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I had rather have a plain, russet-coated Captain, that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that you call a Gentle-man and is nothing else.

-- Oliver Cromwell
World War I Journal12106 Reads  Printer-friendly page

World War IJune 20, 1918 Fine day, we were pulled out from pier by tug at 8:30 this morning. Steamed slowly out of harbor. We are in a convoy of twelve transports and one battle cruiser "Montana." Ships keep about one half mile apart. All are very much camouflaged. Very crowded boat. Gun crew moved into deck house and I moved to saloon with crew. Good place. Jolly bunch. Four guns mounted on this ship. We were accompanied all day by several destroyers. They turned back at dark.
June 21, 1918 (24 yrs. old) Very fine day. On upper deck most time, one ship had engine trouble and had to turn back. Only twelve now including cruiser. We are just shipping along. Everybody below until we got away from New York harbor. No lights at night. No noise. Nothing thrown overboard. Taking a zigzag course trying to keep out of danger of submarines. Several lookouts all time, Crow's nest on each mast. Forgot all about my birthday, commenced getting sick. Was partly sick when I boarded the ship. June 22, 1918 Pretty sick today. Getting rough outside. Stayed out last night. Big bunch at rail heaving over. Pretty rough now. Have hit a storm. She pitches and rolls.. June 23, 1918 Stormy all day. Big waves and heavy sea. One big wave swift completely over the boat this morning. Broke several arms and legs. Crippled about 12. Still pretty sick. Smell of galley sickens me, Eat nothing. June 24, 1918 Gradually grew calmer today. Fair weather towards evening. Still sick. Ate nothing. June 25, 1918 Fine day. Had to work on equipment records today. Didn't get much done. Felt better towards evening. Ate some supper. Our mess sure is a fright. Can hardly eat it. Sailors say chow. Good name. Something like 3,200 men on board. Officers of course get excellent meals. Have not eaten since Friday morn until this evening. June 26, 1918 Fine day. Made good time. Feel pretty good. Passed lot of wreckage today and one abandoned life boat with two water kegs in it. Must have been a wreck near. June 27, 1918 Fine day. Sure fine sailing. Foggy in evening. Rations cut to two meals per day. You can see a mess line nearly any time. If not a canteen line. Canteen on board and is sure rushed. Men beg at the canteens and steal from ships hold rather than eat chow. One sailor died and was sealed in a metal casket. Not dumped overboard any more. June 28, 1918 Another fine day for sailing. Food no good and water salty. Makes one sore. Sleep good part time. We have abandon ship drill every day. Everyone gets out on deck at the sound of the ships gong and goes to a certain boat or raft. Mine is raft lot number 6 with 59 others. Raft 12 feet across made of inflated rubber tubing. Some crowd for one raft. June 29, 1918 Fine day. Sailing a pleasure, this kind of weather. Up too late for breakfast. Ate a sandwich at dinner and onions for supper. Hungry. Cruiser Montana went back this evening. Expecting destroyers now any time. All lights must be out at 9'o clock. It is still light then. No one allowed on deck after 9:30 except guards and sailors. June 30, 1918 Fine morning. Daylight at 3. Up at 3:30. Sun just coming up. Destroyer convoy from Irish coast coming to join us. Twelve of them. Pretty sight. They are graceful speedy little boats. We had to stay on account of being in worst part of danger gone. Have had to wear our life preservers every day since coming on board. July 1, 1918 Cloudy morn. Everyone up at 3 and out to their raft or boat position. In Irish sea now. Coast visible on both sides. Cleared up at 9 . Fine day. All out on deck again today. Made up pack. Into Mersey river at dusk. Anchored there, slept on board. Not much sleep though. Sailors were celebrating. We can see but very little of Liverpool from here. July 2, 1918 Fine day. Disembarked about 10 a.m. Stayed in dock at Liverpool all day. Rough looking people. Marched to train 5 p.m. Queer train. Engine looks like one that Stevenson called "The Rocket." Short dinky coaches with compartments for 8. Old style link couplings. Left Liverpool 6. Fine scenery but give me the USA Every foot of ground cultivated. July 3, 1918 Fine day. Walked in South Ampton 3:30. Out, unloaded baggage and marched out to English rest camp on edge of city. Breakfast 8:30. Not much either. Food scarce. Good water. First German prisoner here. Not bad looking. Appear to be civilized. English think them something fierce. Walked around on common near camp. Met an Englishman different to rest. E. Taylor, 15 Calbrook Ave. Shirley, Southampton. He invited me to dinner. I went, good dinner. Had quite a nice visit. Sure enjoyed it. Milked around p.m. Supper 6. All kinds of girls out here. Mostly the wrong kind though. One can even see women with two or three children, laying in the bushes with some soldier. They don't seem to care for being caught either. I didn't take any. Too much disease. England must be short of men. Took two decent looking girls to a picture show. Cost 3 shillings for the three. Very loving girls. No soldiers to bed before 10. Good many in town although strict orders were issued against it. A man in the army is not supposed to be a good soldier if he won't take a chance. Large tents with floors. Everyone has trouble with English money. Nearly everyone except the YMCA tried to beat you (short change you). No autos. All bicycles. Gasoline not obtainable. July 4, 1918 Breakfast 8:30. Two small slices of war bread. Very brown, very hard, and very good. One slice bacon and a cup of poor coffee for those who were fortunate to like it. I don't. Dinner on time. Everyone had been planning on a big time tonight but we are going to move. Drew rations for supper. 50 loaves of bread, 6 jars of jam, and pounds of cheese for 246 men. We cut it up and distributed it. Co. fell out 1:30. Stacked arms and equipment. Had games and enjoyed fourth. Good crowd. Young men very scarce. No scarcity of girls and babies, however. Girls working in men's places. Everyone hates to have. England is just about whipped. Marched off through streets about 4:30. Good crowd. Streets decorated in honor of Fourth. First celebration of that kind in England. To docks. Loaded on one of the channel steamers 5:30. Everyone below. Ate our lunch and tried to sleep. No room. Float full. July 5, 1918 Walked in Havre, France 5:30. Unloaded and marched 4 or 5 miles to another rest camp. French people more intelligent looking and more kindly toward us than English. Breakfast on steamer. Good dinner. White bread. No one allowed outside camp. Two soldier got drunk at Southampton so we have guards all around here and a fence also like a bull pen. Only about 60 miles from front. Can hear big guns when all is quiet. American YMCA and good canteen here. July 6, 1918 Fine morn. Not much sleep. Small tents. Not over 12 feet in diameter. 12 men to a tent. Fooled around most of day. Been under Major Smith. Marched threw Havre to R.R (Le chemin de fave). We boarded on box cars 20 feet long. 36 men to car. Very crowded. No sleep. No benches. No straw. Piled around on each other. Have pile of hard bread, hard tack, and canned food to eat on trip, in one corner of car. July 7, 1918 Rode all day. Sat in door. Excellent scenery. Traveled SE Were allowed to get off only few minutes. Great many tunnels. People waving all along road. Wheat and oats look better than in USA Planted small patches. through Versailles P.M. Pretty place. People enjoying themselves on river. Stopped at Troyes for about 10 minutes about dark. July 8, 1918 Reached our destination about 8:30. Detrained and pitched shelter tents on green. Seems to be small place. Not much here. Can talk to no one and can buy nothing, but wine. Sour and no good. Ate dinner here and rested some. Moved out NE 2:45. Hot. Hiked 9 miles and stopped for night at Rochesford. Small village. Just few houses. House, barn and sometimes a mill under one roof. We slept on ground in orchard of a resident. One of the prettiest chateau's here that I could imagine. Built in Napoleans time. One man drunk on hike today and had to fall out. Too much wine. Very cool tonight. No supper tonight. Ate what we carried. July 9, 1918 Warm and rainy all day. Ate for breakfast what we had left from supper. Moved out 7:35. Hiked 8 1/2 miles, arrived at St. Marc sur Seime at 11. Marched into a big barn lot. Our cooks had come on ahead and had dinner for us. Were divided up and billeted in parts of different houses and barns. Most of them good places. No young men here at all and few girls. Wheat just in milk. Looks fine. Two small flour mills here run by water power. Small stream (Seime river) furnishes the power. It is full of trout. Hard bed but was tired so I slept. Lot of hazelnuts here. July 10, 1918 Fine day supposed to be for rest. Everyone washed their clothes. This town is supposed to contain 600 people. Can hardly see anyone. There is a roller mill and a helmet factory below here about a mile. Nothing to big here. Must have French money anyway. July 11, 1918 Another fine day. Checking up of clothing p.m. We are in about same latitude as extreme northern part of US Same climate only difference of half mountains. July 12, 1918 Co. out on field all day to be inspected by Commander General. He failed to appear. Had retreat this evening. July 13, 1918 Co. out for inspection today. Found out no inspection. I was sent in to work. Took inventory p.m. July 14, 1918 Cloudy morn. Fine day. Today is French National holiday. CO's paraded a.m. Fooled around p.m. Found a Frenchman and talked to him by writing. July 15, 1918 Collected ammunition in morn. Fooled around in afternoon. Some holes found in Seime good for swimming. Good part of Co. goes every evening. July 16, 1918 Fine day. Borrowed a bike and rode around hunting barrack bags, field ranges, and paint. Two speed bike. Pedal forward for high and backward for low. We are in province of Cote de or way of gold. July 18, 1918 Hunted wire for bayonet dummies. Found none. Tried to talk French. Not much success at that. Old man who owns this barn I stay in has lost two sons in this war. He saw my Kodak and wanted me to copy their pictures and put them into a locket. I had a hard time explaining to him that I could not. Co. had boxing and wrestling this evening. A lady here who speaks French and English taught me some this evening. July 19, 1918 Rode borrowed wheel a.m. To Aigne le Dui p.m. on train. Purchased several small articles and a roll of wire at Americans commissary. Caused me to be late for train. Capt. Marx was there too. He ordered a gov't car and was furnished a Ford truck. We came back in that. July 21, 1918 Fine day. Washed my clothes. I was attached to Fourth platoon and put out to drill. Duncan was transferred in from Supply Co. and made Supply Sgt. That was Capt. Marx way of rewarding me for the way I have worked day and night. July 22, 1918 On wheel and to Meulson with water bags to be repaired. On to Aigne to glue. Back to Meulson with glue. Back to St. Marc. Then had to make another trip to Aigne for First Sgt. Have ridden about 50 miles. July 23, 1918 Hike today. Fell out with pack. Hiked all day. Feet swollen tonight so I can hardly walk. July 24, 1918 Drilled a.m. To Meulson p.m. for water bags. On to Aigne. Back to Meulson. Had to wait until 7:15 for them. Caused me to get back late. July 25, 1918 Had bayonet, gas, grenade, and close order drill a.m. Up on hill to S. p.m. Fired, signaled and then organized hill for attack. Slept from 3:30 to 5:30. Wrote some in diary tonight. July 26, 1918 Same as yesterday . July 27, 1918 Rained all day. Drilled just same. Had practice in relief in trenches p.m. July 28, 1918 Cool., cloudy a.m. Went fishing in morn with C.M. Tillerson. He caught! I cooked and ate it. July 29, 1918 Fine day. Warm. Same as usual a.m. I have a squad now. An ordinary rifle squad. We had a problem p.m. which took till 5 to complete school tonight till 8:30. That way every night. July 30, 1918 Fine day. Fired chauchats and watched French soldiers maneuver a.m. Worked out problem and went through tear gas p.m. Mail today. I read card from C.F. dated 6- 12. July 31, 1918 Fine day. Bayonet and gas drill a.m. also grenade drill. Firing of chauchat p.m. School for N. Co's every night. No chance to wash clothes, clean up or do anything. I am at a great disadvantage in not knowing all about drill and maneuvers. I will be reduced I supposed, but I can not learn in a week what the rest have learned in 10 months. August 1, 1918 Hot. Big hike and maneuver by 2nd and 3rd Bn's. N.C.O.'s were all put through a maneuver by themselves which lasted all day. Close to Casne. 1 Brigadier Gen., 2 colonels, 4 majors, several captains and a big bunch of Lieut's were present. General O'Neil made us a speech. August 2, 1918 Nice day, but cloudy by spells. Bayonet, gas, close order and games in a.m. Shot chauchats and pistols in p.m. Rainy evening. August 3, 1918 Fine day. Up at 4:30. Walked to Beaunatte to Supply Co. There 6:30. Took some requisitions. Hung around a.m. To Aigne le Duc 11. Brought out mail for "L" Co. Back on ration wagons. 1-3. I read two letters, one from Mattie and one from Nettie dated July 9. Very dry. Corn burned up. Wheat not threshing out much. Eat good. Nettie teaches valley school. She gets $90.00 per month. August 4, 1918 Cloudy and rainy by spells most of the day. Took some pictures. Everyone turning in all supplies clothing that they can not carry in their pack. Barrack bags are turned in with personal property in them. August 5, 1918 Rainy and clear by spells. Same thing as usual today. August 6, 1918 Rainy most day. Target practice. Bayonet and gas mask drill a.m. Problem on hill to W. p.m. also patrolling. We now wear O.D.'s field shoes wrap leggings and a helmet. We have also an overseas cap for dress. We carry a pack weighing 18 pounds, a rifle, a gas mask, and a slicker. It rains nearly every day. August 7, 1918 Mixture of sunshine and rain like most days here. We have been staying out until 5 or 5:20 and then having retreat at 5:30. Then we had to fall out after supper and hike up a hill to pistol targets or listen to a lecture until 8:30 or 9. No time for anything. Did not have to fall out this evening. Wrote a letter to Peggy. No 2. August 8, 1918 About the same as usual a.m. Rained of course. Co. marched to Casne in p.m. 3- 4:30. Whole regiment assembled there. Pitched shelter halves. First time regiment has been together since leaving Travis. August 9, 1918 Rainy nearly entire day. First call 5:30. Usual time is 6:15. Moved out with light packs at 7. Hiked around over hills all day. Regimental maneuvers. Back to St. Marc at 5:30. Tired. August 10, 1918 Cloudy most of the day. Not a very strenuous day but am sore from hike of yesterday. Company had a night maneuver from 8:30 till 11:30. Very cool and disagreeable. Part of gas mask drill. August 11, 1918 Fine day. Took few pictures. French people opened flood gate and drained river above mill this morn. Eller discovered some trout around turbine. He, Bigham, and I caught 16. Eight of them were cooked for our supper. Also some biscuits. Eller, Bigham, Duncan, Marmor, and myself ate them. Some feast. August 12, 1918 Nice day, Everyone had to turn in all of his blankets except one today. Boxed my Kodak up to send home tonight. Eller and Human loved it. August 13, 1918 Fine day. About same as ususal. We got a new major today. Maj. True from 358th. Lost my bayonet on hike Friday. Rode out to find it this evening. Nothing doing. Have only one blanket now. Keep it in my pack and sleep in hay now on my slicker. Night maneuver practice in trench relief. August 14, 1918 Fine warm day. Maneuver all day. Holding a position. Lay out on hill most of day. Major True commands Bn. Went in and talked with the old farmer tonight. M'siew Brunner. They eat with their hats on. Serve only one dish at a time. August 15, 1918 Fine day. Day for Hague Convention. I hope there will be good results from it. CO's "L&M" had a maneuver a.m. Light drill p.m. with CO's swim in evening. August 16, 1918 Fine day. CO. marched out on hill to West to stone quarry and threw grenades a.m. Prepared to move p.m. Going to front. August 17, 1918 Up at 5:30. Hiked out 8 a.m. with packs which weighed at least 85 pounds. Just could move with them. Torture on shoulders. Hiked till 1 a.m. Fell out and pitched S.H.'s at Ampilly. Good dinner 1:30. Good swim in Seine. Everyone about all in. Packs simply unbearable. Troops here who have been in trenches for 6 months. Now resting. Mass boys. Taps at 9 tonight. August 18, 1918 Not much sleep. Up at 4. Rolled packs, ate breakfast, and moved out at 6. Torture again. Hiked till 9. Arranged at the railroad. Looks good to see American locomotives and drivers. Loaded on 20 ft. box cars, 40 men to a car. Left at 1:50. Rode through Chatillon-sur Seine. Soldiers in every town. Detrained 12:15 a.m. at a small place. Hiked 4 kilometers. About all in found fair bunks in billets in a good sized town. To bed at 3. August 19, 1918 Fine day. Up at 9. Breakfast at 9:30. Slept most of day. Formation at 4:30. Dinner 5. Put our heavy rolls on truck and carried light pack. Hiked 8:30 to 12. Again almost at the end of our endurance. Hungry and sleepy enough to sleep walk. Near enough to front to see aerial signals and gun flashes. I with 75 others slept in mow of big barn. August 20, 1918 Fine day. UPS. Breakfast 8:30. Dinner 1. Slept p.m. Supper 5. Everyone having their heads clipped on account of trench lice. CO. fell out 6. Moved out by platoons and connecting files at 8:45. Whole battalions. I was left behind with sector zone papers reserve rations and reserve ammunition for second battalion which comes up tomorrow. Bosch planes very active here. Antiaircraft guns shooting all the time. Found a bunk and retired at 10. August 21, 1918 Very warm. Up 8. 2nd Bn of 16th Inf 1st Div came in last night. I ate breakfast with them. Also dinner and supper. They were in the big drive at Saissons and lost nearly all their men. Came to this sector to rest. Are being relieved by 90th Diversion Lt. Rosenburg of 2nd Bn came in evening and I delivered stuff to him. 2nd Bn. came in 10 PM. I attached myself to Co. "E." Slept with them. August 22, 1918 Lay around all day. Hot. Saw Andrew Lindsay of Co. "B." 344MGB also Capt. Runger and Sgts. Kephart, Morgan, and Gaul of Co. "A.". I left at 8:35 with 2nd Bn in trucks. Rode until 11 over a road where traffic was so congested that we had to halt several times. Everything moves at night here. Unloaded at Martincourt. Hiked little over a mile. There we were put into dugouts in reserve trenches. August 23, 1918 Were aroused at 3 for "Stand To." Lasted till 5. Happens twice every day 3-5 AM and 7-9 PM. Back to bed 5. Good dugouts here. Dry and roomy with electric lights. Very quiet here. Two shells burst over here today. Scared some of them. Sick today. Ate nothing. August 24, 1918 Cloudy most day. Rainy PM. I went to creek with bunch and took a bath. Have to walk a mile over hills to mess. Have been trying to go up to 3rd Bn. Nothing doing yet. August 25, 1918 Fine day. We had a gas alarm last night at 12. No gas, but everyone put on their mask. Went up to Reg. Hdg. and had them send me up to front lines. Walked up on road in day light to trenches. Rherematism was bothering so took it slowly 10 to 12. 3 miles. Airplanes of both sides busy. Found kitchen in old quarry with dugouts under sides. No one goes to kitchen but food detail to carry food to men. Everyone asleep in dugouts. First, third, and fourth platoons in front line. Second in support. Everyone out for "Stand To." I was given a night past. Most of them went in at 9:30. I stayed all night. Runners brought coffee at 12:30. Drank some to keep me awake. Up all night. Saw nothing but wire and grass. Ardious task. Gas alarm 2:30. No gas here though. Bombardment by artillery 2:30-3. Both sides. We are supposed to stay here 10 days and be relieved. Some of the boys seem to be scared. Others don't mind it. My first night didn't bother me at all. August 26, 1918 Came in 5 and went to bed. Slept all day except for meals. Our dugout is old but has a good roof, plenty of rats and lice. This is called the Luneville-Metz sector. Position in shape of a horseshoe. We are in the front end. Enemy front at least 1/2 mile from us. This is an old sector full of old trenches and barbed wire. All hills and hollows. Out at 7 PM for "Stand To." Losing sleep has made me nervous tonight. Most of the boys seem to have enough war already. I am one of them. One man in Co. "M" was passed last night. One Co "K" man has been captured 3 or 4 days ago. Night almost without events. Hardly a shot fired. Cloudy most of night. Rained part time. I had a past away out protecting an automatic rifle. Close to 3 men. Rats keep us camping. August 27, 1918 Came in 6. Cloudy. Slept after cleaning my rifle. Out at 7 PM. Enemy had two balloons up so we had to sneak out. Another quiet night except for one of our machine guns. Thought they saw an enemy patrol and wasted a lot of American ammunition. Dark most of time. Rainy part time. Good many flares. August 28, 1918 In 5:30. Slept all AM. Could not sleep PM. Some excitement tonight. Enemy dropped 10 or 15 shells in our trenches about 7:30. Everyone low. No one hurt. German patrol operating in front of us tonight. Could hear them plainly but could not see so did not shoot. Too far out for grenades. Two prisoners taken. We were relieved by Co. "K" of 2nd Bn at 10 o'clock. Back to dugouts and got packs. Strung out down C.J. and marched. Hiked about 2 miles behind front in support line. August 29, 1918 Arrived here 4:30. On guard till 5:30. Most of boys pitched S.H.'s on camp ground. I found a M.G. emplacement newly built. Slept in it. Slept most of day. Out to "Stand To" 7:30. In 9 and to bed. August 30, 1918 So cold last night could hardly sleep. Up 3:30. "Stand To," till 5. Back and slept till 11:30. To dinner. Kitchen in same spot as "E" Co's was. Shaved PM "Stand To" evening. August 31, 1918 Light bombardment in morn. All went over us. We are supposed to drill everyday now. I with 3 privates were on a "Cassack" post all night. Rainy. Prisoners recently taken say that a big gas attack will be put over soon. We are watchful. Several gas alarms through night. A Co. of Negroes close to us. Every time the German shoot these blacks give a gas alarm. September 1, 1918 Fine day. Sprinkled in evening. Went down to St. Jean in AM and took a good hot bath. Also washed out some clothes. Walked over to Martincourt PM and visited with Co "A" 344 MGBn. Same old boys. These hills are being filled with artillery. Preparing for an attack on Metz. September 2, 1918 Drilled some today. Eight enemy balloons up too. September 3, 1918 Fine day. Allemands put over some shells in morn. One enemy plane came over and destroyed two of our balloons. Part of CO. were out in open drilling. Were seen by aviator. Soon shells began dropping in that exact spot. Everything very high and hard to get. A can of plums cost 6 francs or $1.10. A 1/4 lb. can of butter 2 francs, $.75 or $.50. A can of sardines which did cost $.05 at home cost here 3 for $.55. Eggs per dozen 6 francs. September 4, 1918 Fine day. Laid around AM. Bn maneuvers PM in brush. Read letter from mom today, dated 7-23. Hot dry weather there. On guard tonight. Rained some. Slept none. September 5, 1918 Rainy nearly all day. Nothing doing AM. Gas mask and bayonet drill PM. Read two letters from Mattie. One dated July 23 and one dated August 10. At last writing she had just read my first letter. They almost make me homesick. September 6, 1918 Rainy all day. Nothing doing. Wrote three letters, one to Mom, one to Cecil and the other to Mattie. September 7, 1918 Fine day but rainy evening. Some shells landed right close to our position this PM. No one hurt. My letter to C.F. returned because I told him there was not much religion in CO. and poker the chief amusement. Facts are facts however. Said to be an aspersion on CO. September 8, 1918 Windy. Breakfast at 9. Hot cakes and syrup. No baking powder. Good though. Dinner 4:30, rained hard all through meal. Had to move out of my dugout and let French have it for a telephone office. I with three privates was put on ration guard at Bn Hdg. 9 PM. Slept in a frame building with electric light. September 9, 1918 On guard all day. Ate dinner with part of boys from CO. "A" 344 MGBn. Rest of CO. is upon front. Rained part of day. We were to be relieved this evening, but relief failed to come. Stayed. September 10, 1918 Rained all AM and part of PM. Were told that "L" CO had moved so we went up, two at a time and got our stuff. Wet, road is full of trucks and wagons bringing up ammunition. Big drive will soon be on. More troops coming in too. September 11, 1918 Rainy day. Trucks came this morning and we loaded up reserve rations. We left with the trucks at 8. We got stuck in the mud, but finally pulled out. Last truck who was leading and rode back and forth between Manonville and Dumevre. Finally went back to St. Jean 1:30 and got new directions. Back same way only kept on from Dumevre to Gezencourt. Unloaded there. Hiked out to find Bn. P.C. Rainy and black as pitch. Sgt. Maj. got lost from us. Two cooks and myself pitched our tents and tried to sleep. I had one shoulder in water and could not sleep. September 12, 1918 Hell broke loose at one Am. Big barrage started. One continuous roar of guns of nearly all caliber's. Must be fierce on Heimi. Arouses at 7. Several of our party lost in brush last night. Could see them all around this morning. Made up our rolls and found kitchens. Learned that 3rd Bn. had gone on the big drive. Walked around AM and part PM with Lt. Nicholson trying to locate 3rd Bn. No success. Helped move kitchen and rations. Prisoners coming in all day. Sometimes as many as a Bn. Sammies are moving right along. French have some big guns here 1 kilo' from Mamey. Lay on wagon endgate tonight, but could not sleep. Everything wet. All roads near here so congested that a wagon can hardly pass. September 13, 1918 Rainy. Not much done but keep out of rain AM. Kitchen moved up to front PM. Started 1. Arr. 9. Delay on account of congested roads. Kitchens fired up and from 12 on I with about 12 others from I.K.L. and M. companies carried hot rations to men out in lines. Dark as pitch and woods thick and dangerous. Found many hungry men who had not eaten for two days. September 14, 1918 Did not go to bed last night. Carried rations until 9 this morning. Could never get as far as Co. "L." They have pushed too far ahead. Americans on this front have advanced about 5 miles and taken 8000 prisoners. More trouble with M.G. nests and snipers than any other thing. Dead Germans lying all through the wood. Some Americans too. Was preparing to rejoin Co this evening but Mess Sgt. Canning thought that he had a spy located and we went to warn companies. While there German snipers got busy with M.G.'s in trees. Kept us in a hole quite a while. Killed three of our men right close. They also started a small counter attact. Our troops advanced and wiped out Germans counter attact 4th platoon of "L" Co. under Sgt. Dean given credit for killing 60 Boche. I had nothing but a .45 pistol so worked in first aid station until the attack was over. Slept-in rustic house which had been German Rgt. Hdg. They had it fixed up fine. September 15, 1918 Nice day overhead. Worked some with Lt. Nicholson Bn supply officer. Made two trips to Rgt. Hdg. Our co. was relieved last night and dropped back here so I went up and rejoined the fourth platoon. Had "Stand To," 6:30-8:30. Dug in. Slept in holes. Five men have been killed, Sgt. Johnson, Cpt. Dobbs pvt's Bryan, Czarnikow and Allen. Several wounded. Nearly every one is sick from exposure. We get wet and stay wet. Have to sleep on wet grounds. Some of the men threw away everything when they went into action and have no blankets or tents. Woods are full of equipment. Salvage details are sent out to pick up clothing equipment and ammunition. All men were given 10 bandaleers of ammunition. Most of that was thrown away. Americans are buried as soon as they can be found but some of the Germans lay for a long time. No such thing as a woman up here and men are treated like animals. Roads are lined with dead horses, most of them pulled to death. Germans had this place well fixed up with good buildings, electric lights, canteens and amusement places. They have held it since 1914. Was used as a rest and recreation camp. Every Boche seemed to have plenty of clothes and plenty to eat and a pocketful of vulgar post cards. September 16, 1918 Up at 4 for "Stand To." Breakfast was brought up and we started digging trenches. Lt Nicholson sent for me. I reported to him. He sent me back to Gezencourt with a ration cart for some wire cutters and French canteens. Got back 7 PM. He then told me that Bn. Sup. Sgt. Grady had gone to the hospital and I was to act in his place. Slept under a wagon tonight. September 17, 1918 Issued canteens to Co's AM. Nothing doing PM until rations came in. Helped distribute them. Some one stole my pack this evening. Slept in Boche Hdg building. Supply Co. in there now. One of the Sgts. loaned me some blankets. September 18, 1918 Rainy part day. Nothing doing AM. Lt. Nicholson went to hospital A.M. and left Sgt. Murray in his place. Told me to work with Murray. Went with wagons P.M. out near Fey-en. Haye for rations. Germans shelled the place. Some pretty close. Back at 7. Found two S.H.'s and some sacks. Put up a tent and slept there. September 19, 1918 Same thing today. To Fey-en Haye for rations P.M. Three of us were left there to guard a pile of hard tack. A runner was sent to tell us to come in. Walked back. Rained all way. Went to bed wet in my tent. Have received two letters from home in last few days. Sure glad to get them. Crops are no good but every thing else is fine 3rd Bn went to front again tonight. I didn't go with them. September 20, 1918 Nice day. Sgt. Murray does not need me so I went to front with ration wagons tonight. Helped unload rations near kitchens. Found a work bench in an old German shop and slept on it. Plenty of shelling. September 21, 1918 Fine day. Made rounds of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th platoons to get list of torn clothing. Reported to 4th platoon P.M. Dug in as far as I could. September 22, 1918 Fine day. Our position shelled for quite a while last night. 4th platoon is in support. Lay in my hole and shook, thinking that as each shell came over that it would get me sure. Three shells burst within 30 ft. of me. Two rifles ruined. One shell set off and amm. dump which they had left close to us and made an awful racket. A lot of small arms ammunition too with once in a while a big shell. Spampanato ran up to Sgt. Deans dugout and cried, "Sgt. Dean! Sgt. Dean! Wake up the platoon there's a beega battle goin on!" When our artillary opened up theirs ceased. September 23, 1918 Rainy all day and last night. Lay in my hole most of day. Dug. Goes very slowly. Have it about 30 inches deep with a SH over it. Protection from shrapnel unless a shell falls right into it. Germans shell nearly all time. Had letter from Mattie, Saturday dated 8- 13. She is going to teach Moore Springs School for $75.00 per. Twill be a good thing for her if she makes it good. September 24, 1918 Fine day. 1st Bn pulled off raid last night. Our artillery put over a barrage 10- 11.10 Germans took it up and kept shelling all night. One shell landed within 10 feet of my hole and tore up my SH. Threw dirt on me, quiet towards morning. Has put in charge of a detail of 10 men to dig a Bn P.C. They dug all day. Close shelling this evening. Raiding party last night took 8 prisoners. Three of our men killed and 30 wounded. Not much of a success. September 25, 1918 Not much doing last night. Slept a little. Took 10 men to Bn. Hdg. again. Dug all day. Have had hard time getting chow to men on detail. Three of us carried it up for our 10 men after we quit work. Were told that a barrage would start between 11 and 12. Lay and dreaded. Started about 11:30. Our artillery giving them hell. September 26, 1918 Barrage continued until 8 AM on both sides. Woods full of shrapnel. Was covered with dirt several times. Three men killed. Baker, O'bern and Garten. One shell killed all. Never can tell whose turn is next. Same detail to Bn. Hdg. today. Finished late. I had to stay and see the Sgt. Maj. 4th platoon moved. Everyone gone. Enemy shelling pretty badly. Got my pack. Started. Found Stewart in his hole. He said that one could not find a hole up there now. Got in hole where Nixon was. Four of us near. Each stood gas guard two hours. Shelling all night. Several 10 inch shells very near. September 27, 1918 Rainy most day. Germans attacted on our left last night. Not much success. A quiet day and shelling all day too. I got up to 4th platoon 1:30. Dug all rest of day. We took 1st platoons place. They moved back to our support line. I suppose that Nettie and Mattie are both teaching now. We have no chance to wash, shave, or clean up anyway here. Sleep in damp holes with our shoes on. You can hardly find an unscarred tree here, so much sharpnel. Three of our cooks were gassed last night and sent to hospital. Clark, another ran away. September 28, 1918 Nice day. On guard 2 hours and 40 minutes last night. Got something wrong with my eyes. Can hardly see. Gas I guess. Went to 1st aid station PM and had my eyes washed. Feel better, but still hurt. Fairly quiet last night and today. Long range artillery. Germans have us beaten on airplanes. Rainy tonight. September 29, 1918 Another quiet night. Not a shell landed near. Seems uncanny. Rained all night and until 12 today. No rain PM but still cloudy. Shaved for first time in two weeks. Woods here so thick that sun can't shine through. Cold all the time. September 30, 1918 Cloudy and cold. Rainy evening and night. Can not keep warm. Feet have been wet for days. They feel like icebergs. We were issued an extra blanket here. Only brought 1 up with us. I found one so I have 3. October 1, 1918 Rained all day. Very disagreeable and cold. Froze all day. No overcoats. Official dape that Bulgaria had withdrawn her troops and turned over her arms and railroads to allies. Good news. Nearly sick. Can hardly talk. 3rd Bn. was relieved by 1st Bn. at 10 PM. One non com from each platoon and 1 officer left. I was left by 4th platoon. Slept after 10:30. Let others guard. I have been standing guard everynight. Co. "B" relieved Co. "L." "L" Co. gone back. October 2, 1918 Cold and dissagreeable. Ran around some and kept warmer. Found a pair of good German shoes. Put them on and threw my worn out ones away. Was expecting to go out today, but Lt. Lattis said, In the morning. Barrage to our left tonight also M.G. firing. Slept tonight. October 3, 1918 Warmer. Sun shone part time. Boche plane overhead firing M.G. Killed one engineer. We also got several shells right away. Some very close. A major told me that 50 men were taken out of valley last night, gassed. Lt. Lattis, McDaniel, Hawkins, Becker, and myself went back to Co at Jock Fontuine PM. Rode on four trucks and walked part way. Trucks hauling in gassed soldiers. Arr. 1at rest camp 3. Ate. Learned that a bath could be had at Gezencourt. Caught a truck about 4:30 and went. After looking all around I learned that baths were at Griscourt. Found a loft and slept in hay. Sound of guns a long way off. October 4, 1918 Up at 8. Slept farily well under an old sack. Walked over to Griscourt. Finally got a five minute shower. Fine though. Ate 5 francs worth of grapes. Just a capful. Back to Co. 12. They drilled AM. Inspection PM. Going to give us full equipment again. Twill just be thrown away again. Rec'd letter from Mattie and 1 from Nettie. Both teaching. To YMCA this evening and wrote part of a letter. Band there so could not write much. Can hear anything about the war. Believe nothing until officially announced. Slept in barrack tonight. October 5, 1918 Reveille this morning. Fell out. Went with bunch to get bath. Nothing doing AM. Bought all stuff at commissary and YMCA I could get for boys. Sent $75.00 or f416.25 home by YMCA money order. Bath at 1 PM. Back to Jock Fontaine in the Puvenile forest 3:30. Supper early. To YMCA again tonight. Band again. October 6, 1918 Fine day. Breakfast early. Rolled packs and hiked out. Took up reserve postion in some old German dug out about 1 1/2 miles NE of Metz bridge above St. Jean. Got one just large enough for one. Made a stove out of a lard can with tomato cans for pipes. Works fine. Put some water on in a can and when it begins to simmer sounds like home. Have almost lost my voice on account of cold, gas or something. October 7, 1918 Cloudy and clear by spells. Breakfast brought up about 9. Hiked out to find Reg. infirmary. No find. Got clear to Montauville, but only found 359th. Back about 2. On a salvaging detail. Supper 5. To Bn. infirmary. They would do nothing for my throat. Good news. Central powers ask for an armistice. October 8, 1918 Chilly and cloudy. Lay in hole all AM and part PM. News of relief tonight. Everyone turned in one blanket to be hauled. We gathered all empty ammunition boxes and kept fir waiting for relief. Cold. October 9, 1918 Heavy frost last night. Were relieved 4:30 by part of 7th Division. Hiked 5 to 8:30. Through St. Jean, Martincourt, Manonville and to Dumevre. Barrack. Can buy nearly anything here. An old woman herds all the stock. She comes along the street blowing a horn and everyone turns out their cows, hogs, and goats. Tried to sleep but could not. Three or four men had a fight. Too much booze. Hiked out at 4 PM. Tired and feet hurt. Found pair of shoes and cut them up. Hiked till 8:30. Arr at some kind of a camp with barracks. Everyone all in. Bunks double row, double deck made of wire which runs from one end of barrack to other. Eight feet mesh. Most uncomfortable. Cold. October 10, 1918 Cold morning. Up 8. Hiked out 10:30. Very pretty country through here. Went through Manoncourt. Also Pregny shoes off and crawled under a blanket. Billets here. Feet very sore. Did not go to supper. Have fever. October 11, 1918 Stayed in bed till 12. Have been put into scouts and snipers. Reported to Lieut. Johnson. Marched out 1/4 mile and had some instructions on scouting and the compass. In 3:30. Co. "A" 344 M.G.Bn. came in late. Visited. Now company meeting 7:30. Back to bed 9. Cpt. Anthony sent to U.S. to West Point. Sure lucky. October 12, 1918 Reported at Bn. Hdg. 9. Nothing doing for scouts aand snipers. We all invent to Pregny. I went with Cash and Princehouse of Co. "A." Saw Andrew Lindsay. Back 12. Rested and coughed PM. Made a good hay bed. Bought milk from the old lady here and ate bread and milk. October 13, 1918 Rained all day. Up 5. Breakfast 6. Rolled packs and fell out 7:30. Marched out of town and bined up. Loaded in small French trucks driven by coolies. 17 to truck. Rode 8:30 to 4:30. Got off at Dombash near Verdlon. Can hear big guns. Marched out about 5 miles to a camp. Mud ankle deep. Very crowded but slept. Lt. Yeager read to us from some paper that the Central powers had accepted all of our terms for peace and were withdrawing their troops. Also that French would cease firing at 9 PM and Americans at 1 AM. Had breakfast today. No more. October 14, 1918 Cloudy, cold, and damp all day. Boys call this Camp Mud. In the Argonne forest. Nothing to eat until 3:30. Could still hear guns this morning so part of story B.S. Nothing doing today. Cooties giving me hell. October 15, 1918 Not much doing today but rain. Tried to get something done for cooties. Nothing doing. Down to YMCA in even and played dominoes with Andrew. Saw Hobart too. Rain. October 16, 1918 Rained all last night and all day. Bad. Had manual of arms while down to "Y" with Andrew again tonight. "Y" men put on good entertainment. Back in hard rain. October 17, 1918 Cloudy and cold all day but not much rain. Visited with Co. "A" 344 M.G.Bn. AM. Down town PM. Same entertainment at "Y" here tonight. Took it in. Makes the boys all feel better to get a good laugh. October 18, 1918 Cloudy and foggy morn. Up at 5. Breakfast at 6. Fell out in mud. Left 7:30. Cleared up and hiking good. Back through Dombasle. Toward front. Roads muddy. Some thin and some thick. Through place called Ceirgy, shot all to pieces. Passed through what had once been standing. Not a leaf. Ground so full of holes that a path went up and down. Sure fierce walking. Passed by some 5th division kitchens. Stopped and got my supper. Arrived at our destination at 6, after dark. Still in wood. Slept any way we could. October 19, 1918 Up 7. Rolled packs. Hiked 7:30 to 12. Snipers marched with Bn.Hdg. Capt. Cooper commander of Bn. Pitched tents in meadow. Several shell holes here. M.G.'s at front sound plainly from here. Kitchens came in evening. Most of men got first meal since yesterday morning. Wallace, Wilmuth and Iin same tent again. October 20, 1918 Rainy day. Sat around fire outside or crawled into tents. Ran around some. Very disagreeable. Rations some how became lost and we had nothing to eat until 4. October 21, 1918 Clear and better. Companies drilled. Scouts and snipers did not. Waded mud all day. Prepared for a good bed. Sat around fire until 5:30. Order them to rol l packs. Hiked out at 8, single file for front. Moonlight. Mud and water. No place to rest when we would stop. Relieved part of 5th Division at 1:30 near Romaine. October 22, 1918 Dull day. Was called (not awakened) at 5 for "Stand To." Five of us on patrol nearly all day. Around our right flank and left flank of 358th on our right. Saw large number of dead from both sides. Back 3 and found something to eat. Germans shelling here all time. They have a very strong position in front of us in a sunken road. October 23, 1918 Fine day. Felt bad though. Lay around all A.M. Was told by chief of scouts and snipers that we were going over the top at 3:15. Made ready. 89th division advanced to our left lastnight. Makes him think of home. One man from "M" Co. just shot himself through the hand and went to hospital. Good way to keep from going over top (Afterwards). Our barrage started 2:45. Not very heavy either. We started 3:15. Just walked along. We were 100 yards behind first wave. Right in counter barrage. 11 of us. One sniper killed by a shell about 10 feet from me. No resistance encountered until second valley was reached about 3/4 mile. Then M.G.'s opened on our boys. They werre soon flanked and captured and advance went on. Not many prisoners. Boche fled heaving everything even rufles. Objective reached about 6. Dug in. Scouts and snipers were suppose to report to Bn. Hdg. We were under Captain Hagar. Couldn't find Bn. Hdg. October 24, 1918 Finnally found some good holes and crept in. Heavy shelling. No sleep. Nice bright day. Too bright. Good for German observation. Found Bn. Hdg. right close in old town, "Bantherville." Stayed there all day. Lay down in dug out 10 and tried to sleep. Too much noise. Out and lay in hole with two dead horses rest of day and watched shells burst. 1st Bn on our left advanced 11 AM. "K" Co. of 3rd advanced to protect their right flank. Got most of her men killed or wounded by flanking M.G.'s and had to drop back. Went back to same hole to sleep. Up on hill, just behind "K" Co. October 25, 1918 Slept fairly well last night. Started back to kitchen A.M. Wanted to get something to eat and also to find a mess kit. Shot a hole through mine yesterday with a Luger that I bought. Shells fell all around me and I got lost. Went away to left and over through 358th and into 3rd division. Back then to our kitchen. Ate and back to front 4. Counter attacked on C and D companies this evening. They certainly put up a hot barrage over here. Finally gave it up as a bad job. I was in a sheet iron shelter with several others. A gas shell exploded in door. Bad for awhile. Went back to hole in side of hill to sleep. October 26, 1918 About same as usual. Shelling all day. A few men killed and a few wounded. All snipers ordered to stay together. Went up to hole for my pack and got into hot barrage for awhile. Back and slept in old cellar in ruined orchard. 15 in it. Another gas shell close this evening. Am about sick now. Barrage every morning and evening. October 27, 1918 Fine day but we did not enjoy it much. Established snipers posts in front of Co's today. We have looked for relief by 180th brigade for last two nights. Nothing doing yet. Big push soon to come on this front. Hills to rear are covered with artillery both heavy and light. Back only 1 1/2 mile from front. Chow is carried up from rear by details from 2nd Bn. who are in reserve. They (Germans) shell roads, bridges, and river every time. Germans have it over us on observation. One shell wounded three this evening. Have dysentery and fever. Am so weak I can hardly get around. Irregular meals, dead horses, bad water, insufficient covering, and constant nerve tension are enough to kill anyone. Have seen men so badly shell shocked that they could not be held still when they heard a shell. October 30, 1918 Monday, Tuesday, and today all about the same. Wounded being constantly carried to rear. Shells, cooties, and chow have about got me down. 179th brigade was relieved tonight by 180th. Most of snipers out 12. Bn. formed 1/2 mile southeast of Romaine. Lay rest of night on top of ground. Just as soon as we hit a front and everyone gets dysentery. Don't know whether it is the chow or thoughts. October 31, 1918 Cold morn but warm day. Co's stayed in same place and fed up. Boche plane over and shot at us. Nipped Nixon's arm. I went to Regiment's Hdg. to get my glasses fixed. Nothing doing. John O'Dell and I dug us a hole tonight. Very damp but some protection. A few shells come back here. November 1, 1918 Cold and windy. Big barrage started about 12 last night. Luck must have been good for 1500 prisoners passed here on one road. Lieutenent Lattis announced to us that Austria had signed the armistice and was withdrawing her troops. Prisoners knew it too. All thought that their war would be over in a few days and were glad to be captured. Some cursed the Kaiser. We got out and rollled packs at 5 this morning. Didn't move out until 3 PM. I was at Co. "A" 344 MG Bn's kitchen part time. Had hot cakes. Marched 3/4 mile North West of Romaine and dug in. November 2, 1918 Cold. Up early. Marched over same ground we held before and stopped on hill 1 1/2 mile from Bantheville. Dug in. Rain. Found a hole already dug. Others had to dig. Nothing to eat until late and then just bully beef or corned willie. November 3, 1918 Up and rolled packs. Moved out east 5:30. Cloudy but not rainy. Very heavy mud. Left our packs near Villers and went over top as support for 2nd Bn. Went through wood and met no resistance. Was sent out on patrol to find who was on our right flank. When I returned Bn. P.C. has moved. Most of snipers had gotten their packs. 5 of us went just at dark. About 3 miles to where they were. Too dark to go back tonight so made bed from blankets left by other companies. Rained nearly all night. Slept damp. November 4, 1918 Rainy morn but fine day. Up early. Boche gunners through mud on us last night. Shooting at road. Sick, wet, and hungry. Have not eaten since day before yesterday. Found kitchens at Villers 345 M.G. and some engineers. Ate and moved on. Found rest of scouts and snipers at Oumont about noon. On about 1 1/2 mile to a 3 track standard gauge RR. 3rd Bn. P.C. there. 1/2 mile from Dun-sur-Meuse. Our kitchen just arrived in Oumont. I was sent back with a chow detail at 3. Two patrols this evening. Didn't have to go. November 5, 1918 Felt pretty sick. Had no time to fix place to sleep so slept in mud last night. Went for chow AM. So sick coming back went to see the doctor. He gave me some medicine and got me off duty. Lay in dry shed with Bn. runners PM. and night. Had high fever and chills in the evening. Slept none. Rained nearly all night. Engineers threw bridge across Meuse night before last. 3 or 4 squads of our men were left there to guard it last night. Were shot up. Lt. Prime killed. November 6, 1918 Rough day. Went to infirmary A.M. Marked for hospital. I with about 20 others hiked 3 miles to Villers. 36 in two trucks and sent over a very rough road to Cunel. Arrived there after dark. Into other trucks and sent to 357 field hospital at Septsarges. There an hour. On in ambulance to 359 field hospital at Sivry-la-perch. Put into influenza ward. Long tents with 30 cots. Heavy blankets and good eats. Good place to rest. November 7, 1918 Rainy. In my bunk all day. Resting. We get lots of news here. All kinds of peace dope. November 8, 1918 Rainy and cold. Persuaded the Lieut. to let me rid myself of cooties. They took every stitch of my clothing. I took a bath in a bucket and put on pajamas. November 9, 1918 Rained all night. Heavy frost this morning. Rainy and cold today. Have to stay in bed all day now. Feels pretty good. Delegation from Germany came over under a flag of truce to see Marshal Foch about an armistice. Sounds good. November 10, 1918 Heavy frost last night. Cold and clear today. All peace talk and talk of home. Feeling better. Back still feeling sore. November 11, 1918 Big day. News that armistice was signed at 7 P.M. yesterday and hostilities would cease at 11 A.M. Heavy barrage yesterday morning and again this morning. Continued up to 11. Then stopped. Everyone had their eyes on their watches. Artillery gave them hell last few minutes. French celebratiing. I could hear bells and shouting all day by spells. November 12, 1918 Very chilly. Got my khaki pants and shirt back. Put them on and was sent on bus in blankets to Evacuation hospital at Souilly. Put into ward. Warm and iron cots. Rested while and then shaved. Good eats. To bed early. So much talking could not sleep. Out at 7. Loaded on Red Cross Train. Sat up and rode until 2:30. November 13, 1918 Cold. All wards full. I with 64 others put into Red Cross building. Canvas cots. Went to bed at 4. Up at 6:30. Inside most of day. Fooled around. P.M. and secured an outfit of clothing except leggings. Walked up to Revigny evening. Good sized place. Filled up with grapes. November 14, 1918 About same as yesterday. We get good feed here and all we want of it. Am feeling better. Got a pair of leggings A.M. To Revigny again. Ate at Cooperative French canteen f0.75. Good meal but no bread could be bought. Cookies can be bought for f0.80 each. November 15, 1918 Cold. Hung around ward most of the day. Up town a while. We were hustled out 3:30. Loaded on a hospital train 4. Sat there until 8 before we moved. No supper. Red Cross ladies served cocoa. Cold in the 3rd class coaches until steam was turned on. Not much chance to sleep. November 16, 1918 Cold. Rode nearly all day. Had two meals of canned willie beans and tomatoes. Through La Roche 5:30 A.M., Cosne 11:30, Nevers 1:50, Veroune 4:30. Arrived in Vichy 5:45. Big place. Marched up to a big hotel and bath house. All were given a bath and hot chocolate then assigned to different hotels. I went to Hotel de Florence et Mulhouse. Town full of soldiers. Were fed at another hotel and to bed. Nice clean beds. November 17, 1918 Cold cheerless day. No fire in our room. Three of us. For breakfast we had mush only. No bread. Dinner gravy and potatoes. No bread. For supper stew and bread. Good. Can buy nothing on Sunday. French out in full dress. They walk in street. Don't use sidewalks. Was examined by doctor 10 A.M. Walked around most of time after that. Patients are not supposed to go out until they have been here 48 hours. Wrote part of letter to Peggy tonight. November 18, 1918 Cold and cloudy. Looked like snow. In hotel A.M. Good breakfast. Slim dinner. Went to a cafe P.M. and ate two eggs for two francs, two dishes of rice pudding f1.50. Pork and french fries 2f. Very good. Had a satisfied feeling afterward. Found a studio and had my picture made. Took bath after that and returned to hotel. Supper 4:30. I ate none. (Observations). Vichy is a summer resort. No people here now. Several fountains on mineral water. More hotels than anything. U.S. has most of them full of soldiers. Five base hospitals here. No traffic on streets. No cars. Instead of popcorn stands here you see roasting chestnuts. Scarcity of some articles noticed by seeing French pick up cigarette butts and carbon out of ash piles. French stores have one price for French and another for Americans. Best place to buy is the market. All kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts and meats. No ice needed for meats. Hogs, sheep, and fowls hung up whole. November 19, 1918 Cold and cloudy. Few flakes of snow fell. Inside A.M. Down to cafe and ate again. Walked around until 4. Tired out. Stayed in rest of time. Paper stated yesterday that 3rd American army called "Army of Occupation," go up to German front. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 32nd, 42nd, 89th, and 90th divisions. Learned today that they had been filled up. No chance for us to get back to our Co's now. November 20, 1918 Sun shone little while P.M. Walked around until 1:30 and slept until supper. Got my pictures. Not extra good. November 21, 1918 About same as usual. Some sun. Lay on bed A.M. Walked around P.M. Felt very bad. Headache and earache. To bed 6:30. November 22, 1918 Nice day. Warmer than usual. In bed A.M. Short stroll P.M. Wrote letter at Red Cross. Ate no dinner or supper. Felt very bad. Got some medicine from Lt. To bed 7:30. November 23, 1918 Fine day. Felt pretty good. Got hair cut and shave. To movie at R.C. P.M. Took plenty of exercise. November 24, 1918 Cloudy day. Felt very bad. Sick last night. Threw up. In bed until 10. Not much walking. Cut one of roommates hair with pair of 14 inch tailor shears. Dad's christmas letter day. Millions written. November 25, 1918 Felt good. Exercised both A.M. and P.M. Cloudy and misty all day. Ate supper so was sick again tonight. We have for breakfast one slice of bread, one plate of corn meal mush, for dinner one slice of bread, one potato and a spoonful of gravy and for supper one slice of bread and slum or carrot soup. No change. November 26, 1918 Rainy. Stayed inside A.M. Hired a bike P.M. and rode out to a country inn and bought one gill of strained honey for f3.75. High but good. Almost got wet on trip. Back in an hour. Wheel cost f1.25. Went to doet kitchen and ate bowl of soup for supper. Feel all right. Played 42 until 8. November 27, 1918 Rain. Same as usual. Light diet all day. November 28, 1918 (Thanksgiving) Rainy. Inside A.M. We had some dinner. Turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, slaw with an apple and two doughnuts for dessert. To football game P.M. Clermont vs. Vichy. Hospital teams. 0-0. Not very interesting. Back 3:30. Ate no supper. Still full from dinner. I am very thankful to be alive. November 29, 1918 Rainy all day. Wrote in my diary A.M. Movie P.M. Saw C.M. Tillerson. Saw Gribble yesterday. They say that Stamas and Bury F. Miller are here too. November 30, 1918 Cloudy A.M. Sun out P.M. Taking violent cold. Coughed. Headache. Visited Gribble at Milan. December 1, 1918 Pretty chilly. Sat by fire with overcoat on and coughed until one. Ate no dinner. Litttle exercise P.M. Bowl of soup for supper. Medicine. To bed 4. Sure feel bad. Headache December 2, 1918 Cold. Everyone on hike 9-10. To cusset and back. Shaved when I returned. Was examined and classified. "B" class. Sat by stove most P.M December 3, 1918 Went about two blocks on hike and dropped out. Out P.M. and exercised. To Red Cross even read. Two or three had a jubilee in my room tonight. Rhum obtained by selling clothing to Frogs Armies still moving along Rhine. President Wilson sails for France today December 4, 1918 Rainy A.M. Clear P.M. Nearly everyone in hotel went before Disability Board P.M. Rest who were in class. "A" moved to another hotel. Wrote up diary A.M. Class "B." December 5, 1918 Rainy. Fell out 5. Marched to another hotel. Names called there. Big bunch there waiting for us. Stamas of Co "L" was there to. Left Vichy on Frog train 6:50 P.M. Had a first class carriage to St. Germain 7:30. Changed trains there. Second class from there 7:50. To Saincaize 11:30. Off. Waited until 3:30. Rainy. Bunch of Boche prisoners under French guards also waiting at station. We traded tobacco for souvenirs. Issued rations here. Bread, corned willie, jam, and tomatoes. Jam issued to every fourth man. Rest got none December 6, 1918 Nice day. Frog train pulled in 3:30. Rush for coaches drew third class. Sat there until 9:30. Moved then. Felt bad. Not much sleep. Through Bourges 12-1. Arrived at St. Aignan 4:05. Marched short distance to a classification camp. Were put into a barrack for night. Had to wait an hour in chow line. Thousands in line December 7, 1918 Up 6. Chow without waiting so long. Thru mill. Had to answer all kinds of questions about your records, get a cootie bath, have your clothes sterilized, have a new equipment issued to you. "B" men not issued. Rifles, gas masks, helmet, or extra hob mails. Put into squad tents P.M. No cots. Just bed sacks on wet ground. Saw C.M. Tillerson of "L" Co. Stew for dinner. Same for supper. Put into district 6. Okla, Tex, Ark, and La. We are waiting to be put into a casual Co. and sent to U.S.A December 8, 1918 Rainy. Fooled around. Part time at ball game and part at Y.M.C.A December 9, 1918 Nice day. Secured from Camp Adjutant a pass and went to St. Aignan. Had to cross river Loire. Wanted to send a cablegram. Learned that a letter would go just as quick. Ate at restaurant and spent 7f45. Back 1. My outfit had moved. I has to hunt them up. Fooled around P.M December 10, 1918 Rainy. In bed A.M. Walked around P.M. No roll call. Not much to do but buck the chow line. Eat no breakfast. Line up with a detail noon and night. They eat first. As soon as Co's are formed they are paid. Some of the men draw a years pay, as much as 1800 francs. Have been doing without money and selling clothes to get it December 11, 1918 Rainy and cold all day. Several Co's leaving today. 121 in our bunch from district 6 now December 12, 1918 Cloudy A.M. Rainy P.M. Some more new men came in today. Trouble now getting straw. New men have to sleep on ground without any December 13, 1918 Rainy. Wilson's lucky today. Not much doing. More new men December 14, 1918 Rainy. Sun in and out. Furl tents when sun shines and stretch them when it rains December 18, 1918 Rainy. Had to move to another row of tents. Rain hard. Mud. Regions 5, 6, 7, and 8 unlucky. Co's being formed from others everyday December 19, 1918 Cold. Rainy and clear by spells. Have to stand in chow line sometimes two hours. Mud in some places over shoe tops. Main kitchen feeds from 10,000 to 15,000 December 20, 1918 Clear most of day. Tents furled. Sixty-two men of our bunch sent to Co 426 A.M. I was not in it. Felt unlucky December 22, 1918 Misty. Hard rain in evening. Washed some of mud away and left few solid plades to walk on. Windy. Chow line same. Chow no better. Usual meal, 2 slices of bread, carrot stew, onions either raw or boiled and corned "Bill." Have been making rosters of bunch December 24, 1918 Yesterday and today rain poured steadily. Mud. Ate only supper today December 25, 1918 (Christmas) Rainy all day. Same old corned will and onions. Could not make it seem like X- mas. YMCA gave away a package to each soldier. Some stood in line all day for it. Worth about $.40. Few pieces of candy, chewing gum and cigarettes December 27, 1918 Clear today. Mud deep. Few more called from our region day before yesterday. Moved again December 29, 1918 Misty. Same as usual. Twenty-seven Co's of 150 men each left for part of Embarkation. All "B" and "C" men. Made some difference in chow line. Fell in with Co. of Mariners at noon and ate with them. Went around twice at noon and night too December 30, 1918 Rainy. We had to move to another row of tents A.M. Stove here for first time. Found a wire cot. Appropriated it December 31, 1918 Rainy. We had a good fire and tent floor almost dry. Stayed up until 10:30 January 1, 1919 (New Years Day) Cloudy part day, but no rain. Heard only few guns last night celebrating New Years January 2, 1919 Little rain last night. None today. Called out early to be put into Co #454. Nearly all Okla men. Few Arkansas. Into new barracks about noon. No cots or stoves however. Took another cootie bath P.M. Ate supper at Hdg. kitchen. Good supper. Canning, Marmon, and Bradswell of Co "L" and White and Collins from Co "A" 344 MGBn. in this Co. Virgil Best from Wagoner also January 3, 1919 Rainy P.M. Was caught in rain in chow line at noon. Stayed at home P.M January 4, 1919 Rained hard all night. Formation for roll call at 8:30 only. Lay around rest of time. Rain all P.M. Canninf and I had quite a long talk tonight. We have three Lieut's. (1 aviator, 1 veterinary, and 1 infantry). Raining hard tonight January 5, 1919 Rained hard all night. Sun for few minutes. Rain A.M. Had our pay cards checked A.M. Fell out 12:45 and signed pay roll. Drew new clothes P.M. Carried up bunks in evening January 6, 1919 Cold. Rained all night. Down to administration building A.M. for venereal inspection. Our Lt. told us that we might get out this evening. Will sure be glad to get away from the mud. Last Co. to eat at noon. Ate 1:30, paid P.M. I drew 804 francs for $147.00. Pay roll for 150 men was somewhere around $10,000. Poker and crap games started immediately. Few drunks tonight January 7, 1919 Cold. Rained all latter part night. Nothing doing today. All kinds of bartering and gambling now. Heard P.M. that we leave tomorrow January 8, 1919 Clear all day. Dinner 10. Fell out 12:30 with packs on. Marched to center of camp and stood until 4 P.M. Loaded onto Frog box cars. 26 men to a car. Rations for 35. Stopped at St. Pierre des Corps for coffee. Pah dormi pour miva January 9, 1919 Sunny but cool. Followed river Loire all day. Looks like ocean. Everything but hills covered. Pulled into Geneva 5 A.M. Wreck ahead, pulled out 12:30 to 4:30-4:45. Savenay 6:30. 15 miles to go. To St. Nazdire 8. Marched around harbor to Casreal camp 2 1/2 miles. Supper of slum at big cuisine. Into new barracks. To bed 12:30. Board bunks. No straw January 10, 1919 Rainy. Up 10:30 to dinner. Designated Co. clerk. Worked on Co. records P.M. and 8-10:30 to night. Manchuria sailed this morning with 5,000 passengers. Can hear whistles here. One man drunk and A.W.O.L. He stayed at Nautes January 11, 1919 Rained all day. Up 7:30. Physical exam 9 A.M. Bath for cooties 11. Met Lt. Dalan who used to be 1st Sgt of Co "A" 344 MGBn. Sgt Canning and I made roster tonight. Rain. Ate no supper January 12, 1919 Rainy by spells. Moved to Camp No. 1 near big kitchen. Worked on records until 12 tonight. Ate with K.P.'s. Biscuits, apples pie and good cabbage. Back to barrack 1:20. To bed 1:50 January 13, 1919 Helped Lt. Grasser A.M. to collect francs of Co to exchange for U.S. money. Inspection P.M. Work again tonight. Same kind of meal. To bed 1 January 14, 1919 Personal inspection A.M. Helped Lt.'s Grasser and Nash count francs. Had 62,458 francs which is $11,453.00 P.M. Lt. Weahsler said this evening, "We are only waiting for a ship." All records complete. Co. equipped January 17, 1919 Clear day. Unusual for this place. Some day I eat 1 meal and some 2. Good bread. Feel O.K. except for indigestion. Gas did that. Can't eat corned Bill. Susquehanna sails today. We missed it. Poker and Blackjack still on January 18, 1919 Fine day. Secured pass from C.O. and to St. Nazaire 9:30-2:30. Good town U.S.S. Mongolia only ship in. Made another roster tonight. C.O. announces that we sail on Mongolia Monday, Jan. 20th January 19, 1919 Fine day. Physical exam A.M. Worked some P.M. and night. One boy sick and will be left. Albert Stanfill January 20, 1919 Fine day. Everyone up 5. Rolled packs. Fell out 8:15. Had drill on passenger list formation. Back to barrack. Fell out 11:30. Marched to U.S. dock #2. On board U.S.S Mongolia 1:20. Ate good supper. A band there in a truck to play for us. We pulled out of basin 4:30. Out of docks 5:30. Anchored. Smell of boat making me sick. Just 7 months since I sailed from New York January 21, 1919 Cloudy. Out of sight of land. Ordinary sea. Fed fish A.M. and after supper. 2 meals on board this boat January 22, 1919 Warm. Fine weather. Felt O.K. today. Ate two meals. Were issued unionalls to keep our clothes clean January 23, 1919 Fine day. Fine sailing. Fire and boat drill. At night water around ship looks like it had electric bulbs beneath the surface. 4,911 passengers on this boat. Soldiers quarters are dirty, uncomfortable, and very cramped. Officers have a palace January 25, 1919 Fine day. Yesterday also. Still warm. Out on deck good deal. Saw some porpoise today. Have a bunch of shell shocked patients on board. Are allowed outside only in wire cage on top of super structure. Sailors mess on second deck. They eat three meals per day. Soldier line around them trying to buy, beg, or steal January 26, 1919 Cloudy P.M. Wind came up in evening. Commenced to get rough. Catholic service out second deck this morning January 27, 1919 Hard wind. Stormy. Boat rolled and pitched quite a bit. Cootie inspection and bath in salt water. In bed most of time to keep from being sick January 28, 1919 Rough. Stormy. Rolling and pitching. Not allowed on deck. Read most time. Wind lower in evening but waves still high January 29, 1919 No wind. Sea calm. Rainy part day. Cooler January 30, 1919 Cold. Windy. Passed small boats and light ships early. Buildings on Long Island visible at 11 A.M. Prepared to disembark. Took a pilot on board 12. Anchored in harbor 1:30. Large buildings very plain from here. Woolworth and Metropolitan largest. Men seem to be very much elated now. Mayor's commitee of welcome came out in a tug and showered us with todays papers telling us where we would land. Every boat and ferry would cheer. We would too. Made myself hoarse. Docked 5. U.S. Pier #1. We unloaded tomorrow. Sailors off. Some of them back with pies which they sold to soldiers for $1.50. Several Western Union messengers and reporters on board. Nearly everyone sent telegrams home January 31, 1919 Up 5. Very chilly. Unloaded 8:30. Stood around on docks awhile. Red Cross and Salvation Army served us with coffee, buns, and candy. Took boat to a Penn. Pier and train to camp Merrit N.J. Marched 3/4 mile from depot, at Cresskill. Into barrack. Good dinner. Butter, bologna, gravy, peas, and peaches. Reminds me of U.S.A. Made rosters P.M. Cots to sleep on. Felt sick. Few flakes of snow. February 1, 1919 Cold and windy. Bacon, eggs and oatmeal for breakfast. Thru cootie mill A.M. Moved to another part of camp at 10:30. Found part of Co. 426 there. Hobbs for one. Now in Hobonew Casual Co. #91. Walked around P.M. Weighed 157. Good apples here. Have been eating 2 meals for 3 months. Feel fine February 2, 1919 Warmer. Worked on pay roll P.M. and night February 3, 1919 Warm and clear. Finished pay roll 1:30. Secured pass and to N.Y. City. Service car to 130th St. Ferry $1.00. Subway at 128th St. $.05 to Officer James Sg. of 42nd St. and 7th avenue. Meandered around over city until 12:30. Back same way. To bed 2 not much wiser February 4, 1919 Cloudy. In bed till 12. Ate dinner. To bed 2:30-5. Four of us to Englewood in evening. Bus to Tenafly ($.10). Street car to Englewood ($.09). Saw show. Not many girls. Walked around quite awhile but located none. Back 11 P.M February 5, 1919 Nice day but chilly. Lay around all day. Grew sick P.M. Roll call evening. Paid after supper. Sat around stove in latrine and froze. Had a chill. Cpt, Allen and I up to infirmery 11 and got C.C.'s and aspirin February 6, 1919 Fine day. Chilly. Felt pretty sick. Up early. Rolled packs. Marched to depot at Cresskill 9-9:30, Pullman coaches. Left 10 on Eric. Thru Jersey City and Hoboken. Saw statue of Liberty again. Made good time. Through Philadelphia 1. Baltimore 6 on N & W. Ate nothing. In with 1st Sgt. Co clerk and Sgt. Arbakle. Lay down all P.M. and evening. To bed at 12 February 7, 1919 Warmer. Not much sleep. Running through Virginia now. We are indorsing service records. On Southern R.R. To Bristol Tenn. 1:45. On state line. Changed time. Left 12:45. Knoxville 5:45-6. Through Chattanooga after dark February 8, 1919 Cloudy and colder. Slept well last night. Waked going through Tuscumbia Miss. Traveled at good rate. To Memphis 12:15 to Little Rock 7:15. Swamp nearly all the way. Commenced snowing in Memphis. Ground well covered by time we reached Little Rock. On to Camp Pike on train. Put into barracks. Had supper.They had the nerve to offer us corned willie February 9, 1919 Cold last night. Colder than Camp Merritt. Cold today. Sunny and warmer P.M. Ate no breakfast. Good feed. Bought pair russel shoes for $7.35 February 10, 1919 Cold. About 50 of us before discharge board A.M. Signed my discharge. Sat around P.M. Secured a pass and to Little Rock tonight. Pah bon. Everything closed except shows. Return 10. Service car each way $.35 February 11, 1919 Warm. Turned in my pack A.M. Marched to YMCA P.M. for singing. Fell out. Didn't care to sing February 12, 1919 Warm. Before examining board A.M. To base hospital A.M. to have eyes fitted. Ordered glasses $6.40. Started raining 3:30. Still at it February 13, 1919 Windy and cloudy. Colder. Most of boys have been drilling A.M. and detail P.M. I have missed it all. Told "Top" this morning that I had to go back to eye clinic. To "Y" and wrote diary. We expect to be discharged tomorrow. Have sent most of my things home. February 14, 1919 Cold and windy. Quite a bunch of us were discharged. Marches to I.M. and received our final pay. Had previously had our physical examination so were given our discharges. Received three cents per mile to Pryor. Bought ticket for 2 cents by getting it at Camp Pike. To Little Rock. Copher, Virgil Best and I ate dinner together. Copher and I bought Pullman tickets. Out 8:45 on Iron Mountain. To bed.
Note: by Sgt. Norvel P. Clotfelter, 344th MG. Batt; 90th Div.


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