Grandpa's World War I Diary
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This is the account of one doughboy's life in the trenches of Northern France.

The United States of America declared war on Germany, April 6th, 1917. Two weeks later Nathaniel "Nat" Rouse enlisted.

After basic training at Camp Mills, Long Island, Private Rouse shipped-out for Europe to fight in the Great War. Serving in the 42nd Division / "Fighting 69th" regiment, he was 24 years old. This is his diary. It begins with an entry dated December 31st, 1917 in a camp in Northern France...

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Grandpa's regiment made port at Brest, France in November 1917. According to J. Hourigan, the 165th regiment celebrated Christmas, 1917, in "the old Roman town of Grand". And on the morning of the 26th, they began an arduous march, four days and four nights in blizzard conditions through the mountains to Langeau. <nr>
By this date, December 31, 1917, a total of only 176,655 American troops had arrived in France. - "American Battlefields" US Military History Institite
January 1918
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New York's Fighting 69th has a long and proud history. Formed in the mid-1800's as a local militia, it was part of Lincoln's volunteer Army of the Potomac. civil war The Regiment forced the retreat of the famed "Louisiana Tigers" at Malvern Hill - which provoked Robert E Lee to call them the "Fighting 69th". Just prior to U.S. involvement in WWI, the 69th had returned from the Mexican Border Disputes. Then called "69th NY National Guard", ranks were swelled (eventually to 3,500) with hand-picked transfers and enlistments.

In July, 1917, the 69th was drafted into AEF (American Expeditionary Force), and "Officially" renamed the "165th Infantry Regiment". (Still known as the Fighting 69th throughout the war and to this day.)

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In August , the 165th was joined at Camp Mills by three more hand-picked National Guard Regiments from around the country. These four (165th, 166th, 167th, 168th) became the famous 42nd Rainbow Division. This elite Div was among the first, landing in France from November to December 3rd, 1917.

These references to capturing and taking trenches are, i believe, in the sense of training exercises. The 42nd Division will not see combat for several weeks yet. (They haven't even been issued helmets at this point.) <nr>

About World War I : In June 1914, a Serbian nationalist assassinated an Archduke. That minor event set in play a bizarre tangle of Treaties and Alliances, which quickly embroiled tens of nations in the first global war. Learn more here: Causes Germany fought on two fronts; against Russia on the Eastern Front, and against France, Britain and other allies on the Western Front.

At the Western Front, with heavy casualties on both sides, the war came to a stalemate early on. Years before American involvement, the armies dug-in. Both the Germans and the French Allies dug elaborate opposing trench lines, zigzagging from the North Sea to Switzerland. Despite continued heavy losses, the line could not be advanced or driven back more than ten miles in either direction. For a description of conditions in the trenches click here: trenchlife Also, BBC has an excellent website here: WW1 Trenches And more on the links page.

Lillie & Nat
The woman, Lillie, mentioned throughout the diary, was Lillie Augusta Hanimann. After the war, Lillie became my Grandmother. (I don't know his relationship to Dell, but her name is believed to be Dell Hummer.) <nr>
Oscar Ammon, mentioned here, will meet misfortune 3/8/1918.
February 1918
2/5 On this day: The Tuscania was the first ship carrying American troops to be sunk. She was torpedoed by German UB-77. More about the Tuscania here
The 42nd Division was sent first to the Vauouleurs area, followed by the Rimaucourt and then Rolampont areas for further training. On February 21, the division was attached to the French Seventh Army Corps in the Luneville Sector, and its units participated in raids of major and minor importance and in the routine of trench warfare. - army.mil
There are instances where the author seems to indicate he has recorded more detailed accounts of his experiences. Some of these entries have been included here as "*note*", others have not been found... <nr>

When the great German offensive of March, 1918 began, America had four divisions in the line. The 1st, 2nd, 26th, and 42nd Rainbow Division. These Divisions were brigaded with the French for a first tour of duty in the trenches. The 42nd held the Luneville sector.

"The 42nd Division entered the front line in March 1918, where it remained in almost constant contact with the enemy for 174 days."

March 1918
3/3 On this day: Germany reaches peace agreement with Soviet Russia. (Russia had fallen into revolution.) The German High Commander, Erich Ludendorff, shifted the relieved German troops (40 Divisions?) and resources to the Western Front, just in time for the final major offensive. The objective was Paris.

The Germans made major advances, and the French Armies were in full retreat. The only thing that stood in the way of Germany’s taking of Paris was the American Expeditionary Forces at Belleau Wood. The German advanced was checked.
john*NOTE* I never experienced such a day. After the shell fire, we went back to the out post and the shell holes were large enough for 65 men. ([-?-] berm [-?-] ) Boche started 9:45, kept up for an hour and a half. Then we started 11 o'clock, lasted 15 minutes.

Got news of my father's death. It took my nerve away. I never will be the same again. My Father died Feb. 7, 1918. [photo: John Thomas Rouse]
no man
"No Man's Land" is the barren and exposed ground between the opposing enemy trenches. The width of No Man's Land varied along the front. In some places it looked like a terrible moonscape of artillery craters, and mud, and death. At night small squads would penetrate no mans land from both sides, to probe enemy defenses, to man forward listening outposts, or even to take prisoners. [see Jarrett's video] [noman's photo - source unknown]
I notice that during his first week at the front line, my Grandfather documented the deaths of his comrades. After that, there is little mention of casualties in his diary. <nr>

3/21-4/6 On this day: At Sommes the Germans advance 40 miles against British troops in a move toward Amiens and the ports beyond.

3/21 On this day: Battle of Picardy - Germans advanced against the British, 14 miles in one day (Operation "Michel"). Operations "Blucher" & "Yorck" (occupied Soissons, penetrated to Chateau Thierry, 56 miles from Paris.) [See Frank Gent's [BROKEN LINK - too bad, it was interestng lead. <nr>] recounting of his experiences, taken as POW on this day.]

The German attack in Picardy made Paris vulnerable. Plans for an autonomous American Army were put aside. Battle-ready American Divisions were placed under French command and moved to the critical front.
On March 31 the Rainbow division took over the Baccarat Sector, relieving the French 128th Division. It took over the line as a tactical unit on a frontage of about 15 km. (9 miles). - army.mil
April 1918
4/9-4/27 On this day: Along the Lys River, in Flanders, the British are attacked again.
*NOTE* I was not [broak-?-] as I at first supposed. I am still a 1st Class Pvt. and have my 1st Grade pass. I wonder if I will ever get any higher. As I write this, April 23, 1918, I have a terrible cold and we are about 2 miles from the front. There is a battery about 25 yards away whch makes some noise when it opens up. I hope no troubles come from this cold, I am a gas sentry tonight.
May 1918
*NOTE* French moved big field Howetzers up. I wasn't more than 50 feet away. The French sure did put it over on Boche. They tore down all the German positions.
*NOTE* I have the Scabys first time. My name has been on sick report. Geo. and Bill are on the hospital ditch, terrible. They say they are the start of trench [feaver-?-] & the Doc didn't even [-?-] me [-?-] the hospital. Soon I will see Lt. Anderson. Scabies are caused by the bite of a flea known to us as cooties.
The prisoners are also mentioned in a letter home from Private A.D. Boyd (166th Ohio) dated May 5: "I saw some German prisoners here today that were captured recently and they were a tough looking lot mostly kids about 15 to 17 years old. " <http://www.markboyd.info/adboyd/ > [May or may not be the same prisoners. I don't know if the 166th and 165th were camped together. I'll ask Steve when he's done with the book.]
Aunt H. = Aunt Hannah Brooks (his mother's sister)

I have often wondered about these references to "Indian Village". (And speculated...) Could this be the camp of troops from India? Historian Jean-Marie Pierre confirms for me that troops from India fought in British ranks, but to his knowledge, they were not in this area. And although some Native Americans did fight in WWI, i'm sure not in numbers and concentration enough for such an encampment.

Could this be a camp or village with pitched-roofed structures leading to the nick name? Historian/author J. Hourigan pointed to a reference by Father Duffy (page 60) to “ Adrian barracks”. Mention of these prefabricated barracks can be found on the internet, but, so far, no photos.

Jeff Redrup added a piece of the puzzle; based on his grandfather's diary and photos, the "Indian Village" is either a camp named "Ker Arvor" or right by it. I again consulted Jean-Marie who provided this about Ker-Arvor: French barracks south-east of Badonviller, in the Meurthe et Moselle département. Badonviller is about 10 miles north-east of Baccarat (mentioned by your Grand Dad in his 5/14 1918 diary entry). The name “Ker-Arvor” sounds Breton and I imagine (but this is mere speculation) that the name might have been given by French soldiers originating from Brittany.

Most recently Jean-Marie sent me this excerpt from HISTORY of THE 308th INFANTRY by L. Wardlaw Miles, where "Ker-Arvor" is also mentioned.

“ On the 17th of June, the entire Regiment began its thirty-eight kilometer march to the front. The 1st Battalion leading reached Ker Avor, a French rest camp, at 2 o'clock of a rainy, muddy, pitch-black night. The next day the Battalion slept and rested in the rustic Chautauqua-like collection of artistic huts set in the center of a magnificent pine forest.”

A "collection of artistic huts". This may begin to explain it. I did a web search on "Chautauqua", thinking it referred to the Chautauqua indians, and maybe to thier traditional housing. And it may... but i was distracted by another reference i found to movement, almost cult-like, from the 1870's to the 1920's. Here's the description:

CHAUTAUQUA MOVEMENT

The chautauqua movement grew out of summer Sunday school institutes held by the Methodist Episcopal church during the 1870s. At a camp meeting in 1873, Bishop John H. Vincent proposed that secular as well as religious education be offered at these institutes. The next summer, the Chautauqua Assembly was established at Lake Chautauqua, New York, offering adult education in both science and the humanities. Thousands came to eight-week sessions to hear lectures by many of the period's most eminent politicians, authors, artists, and scientists, as well as to enjoy the entertainments and festive atmosphere of the gatherings.

In 1878 William Rainey Harper (later president of the University of Chicago) added a course of home reading, which spread the chautauqua movement nationwide. Soon after the turn of the century, "traveling chautauquas" were organized by commercial lecture bureaus, with tent shows moving from town to town during the summer offering lectures and entertainment. These were very successful for two decades, but they began to lose audiences after World War I, and the movement ended about 1924. The assembly continued at Chautauqua for many years, but never regained the popularity of earlier days.

In July, 2007, i heard from Sam Cady, part of a group devoted to the study and historic interpretation of the 168th Infantry of the 42nd Division. Sam offers another, very plausible explaination for the name "Indian Village". He suggests it is the result of American soldiers bastardization of the village's true name, "Villers-Inde", or "something like that". I have come across several examples of this, for instance, calling the Ourcq "O'Rorkes River". I will ask Jean-Marie about Viller-Inde.

There you have it, more than you ever wanted to know about the Indian Village.. <nr>

*NOTE* While I was in this hospital I lost a raincoat, fountain pen, gloves I paid 30F for, 5F out of my pocket book, comfort kit, and camera. I hope the fellow who stole them is gased.
5/27-6/5 On this day: the Germans launched an offensive, the 3rd Battle of the Aisne. [Aisne-Marne] The surprised Allies took heavy casualties and were over-run. The Germans advanced along a 40 mile front, taking Soissons, and by May 31, reaching the Marne River near Chateau-Thierry. They were now only 90km from Paris.
June 1918
6/9-6/10, On this day: American 2nd Div takes Belleau Wood .
6/9, On this day: Germans launch offensive, Battle of the Matz. (Between Noyan & Montdider)

Wow. Firing squad. My first notion was that this was in reference to an execution by firing squad. But J. Gannon and others indicate that this is a ceremonial firing squad, firing a salute in honor of the person being buried. (Don Monroe, F Co)

I have since read, at ShotAtDawn.org.uk, that there were 10 American executions during WWI; all for non-military crimes.<nr>

In contridiction to that, see Joseph Jone's diary entry for March 11 '18: "One Polack from drafted army shot for desertion at 8:30 am." I am attempting to reconcile this discrepency. <nr>

Ettinger, in, A Doughboy in the Fighting 69th”. Mentions a punishment for someone in the Regiment for cowardice. That punishment was to be kept in the front lines no matter what company or battalion was in the front. - J Hourigan

Leaving Baccarat. The Rainbow Division was being withdrawn and sent east of Reims, to take part in the Champagne-Marne operation.
Based on other resources; 165th departed Deneuvre at 8pm, (through "Ramberville at Moyemont"). Hiked 24k, and arrived at 2:30am. - JJones

MOYEMONT - June 19th, 1918
An excerpt from Father Duffy’s Story. (Page 114): "Yesterday was New York "Old Home Day" on the roads of Lorraine. We marched out from Baccarat on our hunt for new trouble, and met on the way the 77th Division, all National Army troops from New York City. It was a wonderful encounter. As the two columns passed each other on the road in the bright moonlight there were songs of New York, friendly greetings and badinage..." - Father Duffy's Story

In October, some of these "Yaphank Boys" will be part of the famous “Lost Battalion” (surrounded by Germans in the Argonne Forrest). <nr>

*NOTE* Capt. Kelley wanted to bring me up on charges for losing my [-?-], but I explained matters and I am OK now. Lost rain coat in hospital.
train

The 165th Infantry (Fighting 69th) was transported 1,778 km, often by rail, in cattle cars. - hourigan.com

[Nearly every diary i've read tells how cramped and uncomfortable these train rides were.Often they had to ride long distances standing up.] [Photo: Cattle car - source unknown]

The 69th marched a total of 1,146 km. (Over 700 miles) - hourigan.com
By the end of June 1918, due to the increased use of British shipping, there were 900,000 American troops in France.
July 1918
"Stand to" (Stand to Arms) is an order to mount the fire step of the trench, with bayonettes fixed, in anticipation of an enemy attack.

Battle of the Champagne

July 14, 1918. On this day: The Battle of the Champagne was the beginning of the final German offensive. This was to be the massive push into France, and was timed to execute before the arrival of a million troops from America. The Germans were confident that the few American units already at the front would not hinder them from seizing Paris. (Germans refered to the inexperienced Americans as "paper soldiers".)

LundendorffThe line was contained by the 4th French Army, in which the Rainbow Division played a prominent role. German perception of American soldiers' fighting abilities quickly changed. (See German Commander, Ludendorff about Am. soldiers: "It was assuredly the Americans who bore the heaviest brunt of the fighting in the last few months of the war. The German field army found them much more aggressive in attack than either the English or the French.")

The success of the Americans is credited to the fitness, enthusiasm and bravery of the troops. The training, experience and especially the tactics, on the other hand, were very poor. Read about the "Shortcomings of the AEF's Tactical Doctrine". -worldwar1.com


Second Battle of the Marne

mairneOn July 15 the Germans launched a large scale attack, the Second Battle of the Marne. They crossed the Marne river, but suffered heavy losses and were driven back. [See Martin J. Hogan's vivid description of the 2nd Marne]

J.Jones diary:
July 15: 2nd Batt. holds first line of attack against Prussian Guard. 3rd Batt. Move up. ... 1st Batt. suffer loses. Germans take 3 kilos from French. Our 2nd Batt. holds the line killing with the bayonet."
July 16: "Bavarian Guard attacks. Germans attack twelve times with tanks but fail to brake our line. 2nd Batt. goes over the top at once."

[Battalion: An army unit typically consisting of a headquarters and two or more companies. My Grandfather's Company (F) was part of the 2nd Battalion. (165th Regiment) <nr> ]

Between July 15-19 the 42nd Div suffered casualties in the sector east of Reims to the extent of 450 killed and 1,350 gassed and wounded. - Battlefields, US Mil. Hist. Institute. [ In October, 2006, i was contacted by Michael J. Fitz, Sound Beach, NY. His Great Uncle, George Patrick McKeon, Company E, 165th, was killed in action on July 16, 1918. McKeon served in the same Battalion as my Gr'father (2nd) - <nr>]

July 18, the Allies counterattacked the German Forces. [Photo: Allied counterattack at the Marne. - source unknown]

Chateau Thierry

"Chateau T" refers to Chateau Thierry, in the Champagne region of France, the scene of one of the 6 major battles the Rainbow Division engaged.

7/26 The 165th Infantry moved forward from the vicinity of Epieds during the day, and after midnight, July 26, relieved the French 167th Division, placing the 1st Battalion in the front line along the brook east of Beuvardes. - 42nd on the Ourcq

This makes twice in four days that the 150th Machine Gun Reg. has suffered loses. [bombed at a rail station? <nr>] The 150th MG was attached to the same Brigade (83rd), so these loses must have been felt by the 165th infantry. (See page 192, Father Duffy's Story.)<nr>

"On July 25-26 the 26th Division was relieved by the 42nd Division, which, after having taken some part in the successful resistance to the German attack of July 15th in Champagne, had been brought round to the Chateau-Thierry region." -WorldWar1.com

7/27 I Corps issued orders at 1:10 am., July 27, directing an attack by the 42d Division at 9:40 p. m. with the mission of crossing the Ourcq River and capturing the heights to the north. - 42nd on the Ourcq [The Battle of the Ourcq River was the offensive phase of the 2nd Battle of the Marne -<nr>]

42d Division was to attack in two columns to the east and west of Forêt de Fère and Château de la Forêt The right column was to advance in the direction of La Croix Blanche Ferme and Sergy, while the left column was to pass through the French 164th Division near Chateau de Préaux Ferme and advance via La Folie, Villers-sur-Fère to Meurcy Ferme. Cavalry was moved into position to exploit any breach in the hostile line north of the Ourcq River. There was to be a 10-minute artillery preparation prior to the attack, and a rolling barrage was to cover the advance. The attacking troops were forbidden to use any weapon except the bayonet during darkness. At 9:30 a. m. the 42d Division issued orders for the attack.

When the enemy retirement was discovered, the 42d Division directed that the pursuit be taken up by all units then in line. The pursuit was begun early in the afternoon. ... The 2d Battalion moved forward to Villers-sur-Fère, but later withdrew to a front-line position in Bois de Villemoyenne. ... At 1pm the 83d Infantry Brigade was ordered to relieve the French 52d Division as well as the French 164th Division.

The 83d Infantry Brigade issued orders for the 165th Infantry to attack at 3:40 a. m. (7/28) and advance to the line, Bois Brulé-Seringes et Nesles.

[These events are not noticeably reflected in the diary. <nr>]

"...the 42nd Division attacked, and by the 28th it had crossed the Ourcq and taken Sergy. Here the enemy offered desperate resistance, launching counterattack after counterattack, the village of Sergy changing hands four times. But the 42nd definitely occupied Sergy on the morning of July 29th and continued to press forward until August 2nd when the enemy withdrew." -WorldWar1.com

"On the Ourcq River, the 69th put up what has been called one of the greatest fights of that terrible war when it forced a crossing without artillery support and, fighting alone on the enemy's side of the river, with its flanks unsupported, engaged a Prussian Guards Division and forced it to retire. It was an incredible feat of arms..." -Kenneth H. Powers

donovan

On this day: At the Battle of the Ourcq, adjutant to Major William Donovan (commander of 1st Battalion, 165th), Lt. Oliver Ames was killed July 29. (Same William Donovan who created the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the CIA.)

Begining here in the diary, there are just a few long entries, spanning the next 2 weeks. Daily entries resume on Aug. 13. <nr>
Corporal John J. Finnegan of F Co., 165th, was killed on July 28. He was awarded the French "Croix De Guerre". Finnegan had been with the 69th regiment in the Mexican Border in 1916. (Corporal: A noncommissioned rank in the U.S. Army that is above private first class and below sergeant.) <nr>
*NOTE* I don't understand how I ever came out without a scratch. I am afraid my turn will be next battle. Oh how I hope I live to go back. (Rifle 359454)

7/30 In the 83d Infantry Brigade, the attack of the 165th Infantry was unsuccessful. A German counterattack at Meurcy Ferme was repulsed. - 42nd on the Ourcq

kilmer

7/31 In the zone of action of the 83d Infantry Brigade, the American 30th Engineers conducted a smoke and thermite attack on Bois Brulé, which caused the enemy to abandon this position. Later in the day this wood was occupied by Company D, 165th Infantry - 42nd on the Ourcq

On this day: 7/30 - Poet Sgt. Joyce Kilmer was killed. Kilmer <<Broken link - hourigan.com

August 1918

The 42nd Rainbow Division was finally relieved around 4 a.m. on August 3rd. The German resistance had been fierce. Some of the villages, farms, hills and forests had changed hands many times. In the end, the enemy was driven back. Victory came at a price. In those five days the Rainbow Division suffered 5,529 casualties. (6,495?)

At full strength, F Company would have had 250 soldiers. After the 2nd Battle of the Marne, 60 remained.

The 42d Division, less artillery, assembled in Forêt de Fère, where it remained in reserve of the I Corps until the end of the Aisne-Marne Offensive on August 6. From here the division moved by stages to the St. Mihiel region to participate in the St. Mihiel Offensive. - 42nd on the Ourcq

As a curious young boy, i tried to get my grandfather to talk about the war. He recounted an instance when Grandpa and his squad [platoon? company?] were advancing up a hill to secure a barn. As they approached, barn doors flung open and German soldiers attacked, firing machine guns. He did not go into detail, and he would not repeat the story a year later. This was the one and only time Grandpa would discuss the war with me. I do not know when this took place - it is not how he was injured. I wonder, could this have been during the battle of the Ourcq? Could he have been telling me about the 69th's battle to take Muercy Farm? Could those "Germans" have been the elite 4th Prussian Guards? <nr>

Private John Tyson, also in Company F/69th, was wounded at the Ourcq. In this letter to Tyson's grandson, Joe Hourigan gives an excellent explanation of the 69th's involvement in the 2nd Marne and Battle of the Ourcq. He details the movements of Company F. <nr>

August 10, 1918 On this day: - American First Army was formed, under General Pershing. First Army headquarters was at Neuf-Chateau, south of St. Mihiel, on the Meuse River.
This seems to be the end of undated entries. (I question the date of any entry which does not record the weather.) <nr>
September 1918
St. Mihiel - Allied Offensive
The American 1st Army was being moved into position for an attack at the St. Mihiel salient. The 42nd Division covered nearly 80 miles, marching only at night, billeted discretely during the day in order to veil the extent of the operation.

By September 1918, Colonel George S. Patton Jr. had finished training three tank brigades at Lagranges, France for an upcoming offensive at the St. Mihiel salient.
September 12, 1918 the U.S. 1st Army attacked at the St. Mihiel salient, south of Verdun. In heavy rain and high wind, they advanced five miles on a twelve-mile front. So began the Allied offensive.

This is the only mention Nat makes of being shot, except two days later when he says "Didn't sleep so well last night. Head on the blink".

My father, Warren, and Uncle Robert explain that Grandpa was struck when he lifted his head over the edge of a trench. [But by 10am on that stormy morning, five hours into the attack, i think the 165th would have pushed beyond the trenches, and into enemy territory. If so, it is much more likely that he was pinned down in a shell crater or perhaps a dugout left behind by the retreating Germans.] In any case, a machine gun bullet struck his steel helmet, which in turn gashed his head.

My Uncle, Robert N Rouse, filled in more of the story. As my injured Grandfather tried to retreat, he was having difficulty finding his way due to blood obscuring his vision. As he wound his way through the trenches, he came across another soldier, wounded in the leg, who could not walk unassisted. Together they made their way to the field hospital. <nr>

In April 2005, i was contacted by Bob Gilson, whose ancestor (Pvt. Eugene Rogers) was also in Company F, 165th. He was fatally injured on the same day and in the same way my Grandfather was injured - a single machine gun bullet to the head. "Eugene Rogers was involved in engagements in the Luneville Sector, Rouge Banquet, Baccarat Sector, Montigny, Migneville, Champagne, Auberive, and St. Mihiel. Nathanial Rouse was probably in those same engagements." <nr>

hospital

Base Hospital #18 was in BAZOILLES SUR MEUSE about 4 miles from Neufchateau (Vosges). Bazoilles was a very large hospital center with 7 hospital units on both banks of the river (Other base hospitals at Bazoilles: #'s 42, 46, 60, 79, 81, 116) . The valley was sometimes referred to as "Death Valley." - this information was provided by Bourmont native, and "closet historian", Jean-Marie Pierre. [Thanks Jean-Marie.] [Photo: Shows several of the base hospitals at Bazoilles - JM Pierre]

You can find more details in "The History of Base Hospital N°18 (John Hopkins Unit) in the Great War" (Dr Harvey Stone, The John Hopkins Alumni Magazine Vol.VIII, N °8, March 1920)

McMeinNeysa McMein, attractive and "free-spirited" war-time illustrator for McCall's magazine. -S Harris
On this day: The Allied Offensive at Meuse-Argonne begins on September 26, 1918.
October 1918

ymcaThe YMCA - I find it remarkable that desipte long marches and train rides my grandfather and his fellows could always visit the "YM" for comfort and entertainment. The YMCA must have been everywhere! (see the History of the YMCA in WWI. <worldwar1.com>)

At that website, i learned that the YMCA; operated 4,000 huts and tents for recreation and comfort, 1500 canteens and post exchanges, served 8,000 troop trains, mobilized nearly 1500 entertainers from over-seas, operated 44 factories... I guess they were everywhere! <nr>

The Y.M.C.A. was very active. You can find more details in "The History of Base Hospital N°18 (John Hopkins Unit) in the Great War" (Dr Harvey Stone, The John Hopkins Alumni Magazine Vol.VIII, N°8, March 1920)

10/8/18, On this day: The famous "Lost Battalion" was finally relieved after being surrounded by the Germans in the Argonne forest. The lost battalion was part of the 77th regiment, also of New York.. These are the same "Yaphank Boys" my grandfather's regiment passed in the moonlight (June 19).

Learn about this dramatic event at these links: 1) a brief description, 2) Commander Wittlesey 3) Lost Battalion Archive

As much as Rouse enjoyed bathing and sleeping in a bed, away from combat, letters and other evidence indicate that he felt uncomfortable being away from his unit at the front. He probably did not know that his division had been withdrawn from the front, September 30, and moved to the region south of Verdun, as part of the reserve of the First Army.
... meanwhile allowing fresh outfits, notably the 42nd "Rainbow" Division, to make another try at cracking the Kreimhilde Stellung. The Rainbow, which included New York's famous "Fighting 69th" was assigned the forbidding Cote de Chatillon. On the night of October 13-14, Summerall visited brigade commander Douglas MacArthur's headquarters and said: "Give me Chatillon or a list of 5,000 casualties." MacArthur replied that if they failed, the entire 84th Brigade would be on the casualty list, with his name at the top.

Liggett waited until October 16 to take charge of entire American Army , http://europeanhistory.about.com/library/prm/blpershingargonne5.htm
November 1918

Nov 1 - Americans breakthrough German defences at Meuse (11/4 ?)

On this day: Armisice - November 11, 1918. Figting ceases at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.
This entry refers to base hospitals # 42, 46, 60, 79, 81, 116 (and 18) located in BAZOILLES SUR MEUSE
*NOTE* Nov. 19, 1918. Borrowed 25F from the adjutant thru the recomendation of Sgt. [S-?-] . [The rest is unreadible.]
December 1918
The town mentioned with different spellings is NEUFCHÂTEAU. It's about 7km from Bazoilles. - JM Pierre

Reference to DOMREMY-LA-PUCELLE where SAINT JOAN OF ARC (Jeanne d'Arc) was born around 1412 . She is said to have heard voices in a wood called "The Bois Chenu" where a basilica has beeen erected.

Domrémy la Pucelle is about 17km from Bazoilles sur Meuse and the boys often went on excursion there. [information provided by Jean-Marie Pierre]

January 1919
HARREVILLE LES CHANTEURS (small village very close to Bazoilles) - Jean-Marie Pierre
nat and lily

FINIS - A-LITTLE-BOOK-I-HAVE-CARRIED-WITH-ME-ALWAYS