Martin D. Fetherolf (1887-1951), a member of Muhlenberg College’s Class of 1914, was a lifelong educator who spent his career in secondary education, teaching at Allentown High School (1915-1926) before moving to Philadelphia and serving at Frankford High School as a faculty member and vice-principal until his death.
Born on September 15, 1887 in Wescoesville, Pennsylvania, Martin attended the Allentown Preparatory School, which was closely affiliated with Muhlenberg College, before entering the College in the fall of 1910. He studied the classics, and was vice-president of the Sophronian Literary Society, associate editor of the Ciarla, and a member of the press club, the Woodrow Wilson Club, and the dramatic association. Martin was also an athlete, involved in football, basketball, track, and baseball.
Following his graduation in 1914 with a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree, Martin took a position with the Allentown High School, but his teaching was interrupted by service in the Mexican Border War in 1916-17. As a member of the Hospital Corps of the 4th Pennsylvania Infantry, he rose to the rank of sergeant. His experiences in this conflict are contained in the pocket journals that are available here.
After his service in Mexico, Sergeant Fetherolf attended Officers Training Camp at Camp Hancock, GA, in preparation for his eventual service overseas in World War I. As a second lieutenant in the Supply Company of the 110th Infantry, Martin traveled to France in 1918 and served through Armistice Day. He later chronicled his wartime experience in a memoir “written to answer questions that my children ask from time to time.” That memoir has been digitized and transcribed and made available here.
Following the cessation of hostilities in November of 1918, Martin attended the University of Montpellier in France with other American service members. The Mistral is the yearbook of the American students.
In addition to his studies abroad, Martin also continued his education in the United States, completing coursework at Lehigh University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Temple University. He continued to serve as secretary for Muhlenberg’s Class of 1914 until his death.
In addition to the materials mentioned above, the Martin D. Fetherolf ‘14 Collection comprises a photo album which contains images of Muhlenberg and Martin’s friends and family, newspaper clippings, a letter to Muhlenberg professor Harry D. Bailey (Biology) describing flora and fauna of the southwest (1916), and a scrapbook compiled by Miss Elda Graybill, who served as a nurse in France during World War I.
View Original Memoir
A brief true account of a soldier of the World War
who did his bit during the hot campaigns against
the Germans in 1918. Upon his return he was
greeted by friends who thought they were now
gazing upon a hero. One of them asked "Tell me,
how many Germans did you shoot." He
replied, "None, nor
was I killed by any German did any German shoot me.
The only killing I did was that of seriously
wounded horses, many cooties and some
overly-bold rats." No hero, but one who helped.
After having served on the Mexican Border
in 1916-1917 with the Hospital Corps, 4th Pa. Inf. and
subsequently enjoying a few months back home
at teaching, I was called into active service in
the World War on July 15, 1917 with Headquarters
of the 28th Division, the National Guard of Penna.
This Division trained at Camp Hancock, Augusta,
Georgia. I entered the third Officer's Training
Camp on January 1, 1918. Just as this training
was over, the Division was ordered to France.
We left Augusta on sleepers for Camp Merritt, N.J.
on April 24th. I was assigned to the Supply Co.
of the 110th Infantry as 1st Sergeant (attached) awaiting my commission.
It was my good fortune to get a day's leave
On May 2 with pack and baggage we
quietly moved down to Hoboken, ferried across
the river to New York, and from Pier 58 boarded
H.M.S. Demosthenes. This vessel of the Aberdeen
Line formerly plied between England and Australia but
now was put into service to transport American
troops to Europe. Sergeant Byrne and I were
assigned together to a state room. This was
decidedly more comfortable than the decks with
hammocks where the rest of the company was
assigned quartered. We left port at 7 a.m May 3rd,
and lost sight of the U.S.A. at about noon. We found
ourselves in a convoy of 14 ships
all painted in weird designs to serve as
We moved in a zigzag course for a while,
then struck out in a northeasterly direction. There
was nothing to see except water and sky and our
companion ships, one of which was the Karpathia [sic]
of Titanic fame. also the Carmania. We had fire and life boat drill daily.
In the evening of May 4th we struck very dense fog.
The following day was extremely foggy.
The deep whistle of the ships seemed ever so
much as a he
ard of cows mooing to each other
at regular intervals. One morning I looked out
of the port hole and saw something spouting
up water as a whale. "What is it?" Everyone
asked. "Is it a whale?" This "whale"
surely strangely kept
up the exact rate of speed as the ships. Finally
we asked a member of the crew what it was. The
"whale" proved to be nothing but a fog buoy towed
some distance behind one of the ships.
As a matter of precaution, no one was allowed
on deck without a life belt. At night no lights
were allowed to show. All port holes were closed
tightly making ventilation in sleeping decks very
On Sunday May 12, Chaplain Schaul conducted
church services on the upper deck. Since this was Mother's Day, he delivered an
impressive sermon on "Mother",
All wrote letters home on that day.
The sun rose very early these days and
it was very cold, which indicated that we were far
to the north. On May 13th we began to zigzag
south eastward. A guard of 5 destroyers (sub-chasers) now
arrived. These were very fast and small. They swept
back and forth among the convoy looking for trouble.
On May 15th we sighted land on our left. This probably
was Scotland. Later in the day land also appeared
on the right. These low green hills undoubtedly
were those of Northern Ireland. Travelers and
mine sweepers now led us slowly toward
harbor. Next morning we found ourselves in the
harbor of Liverpool.
At six P.M. we marched triumphantly down the
gang plank and lined up for roll call. After waiting
in line for orders, it developed that we were to go
back on board ship again for the night. We
did not mind this trivial thing after having been
in the army this long. At any rate, this was the
last time we were destined to sleep in anything
like decent quarters for many months. For
many it was the very last time.
We disembarked at 9:30 A.M. on May 17th. In a
few minutes we found ourselves on board an
English train composed of a long line of compartment
cars. This was comfortable travel when compared
that which the French troop trains which we
learned about later. I never saw prettier country
than that which we passed through in England.
Rich fields, low rolling hills, canals, good roads, and
fine looking live stock made this day's trip seem
like a sight seeing tour. At Rugby, I got off to buy
some "eats," as the train stopped for a few minutes. I
had U.S. money, of course.
I made my purchase (cookies)
and [sic] When I came to pay
ing for my first purchase (cookies), international difficulties
arose. The stuff was worth so much in English money
but how much in my money. Neither the vendor
We passed through the outskirts of London. Toward
evening we reached Folkestone near Dover. Here
we slept on the floors of vacant houses. After we had
quieted down for the night we heard rumblings which
suggested ominous forebodings. No one had to tell us that
what we heard was the guns from across the channel.
The sound was like that of continuous rolling thunder.
We were now being introduced to the thunder to which
we had to listen
to for almost six months, sometimes
at a distance as now, but often right under it.
In the morning we left for Dover. This
was another beautiful ride. We began to get
hungry. We were fed emergency rations. At
Dover, as we waited for our boat to take us
across the Strait, boat loads of sick and
wounded arrived on their way to "blighty." Most
of them were stretcher cases. We also saw many
ships with large holes in there testifying to the
effect of submarine warfare about which we had
read so much
about for three years. It also
A small fast vessel, the "Onward", took us
over the Strait of Dover to Calais in about an hour.
Upon arrival I was sent ahead with an English
guide to locate our billets. We were
quartered crowded into
tents with sand bags about them just outside of Calais.
Water and "eats' were scarce. Shortly after dark the
anti-aircraft guns opened up. "Fritz" was coming in
airplanes to greet us. The people of
cellars and dugouts, but to us this was something
new and we did not wish miss [sic] anything. We all
got out of our tents and strained out necks to see the
show. We saw the flashes of the guns and
of bursting shells high in the air. The Germans
did not unload their bombs hereabouts that night.
Their objective was probably English cities. Search lights
kept sweeping the sky. This show was not so bad.
Our next door neighbors were a large camp of Chinese
laborers used by the British.
It became evident that we were to
In the morning we got a lift on a
to Denique [sic] and from there to La Callique. [sic] Headquarters
Co. and the Supply Co. were to be quartered here. Jacobs and
I were the first American soldiers that the peasants
of La Callique [sic] had seen. Women wept for joy to know
that the Americans were coming. This place was near
the front on which the British had recently been pushed
back. The natives felt that we had come to save their
homes. We met some English Tommies. They represented
what was left of an English regiment after the recent German
drive. No one gladder to see a force of fresh
troops arriving than the Tommy. It was not
Our work in finding billets was soon completed.
the, our English friends had everything planned
for us. The Supply Co. was to be quartered in big barn. The
was were billeted in the houses nearby. Our outfits
arrived at 10.30 P.M.
left led by an Irish band of
bag pipes and drums. The men were fed English style with
hard bread, cheese and tea. Everybody was tired and soon
asleep in their French billets. Several of us made out
quarters in a shanty alongside the village school
house, sleeping on the cement floor. This
was improved the next day by a bundle of straw. At
night we again heard the rumble of distant "thunder."
On May 23rd we had a big "feed." We bought a chicken
and had a French Madame fry it for us. There were
five in the party. The chicken offered little resistance
to our spirited attack. The feast was topped off with wine
from the estaminet.
On May 25th I took a detail of men to Blequin
miles kilometers away. I came back by lorry. The next
day I was sent to Senlecque to join Lieut. Dubs'
third battalion supply detachment. We were located at
Lottinghem for several weeks. We slept three
to a pup tent under a tree. We took over English
horses, wagons, carts, and lumbers. On the 27th I took
half the detachment to the rifle range. We were required
to get used to the English rifle by firing the range. It now
looked as though indeed we were in the English army.
Our rations were those of the English. I asked the
English Supply Officer one day what the bread allowance
per day was in dividing up rations. He replied "a pound
per day per man, perhaps."
The first bag of mail arrived May 31st. I greedily
looked for letters addressed to me. I found six. These
I read and re-read for several days. They were a
month old but new all the same.
I was laid up with an attack of grippe for
a few days. The hard cold ground on which I lay
made life most miserable, and after I thought
I was better an attack of jaundice set me back.
At this time we were ordered to move. We left Lottinghem
on Sunday June 9th,
we and moved our wagon train
southward in successive stages three days. On the
At Meaux we detrained and set out for
our destination. This proved to be a long way off. Our
wagon train moved steadily on and on into the darkness.
Ten oclock, eleven, twelve and still on we went. At
one oclock we found ourselves on a road which grew
constantly narrower and rougher and finally
landed us in a hay field. The guide had made
a mistake. It was pitch dark. To move back
would have been demoralizing to the worn out
men and animals. So we unhitched, gave the
horses some of the stacked hay and flopped down
on the piles of hay for sleep. In the morning
we found ourselves a mile away from the town
of our destination, St. Mesmes[sic].
The sudden shift from the British front
Our next important move was in a long semi-circle
generally eastward, passed through Rebais and on the
left side of Montmirail. We received our first pay in
France. For some it also was the last. We were paid
in francs. Several hundred of these looked like big
money. The French shops in the villages did loud office
business for a few days.
On the 1st of July, we arrived at Artouges [sic] at noon.
This was a very clean and pleasant village, but
it was within easy range of German shells. We were
immediately warned to keep under cover in day time
and show no light, not even a watch, at night.
This this warning was not to be taken lightly, was
proven a few minutes after we arrived, when
It was rather quiet for a few days. The companies
went forward in details to dig defensive trenches. Then
came the 4th of July. There was little doing during the day
to remind us of our national holiday. Fireworks were
few excepting artillery fire. French refugees were
sadly making their way back from the areas.
They were a most forlorn folk. Old men, women, and
children were trudging sadly along. Some had
hand carts and wagons filed up with what few
belongings they could take. A few had old decrepit
horses or oxen drawing loads beyond capacity. It
was almost heart-breaking to see their sad faces.
I went to sleep at about 10.30 in the midst of
unusual shell fire. Suddenly I woke up, hearing
the "first call" on the bugle which was immediately
followed by "assembly." This was the call to arms. It was pitch dark. The time was
about 1.30 A.M. Sergeant's whistles blasted and
the sharp command of "fall in" was heard everywhere.
A heavy barrage was coming over. Our artillery was
replying vigorously. Blinding flashes like lightning
made it all the harder to find the equipment which
we had to grab in a haste. I got out as soon as I could
and aroused my Supply Detachment. The Infantry companies
When we came back, all belongings left
behind in the hot haste of the night before had already been
salvaged by French who had remained in the village,
We took up our routine again for a few days. I sent
some money from my pay to a bank in Paris through
the Y.M.C.A man. This fund served me in good stead
when on leave after the Armistice.
It was now evident that another big drive
was planned by the Germans. Up to now, their
attacks in 1918 were all highly successful. They
On July 8, our brigade (the 55th) moved into
what is known as the reserve line. Our men, in small groups, had gone up
mostly at night for a week to dig trenches. Here we
were to hold the enemy in case they broke thru [sic]
the first and secondary lines.
It was late in the evening when we
moved in. The infantry companies went to their
trenches. We of the Supply Company moved our ration
and ammunition carts under an open shed near
the top of a hill a short distance behind the
infantry, whose trenches were beyond the crest of the hill.
Some of our men slept under the shed
with the horses. Several of us decided it would be better
For several days we kept busy digging in
and placing our kitchens and supplies at most
convenient places. We were now located near Coude-eu-
Brie, south of the Marne River and east of Chateau-
Thierry. The 3rd Division (Regulars)
were was on our left.
One evening we heard continuous cracking of what
The landscape from our hill was beautiful. The
tops of the hills were wooded. The sides and valleys were
spotted patched with green fields and yellow ripe wheat which
was ripe for harvest but no one was there to
harvest do it.
These fields were full of scarlet poppies which grew as
weeds among the grain. The soldier poet McCrae was inspired
by fields like these when he wrote "In Flanders Fields." The Surmelin
River followed down the valley toward the Marne. Coude lay along
this stream about a kilometer to our right.
On the afternoon of July 14 Sergeant Byerly and I went
over to Coude to see what we could find. The town was mostly
deserted. We saw a few old women with worried faces.
To our great delight we found two young ladies who
had refused to follow the line of refugees away from
the danger zone. Little did they know what was
in store for them. Twenty four hours later then
village was in the midst of a fearful battle and
These Since girls knew no English and we knew
practically no French.
making our we could not, therefore, could start much of an argument. Beyond the town
we found a field of growing potatoes. We dug out some
At about sunset a French flame came low
over the hill in back of us and dropped a message
for the French General. The content of it was that the
Germans were massing troops in large numbers
for the long expected attack.
It had been so quiet for several days that
the very quietness was ominous. Very few shells came
over from the enemy. I had dug a small hole
about 2 by 6 ft. and a foot and a half deep at the
edge of the woods. This was my sleeping place, and
I felt protected against anything except a direct hit.
I had stretched my shelter tent half over it to protect
I went to sleep as usual as darkness came.
I had slept for a few hours when
shell after shell burst
I was awakened by a terrible din. No mistaking, the
Germans were putting over on us a fearful barrage.
Shell after shell burst about us. The continuous roar
amid the loud bursts nearby told that the bombardment
was going on all along the line. In the darkness
one could not tell how near
the a shell crashed.
Judging by quaking earth
and deafening report, it seemed as though many of them struck just
outside of my foxhole. We could hear the whistle and
whine of those that went over us. To describe one's
feelings fully at
this such a time is impossible. I felt entirely
helpless and could only trust in the Supreme and
pray "O Lord God, be with us." Judging by the unceasing
bursting of shells it seemed impossible for anyone
to live thru [sic] it until daybreak. The night seemed
everlasting. This was the heaviest barrage ever put over by the Germans.
Amidst the uproar, I heard heavy tramping of
feet and the rattling of a light chain. A horse must
be loose. What of it? But the sound came so
close that I feared he might step into my
The morning of July 15th found the last great
German offensive in full swing. Our men were in
the trenches awaiting the onslaught. Directly in front
We found out later in the day that our
two Companies B and C who had been sandwiched
between French units, along the Marne (front line) were nearly annihilated
when the French withdrew without notifying
our men. Companies B and C did noble work
in preventing the enemy from crossing the
river in front of them, but to their dismay
they soon found themselves surrounded by
Germans who had crossed at points from
which the French had retreated. Our allies'
custom during an attack was to abandon the
front lines and depend on a counter-attack to
recover the lost ground. This worked out badly
for our men who knew no retreat. Most of the men
of the two companies were killed, wounded or captured.
After the terrible barrage of shells during
the night I expected to find few alive of our men.
The ground was dotted with shell holes, but our
casualties were surprisingly few. One large shell
Shells kept on coming intermittently.
Jesse Johnston and I dug a better hole to sleep in.
We used an old French lance to
hold support the earth
over us. A battery of French mortars (six inch)
moved in along the hill to the right of us. They kept
up almost continuous bombardment until
one of the guns burst killing one of the
French gunners. Here we saw a real air battle. A dozen allied
planes engaged a similar force of Germans.
An Allied plane was seen to come down
far behind the German lines. Later we found out
that it was that of Quentin Roosevelt.
About the second day it became apparent
the Germans had failed in breaking
thru through. On
the 18th they withdrew across the Marne. In
the evening of this day we moved out of this
sector travelling westward to the south of Chateau-Thierry
in big circle to Charly. We were to support the new
American-French offensive near Soissons. We arrived
at Charly toward evening the next day and put
up for the night in a barricaded wood. Water was
scarce. We found a farm nearby with a water hole
The men were exhausted from the long
hike, and rather than require several of these
to stand watch, where they needed rest so badly,
I did the guarding myself.
Early Tthe next morning
early we moved on. Now
we went eastward and passed thru [sic] the region
where some of the fiercest fighting had taken place,
when the Germans drove toward Paris in June.
Woods were nothing but splintered stumps and
the ground was all torn up. We passed thru Vaux.
There was very little left this [sic] village but a few
wall [sic] of houses.
They Next we came to Chateau-Thierry
from which the Germans had now retreated. This
fine town along the Marne had certainly
better days. Here we saw many dead Germans,
of partly buried. Frequently, a hand
or a foot stuck out of the shallow grave of
dirt thrown, hastily over their bodies.
The concrete bridge over the river was
wrecked and the engineers had hastily
had built a
We arrived at St. Eugene in a pouring rain at
nightfall. We had received no rations or feed for the
horses. The beasts were nearly worn out and famished.
Our men went over to an oat field and pulled up
armfuls of the green oats to feed them. To keep dry
that night was impossible. We were very hungry.
Early the next morning we started toward
the Marne. We were still wet and hungry. A pile
of boxes and cartons in a clump of bushes looked
interesting. We investigated and found a pile of bread,
"dog buscuits [sic]" (hard crackers), butter and canned beef. We
asked no questions as to whose it was, but broke
open the boxes and helped ourselves to all we could
carry and ate it as we moved along. Our food problem
for the moment was solved.
We crossed on a pontoon and started upon
steep and extremely muddy roads toward the Foret de Fere.
We stopped in a thick forest and received rations
and feed for horses. During the night of July 28th our infantry
companies relieved the French in the first lines. This
was our regiment's (as a whole) first real action. Immediate
We of the Supply Co. were to follow as closely
as possible. The woodland road was almost impassable.
The wagons and carts sank to the hub. We often had
to lift and push to help the exhausted horses move
the vehicles. I as sergeant was now in sole charge of the 3rd
battalion supply train
(as sergeant). No officers were
with us. One night, in the Fere forest, I received a
not to bring the supply train up to the La Motte
farm. I had no idea where this was, and to move
there the mud and darkness would have been next
to impossible. I decided to wait for further orders.
Byrnes Wurtz with his train moved up in
the morning only to receive terrific shelling making
the place untenable. So he came back with his
outfit. Each night we took up food and
ammunition as far as we were allowed to go. From there it had to be carried.
One morning a young infantry man came
running back shouting that snipers are still in
these woods and showed a bleeding thumb on his
right hand. We hardly believed him, but I lined
up the supply men and and with rifles and pistols we searched
The third evening here I took food up to
where. I met a company of the 42nd Div.
They were my old buddies at the Mexican Border.
I had coached them in football, and they had lost
but one game that season. We were very glad
to see each other, but shelling was so heavy
that the reunion was short.
After having stormed Grimpette Woods our
infantry came back for brief rest in a wooded ravine
at Le Charmel. We hurried hot food to them. This
was the first real meal most of them had for three
The woods were damp and wet, but all were
tired and went to sleep early. This rest was disturbed
in a most awful manner. At midnight a big
German plane came over and drop [sic] 4 bombs
in midst of our sleeping men killing and wounding
more than one hundred. I lay within about 30 ft
of the place where the first one exploded. Some-one
yelled "gas." I put one my mask. It was pitch
dark. None of my pals around were injured. I fell
asleep and woke up at dawn with the mask still
The havoc of the bombs was terrible.
Pieces of clothing, blankets, and tents were hanging
high up in the trees. Great holes were torn
The next evening we moved out of these ill-fated
woods to Courmont where a few days before our
men had fought so fiercely and lost so heavily.
Most of the next day was spent in identifying
and burying the dead. The hill leading to
the Bois les
bodies, most of them from the 110th, attesting
to the fearful fight
Toward evening we moved foreward through
Cierges and Sergy. The Germans retreated
rapidly, burning ammunition dumps etc. after
them. After leaving Sergy we encountered a heavy
thunderstorm. It was hard to tell thunder and
lightning from gun fire. As we approached
Coulonges we found the town subjected to intense
shelling from the Germans. Our lines halted
until the shelling abated. The men fell out of
line to rest and find shelter from the downpour.
Shelter was scarce. The ground everywhere was
mud. I started to rest leaning against a wagon.
As I was about asleep my knees gave way
under me and I dropped down into the mud.
I decided that spot was as good as any other
and slept there. I woke up at dawn drenched
The men were assembled to fall in.
We moved through Coulonges to a field nearby.
here the men were told to dry their clothing
as the sun came out. We may have been
the forerunners of the "nudists" that morning.
At any rate, it was fortunate that the enemy
did not attack us just then. Perhaps, they
were in the same predicament.
Toward evening we moved on several
kilometers and bivouaced for the night
on the reverse slope of the hill. We dug in
taking no chances. On the next day we
passed through Cohan and Dravegny. At
Cohan we passed the grave marked very
carefully "Lt.Lt. Quentin Roosevelt." He was
the son of Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt. We had seen an air battle about July 17
far behind the German lines in which
an allied plane fell down like a dead
leaf from a tree. Later the Germans reported
that they had shot down young Roosevelt.
Our battalion was ordered into a small
low copse-like wood. Here we remained
for almost a week. Ar first it was very quiet.
I slept under an ammunition limber, a
place to be in case of shells. We received
replacements (men to fill in our depleted ranks) and
started to drill in an open field. This was too much
The French brought in a sausage balloon
and located just in back of us. One day the
Germans did their best to dispose of it. Shell
after shell exploded near it. The observers
came down in their parachutes. The balloon
was pulled down. The enemy had not succeeded.
The Germans had taken their position
along the Vesle River where they meant to stay.
Our regiment moved northward to Courville
about three kilometers south of the Vesle.
Our supply train took shelter in a fine woods
good enough for a picnic grove, if it were not
for the war. From here we supplied the dough boys
with food etc. while they took their position
in the lines. There was no general fighting
at this time, the lines on both sides merely
At first we were left alone by Fritz, but
after about a week an occasional shell came
over. Several horses were killed or so badly
wounded that I was obligated to shoot them
to put them out of their misery. We slept in
fox holes which had made [sic] been by others who were
There was considerable bombing at night.
You could hear the throbbing drone of German planes,
but it was impossible to tell whether they were
directly above or not. Occasionally you could
see the streak of a tracer bullet, like a small
meteor, as the pilots were signalling to each
other, together with the rat-tat-tat of their
machine guns. Night air raiding was terrifying
to the man on the ground, particularly to one with
poor nerves. One night a shell shocked doughboy
crawled into my fox hole with me while the
air seemed full of planes. He proved most undesirable
company. He would pray, cry, and curse almost
in the same breath.
I threatened to. Pleading to keep
no good. I threatened to throw him
out. This helped some until the planes had
At the end of a comparatively unmolested
week, one evening while eating our mess
a shell burst just above the tree tops
another. We knew they now had us spotted.
All our men, save a few for guarding purposes,
sought dug outs in the village of Courville aside
of our woods. I went into a deep cellar under
a church with about a dozen others. Here we
In the afternoon we were ordered out
of this deadly woods back to another woods
near Arcis-le-Ponsart. Here we were on a high
hill from which we could see far in all directions.
Toward the south lay beautiful, now peaceful,
farming country and toward the north could be seen
To replace our animals of which we were
woefully short, we receive [sic] a number little
Spanish mules and old worn out French horses. Some
of these were hardly worth their feed. The mules
were light and not broken to our kind of work. The
French horses so old and decrepit that had [sic] a
hard time moving along with
out burden. A heavy
wagon was almost out of the question. One old stallion
could hardly keep on his feet going up and down
the hill to the spring for water. Into this spring
had been sunk a large barrel, making a deep
Several kilometers to our right was located
an old abbey. Here the army has established a
delouser. When our turn came to undergo the
purging process we marched over and lined single
file, took off our cootie infested clothes and gave
them to a soldier, who put them into a large steam
sterilizer while we took a shower bath. After
the bath, we moved
we were given our clothing steaming hot. Many
of us had a hard time getting our wet and shrunken
uniforms on. They were badly in need of pressing,
but who cared. We were temporarily rid of the
On the evening of Sept. 3rd I was notified to
report to Division Headquarters to be sworn in as
2nd Lieutenant. I had almost forgotten months ago that I
had qualified for a commission back
in Georgia. I went to Regimental Hqs. for
transportation to Div. Hqs. I was told to report there
We were loaded on a big army truck and
taken over rough roads southward away from
the noise. After
arriving we arrived at Div. Hqs. little time
was lost before we were sworn in. We signed our
papers. I noticed my commission was dated
June 1, 1918, and now it was the 4th of September.
It had taken a long time to catch up with us. We
were not entitled to wear a little gold bar on the
shoulder; otherwise it made little difference at
the front. Officers and men are very close and
little distinction is made while steel and lead are in
the air and life and death are hand in hand.
The same truck borught us back to our regiment.
My company commander, Lt. Braddock, offered to sell
me a blanket roll which had belonged to Lt. Jackson. Jackson
had recently been killed. The roll contained a suit, shoes
blankets and a Sam Browne belt. I bought it for
whether the things would fit or not. oblivious to whether would things would fit or not.
Before the newly commissioned Lieutenants
separated to go to their companies, a celebration
The return trip on the bouncing truck was most tiresome.
We arrived back with our companies
just as orders were given to move up to the attack
across the Vesle River at once. I was attached to
Co. L but on detached service with the Supply Co.
The doughboys moved up and I followed the 3nd [sic] Battalion with
four ammunition limbers. Following the infantry was
easy during the day of Sept. 5th. We went up toward
the lines in slow stages, but at dusk the men
were led single file across the fields from
Courville across the plateau into the Vesle Valley.
I chose the road across the hill by way of Boune
Maison Farm. When we got to top it was dark,
and i had lost all contact with my battalion.
We move off the road along a thicket to wait
for developments. The men unhitched and went
to sleep. I went scouting around to see if I could
At dawn, I took m
ay convoy forward
down the hill into Villette and drew up behind
a stone wall. We could go no further. The bridge
across river [sic] had been demolished and the engineers
were rebuilding it. I went down to
the see how
soon the bridge might be finished when the
Germans began firing shells at short range.
I lay down along the railroad tracks until the
firing subsided. Machine gunners were anxiously
awaiting the bridge to get their mules and
carts across. They crossed before the bridge
was completed. The firing across the hill
As we passed thru [sic] Fismes we saw a fine
town in almost utter ruins. Our Division had
held this town for nearly a month with constant
rain of shell on it. Hardly a roof was seen whole.
The men had occupied the cellars as protection.
When we got back as far as Courville
we found the rest of our regimental supply
train in the same woods that we had
occupied a few weeks before. The smell
of the not-too-deeply-buried horses was a
grim reminder of our previous stay. Lt. Dubs
and I slept in an old water tank that night.
The next morning found us on the move.
This time we moved away from the fireworks,
southeastward towards Epernay. I was
transferred to Co. M in charge of a platoon.
We were loaded on cassions (French motor trucks)
driven by Indo-Chinese drivers. We drove
most of that day and all night. Once I
noticed our cassion veering dangerously close
to the trees and telephone poles along the road.
I quickly glanced over to the driver and saw
he was asleep over the wheel. I elbowed
him and awakened him just in time to
In the forenoon we reached a village
named Contrisson. Here we disembussed and
were assigned to quarters in houses and barns.
What a feeling of relief it was here! We were
far away from the front, so far, in fact, that
we heard no rumbling of the guns. This was
the first time since we landed in France that
we could enjoy quietness and walk out in
the open daylight without danger of being
observed by the enemy. I once again checked
up on the time of the year. It was September 12th
and the weather was perfect. We received a
large number of new men (replacements)
to bring our numbers back to fighting strength.
Many of these men had not been in the army
long. Many of them came from the Southwest,
Indians and halfbreeds. We at once were
put to work drilling to get our men into
The Supply Train had been left behind to travel
by themselves. We had no regular cooks with us.
Rations were brought, and I was given the job
of dividing them to the companies. Men volunteered
to cook, but the question of utensils was a difficult
one. The town searched for old kettles and we
September 15th was the first Sunday
we observed as such in France. This was also my birthday.
We had religious services, after which I wrote
some letters. This rest and happiness was not
to last long. On the next day we received orders
to move in the evening, with full pack.
At dusk about seven o'clock we fell in
and marched off northward. The direction
was significant because it indicated return
to the lines and hell. About every hour we had
short rests. At midnight a thunderstorm was
seen ahead. It was hard to tell whether the thunder
and lightning were real or that of the guns.
We had a rest of about 20 minutes during which
time many fell asleep and had to be routed when
when the whistle blew to move. We moved on and on
thru [sic] intermittent showers. At dawn we
came to a railroad just as a long American
hospital train moved toward the west.
It could easily be guessed- wounded from the
St. Mihiel drive. We were so tired that we
almost envied them. They were out of action
and hardship and perhaps on their way to the
States. Some of our number would probably soon
pass that way- if we were lucky enough not
In the evening we again moved out for --
we know not where-- but not to a picnic. This
was done as a routine for 4 days and nights. At last
we again joined up with our supply co. and
cooks with their rolling kitchens. We passed
near Clermont-en-Argonne. At last we stopped in the
Argonne Forest north of Les Islettes. Here we stayed
for a few days.
We received equiptment, maps and instructions
for a big drive. We drilled during the day and fought
cooties at the night. It was very quiet here, and we
were kept concealed in the woods so as to surprise
the enemy. Occasionally an enemy plane
soared high overhead in the daytime to
see if possible what was going on behind
our lines but the dense forest shielded us
perfectly. For the most part
it we had rain
or damp weather which was very disagreeable
but, fortunately, Fritz left us alone. Not a shell
dropped in our area during this stay
of five or six days and we were only about
two miles behind the front lines.
Mimeographed instructions were
issued to all officers, setting forth plans for
Finally, on September 25th D was revealed
to the officers as the 26th and H as 5:30. Everybody
was now anxious to get started as if keyed up for a great
adventure. Extra rations were issued for three
days. This consisted of "bully beef" in cans, hard
biscuits in small packages and a loaf of bread for
every two men. These loaves were hard-crusted
dark French bread. How to carry these large
round loaves was soon solved by putting them
on the bayonet (stuck through) and the rifle
slung over the shoulder. It looked as though we were going
to a picic after all. This was all right until action began
but by that time most of the bread was eaten.
We looked after the shoes of the men and issued
new ones where needed and gave out plenty
of extra ammunition.
Just as we were about to move out on
the evening of the 25th to get to our "jumping off"
place, I received orders to report to the Supply
Co., where I had most of my service before, and
take charge of a battalion Supply Train. My first
At the farm we saw long columns
of infantry on their way to the lines, our
own regiment among them. We rode on
between the tanks toward the forest.
In the forest we came to a corduroy
road (made of logs and planks). We followed
this to a fork in the road where we were
stopped and told we could go no further;
the front line trenches were just ahead.
In the dense woods along the road could be seen
numerous dugouts and log huts. Here
I found some of our officers and reported
our delivery of supplies for 1st Battalion.
The infantry was rapidly taking its
place in the line where
all of a
suddenly flashes like lightening occured,
the earth shook and terrific explosions
took place almost at once. For a moment I did not know
whether we were on the receiving end
of a barrage or the other. It seemed
a [sic] though every tree spouted forth fire
all in the direction of the enemy. I knew
now our barrage had begun and the
big show was on. It was dreadful
din. The horses and drivers were bewildered.
We quickly unloaded and made our
way back to where we had started from.
Artillery fire continued during the
day. We were waiting for order to move
the supply train up to follow the
advance. Meanwhile, the 92nd Division
(colored) moved in the woods in back
of us as our support. So many
of the colored boys came to our kitchen
for something to eat that our supply
threatened to give out until a big
colored Major came up chased [sic]
them back to their own area.
News about the progress of the
drive was eagerly sought. We were
informed toward evening that the general
advance from Verdun to the Forest
was succeeding and that we were
to follow up to Varennes. At night
we started and followed the same
road thru[sic] the forest some had been on
It was noon when we arrived
at Varennes. It had taken us six hours
to move about three kilometers. This
was an important rail head for the
Germans for four years. They had
dug caves on the steep side of the
hill able accomodate [sic] thousands
of men, safe from shell or bomb. Our
infantry had taken several hundred
prisoners here on the first morning of
the drive. We followed along narrow
gauge railroad up a
narrow small valley
and bivouaced [sic]. A picket line for
the horses was made. The men dug
in on the hill side sloping away
from the enemy. I selected a fresh shell
hole made by our own barrage a
few nights before for my quarters.
I put my shelter tent over it and spread
my bedding roll. This was not bad
until it rained, when I had trouble
keeping my feet within the limits of protection
offered by the pup tent. As it developed,
we were destined stay [sic] in this position
for almost two weeks.
Lt. Braddock who was the Regimental
Supply Officer, told me to load up four
mess carts with food and take them up
immediately to the next town which our men had
just only recently captured. It was about
mid afternoon when my detail was
ready with two horses in each cart
and a heavy load on each. The town
Montblainville, is located on a plateau
east of the forest and surrounded
by what might have been beautiful
fields. We followed the road which led
up a rather steep incline to the
town. I realized at once that this was
not a very healthy place in broad day
light. I inquired about the location
of the units of our Regiment. They had
pushed on toward Apremont. A
German airplane flew over
rather low and with bursts of
machine gun signaled to his
artillery. I ordered my drivers
to pull up close along a stone
wall which supported a terrace
This was executed not a moment too soon.
A shell landed in front of us. Now two!
three! many! A barrage was upon
There was no mistaking about this
barrage. It was meant expressly for my
mess carts. We had been seen coming up
and the airplane gave the battery our
location. This the first of three occasions when
I or my detail were the target for the
German artillery during the Argonne
On the next forenoon I went up again
to see Col. Martin. I walked this time and
found him with his Regimental Hqs. in
a dugout along a ravine halfway between
Montblainville and Appremont. [sic] They were
feasting on rabbits which the Germans
had left behind on their retreat.
By the way Incidentally
the German Division whom we had fought
back was composed of Landswehr from
Wurtemberg. Col. Martin told me that
our forces were not in possession of
Appremont [sic] the next town farther down the
Aire [sic] Valley. Thus our provisions from now
had to be taken there. Coming back I
crossed an open plateau and came to a
large tree under which there was a
small shrine. Here I was joined by
a soldier who was going the same
We lay still for about ten minutes.
until the firing had ceased and got up
and left the road and travelled through
a grassy field unmolested. We saw
numberous corpses of both sides attesting
to the fighting here a day or two ago.
At Montblainville I met a boyhood friendof mine, Cyrus Peters. He was going up to
The Germans evidently tried to take
their own dead to the rear on their retreat.
Near Charpentry I saw a wagon loaded
with dead bodies. In their haste they
had to leave them behind.
The Supply Co. stayed in their
position in the ravine above Varennes
all during this campaign. Lts. Braddock
and Dubs (replacing officers of the CO.) had their headquarters in a
German dugout deep in the side of
the hill. They seldom ventured away
from here except to eat. This dugout
life kept them safe from enemy
shells but not from an other more
subtle enemy, the influenza from
which both died shortly afterward.
There was a world wide epidemic
of the flu prevalent at this time.
Those of us out in the open found out
very little about it.
The Germans shelled us occasionally
in our position. One afternoon a shell
came over, killing one of the men. Several
of us were standing on the narrow
Lt. Montgomery Dilworth of Connellsville
now took turns with me nightly to deliver
rations to the front line. Dilworth
and I here because fast friends and
had much in common until long
after the armistice. He was very kind,
reliable and resourceful as well as
quiet, unassumming and clean cut.
We took one of our rolling kitchens
(cook stove with wagon wheels) to Montblainville
so as to be closest to the front with hot
food. We located it in a shed near the
point where several days before I had
received such an unmerciful shelling.
On the second day the Germans again let
loose on the spot. Some cooks were
killed while peeling potatoes and
walls of the shed were knocked down,
the debris completely covering the
For several days our regiment was
located in or in front of Appremont. Here
it was comparatively easy to deliver rations
at night from Montblainville. Now, however
the 1st Division came in on our right
relieving the 35th and pushed ahead to
Fleville and beyond Exermont and it again
became possible for the 28th to advance.
The Division to our left was still far
behind in the forest. In order to take
the next town Chatel-Chehery, our Div.
crossed to east side of the Aire river
and advanced until opposite the town
at night early in the morning recrossed the stream
and captured the town.
This manouver made it most
difficult for us to get supplies to our men.
On the night during which my regiment was on the
left right side of the river, I crossed at
Appremont with ration carts thru [sic] the water
and followinged a long straight road
northward. It was very dark only the
white road was quite visible. It was
unusually quiet that night. We
kept on going forward hoping to find
our men. There was not a sign of
any one about. The road was altogether
clear. Now I felt as though had [sic] gone
far enough without knowing where
we were. I halted the carts and
Next night was Dilworth's turn and
the follwing mine again. It was
a wet night, drizzle and rain alternating. Took
three carts loaded with food one for each
of the three battalions. At Appremont
I stopped at Brigade Headquarters in a
cellar under a battered down church and
from Maj. Rhoads, whom I well knew
from Camp Hancock, I learned that our
regiment now had taken Chatel
Chehery several kilometers ahead
on the left side of the Aire River.
He showed me on his map the
road leading there. He failed to tell
me that the road was not open all
the way. He did not know.
We went on our way following
the road out of Appremont, passed [sic] a stone
then on over the open
road with the broad river flood plain on
our right and hills on our left. At last
we came to a small ravine where
to our dismay we were stopped by
a large crater. The Germans had
blown up the road making it impossible
to get horses and carts any further. Our
carts had made plenty of noise on the
I told the sergeants to find their
battalions and have the food carried
the rest of the way. Just then a shell
whined and exploded in the ravine below
us. I at once realized that the enemy
artillery had this spot marked and an
observer had probably heard us coming
up but waited until we had arrived
at the crater before giving the signal
to fire. I quickly ordered the drivers
to move back along the road for 100 yards
and wait there. Before this was executed
fully a barrage of shells was upon
us. Blinding flashes of exploding shells,
buzzing splinters, the air full of dirt
thrown up, and smoke made the
darkness a fury of hell. Prompt
execution of my orders to pull away
saved the horses and carts. The barrage
stopped. We checked up on our men.
A sergeant had been badly wounded,
and one man lay apparently dead,
and several others slightly injured.
We loaded the injured
dead on a cart which we had unloaded and sent them back
to a dressing station in Appremont.
Now to find the regiment inor about the town ahead. I took a
The sergeant and I then took the road
to the left and soon came to outskirts of
the town. Just then a heavy shower of
rain let loose. It was hard to see anything
We made our way back to the carts
and turned over to the carrying detail the "chow" which had been
hot when we started out in the evening
but cold now. It
was midnight now and we started
back to the kitchen at Montblainville with
the mess carts. On the way I stopped
at Col. Edward Martin's headquarters in
the dugout behind Appremont to report
the events of the evening and the delivery of the
rations feeling as though I had done a
hard job successfully getting the food through.
Col. Martin thought that was fine and
immediately ordered me to get another
hot meal ready and get it up to them
before daybreak. I explained to him that
practically all the food we had on hand
was used up until the next day's issue
came up. He then told me to get something
ready if it was only hot coffee and take
it to them. He promised to have a detail
I had received a tough assignment.
When I got back to the kitchen all the
cooks, of course, had long sought their
dugouts for the night's sleep. It was
now about three o'clock and I had
to search in the dark for the dugouts to
locate a cook to make the coffee.
Finally I located one and after much
trouble got him awake and on the job.
It was about 5 o'clock when the coffee
was ready and we loaded it on a cart
together with what little bread I could
find and started forward with one driver.
We came to Col. Martin's Hqs. and asked
the guard for our carrying detail which the Colonel
had promised to have ready for me. None
was to be found and Colonel was asleep
and when the guard asked him about it
he had forgotten all about it. He sent
the guard to gather up some men. I
waited for half an hour and the guard
came back saying that he couldn't find
any men excepting sick and wounded.
Dawn was approaching and I
knew I could wait no longer. So I
started with no one but my driver
hoping to pick up some men on the
way. We drove through Appremont and
on to the quarry. It was broad daylight
On the way back to the kitchen I
saw elements of the 82nd Division on their
way up. This was a sign that we were to
be relieved. This was Oct. 9th. We had been
continuously engaged in battle for two weeks
and very little of the infantry was left. When
I came back to the Supply Co., my first thought
was to get some rest which I had neglected
altogether for two days and nights. I
ate something and crawled into my
rain soaked bed in the shell hole and
slept until the next morning.
Oct. 10th we received orders to
move the Supply train up to Montblainville
up with the remnants of our
regiment. We moved up through a muddy
The next day we started to the rear to
be re-organized and sent to another front.
I started off with the heavy baggage wagons
through Varennes and Neuvilly. Here we found
the roads fearly [sic] congested with traffic going
up. If the German guns and airplane had
opened up on us here the carnage would
have been indescribable. In the early
afternoon we came to a place where some
colored troops working on the roads had
their kitchens. We stopped here to feed and
water our horses and try to get some
food for ourselves. These colored boys
certainly fed us royally with well prepared
food. Their cooks knew to feed their men.
We moved on and next came to a
field hospital. Here we stopped to see if we
could find some of our friends who had
been wounded. We found a few of them
but when we walked through the graveyard
We went on turning eastward
toward St. Mihiel. We had heavy rains
on the way. On the second day of our journey
we crossed the beautiful Meuse River and
came into the old St. Mihiel trench lines
where the French had held the Germans
for four years. It was a dreary spectacle.
The earth was all torn up. Fields were
full of barbed wire and the trees were
mere wrecked stumps. The town Seicheprey
was nothing but a few shattered walls
with dugouts underneath. We located
in a small town north of Toul. Here
we received many replacements to refill
While here Capt. Braddock and Lt.
Dubs our commanding officers of the
Supply Co. took sick with the "flu"and
day died on the same day. This left
me in Command of the Company until
1st Lieut Dilworth was assigned to the
After this work was completed the Regiment
was ordered to the front beyond Hendicourt
facing toward Metz, a German fortified
city. We moved northward, passed
near Mont Sec and located our Supply
Train in a beautiful woods called the
Bois de Creue. Here we found excellent
stables for the horses and five well built
bungalows for the men. The Germans had
built all this and lived very comfortably
for four years until the Americans
came. This was located in the St. Mihiel
salient. Three of us, Dilworth, Lt. Woodward
Taylor (a new assignment to the Supply Co.) and I took a bungalow with
a nicely furnished living room for our
office and a good sized bedroom with
three iron cots for our sleeping quarters.
War was never like this before. Here
we stayed until long after the armistice.
The best part of it was that we were rarely
There was very little activity here.
Our infantry occupied a defensive sector
and did little but hold the lines and make
a raid once in a while. We placed our
rolling kitchens close to the companies,
and all we had to do was to take
the supplies up to them. In the evenings
it was still necessary to show no light to
prevent the enemy planes from locating us.
One evening we hauled a raiding party to
front lines in supply wagons. The raid
was not a big success since the Germans
were ready for our party, consequently
we lost more prisoners than we took
and sustained numerous other casualties.
A narrow gauge railroad was laid
along the main road toward front. Supplies
and ammunition were brought in large
quantities. A new Division moved in on
our left. These preparations clearly
indicated big doings approaching. We
received orders to attack shortly in
the direction of Metz, the mighty fortified
city. On the 10th of November our orders
came to attack on the morning of the
After dark a German plane
dropped bright flares in our neighborhood.
Early the morning of the eleventh Dilworth
and I went over to Regimental Hq. for orders.
It was about daybreak when we got there
and the Adjutant announced that he
had received an order declaring an armistice
and hoped that this order would stick since
several days before a rumor of an armistice
proved unfounded. However, now he
had the documentary evidence that
all hostilities were to cease at 11 o'clock.
But meanwhile all attack orders
were to be carried out until that time.
Consequently the 109th Inf. had already
gone over the top to attack and at 9 A.M.
the 110th was to leap frog them and
continue the onsloaught. Some how the
110th never succeeded in the leap frogging
As the 11th hour approached cannonading
increased rather than subsided. During
The wounded still kept on coming during
the day. The dead had to be buried--the poor
unfortunates who had gone through it until
the last few hours of the conflict and then had
to get theirs. Such a fate!
In the afternoon we found out from
the Germans, who came over with watches
and any trinkets they had trying to get food with
them, that famine and revolution had broken
out behind them. On the next day many
Russian prisoners who had been set free
by the Germans came across and had to be
fed. Before many days some of our own
men who had been captured came back
with tales of disaster behind the German lines.
On the evening of the eleventh we could
hardly convince ourselves that now
About a week after the armistice we
turned in all our horses and mules. They had
been badly worn. Now we received fine
newly arrived American stock. What a contrast
with the mediocre and nondescript animals we had before!
We had heavy draught, light draught, and
fine riding horses now. We should have had
them long ago. Orders were given to clean
up wagons, harness and all equipment. This
was hard too [sic] do because of the rains and mud.
Time began to drag and we wished they would
take us home at once, but the transporting
organization and machinery had to be reversed.
Everything was geared to move forward only.
The Division did not get home until April.
Early in December Dilworth and I were
granted a ten day
10 leave to go to Nice on the Mediterranean.
This was a glorious anticipation as well
as realization. We went to Toul by truck, to Paris
by train and stayed overnight at the Hotel du Louvre.
This was heavenly--to undress and sleep between
sheets in a real and warm bed. We set our
shoes and puttees outside of the door to have
the mud of the Lorraine removed. In the morning
we thought we looked slick with shined footgear,
but at breakfast we saw many officers of the
Paris army (those who fought the war far behind the lines)
who were flawless in dress from head to foot,
and we felt more like boys from the country.
We boarded a P.L.M. (Paris, Lyons and Mediterranean)
train. We stopped off at Marseilles and saw
a show in which Gaby de Lys and Harry Pilcer
were the main actors. We spent the night
at a hotel and in the morning went on to Nice.
On the train which was much crowded, we
met a French Princess (she looked like a fine old
grandmother) who, seeing that we were very tired, allowed us to sit in her
She told us that next week Pres. Wilson was
Scheduled to stay at her sister's mansion in Paris
(Princess Murat). Now we had something to talk
about when we got back to our outfit. "We had
hobnobbed with royalty" as Lt. Burch put it.
We visited Monaco and its museum, Monte
Carlo, Meutone, and the Italian border. I,
incidentally, had some dental work done which
proved to be a bad job and I had to have done all
Army of Occupation
After we came back to the Bois de Creue
we found our regiment had moved forward
as a part of the Army of Occupation to Conflans
and Briey which been occupied by the Germans.
This is an iron region in the northeastern part
of France near Luxemburg. Here our men
had to clean out the villages. The Germans
had kept horses on the first floor of houses
while the men slept upstairs. Horse manure
was hauled out by wagon load from these
houses. The men grumbled at the dirty
job of cleaning the enemies' mess.
I had to supervise the distribution
of rations to the soldiers located in small groups
at about 10 different villages. Along came Christmas
"When are we going home" was the
question constantly in the soldier's
mind. Early in January 1919, we were relieved from
the Army of Occupation and travelled back
overland southward thru Conflans, Mars la Tour,
Toul to Allain near Colombey-les-Belles.
Here we were crowded into small villages
sleeping in barns, hay lofts, sheepfolds, pigpens,
and woodsheds. It became very cold for several
weeks with considerable snow. Some of the
men suffered considerably from cold with their two
late in Feb. I was called to Headquarters and was given
an order, sending me to the University
of Montpellier for four months. I could
have shouted for joy. What a relief to get
out of this mud and dirt and unpleasant
driving of reluctant men to go to sunny
Southern France to school. Now the
war was really over for me.
Early the next morning I left
with bag and baggage for Paris, short five
days there having dental work done, and,
then took the P.L. and M. for Montpellier and
the finest vacation I ever had or ever will
have. During the four months at the
University I took advantage of opportunities
to travel over southern France (Avignon, Nimes,
Arles, Aigues-Mortes, Bette, Beziers, Perpignan, Pyrenees
, Spanish Border, Toulouse, Marseilles). I roomed with
Lieut. Deim in a beautiful house with M. and Mme. Parrau
The school closed on June 30th, Deim
and I were ordered to report to St. Nazaire
to embark for home, but we had ten days
to get there. So we toured on the way. We
visited Chamounix, climbed Mont Blanc
part way, went to Paris, saw the Inter-
Allied games (like the Olympics), then to
Mont St. Michel, St. Malo, Nantes, Orleans, Tours, and thence
to St. Nazaire. From here we were sent to Brest
for a boat. We had to wait there until
we were assigned to a
boat ship. I waited
over three weeks before I was assigned
to the Northern Pacific. This fast boat
brought us to New York in less than
During the sixteen months in France
as a U.S. soldier I saw France at its worst--
when the war was almost lost, I did my bit
which was far from sensational, and I saw France
after the war far away from the battle front. I have
no regrets for my experiences but I am
thankful to be back unharmed in the happy U.S.A.
The Mistral is the yearbook of the American School Detachment of the American Expeditionary Forces stationed at the University of Montpellier in the spring and early summer of 1919. It is the only yearbook produced among the several groups of soldier-students stationed at institutions across France.