we passed, people lined the tracks and stared. At night everything was shut completely. The eats were very poor and the stench in the cars was terrible. At night, in the French fashion, he would not leave the door open even a crack. The fellow over me got delirious and wriggled around opening up his wounds, and all night drops of blood kept seeping down to my bunk. Then the fellow opposite yelled terribly for water and died. The next day the train arrived at Mars-sur-Alliers (Base 62). It was a wonderful; relief to get away from the front--away from the ruins and devastation and the awful darkness at night.
October 20, 1918 Taken to surgeon and told my jaw was abscessed. Inside of jaw is lanced, and a great deal of puss is drained out. Swelling gone and pain had already gone. Hospital chaotic. All of us from combat units who have been patched up are ordered to make our ways back to our units. A few of us leave together for the hike to the railroad. One fellow who had shrapnel wounds in his back has all the new stitches rip open and turns around and goes right back. The rest of us reach the railroad, climb aboard the 40 and 8s, and start to search for our units.
October 21, 1918 Kicked off 40 and 8s which are commandeered for material moving up to the front. All sorts of stories about another big push. We spend the night in railroad station and hitch another ride during the night.
October 22, 1918 Off the train and back to hiking. After walking most of morning we manage some food and take off again. Almost dark and within sound of big guns again. We arrive at what was Regimental Headquarters near Troyon, but the whole Division is gone. MPs tell me to head for Sommendieu, whole outfit has moved there. We spend the night with them.
October 23, 1918 Spend most of day walking. Very hungry. Raining hard, and cold. Very heavy activity on all roads. Catch up with 314th near old billets. Headquarters feeds me and directs me to Company I. Every one glad to see me. They say not to feel bad, I haven.t missed much.
October 21, 1918 3rd Battalion 314th is ordered to the woods 2and ½ kilometers out of Troyon, with the 1st and 2nd Battalions in Brigade reserve. Shortly before dark, they were rushed up as trouble was expected, arriving at destination about Midnight. Nothing happened except a few small raids.
October 22, 1918 Marched back--arrived at 22h 30.
October 23, 1918 Relieved by the 33rd Division and went back to old billets.
October 24, 1918 After walking back from the hospital, I am just in time for a long hike with the outfit. By 22h 30, the entire 314th Regiment, after an 11 kilometer hike, reaches Sommendieu which is 3 kilometers east of the Meuse River. Billets are filled with lice.
GRANDE MONTAGNE SECTOR (On the Meuse River, back at the front and part of war's last offensive)
October 30, 1918 Death Valley. We had to move through this area on our way to the front in new sector. Move through a 5 or 6 mile area of hideous desolation, under constant shell fire.
October 31, 1918 We are on the east bank of the Meuse River (hardly more than a creek) moving into Le Grande Montagne sector NE of Verdun and facing Danvillers, relieving the 29th Division and part of the 26th Div.
November 3, 1918 The entire Division attacks to the north, leading with its left flank.
November 6, 1918 Hand to hand fighting for Hill 378.
November 7, 1918 The 314th, in the center of the line, launches an attack toward Danvillers and drives the enemy through the towns of Gibercy, Moirey and Crepton, light resistance, we take Hill 319. The Division makes a difficult flanking movement during the night of about 4 and ½ kilometers through heavy woods and underbrush with the result that they are facing east and no longer north.
November 8, 1918 7h the 314th (3rd Battalion) completes a relief of the 2nd Battalion, 315th, holding the left flank. At 11h, the 313th relieves the 3rd Battalion of the 315th who went into support. At Noon the 313th marches East in line of skirmishers. The enemy had vacated their positions during the night, but our men went slow, not knowing when they would run into them. Meanwhile, the 3rd Battalion of the 314th started a pivot movement, the left flank advancing in liaison with the 313th on our left, through the Etraye Ravine. We send out patrols which all find that the enemy has retreated, and in mid-afternoon, Colonel Oury orders a general advance of all Battalions. By 16h we are all moving eastward, encountering only an occasional shell. Heavy, driving rain all day, and about nightfall it becomes a heavy downpour. The mud is very thick. German planes come over us, flying low along the roads and trails and raking them with machine gun fire. By 17h we are at the eastern edge of a wooded area facing the valley of the Woevre. The 3rd Battalion of the 314th has gone clear through the Bois de Etraye and the Bois d. Wayrille. The 1st Battalion has gone through the Bois Belleu, and the 2nd Battalion has cleared the Ravine la Hazelle. By 21h 45 we are all in position. All night long we could hear the enemy destroying ammunition stores. Otherwise the quiet is pronounced. Our patrols could find no Germans west of the Thinte River.
November 9, 1918 By 1h the two Companies of the 314th which were in support, relieve the 26th Division in the front line. The 314th.s front is now 4 and ½ kilometers long. The 314th leads the attack at 6h toward the Moirey-Wavrille road. The 3rd and 2nd Btns to extend their fronts toward each other in the center while the 1st Btn withdraws from the line to support the 2nd Btn. The 313th moves in about a kilometer behind the 314th, and the 315th and then the 316th pass through to act as Brigade Reserve.
At 6h the 75s started hammering away at the supposed position of the German line, with heavy artillery concentrating on certain selected points. The 314th moves down the east slope of a ridge running into the valley ahead. On the right, the 2nd Btn entered Crepion shortly after 8h and passed beyond into an area of heavy shell fire--moving ahead until advanced groups got to the outskirts of Moirrey. The 26th Div entered the town itself. In the center, the 1st Btn had hard going in the Moirrey Woods, while the 3rd Btn on the left struggled over rough but open ground and made it into Wavrille and took the road and railroad beyond the town. Gibercey, in the center, was overwhelmed, men from all three Btns. entering the town before noon.. Resistance was not heavy. Over on the left, the 3rd Btn got caught in terrific machine gun and artillery fire from the hills to the north and east. They were in the bed of the Thinte River with the Cote d. Morimont (361) ahead about 1 kilometer and the Cote d. Orme (356) on their left front. They worked their way ahead under intense fire but soon had to stop and dig in. In the middle, the 2nd Btn was also under heavy machine gun and artillery fire. We managed to take most of Hill 328, but then we had to dig in. The 26th Div. Was also held up. We stayed covered up and under heavy fire until dark when we sent out a strong patrol. We met several small German patrols and drove them off.
The 313th and the 315th started out before daylight on a flanking march and the 313th entered Wavrille, but the 314th had already taken it several hours earlier. We now held the right side of the front with the 2nd Btn in front and the 1st Btn right behind, and the 3rd Btn in reserve. On our left was the 315th, 1st Btn., then the 2nd Btn., with the 2nd Btn. 316th in reserve. Cecil Follet killed.
November 10, 1918 The 2nd Btn is in the front halfway up Hill 328, with Maj Schloge in the trenches. Rain, night lighted by enemy flares and heavy bombing by enemy planes sailing up and down the valley unmolested and uncontested. At 4h, our artillery let loose with a devastating concentration on Hill 328, blasting the Hill thoroughly for about 2 hours. Through the darkness there are constant red, splintering flashes and heavy detonations. The fire is very close. Then, at 6h, just at dawn, the artillery stopped and we moved forward up the hill, 3 Companies spread out up front on a front of about 1 kilometer, and I Company right behind in support. The first Btn was right behind. No opposition, just about no fire from Germans. Almost all of them had pulled out because of the bombardment, but we captured 3 who had hid in a dugout and didn.t make it out with the others. We were ordered to continue, and moved toward Hill 319, but we were held up by heavy machine gun fire. A group here and a group there push forward, but the machine gun fire is bad, and German planes continued to add machine gun fire from above, from which we had little protection. About 4 in the afternoon, our artillery opened up again. At first their fire was on us, but they adjusted and hit Hill 319, where the machine gun fire was concentrated, for about a half hour. When the artillery lifted, we got up and rushed the hill. Except for a few who were ready to surrender, the Germans were gone. We dug in on a front line about 1 and ½ kilometers long. Our artillery pounded away all night long. Mike Tamborella killed.
November 11, 1918 Bleak day. The 314th is on the front; 1st and 2nd Btns on the line and 3rd in support. It is very foggy. The 311th Machine Gun Company puts up a barrage for the 1st Btn, but cannot for the 2nd, because of the fog. Machine gun, rifle and heavy artillery from the enemy seem to be very heavy. We started to move about 9h 30 minutes protected by the fog. We reached and started up the Cote de Romagne. At 10:44 the news of the Armistice reached us, but our artillery seemed to roar with more terrible concentration. Then the firing stopped. We were unbelieving, and we stopped and dug in. The silence is almost appalling, and we expect any minute to hear the guns start to roar again. There is very little elation or excitement on the line, but we learn later that the artillery down in death valley were hilarious. The greatest relief was that you could stick your head up and not draw fire. You could stand erect! The word was that real hot food was coming up.
The Germans could be heard from their lines. They seemed happy and shouted and sang noisily. Small groups tried to come across, but it was forbidden. We were ordered to gather our dead bodies up. By dusk we had advance positions dug in and manned. We are still on alert, but there are no artillery horrors tonight. Instead, there is a gorgeous display of fireworks. The enemy is setting off rockets, Very candles, red, blue and green flares, blowing up their dumps all night. And they are singing.
Campfires gleamed on the heights and in the valley. We could strike matches and smoke. There is only peace. Clyde Marks died of wounds.
November 12, 1918 The war is over, but now the army wants us to soldier. We spend day policing and salvaging equipment, and drilling. Heavy guard duty at night. Jaw is very swollen and discolored, but no pain.
November 13, 1918 Medics put me on .Quarters..
November 14, 1918 Back on "Quarters". At the end of an easy day, I am ordered back to hospital and start trek back.
THE HOSPITAL 11/21/18 TO 2/25/19
November 21, 1918 Arrived at Mars sur Alliers (Base 62) This is the same big hospital where I was before. This is a far different part of France from what we are used to. It is clean and prosperous and it is nice to get away from the devastation again.
Novemeber 22, 1918 I was placed in the Surgical Ward (Ward 3), under Captain Knipe. Miss Barker attended to me when I needed treatment. The ward men and orderlies ( Jud Killy, Gemini, and Dunmire) are very nice fellows. There are about 50 beds in our ward. They put me next to a fellow who is bandaged from head to toe. I have had no food all day, and the first thing I did was ask for grub, but it was after chow time, so I was out of luck. Miss Barker managed to scare me up a glass of milk. The fellow next to me asked me to roll him a cigarette because he couldn't do it with his hands all bandaged. Then he told me to look under his uniform on the chair next to his cot. He had saved his dessert (rice pudding) which he gave to me. We made a deal, I rolled cigarettes for him and he saved his desserts for me. He was a First Lieutenant, and shouldn.t have been here, as the officers had their own wards, but they couldn't move him until he healed a little.
After 3 days my jaw was cut on the inside, and a lot of matter was taken out. Nurse Barker said they took out about a pint of puss. But it just puffed up again. They X-Rayed it, cut it again, and put in a rubber drain. It healed fine.
All combat units were now moving around doing salvage work and guarding the line. When we entered the hospital, we were classified A, B, C, or D, and as we were re-evaluated we were moved up until we reached A, or fit for duty. Occasionally, various Divisions would issue a call for all of their men in Class A. So, I waited. I spent 3 months there waiting for my outfit to call me, with occasional passes to Nevers, a lovely town,) where I met many Mademoiselles.
In the meantime, we got to be one big family. Everyone had to do something, even those confined to their beds made capsules or rolled bandages. Jack Cook (from the 42nd Division), Bert Adair (5th Div.), Charlie Schoentube (80th Div.), and myself were put in charge of the mess for our ward.. At mess time, we would take 5 or 6 galvanized cans down to the kitchen, about 2 city blocks away, through an old mud road, and bring back the mess for the ward--so many regular, light and liquid portions. We always went up singing and carrying on and we soon were given the nickname .Dizzy.. As soon as we neared the kitchen, they would all yell; Here comes Dizzy ward 3," but we got many an extra portion of .light. rations, which was better than the .regular. corn beef, for kidding them along. Then we would dish the stuff out, feed those who couldn't feed themselves, and wash up the dishes. That was an event: washing up. Bert Adair, a big farmer, Jud Killy, a big raw-boned Southerner, Cookie, a live-wire traveling salesman from Carolina, Schoentube and myself from New York, would harmonize until every dish was scoured. The nurses came in from other wards just to hear that howling and banter, especially after evening mess. Although only a few of us could get around, we were the most popular ward in the outfit. We had no money there, but the medical men, Killy and Gemini, did and we would take turns sneaking out of camp, past the guards, and into a small town nearby, to buy a bottle of cognac. Before taps, we would go into the little room set aside for the wardmen.s bunks, and have a little nightcap. A French Lieutenant had the cot opposite mine, and I would borrow his overcoat and walk deliberately past the guards. They could not stop Frenchmen; they were just posted to prevent our men from leaving camp. I ran into a fierce scrap one night down at that cafe where we bought the cognac, between a bunch of whites and coons. The coons and the white girls there were too familiar, and the whites resented it. How that place did rock until a detachment of MPs broke it up! The lower class French girls sort of like the coons, who in fact tell them that they are the original Indians, and get away with it.
We also received occasional passes to Nevers, a very lively town, and had many a good time there. It is against rules for enlisted men and nurses to associate, or even walk together on the road. However, Miss Barker and I got real chummy, and her pal, Miss Baldwin, is secretly engaged to Sgt Payne of the Medical Corps., and we sure put it over on the AEF! He had a room in the Receiving Ward, and at night, after taps (9PM), the Officer of the Day and the Head Nurse would come around with a lantern and look into each bed to see that we were all asleep. As soon as they left, Jud Killy would make a noise down at the front of the ward to distract their attention, while Cookie and I, still dressed, would sneak out the back door and out to our trysting places. I went to the Receiving Ward, where Sgt Payne was waiting, but I don.t know where Cookie went. He wouldn.t tell me and I wouldn.t tell him. In the meantime Miss Boyle and Miss Barker would sneak out, and Miss Boyle would meet Cookie while Miss Barker would meet me in Sgt Payne.s room, where we had to be very careful and not cough or make any noise, because there were officers in the next room. We got away with it for a while, but Shorty Ranier, a 314th Machine Gunner, and a Marine, got suspicious, and started to snicker one night as we left. The Marine was crazy over Barker anyway. The next night we started out all right, but every one in the ward who could walk at that time trailed us, and queered the whole game.
Each afternoon after chow and mess duty was over, Sgt Payne and I and whatever nurses happened to have the afternoon off would take long walks--as far as the Chateau. Every night there was some kind of entertainment in the Red Cross Hut directly opposite our ward, including a Buck Privates. Ball, which was the only night while we were there when we could associate openly with the nurses. My uniform was almost in shreds: no soles on my shoes and no shirt. However, Jud Killy gave me an old pair of his britches and a shirt, and he succeeded in getting me a new pair of shoes. They certainly live high down in the S.O.S.,--best of uniforms, etc..
Sgt Payne went to the Colonel and asked permission to marry Miss Baldwin, but was put in the guardhouse for 10 days for his audacity. At the end of his term, we arranged a celebration. He had lots of Francs and wanted to celebrate. He got a pass for himself and forged one for me. Miss Balwin and Miss Barker each got passes. We left camp separately, but met outside on the road. There had been a heavy snowfall, and it was nice and crisp and cold. We hiked and hiked, and every time we neared a town we would separate. On the way out, Sgt Payne stopped at a farm house and ordered chicken dinner and wine, to be ready on our return. We went as far as a big Chateau and a mineral spring and returned starved. What a dinner: chicken stuffed with chestnuts and champagne!
Every night we would gather around the stove in the middle of the ward and fight the war all over again. We were usually served with two pieces of bread at mess, which we would save and toast on the stove. A little .nut doctor,. a psychologist, would sit and talk with us, and suddenly and unexpectedly he would hit one of us in the forehead with a little rubber hammer and ask: .Are you dizzy?. We all had that experience several times, but he only got one reaction out of the crowd, and that was from a fellow who probably was naturally dizzy, a crabby farmer from Georgia. We had a couple of Germans there, and every time we gave them anything at mess time, that Georgia farmer put up a howl. We couldn.t very well starve them though, and, anyway, the war was over. There was a little, thin, effeminate chaplain there, and Killy took a great dislike to him. Everything the little chaplain would say, Killy would answer, .The Hell you say!. One day Killy stood at the door of the ward looking over the wall, and saw the little chaplain sneaking into the nurses. quarters. He roared for all of us to come and be witnesses. That chaplain did not last long, and he was replaced by a chaplain from the 32nd Division who was hard-boiled--and well-liked.
We had turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Christmas celebration at the Red Cross Hut. At Christmas, our Santa Claus handed out little sacks filled with candy and cigarettes. Everyone wished everyone else a Merry Christmas. The captain of the ward gave me cigars, and at night we were entertained by a Romanian trio (violin, piano and voice) from the Royal Court.
February 9, 1919 I have been here almost three months now. All of the very bad cases have been disposed of--either sent back to the States or transferred. Some divisions have recalled their .Class A. men--Charlie Schoentube, Bert Adair and Cookie have gone back to their outfits and now they are evacuating the entire .Base 62." Sgt Clark of the tanks, Sgt Olsen of the 33rd Div. And I are sent to another ward where we are all mixed up--mostly blacks--the beds on either side of me are coons. We stay here 2 days and then we are transferred to Base 107 of the same centre where we are put in barracks. Nothing to do but lie around for 4 days. We hear lots of stories of wild parties held back at Base 62 after the evacuation (Medics and nurses).
February 15, 1919 Several divisions recall their men (50) including the 79th. We leave Base 107 on trucks at 7:30 P.M. for Nevers. The Red Cross girls give us a wonderful send off. All of our old nurses from Base 62 came down and there was much billing and cooing, and then weeping. At Nevers we go to the railroad station and there we separate into groups--there are 12 of us. We locate a R.T.O. (Officer) and learn the approximate location of our Division and then lie in wait for some freight train going in that direction.
February 16, 1919 At 2:30 A.M. the .American Special. came along--a string of freights transversing the country to pick up casuals and stragglers. We hop in one of the box cars--it is pretty cold and there is very little straw in the car, and very little to eat (a couple of loaves of bread and about 4 cans of corn beef were given us before we left).
February 17, 1919 We managed to get a little sleep in spite of the hard, cold floor, by sprawling all over one another, and at 6:30 A.M. the train stopped. We looked out, saw a line up, and immediately fell in with our mess kits. They had cooked some coffee on one of the cars so we got some more corn beef and a cup of hot coffee. We arrived at Toul at 9:A.M., the last stop, and hopped out and looked the burg over. We stopped at a Salvation Army hut and got a cup of coffee and a doughnut and reported to the R.T.O. there. He had us marched up to the 2nd Army Replacement Camp, where we were fully equipped and assigned to barracks for the night.
February 18, 1919 Called at 5 A.M.--it is my birthday, but there is no chance to celebrate here. It is raining and very cold. Leave at 7:30 A.M. on box cars for Bar-le Duc (a good place to celebrate). We shut up the box car and all take a sleep. It.s too cold to open up the car, so we keep it shut all day until finally the train stops. It is 5 P.M. and we discover we have gone beyond our station and we are in St. Mihiel. We seem to be the only human beings here--everything is in ruins. We have no rations and we are pretty dirty and hungry. About 6 o.clock though, a regular Frog train so we forced out way into a 3rd class compartment although the conductor on board tried his best to dissuade us. We got back to Louxeville, where we should have changed before, and remained in the station over night. We had a battle there too. It is a sort of transfer point, and the station was pretty crowded, with a lot of excitable Frenchmen. We decided to bunk there for the night so we proceeded to unroll our packs and spread out blankets on the floor. They could not see us sleeping in the middle of the floor, so we compromised and bunked over in a corner.
February 19, 1919 We were up at daybreak, and at about 7 A.M. we left on 3rd class cars for Bar-le-Duc where we arrived at 10 A.M. We each had a few francs, so we stopped in a restaurant and got beef steak and french fried potatoes. Maybe that didn.t taste good! The crowd split up here, all but two of us returning directly to their outfits. I still had a few francs and wanted to hang around a little longer. We went over to the YMCA, located in a small house with cots in a couple of rooms and a hydrant in the back yard, where we washed up and shaved, after which we went outside to loaf and smoke. We weren.t there five minutes when along came Lt. Berry from our outfit. He had been hit September 26, and I hadn.t seen him since. He ran up and shook hands and I asked about the company. He told me that they were located some miles away in filthy billets. When I told him I would like to stay in this town and celebrate my birthday, he said sure, hang over until tomorrow. That night we went to a French theater--sort of a combination cafe and music hall--where we sat up in the gallery for ½ franc each, with poilus, Moroccans, etc.. Most were drunk and very noisy and insulting to the women. The show was poor, but we had a good time helping the Frogs drink their cognac. The we went back to the YMCA thinking that we would get a good night.s sleep on those cots, but they insisted on 1 franc per cot which we didn.t have, so they let us sleep on the floor. The cots looked comfortable, with regular mattresses, but they were very dirty and crawling with cooties--but then so are we, and a few more or less would not have hurt.
February 20, 1919 We arose at 5A.M. and took a 3rd class train to Division headquarters at Souilly. We arrived at 10 A.M., reported, and were put in a Casual billet to await a truck going up to our Regiment with supplies. Very muddy here, but good eats. At night we had a band concert.
February 21, 1919 We are all detailed to unload logs from railroad cars. First there was a sergeant in charge of us who in turn told some corporal to take over, but fortunately the corporal almost immediately found business elsewhere and told me to take charge, so all I had to do was watch the slow motion operation. We unloaded 3 cars all day. We had movies that night and slept in barracks.
February 22, 1919 We left at 7:30 A.M. for our Companies on a truck going in that direction which would drop us off as we came to the towns in which our Companies were billeted. I was the only one from .I. Company. I arrived at 10 A.M. at Marats-la-Grand. It is a holiday today and everyone was glad to see me. It feels good to get back with the old gang again. When I left for the hospital, I left everything behind me. Mel Goddard tried to take my pack along with him, but it was impossible, so he kept my diary and photograph book, and I was certainly glad to get them back again. Lousy, dingy, dark, muddy town--rotten billets--dirty stables and hay lofts. It is always raining.
February 23, 1919 We drill all morning and have athletics in the afternoon. It poured all day, and then, all sodden and smeared with mud, we must clean up for a very rigid inspection at Retreat. I guess I am soldiering again! There are no lights except candles, and all we see are damp stone barns. We have no fires and it is cold. Our uniform are all wet and we have no change. All of the fellows are sore and talking of socialism, etc. And what they aren.t going to do when they get back. My bunk is located in the second story of a barn. If you are fortunate enough to locate the barn in the darkness, you walk through a gate, dodge through plows, chickens etc., to a ladder in the rear, and if you can successfully get up this ladder, you reach my boudoir.
February 24, 1919 Detailed cleaning up the YMCA
February 25, 1919 Drill and athletics.
February 26, 1919 Detailed in the morning to piling up lumber.
February 27, 1919
On guard duty, 12:30 to 2 A.M.
               11:00 to 3 P.M.
               6 P.M. to 9 P.M.
I had the post in front of the kitchen. It is still pouring. At 12:30 (midnight) O.Brien, whom I had relieved, came to get me while the corporal watched the post. When I got there (to the kitchen) he had a couple of steaks which he had swiped from a side of beef meant for stew and fried--gee, they were good.
February 28, 1919 Drill in the morning--Soccer in the afternoon.
March 1, 1919 We have our weekly inspection (including bunk) today, but at Revile 2 squads are detailed to clean up the town. My squad is one of them, so we duck inspection. We persuade some of the Frogs to loan us shovels and brooms and take some when they are not looking, and so we proceed down the company street manicuring as we go and singing the praises of all cows. But, soon we come to a turn in the road where we cannot be seen by our company, and where there is a little cafe. We fall in, have a couple of drinks, and just loaf around until suddenly Mike Hartman (the top kick) stalks in, catching us red-handed. He tells us to report to Sergeant Ross for detail. We do--he laughs and marches us to a wood about 1/4 mile up the road and tells us to rest. Then he leaves and we rest until Retreat. Saw a show at night at the YMCA.
March 2, 1919 We went to church services at 2:30 P.M.
March 3, 1919 We drill in the morning. A couple of us ducked athletics in the afternoon by hiding on the far end of a chicken coop until the formation was over. I was on guard, Post #3 (all over town) in a pouring rain (4 to 6 P.M.) (10 to 12 P.M.). It is very dark.
March 4, 1919 On guard 4 to 6 A.M. and 10 to 12 A.M. It is still pouring--meals are very poor.
March 6, 1919 The clocks were put ahead 1 hour. We had a Battalion review in the morning and a formal guard mount with band. The Company was complimented by Col. Oury. We played soccer in the afternoon. I received two money orders from the office. We had a band concert and entertainment at night. We have quite an exceptional .Y. man now--a big, fat, jolly fellow who does all he can for us. A troupe from the 216th Infantry put on the entertainment tonight. I spoke with two of them who were with harry Holland when he was wounded. They said he did not want to stop when he was hit, but they dragged him into a dugout and in there they took half a tree out of his leg. He died two days later in the hospital. They are trying to start a troupe in the 314th--Walt Miller and I are down for violinists and Mel Goddard for piano. At retreat today I was called into the orderly room. It seems a University has been started in the A.E.F. to keep the fellows occupied until they can get home. Every division has to furnish part of the personnel --clerks, janitors, teachers, etc. Every outfit in the Division is then called upon to make up this detail. My record showed that before entering the service I had done clerical work, and as a file clerk was needed, I was asked if I could do that work. I said sure, and was told to be prepared to go away for about 2 weeks. Wherever this university is, the billets must be better than here, so I do not regret the prospects. On guard in the YMCA 8 to 10 P.M., and I slept there.
March 7, 1919 On guard in the YMCA 2 to 4 A.M. and 10 to 12 noon and 2 to 4 P.M. Movies at night.
March 8, 1919 I ducked rifle inspection. I'm in Corp. O'Neill's squad now, and I asked him to report all present. He does, and I get away with it. I pass bunk inspection O.K. Our billet is at the far end of town, and we can hardly hear the bugle. I did not hear it at Retreat, but saw some of the other fellows running. Two of us stay in our billets while the rest rush to try to make it. Their names are taken for not being there for first call, and they must work on Stone Quarry all day Sunday. I got out of it by not showing up at all. We had entertainment at night.
March 9, 1919 It is a dreary Sunday. At 10 P.M. I was called to the orderly room and told to pack and be ready to leave at 8 A.M. the next morning.
March 10, 1919 We left at 9 A.M. on a truck, picked up several others from other companies on the way, and arrived at Division headquarters at Souilly at 11 A.M. There are 8 in our detail. We had mess there, and left on trucks at 2 P.M., arriving at the railroad station at 3 o.clock. We left there on open flat cars--had a beautiful trip--and arrived at Bar-le-Duc at 6:30 P.M., busted and without our pay books. We had corn willy, hard tack and jam ration. Went to a French movie (Sessions had the price) and left at midnight on German 3rd class coaches for Toul.
March 11, 1919 We left Toul at 11 A.M. on box cars for Dijon via Bologne and Chaumont. Arrived there at 11:30 P.M., located a Red Cross barrack and slept there (no charge). Nice weather.
March 12, 1919 It is a beautiful day. There is quite a contrast between here and up around the front. While down at the hospital I learned there were better parts of France than that dreary dismal section in the north, and better looking and cleaner people in the bigger towns, but some of the fellows have never got away, and they are sure surprised to see regular cities, lights, people, etc. Dijon is a wonderful town anyway. We left the Red Cross hut the first thing in the morning to explore, crossed the square to the main business street, and Sessions started to yell for us to hurry and look! And there he stood pointing at the people with his eyes popping out of his head. They thought he was crazy. The girls are especially dolled up in comparison with the cow girls he had seen nothing else but. I have a few foreign coins (Greek, Belgian, etc.) which I have been saving as souvenirs, and I spend some of them for breakfast--coffee and jam sandwiches. We learn that our train leaves from the other end of town , so at 10 A.M. we grab our big packs and take a trolley car to the other station. As our train will not arrive for some time yet, Sessions and I decide to spend the remainder of our souvenirs for dinner. We take a chance on a nice looking place called the Hotel Chiambiand and sit down among the civilians with tablecloths, napkins, waiters etc., and at the next table there are two very pretty girls. We look over--they smile--we smile--and they take one leap and join our party. We had ordered, and were each eating an omelette, but did not have enough to pay for them. We knew we had to get out somehow. I show Julienne my Greek coins but she says .Ah poor pickpocket,. evidently having been taught that as a pet name, and orders a bottle of vin rouge and shows us several 20 franc notes she had in her purse. Just then one of our gang came in and told us that they were all aboard the train already and ready to start. I leave my souvenirs, which I had kept in a Bull Durham bag, on the table and we both dive through the door, across the square and to the station. By the time we get our packs, the girls caught up to us. We all promise to write, etc. We leave at 1:30 P.M. (3rd class) and arrived at Beume at 4 P.M. We hike to a place just outside the town--a former hospital centre--with 1 story wooden barracks and class rooms that were formerly wards. This is the A.E.F. University where they expect to teach everything--law, art, medicine, etc. The barracks are very clean--nice cots and a porcelain washstand in each. There is a regular barber shop here too, with chairs, mirrors, and a manicurist. There are 8 from our division in our crowd, so after getting our bearings we report to Headquarters for duty, billets, etc. We report to a 1st Lieutenant there. He asked us who we were, and we told him 79th Division. He gave us a long look and then let out a whoop and called all the other officers around and said .did you ever see a dirtier, lousier, tougher looking gang than this?. There we stood with beardy faces, big packs and guns, kind of out of place down here in the S.O.S. We thought that surely we were in for a balling out, but after they all looked us over and grinned, he continued, .That.s my gang, same outfit I was with.. He shook hands with us and told us that he was with the 313th at Camp Meade, but was transferred and did not get into action. We had to tell him all about what we did here. We were then assigned to Co. #1 Headquarters Battalion and assigned to barracks in with the fellows from the 40th Division. This bunch, the National Guard of Montana and some other western states were among the first over here--husky cow and sheep herders mostly and yet, with the exception of some who were taken away as replacements for other units, they have been stuck here all through the war. Now that it is all over they feel they have a grievance that they did not share in the glory, if any. They can't realize what a soft snap they have had. There are about 8 each of the 29th, 33rd and other Divisions here with us--all in this barracks; each outfit claiming to have won the war and the others giving them the razz. As soon as anyone from the 40th Division opens his mouth, there are yells of .Baah Baah!. There are some nice fellows among them though.
March 13, 1919 It has been a beautiful day. It certainly felt good to sleep in a cot again and under shelter. We just loafed around all day dodging sergeants, officers and details, but later I spoke to the top kick and got a pass from the Captain for town and went there at night. I haven.t received mail or pay for about 3 months.
March 14, 1919 Our passes are good for trips to town every night and all day Saturday and Sunday. We are having wonderful weather. We are still ducking details and just loafing. These fellows (40th Division) down here are quite sore because we are all so infested with cooties--we sure are lousy--just can't get rid of them. Sessions and I boiled our underwear for one full hour, but we are just as full of them as ever. The Top Sergeant saw the Captain and succeeded in getting us new underwear.
March 20, 1919 We can't duck details any longer. I am assigned as a file clerk in the Director's Office, College of Education. My hours are 8:30 to 11 and 1:30 to 4, with no reveille or retreat. Not much to do as yet, just trying to organize a system. The Director is a YMCA man, the Assistant Director is a First Lieutenant; both of them supervisors of schools in civilian life, and then there are 2 typists and myself. I have free rein here with the two typists to assist me.
March 21 and 22, 1919 Rain and cold.
March 23, 1919 I went to the French Cathedral in Beaune, there was a very large nice crowd. This town is very pretty with nice shops and little white houses with colored roofs--pink, green, red, etc. all very picturesque. This is the old stronghold of the Dukes of Burgundy and there are many old historic places built around 1400, still standing and untouched. Big thick walls, moats and the old Hotel de Dieux. In the afternoon, Horan, Sessions and I went to the park. There is a big lake where we hire row boats, and a flock of swans follows us all around in the boats. In the evening we went to a civilian dance. They dance very fast and never reverse it seems.
March 24, 1919 It is warm again and very pleasant.
March 26, 1919 I spent the entire evening in the Jewish Welfare Board.s place in town. It is very lively, courteous and they have Camel cigarettes free!
March 27, 1919 I woke up with a sore throat and fever. I retired at 6 P.M.--did not go into town.
March 28, 1919 I still feel punk. I went to the movies at the red Cross hut at night.
March 29, 1919 No improvement.
March 30, 1919 We had church services in the morning. I still have that sore throat. Spent the afternoon and evening in town, stopping at the French American Club and the Jewish Welfare Board. We learn that our Division left the Souilly area for Renicourt (62 and ½ miles) in 5 marches through a severe blizzard.
March 31, 1919 I went on sick report. Felt good with the exception of the sore throat. They wanted me to stay very quiet and in bed all day, but I told the Looie that I felt fine otherwise and asked him to mark me for duty. He gave me a gargle and pills which fixed me up O.K. Worked all day, went to town at night and wrote letters.
April 1, 1919 It is a beautiful day. Went to the French American Club at night. This club was organized to establish better relations between the French civilians and ourselves. It is rather high hat, but they have a small library and dancing. Met Louise Bussene, a pretty, vivacious blonde. Then went to the Jewish Welfare Board and received free chocolate and cigarettes. We heard the YMCA was putting over a barrage, so we hiked up there and received a cup of chocolate, but had to pay 25 centimes for it.
April 2, 1919 We are all on detail today policing up in preparation for a review. I managed to sneak out of camp and into town and bummed around all day. Saw Louise again. She is working in a leather goods store owned by Mons. Laurent who.s daughter Martha also works there. Martha speaks English a little better than Louise, but we get along fine.
April 3, 1919 Reveille at 5 A.M. We were inspected by General Pershing. He came in our office with his son Warren and his staff, and looked us over, and then gave an address. Went to town at night.
April 4, 1919 Returned to the office for duty. They were glad to see me back. (Just showed up yesterday to stand inspection).
April 5, 1919 Went to a French barbershop for a haircut and shave and remained in town.
April 6, 1919 Wonderful weather! Spent the entire day in town and had a good dinner, after which I visited the French American and Jewish Welfare Clubs where they had a big dance.
April 7, 1919 The 29th Division troupe gave their show .Snap it Up. at the Municipal Theater. Lt Schermer gave me a ticket--had a good seat in the 4th row among the officers.
April 12, 1919 Went to the French Cinema with Louise.
April 13, 1919 It is Palm Sunday. I went to the French Cathedral. They all carry hedge instead of palm. At night I went to the Opera House and heard one act from Manon and one act from Faust.
April 14, 1919 Received a batch of mail--the first in 3 months (one written 10/11/18) and 2 ($5) money orders from U.S.Steel Co.
April 15, 1919 orders have been received that we (all men on detached service) cannot return to our outfits that are going home, but must remain at the University until the end of the term and then go home in a casual company. We are certainly sore. The 29th Division bunch are in the same predicament. We held a meeting in the Airdrome, but Col. Reeves got wind of it and threatened to court martial the whole crowd. We have written to our Colonels and Generals but we have had no results as yet. Tried to get a cable through to Senator Chamberlain through a French civilian, but don.t know whether it succeeded or not. The YMCA fellows here are strutting around in Sam Brown belts and we have been requested to show them the same military courtesy as we do officers, but no one will do it.
April 16, 1919 Had my picture taken.
April 20, 1919 Easter Sunday. Went to the French Cathedral. It has been a beautiful day. In the afternoon our band gave a concert in the park which was very good.
April 21, 1919 General Pershing and Secretary of War Baker inspected all buildings and later spoke just at Mess time. Baker tried to boost Universal Service. The crowd kept yelling .When do we eat?. .We wantta go home!. and one guy yelled out .You need a haircut!. But, Pershing jumped up and restored order.
April 25, 1919 We are sending letters all over telling of our predicament and taking a chance on censoring them ourselves.
April 29, 1919 All of the 79th Division students are ordered to return to their outfit, but we on detached service are kept here. Orders have been received notifying us to be prepared to leave for our Divisions (29th and 79th). Went to town to bid goodbye to Louise and Martha--gave them each a photo.
May 3, 1919 No further orders yet. Horan, Conway and I went into town for a final blow-out before leaving. We started at the top of the list with vermouth surcease, cherry brandy, vermouth, creme de menthe, rhume, champagne and beer. Had a scrap with a couple of M.P.s but a couple of fellows from the 40th Division got us back to our billets O.K.
May 4, 1919 Orders received to leave at midnight. Left after Mess and went to town to see Louise. Stopped in the J.W.Board first and they told us to stop back around 11:30 and they would have a feed for us. I left the crowd and went around to see Louise. We still had a few hours, so I suggested a promenade. It was raining, but her mother and her two kid sisters had to accompany us. We stopped in to have a glace. I told them I had to go to the J.W.Board as the was waiting for me. I left them outside while I went in. I had some very good sandwiches, and coffee and cigarettes. We certainly appreciated that. When I came out, Louise and her family were still there waiting for me. We had a very wet, mournful farewell. We left them at midnight on box cars.
May 5, 1919 Nice scenery. Past the cliff dwellers, old wine caverns, etc. and arrived at St. Pierre de Corpe at 8 P.M. We stopped in the cafe there and had champagne. While we were celebrating the General.s train pulled in. Pershing was not on board, but his son Warren was and he came out to stretch for a few moments We left there at 4 A.M. for Tours.
May 6, 1919 We left Tours at 6:30 A.M. by 3rd Class and arrived in Nantes at 3:15 P.M. and at Chisson at 6 P.M. Here we found 158th Brigade Headquarters. The rest of the crowd returned to their outfits except for Sessions and me. We get a shave and then ask at Headquarters for transportation to 157th Brigade. They billet us in a barn for the night. This is quite a town and the barn is very clean. There is a beautiful blond girl living in the residential part of the house. We request and receive a bucket of water and proceed to clean up a bit.
May 7, 1919 We left at 7 A.M. for 157th Brigade Headquarters at Charlet, and we remained there until 7 P.M. when we left for Le May sur Eyre where I Company was billeted, arriving there at 8:30 P.M. They sure gave me a good welcome. This town is larger than usual, but dirty and dismal, even though the fellows think it is great--the best thing they have struck yet. The people are very homely and sloppy--engaged mostly in making shoes and weaving--in their own homes. This is the first time Yanks have been billeted here, and the fellows tell me that when the French first saw them they ran indoors and hid, but later got along fine. I reported to Lt. Boggs, in charge of the Company, and then had a couple of drinks and turned in. Almost the entire Company is billeted in one Chateau, sleeping on wooden floors. I bunk in with Possum Opdyke.s squad. We are having wonderful weather now, we drill one hour a day and go to a creek to bathe every day.
May 11, 1919 We leave at 8: A.M. and hike to Charlet. We had a great send off, and as we near Charlet we are met by our band who escort us in. Another big send off there, when we leave on box cars at 3 P. M. We arrive at St. Nazaire at 9 P. M. This is a big town. It sure felt good to see the Gobs and water and boats again. We had nothing to eat all day except a cup of coffee for breakfast and a small sandwich and a cup of coffee for dinner. We are pretty hungry. We hike about 7 kilometers to Camp #2, a tough hike. At midnight we get coffee and beans. We are very tired and turn in.
May 12, 1919 Reveille at 6 A.M. We took all of our belongings down to the delousing station, we were deloused and examined--a farce, and we were put in Camp #1.
May 13, 1919 As I had missed Regimental Inspection, I had to stand a show down inspection. So, I borrowed everything I was short of, spread everything out and naturally passed. Ray Roberts came down to see me. They had just arrived, and hearing that we were here, he came over, but by the time he located our company it was almost taps, so I did not see much of him.
May 15, 1919 At last we get word that we are going to sail, and that we will leave at 7 P.M. We hike back into town and board the Princess Matoika at 9 P.M. We sleep on the decks until 2 A.M. when we are given bunks and we sail at 3:30 A.M.
May 16, 1919 Although this boat is quite small, it is not as crowded as the Leviathan was. It sure does rock though, and quite a few are getting sick.
May 17, 1919 Rough weather--very high seas, and almost everyone is sick. It hasn.t hit me as yet, however. We have 50 prisoners aboard--both coons and whites. Among them is a Major, a First Lieutenant and 2 YMCA men--all long time prisoners. They are located on the main deck with a rope in front of their bunks and a continual guard over them. Guards are sent out with guns, fixed bayonets and a pail (for mal-de-mer). The prisoners are a surly bunch. I am on guard from 1 to 3 P.M. and 7 to 9 P.M.
May 18, 1919 On guard 1 to 3 A.M. and 7 to 9 A.M. Very rough and stormy.
May 19 to 21, 1919 Weather continues rough and stormy, and although most of the fellows are pretty sick, I haven.t missed a meal.
May 22 to 25, 1919 Fine weather--beautiful sunsets and the gang is feeling better.
by Damon Runyon

there's a stir along the decks;
there's a light like Jerry.s flare;
there's a line of craning necks-
"Won't be long until we're there!"
Someone's seen the far-off ground,
Faintly traced as by a pen,
And his heart begins to pound-
"Home again!  Home again!"

Home again! Ah, God, how sweet
Down in his soul that rings!
Home again to the old home street,
And the old home things,
Don.t ask him now of battles fought--
Of what he.s seen--and been;
Let him alone with just this thought:
.Home again!  Home again!.

there's a mist before his eyes,
And it.s not from the ocean.s foam,
From the starboard someone cries-
.Twenty-Seventh-yonder.s home!.
Lord, he.s heard it for a week
In the kicking of the screw;
In the old tub.s every squeak-
.Home again--and Home to You!.

Home again! Ah, God, you know
What joy to him it means!
Home again to the old home glow,
And the old home scenes.
Home again to the old home walks;
The old home haunts, and men;
Home again, to the old home talks-
.Home again!  Home again!.

there's a mist that makes him blink,
And it.s not the salty spray;
Times there were he did not think
He would meet this blessed day.
.See it,. See that light come on?
See that slowly widening streak?.
Lord, he.s watched for it since dawn-
Lord, he.s smelt it for a week!

Home again!  Ah, God, once more
To breathe the old home air,
Home to a familiar door-
And to the old home fare,
Ah what recollections start,
What sweetest music when
He feels that thumping in his heart-
.Home again!  Home again!.

Lu B. Cake

They are coming home, our boys!
Make the welcome crowd and noise
Shake the dome!
Sweethearts, all the folks to meet,
Biggest hand and heart to greet,
Hail and hug them, and repeat!
Welcome home!

Hindenburg them hindered not,
Soon behind-erburg they got
With their guns;
It was Thierry to Berlin,
Doughboys always on the win,
Yankee bay.nets sticking in
Homesick Huns.

Argonne Woods, whipped Huns are gone!
Throne the Kaiser lorded on,
Turned the old world upside down,
Right side up without a crown,
Give our boys home-made renown

Glory-crowned, world honored MEN!
Now they.re coming back again,
O.er the foam;
Flag salute, glad welkin cheers
Bell, horn, band, to joyful tears!
Boom the guns till Kaiser hears,
May 26, 1919 Reveille at 5 A.M., and in sight of land! We had printed big signs on a long canvas strip reading .Montfaucon---Natillois---Hill 304" etc. which we nailed around the edge of the boat. It sure felt great to see old New York again! We lay off Staten Island, and as the early morning fog lifted, espied the Statue of Liberty and let out a shout! A yacht with the Mayor.s Reception Committee aboard came up to greet us--also some smaller boats--and they gave us a great reception. We docked at about 11 A.M. at Hoboken, landed and were served corn beef, egg pie and coffee by the red Cross. At the dock were a number of relatives and friends of some of the fellows, but they were not allowed to visit us nor were we allowed to go to them. Various organizations handed out chocolate, gum, etc. Left Hoboken on a ferry for Jersey City about 2:30, and boarded regular trains--seats and comfort--back to civilization. We received wonderful receptions all along the line and arrived at Fort Dix at 7 P.M. It feels like home again!
May 27, 1919 We slept in regular barracks and wondered how soon we would be let out. At night we fell in with all of our equipment and marched down to one end of the camp where there were huge dumps. At the first, we chucked our rifles--the next our bayonets, etc., etc., retaining only our uniforms, overcoats and slickers. During the afternoon we were deloused again.
May 28, 1919 Called into formation, and the top kick said if there was anyone who had any grudge against him to step right out and settle it now. He got an awful razzing, but he was only fooling, and I doubt if anyone had any desire to step out. He was pretty well liked in spite of his hard manner and the rotten details he had to wish on us. We were also informed that, as there was another Division there ahead of us which had to be discharged first, we would be delayed a few days, but if anyone with any clerical knowledge would volunteer to help with the work of discharging that outfit, it would hasten our discharge. I volunteered along with a number of others, What a mad house that was.
May 29, 1919 Discharge work all day, and same old mad house.
May 30, 1919 Received my discharge, a $60 bonus and railroad fare, and lost no time hiking to the station and home. Stopped in a restaurant on Market Street and had a regular meal, and then at Louden Street where Father was in the act of preparing a welcome sign, and then home, just in time for dinner and, fortunately, everyone was there as it was a holiday. Back with the folks--regular eats, chairs and a regular bed!
Fin la guerre!

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