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
- Dec. 31, 1917. I wonder if we will be back in States next year this time.
Somebody stole cigars, have my suspicions.
- January 1918: Tues. 1/1 Snow on the ground, clear. Did not drill. Went
to see Kemp of G Co. in the castle. Missed revelee. (Excused) Bed 8:30.
[Pvt. Cail Kemp of 1213 Railroad Avenue, Brooklyn]
- Wed. 1/2 Cloudy and damp. Had a fire in town. Some firemen! Cap Kelley
went out to drill with us. Never felt the cold so much. Bed 9:00. [Captain
Michael A. Kelley, from Manhattan, commanded F Company. Kelley was
portrayed in the 1940 movie,
"The Fighting 69th"]
- Thurs. 1/3 Clear. Drilled. Lt. S. said we would have better conditions
later. Mail on the way. Got socks and leggin's. Bed 8:00.
- Fri. 1/4 Went on range. No hits. Shaved. Got payed 208 1/2 F. Had some
supper, cost 10F. Bed 8:30.
- Sat. 1/5 Answered reveille without leggin's. (Got away with it.) Clear
and very cold. Went on range 3D -5H. Had supper at widows. Went to Longeau.
YMCA opened up here. Bed 9:30. Get hair cut 8c, tip 2c.
- Sun. 1/6 Clear. Got pass to go to Longeau, some town. Bought lots of things.
Search light. Some walk back. Bed 12:00. [2nd Battalion
was billeted in Cohons, south of Langres. HQ was in Longeau. <nr>]
- Mon. 1/7 Rained, no drill. Moved to a new billet. Had our feet inspected.
Sent two letters, D & G. Bed 9:00.
- Tues. 1/8 Snowed. Did not drill. Had a lecture in morn. & afternoon.
Lt S. got auto-guns. Search light on the blink. Bed 10:00.
- Wed. 1/9 Snowy. Lt P showed us some new games used in Eng. Army. Went
for wood. Told about [Serd-?-]. Bed 8:30.
- Thurs. 1/10 Rained & snowed. Did not drill in morn, did in afternoon.
New drill schedule effected. Bed 9:00.
- Fri. 1/11 Rained. Came back from drill early. Had lecture. Some got packages,
I did not. Drilled afternoon, some got 3 bags. [?]
- Sat. 1/12 Clear and cold. Went out to the range; made one. We drilled
in afternoon. Had a meal in Springer's house. Got barrack bag & shovel.
- Sun.1/13 Rain. Got pass to Longeau. Went with Doder. Bought pipe. Came
back 7:30 PM. Bought eggs & stuff for tomorrow.
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
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
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
- Mon.1/14 Clear drilled all day. Good and warm. McGuier put in jug. Had
a good supper with stuff we got in Longeau. [John McGuire
of 776 2nd Avenue, NYC]
- Tues. 1/15 Rain. Had lecture. Rained in afternoon but went out. It
was terrible but captured trench. Leaked on our bed.
- Wed. 1/16 Rained. Did not drill in morning until 10:00. Went out in afternoon.
Took trench in a bad rain. Bed 10:30
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.
- Thurs. 1/17 Cloudy. Drilled in new field, other field for cultervation.
Was taken sick to stomach. Reason unknown. Did not eat dinner. Got cot.
- Fri. 1/18 Cloudy. Got mail yesterday, but didn't get one from D. Out on
detail all day digging a new range. Warmer. No snow. Bed 8:00.
- Sat. 1/19 Clear spring day. Had a lecture on drill field on gas. Saw an
aero. Thought it was a Boche - wrong. Late for reveille. Got package from
Ma & Pa, and Hannah. Got picks and shovels. Went to the YM in evening.
Bed 11:00. [Hannah may be his maternal aunt, Hannah
- Sun. 1/20 Clear, warmer. Had a BATH, it was swell. YMCA
had a grand opening,
1:30pm. Got two letters, Lillian & Dell, made me happy. Perfect day.
- Mon. 1/21 Clear, warmer. Drilled in the morn. It's a pleasure to drill
these days. Started to drill in a'noon but came back on account of rain.
Got 3 letters from Dell.
- Tues. 1/22 Cloudy and warm. Drilled all day. Got a letter from Barnaby
and answered it. On the range in morn. Bed 11:00.
- Wed. 1/23 Cloudy and warm. Drilled all day. On guard at four pm. Got two
letters from Dell and one from Ma. They got our letters home.
- Thurs. 1/24 Beautiful day. Didn't do anything all day. Reason, was on
guard. Got letter from Dell. In evening to YM bed 10:00
- Fri. 1/25 Foggy day. Drilled all day. Worked out a little battle. F Co.
gave a little entertainment. Got steel helmets.
- Sat. 1/26 Cloudy and foggy, very damp. Got a box from Lillie, some box.
Came back from drill at 2:30pm. Played poker in eve. with Geo, Bill &
I. All sat aroung the fire, had cocoa. Bed 10:30.
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>
- Sun. 1/27 Cloudy & foggy. Got my hair cut. Band concert, played the
SS Banner. Got 10 letters; Dell, Ma, & Lillie. Red letter day.
- Mon. 1/28 Foggy. Drilled all day, nothing of importance happened. I didn't
write for three days in diary - I forgot everything.
- Tues. 1/29 Clear. Drilled all day. Got a letter from Dell. Played poker
with Geo, Bill, Barney, Ammon. Fun. Bed 11:30. Got Payed.
Oscar Ammon, mentioned here,
will meet misfortune 3/8/1918.
- Wed. 1/30 Clear. On wood detail. Soft job. Took another BATH. Had a bacon
stew for mess (supper). I had milk and bread.
- Thurs. 1/31 Foggy. Played poker last night. Won 50F. Drank 3F worth of
cream. Made me a little sick. Drank cocoa in eve with Geo & Bill.
- February Fri. 2/1 Foggy. Some day. Drilled all day. Received
package from [Dell-?-] (dear kid). Found out Sedegel is a thief. Played
poker - Mac, Rodger & Larkins. Won 110F
- Sat. 2-2 Clear. Drilled all day. Had a bomb throwing lesson by the French
soldiers. Wish I could get [some-?-] mail.
- Sun 2-3 Beautiful day. Didn't go anywhere. Got a French hat. Everybody
was drunk in the billet. Played poker.
- Mon. 2-4 Clear. Got our gas masques. Had instruction how to use same.
Had an easy time in afternoon.
- Tues. 2-5 Clear. Drilled in morn and afternoon. Wrote letters to Dell.
Had a tooth ache. Went to YM in eve.
- Wed. 2-6 Clear. The Germans sank the Tuscania.
I suppose lots of mail went down...
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
- Thurs. 2-7 Clear. Went out all day for war games. Some of the fellows
got mail. I don't know why I don't.
- Fri. 2-8 Clear. Went out for another war game. Came back in afternoon.
Had 3 hrs. off, played poker. Lost 25F.
- Sat. 2-9 Clear, warmer. Went out with full equipment to fight the 166
Ohio Inf. Didn't get back until 6:00pm. Played poker (even).
- Sun. 2-10 Beautiful. Cleaned up billet, played poker all afternoon. Didn't
have any retreat. Wrote to Lillie & Dell.
- Mon. 2-11 Beautiful day. Didn't do anything all day. Packed barrack bag
& sent them away. Sent a letter to D & Walter P. Played poker.
- Tues. 2-12 Clear. Went out in morn with packs, out all day. Wonder why
I don't get any letters from home.
- Wed. 2-13 Foggy. Went out in the morning with packs, came back early.
Went out in eve to trenches on hill. Back 6:30pm.
- Thurs. 2-14 Clear. Went out all day with packs, came back 6:30. Got payed.
Got my hair cut off to an inch off my head.
- Fri. 2-15 Clear, colder. Went out in the morn with packs, came back and
had dinner. [Injured arm.-?-] In Geo Lawrences [sp?] squad now.
- Sat. 2-16 Clear. Didn't do anything all day but clean up for march Monday
morning. Now things are starting. LEUNEVILLE [Lunéville]
- Sun. 2-17 Clear but cold. Played poker in morn and evening. Had eggs &
potatoes with Geo. & Bill.
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
- Mon. 2-18 Clear but cold. Started out at 3:00am with new packs. Marched
thru Langue & took train all day & night.
- Tues. 2-19 Got off cattle cars at 2:30 AM. Oh what a night. We had to
stand and wait for one hour in the cold. I never felt it so much.
- Wed. 2-20 Saw aero battle with a Boche plane who was trying to [cooperas-?-]
up. Yesterday landed in some town..
- Thurs. 2-21 Clear. Walked all over the town the Germans
occupied for 21 days. Got a room, some room.
- Fri. 2-22 I don't know just when the following happened but I will put
some things down.
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>
- Sat. 2-23 Had my pictures taken. Bought new gloves, bought a wrist watch.
I , Geo, Till G., and Willie W. got a home between French & Amer. [Willie
- Sun. 2-24 Foggy. We do nothing but sit around now, but wait until we get
in. Went over to park and saw football match.
- Mon. 2-25 Rainy. Went to new drill field. This is the first time we had
any work here.
- Tues. 2-26 Clear beautiful day. Drilled all day. Saw a fight in the air.
Had a good meal for supper.
- Wed. 2-27 Rainy. Was on KP today. Shouldn't have been. Signed pay roll.
It is a pleasure to go to bed now.
- Thurs 2-28 Rained. Had a lecture, got orders to move in 24 hrs. Got another
box from Dell with ring.
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 Fri. 3-1 Foggy. Reveille 4:45. Left
at 5:45. Arrived at Camp NY. Some place. Nothing but mud.
Slept on bunks, mud floor. [Camp New York may have been near
Croixmare or Arbre Haut - J Hourigan]
- Sat. 3-2 No calls. Went to reserve trenches at 1:30pm. Went into my first
dug out, it was all cement. Had supper on road, bed about 9:00. Am now broak
[broke]. Gracsly, Gus & I were arrested in quarters and [reducted-?-]
. [William Gracely of Elizabeth, NJ]
- Sun. 3-3 Up at 7:30. Officers went to front line. We came in to Lunéville.
Soldiers in the line [?] sure were glad to see us.
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
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
- Mon. 3-4 Snow. We opened fire about 11:30 am, and believe
me it was some noise.
- Tues. 3-5 Arrested [?]in quarters. Left camp NY at 3:00am. Arrived at
front line trenches. Under fire for first time.
- Wed. 3-6 Clear. Some day. On an outpost 5/8 of a mile from
the Boche. The Boche put over a gas cloud and some shell
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]
- Thurs. 3-7 I don't feel like writing. E Co. lost 23 men and one
officer. They were caught in a dug out by a big shell. [See
Bouquet" by Joyce Kilmer] [In the diary of Joseph
J. Jones (Company K, 3rd Battalion) ) March 7th, he mentions his life
was saved because of the "switch".
Jones was assigned from headquarters to Rouge Bouquet with Co. E. His life
was saved because he was transferred elsewhere.]
- Fri. 3-8 Ammon was shot to death by Corkern
by mistake. I have had very little sleep. [Oscar
Ammon was a transfer from the 12th Regiment. He was from Brooklyn and
listed as killed in action on March 7, 1918. Corkern is probably Bernard
Corcoran from Long Island City. - Stephen Harris] [Author Jim Haas informs
me that O.Ammon was from College Point, NY, and that the local VFW Post
was named afer him. Haas's new book about
"St. Fidelis Parish" includes Ammon's story. (links page)]
[I wonder if B. Corcoran was a descendent of Michael
Corcoran - founder of the 69th, prior to the Civil War. ??]
- Sat. 3-9 McCarmick & Zigler were shot. Franders,
Walker, and I were all over no-mans land today.
"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]
- Sun 3-10 Clear. Our last day. E Co. lost another man. Things were very
quiet. I hope we get sleep.
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>
- Mon. 3-11 Left the trenches at 8:30 for camp NY. After arriving had some
meal. Letters from Dell. I wish she could explain things.
- Tues. 3-12 Clear beautiful day. On detail digging a latrine. If Pa was
alive I would feel perfect. Went to Lunéville to visit Madam.
- Wed. 3-13 Beautiful day. Slept all night at Madam's. Got back to camp
about 10am. Got package from Dell & Lillie.
- Thurs. 3-14 First call 6:30. Up and out to dig trenches, some walk. We
work 2 days and rest one. Sent letter to Lillie.
- Fri. 3-15 Finished our trenches, came back very tired. Finished letter
to Lillie, went to bed about 10:00.
- Sat. 3-16 Very beautiful days now. Got up at 6:00 to go on wood detail.
Came back and went to bed.
- Sun 3-17 Beautiful day and day of rest. Stayed around camp all day. Band
came and we had a show.
- Mon. 3-18 Beautiful day. Went out to cut wood again, good exercise. Got
box from Dell. Had a little party.
- Tues. 3-19 Cloudy and raining. Cut more wood. Was introduced to D. Mack.
They are now firing off 6in. guns, about 100 yds away.
- Wed. 3-20 Rainy. Our day off, didn't do much of anything. 1st Battalion
goes over the top tonight.
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.
- Thurs. 3-21 Cloudy. Got a letter from Dell & John Hall. Feel blue.
Didn't do anything, rolled packs, bed 11:30.
- Fri. 3-22 Foggy. Left camp NY by about 6:30. Hiked 8 miles so we tired.
Arrived at [Morianville-?-] 3:00.
- Sat. 3-23 Beautiful day. Left at eight o'clock. Walked about 6 miles,
hit a small town.
- Sun. 3-24 Beautiful day. Didn't do anything until 4:00pm, then I went
on guard. Wrote some letters, bed 8:00 [2nd Battalion
at Essey la Cote -Father Duffy]
- Mon. 3-25 Beautiful day. Didn't do anything all day. Put it over on Kelley
that time. Took a long walk.
- Tues. 3-26 Snow, sunshine, rain. Got paid, it sure did look small this
time. Had supper in a French house.
- Wed. 3-27 Colder. We are not doing much drilling. Had a lecture by French
captain, off in afternoon.
- Thurs. 3-28 Rain. Had a little gas drill in afternoon. Didn't do anything
else all day. Had a good supper at French woman's.
- Fri. 3-29 Rainy. I had meat on Good Friday. Not that I care, but Ma does.
Played poker, won. Bed 9:00
- Sat. 3-30 Rainy. Didn't do anything but drill a few hours. It was a soft
snap. Left Magnières.
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
- Sun. 3-31 Easter Sunday. What do you know about that,
and we are on the march. Left at 8:00am.
- April Mon. 4-1 Rainy. This is some town. We have a few
[stores-?-] and we have a house.
- Tues. 4-2 Rainy. I hope it stops soon. I wonder when we will be on the
- Wed. 4-3 Clear. Got some letters from Dell and one from Lillie. Put my
[boots -wash? on-?-].
- Thurs. 4-4 Clear in morning & rainy in evening. Went out to range
did not make a hit. Went to movies at YM.
- Fri. 4-5 Clear day. I am on guard at 4 o'clock Out to drill all day. I
hear we are going to move Sunday.
- Sat. 4-6 Clear & cloudy. Was on guard from 4 to 9 PM. Without anything
to eat from [?] noon. We had a good [-?-] [by dinner?].
- Sun. 4-7 Cloudy. On the move again. It wasn't much of a walk. Arrived
at camp mud - we named it.
- Mon. 4-8 Rainy. Went out to carry more sod. This is a terrible place,
it is full of mud.
- Tues. 4-9 Rainy. On detail in morn, out to drill in afternoon. Got 13
4/9-4/27 On this day: Along the Lys River, in Flanders,
the British are attacked again.
- Wed. 4-10 Rainy. Out to drill all day Oh! This mud is terrible. Played
cards in eve. With Bob & Brent.
- Thurs. 4-11 The first clear day. Had a bath in morn. Had our boots issued
and over sea caps. Got two packages.
- Fri. 4-12 Clear. On grenade stand in morn. Drilled in afternoon. Sent
a letter to Etta.
- Sat. 4-13 Clear. Lt. Sellerman left us today. He felt very bad. Drilled
with Conner. Got my hair cut it was [-?-]
- Sun. 4-14 Beautiful day. Had field inspection in morn. Bob, Bill, Drew
& I wrote letters. Boche sent over a Balloon with
newspapers on it (German)
- Mon. 4-15 Rain. Had a lecture in morn. Had our gas masques on for an hour.
It was horrible. I hope they get us out of here soon.
- Tues. 4-16 Rain. Nothing but rain. Stayed in all day. Got an old letter
from Dell. Had a show in YM in eve.
- Wed. 4-17 Clear. Digging range in morn. Moved kitchen in afternoon. On
guard in eve. Was in the woods. Package from Dell.
- Thurs. 4-18 Cloudy & rain. Drilled all day. Had gas masques on for
a hour. Bed early.
- Fri. 4-19 Cloudy. Drilled all day. Had gas masques on for an hour. A
year ago today I enlisted.
- Sat. 4-20 Clear. Had a fight with that runt Silashy. Finish it out later.
Stopped by Doyle. Had field [-?-] . Got 13 letters. [Edward
Selesky of 736 Bedford Avenue, NYC -S Harris]
- Sun 4-21 Cloudy. Went to Barrack to gas chambers, mustard gas. Band played
in afternoon. Went to YM [church -?-] eve.
- Mon. 4-22 Rain. Didn't drill in morn. Went out in afternoon to have some
lesson in bob wire. Payed. [paid]
- Tues. 4-23 Rain. Details all day, put on prison guard. Left for front
7:50pm. Arrived at some town 2 miles from front.
*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.
- Wed. 4-24 Rain. Some march, it was terrible. [Montisa-?-] arrived
about 9 o'clock. 2Ks from the front
- Thur. 4-25 Clear. On guard last night. No [civil-?-] inhabitants. We shelled
hell out of the Boche last night & they shelled us today.
- Fri. 4-26 Cloudy. We don't drill anymore. Too close to the Boche lines.
Worked on dugout all day.
- Sat. 4-27 Cloudy. Worked on bob wire in full view of the Boche territory.
They didn't shell us. I have a bad cold.
- Sun. 4-28 Rainy. On out post duty tonight. Post comes off at dawn. I have
been picked, I think, for patrol in no mans land.
- Mon. 4/29 Cloudy. Didn't do much of anything. Left Montigny about 8:05pm,
and arrived at destination about 9:00pm. Boche shelled us.
- Tues. 4/30 Rain. Fooled around town all day. On guard all night 12 hr.
Boche shelled us, a few were gas shells.
- Wed. 5/1 Clear. French moved big guns up, shelled the hell out of Boche
today. Sleep all night tonight.
*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.
- Thurs. 5/2 Clear. On out post duty every other night. We put over a barrage.
It was terrible.
- Fri. 5/3 Clear beautiful day. Signed pay roll. Had gas attacks
two times last night. No harm done.
- Sat. 5/4 Beautiful day. Didn't do anything all day. Sent a letter to Ma
and Lillie. On guard at out post tonight, late. Went to Doc with scabies.
We are sending a patrol out tonight.
*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.
- Sun. 5/5 Rain. D Co. brought some prisoners in. The first Boche prisoners
of the division. Understand [-?-] .
The prisoners are also mentioned in a letter home from Private A.D.
(166th Ohio) dated May 5: "I saw some German prisoners
here today that were captured recently and they were a tough looking lot
about 15 to 17 years old.
" <http://www.markboyd.info/adboyd/ > [May or may not
be the same prisoners. I
the 166th and 165th were camped together. I'll ask Steve when he's done with
- Mon. 5/6 Cloudy & rain. The patrol didn't get any prisoners. Arrived
at [Vafeiville-?-] about 12:25 PM. [ Possibilities
for Vafeiville Migneville or Ancervillers - J Hourigan] [Might
refer to Xaffévillers (SW of Baccarat) or Vaxainville (N of Baccarat).
Baccarat (SE of Lunéville) is referred to a few days later.. - JM Pierre]
- Tues. 5/7 Clear and warm day. Didn't do anything all day. Sent a letter
to Aunt H. I think I'm on guard duty tonight.
Aunt H. = Aunt Hannah Brooks (his mother's sister)
- Wed. 5/8 Clear. I was on guard for 3 hours. (Gas) Hung around the YM.
Capt. Kelly came back.
- Thurs. 5/9 Clear. I can't sleep nights with the scabies. Guess I will
see the doc tomorrow. Lannon came back.
- Fri. 5/10 Beautiful day. Went to the hospital today for scabies. Had a
ride all the way in YM trucks.
- Sat. 5/11 Rain. Two good old American girls of the YM gave us a little
entertainment. Spent today in Red Cross tent. It is cold today. Am on guard
- Sun 5/12 Clear, of course now. Don't do anything in the hospital but guard
and a little detail. Went to church.
- Mon 5/13 Clear. On guard today. All you have are clubs. My scabies are
getting better. We have a bath every day.
- Tues 5/14 Rain. It is very cold, cleared off in the afternoon. Went to Baccarat in
afternoon with Plamer. [Baccarat - famous glass center]
- Wed 5/15 Beautiful day, first one in a long time. Worked in Indian
Village [-?-] in sand pit. Saw [Gruzenter-?-] . 
- Thurs 5/16 Beautiful day. The country is very beautiful. Went to Indian
village to fix road. Scabies better.
- Fri 5/17 Beautiful day. Went out to sand pit again. Got a letter from
Dell and Lillie. Played volleyball.
- Sat 5/18 Beautiful day. Helped make a path for the engineers. My scabies
are much better. Our new Colonel had a talk with us. (McCoy) [Col.
Frank McCoy, replaced Timothy J. Moynahan]
- Sun 5/19 Beautiful day. Didn't do anything all day, but had to go on guard.
We're on 2nd relief.
- Mon 5/20 Beautiful day. Went out in the morning to help the engineers.
Had our bath in afternoon.
- Tues 5/21 Beautiful day. The country is very beautiful. In fact, I never
saw anything prettier. Went to Indian village. [Indian
village? Troops from India? <nr>] [Indian village – this
is a long shot - but I saw a reference by Father Duffy (page 60) to “ Adrian
barracks”. I don’t know what they are. Perhaps prefabricated
barracks. - J Hourigan]
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
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:
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
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..
- Wed 5/22 Wonderful day. Didn't go out in the morn. Went to help the engineers
in the afternoon. Sent letter to Dick.
- Thurs 5/23 Beautiful day. Can't say enough about how beautiful it is here.
Show in YM.
- Fri 5/24 Beautiful day. Didn't do much of anything all day. Had my comfort
- Sat 5/25 Beautiful day. I am now working in the laundry, soft job. Got
it through Dorning, who was with my Co.. Commanding Gen. [who? <nr>] was
a big French [Gen.-?-]
- Sun 5/26 Beautiful day. Went to church in eve. We even saw a big ball
game; MP's vs 117 signal. MP's won.
- Mon. 5-27 Beautiful day. Got [letters-?-] from Lillie and Dell , also
Aunt H. Somebody stole my [-?-] [camera -?-]
*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.
- Tues. 5-28 Beautiful day. I heard one of the best talks I ever heard in
YM tonight. I left the laundry. I guess I leave soon.[-?-]
- Wed. 5-29 Beautiful day. A lot of the [-?-] bunch got gassed the night
before. Went out on detail in afternoon.
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
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
only 90km from Paris.
- Thurs. 5-30 Beautiful day. We had all kinds of games at YM grounds. Just
like home, a perfect day.
- Fri. 5-31 Beautiful day. Left the hospital today. All OK. Slept with Jim
Moran all night.
- June Sat. 6-1 Beautiful day. Got paid and moved in Capt's
billet with Bill W.
- Sun. 6-2 Beautiful day. Walked all over town with J Moran. MPs have some
team. Went to YM in evening.
- Mon. 6-3 Beautiful day. This is my first drill for some time. On guard
tonight had formal [gd Mount Comend Lall-?-] .
- Tues. 6-4 Beautiful day. I feel terrible. On my four hour shift I thought
I would have to call for relief. Got that fever.
- Wed. 6-5 Beautiful day. Everyone has the fever. We are going up to the
front again. On detail today, French show in evening. ["A show given by
12 French Div." - JJones]
- Thurs. 6-6 Beautiful day. Went out on detail all day with engineers. Feel
fine except for cold. Dunekew died.
- Fri. 6-7 Beautiful day. Company in funeral for Dunekew [-?-]. Bill and
I came to YM to hear 151 band; not so good. ["Buried boy from Co. F" -
- Sat. 6-8 Beautiful day. Went out on detail again. I am getting sunburned.
Down to Ym [-?-]. Bill to see [moving picture-?-] [-?-].
- Sun. 6-9 Beautiful day. It is terrible hot today. Stayed in all day, did
not do anything in evening.
6/9-6/10, On this day: American 2nd Div takes Belleau
6/9, On this day: Germans launch offensive, Battle of the Matz. (Between
Noyan & Montdider)
- Mon. 6-10 Rain. We are going to wear packs at every formation from now
on. Went to YM in evening.
- Tues. 6-11 Beautiful day. Went out with packs, went out for bath. I was
in some tight place in [fire?-] at bath house.
- Wed. 6-12 Beautiful day. On guard this afternoon. Oh! That pack is terrible.
Can't see where it does any good.
- Thurs. 6-13 Beautiful day. On guard all night last night, post #7. Evening
parade this evening. Had call to arms [-?-]
- Fri. 6-14 Clear. On detail. All company went out with packs all day. Had
night maneuvers 'till 3:00.
- Sat. 6-15 Rain. Had an inspection by Lt. Colonel at 10 am. Didn't do anything
the rest of the day. Had a good sleep in afternoon.
- Sun. 6-16 Rain. Joe Whynus and Hescot had a fight. Went to church in morning.
Went to YM in evening. [Clarence Hiscox]
- Mon.6-17 Rain. Didn't go to drill. D[o]n Monroe died. Was on
firing squad. A sad funeral. [Donald Monroe,
F Co - Hourigan/Duffy, Father Duffy lists Monroe's death as accidental.(page
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
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
- Tues. 6-18 Clear. Leave this evening. Lounged around all day. We are on
our way to a busy front.
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. -
- Wed. 6-19 Clear. Some HIKE! We passed NY's own on their way to relieve
us. Somebody made a mistake and we walked 9K out of
our way. [“New York’s own” was the
77th Division, made up of draftees from the Greater NY area. Many of the
men in the 165th had friends and relatives in the 77th. "Yaphank boys" Trained
at Camp Upton, Yaphank, Long Island. -see
June 19th, 1918
An excerpt from Father Duffy’s Story. (Page 114): "Yesterday was New
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
In October, some of these "Yaphank Boys" will be part of the famous “Lost
by Germans in the Argonne Forrest). <nr>
- Thurs. 6-20 Rain in morning, clear in afternoon. Took a hike in morn.
and drilled in afternoon. My first is on the blink. (Note)
*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
- Fri. 6-21 Clear in afternoon. Didn't do anything in morning on account
of rain . Drilled in afternoon, we are on [-?-] for a few days.
- Sat. 6-22 Clear and rain. We are still in the little town [Moyemont?
-JJones]. Had inspection in morning. Went on maneuvers in afternoon.
Leave tomorrow night. Capt. K says we are going into action tomorrow. [Moyemont
is a small village east of Rambervillers (SW of Baccarat)- JM Pierre]
- Sun. 6-23 Rain & clear. Leave tomorrow morning at 5:30am. Burned
my letters. Guess I haven't much longer to [live now-?-] .
- Mon. 6-24 Clear, windy. Slept with Walker last night. Left at 5:30AM and
arrived at Chatel (Vosges) [Chatel sur Moselle
- Father Duffy] to get train. Bob came back. [William
Walker of 211 Columbus Ave. was a close friend]
- Tues. 6-25 Clear. Some train ride. How I hate it, no place to sleep.
Got in about 4:30am. Arrived at [Cernou-?] at 11:30. [Coolus?
Ste Menehould? Coolus is in the Marne département, south of Châlons sur
Marne -JM Pierre
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]
- Wed. 6-26 Clear and that was some hike. We thought we would never get
there. On guard. Slept all day. Went to aviation field.
- Thurs. 6-27 Clear . Got paid. Wish I could go up in aeroplane, but I don't
think they are going up. Drilled.
- Fri. 6-28 Clear. Went out and drilled all day. Then got mail, it did me
good. Then we got orders to move.
The 69th marched a total of 1,146 km. (Over 700 miles)
- Sat. 6-29 Clear. Oh! What a hike. We walked all night, 45K. Landed at
[ Cuperly-?-] about 9 o'clock. On the road 12 hrs. All in bunch
dropped out. [Cuperly is in the Marne département, north of Châlons
Vadenay is a stone's throw from Cuperly - JM Pierre]
- Sun. 6-30 Clear. What a sleep I had. We got good billets. Slept in afternoon
and morning. I guess we will stay here today. [Terme
Du Vadenay 40k from Reims. 20k (12.5 miles) from Chalons. - JJones]
By the end of June 1918, due to the increased use of British shipping, there
were 900,000 American troops in France.
- July Mon. 7-1 Clear. I had pain in my stomach all night.
Drew, Bob, Bill and I had [bets-?-] .
- Tues. 7-2 Clear. Had a Regimental parade. Tell you it looks good. I sent
a letter to Ma. Had a bath.
- Wed. 7-3 Cloudy. Got new uniform. We all went to bed early. We hadn't
got to bed 5 min. when we had orders to move.
- Thurs. 7-4 Clear. Walked all night. Slept in shelter tent and then left
for front. We didn't go to front. Slept in trenches. [Ecole
Normale de Fir ?]
- Fri. 7-5 We are now 3rd line. Can't do anything in daytime. Slept all
day and leave for front line.
- Sat. 7-6 Clear. In the trenches. We are now in the 9th line. There are
about 2 miles of trenches. We don't anything but keep low. Terrible [dirt-?-].
We leave tonight for front line.
- Sun. 7-7 Clear. We had a stand to and a false gas alarm last night. Played
cards and won 30 F.
"Stand to" (Stand to Arms) is an order to mount the fire
step of the trench, with bayonettes fixed, in anticipation of an enemy
Battle of the Champagne
- Mon. 7-8 Clear. Didn't do anything but hang around in the trenches . We
are in the 9th line.
- Tues. 7-9 Clear. Left last night for the second line. Arrived about 12:
o'clock. Had to stand to all night.
- Wed. 7-10 Rain and clear. We work nights now. Got a couple of letters
from Dell and one from Lillie.
- Thurs. 7-11 Rain and clear, very quiet night. They expect a drive on this
front. It is an honor for us to be here.
- Fri. 7-12 Clear. They sure do shell the devil out of the Boche.
They expect a drive soon.
- Sat. 7-13 Quiet night. They told us to be on the lookout for them to start
tonight. I hope they don't.
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
hinder them from seizing Paris. (Germans refered to the inexperienced
Americans as "paper soldiers".)
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,
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 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
Second Battle of the Marne
- Sun. 7-14 They started to shell us about 12:05. Oh my God, how they
shelled. I hope never to have to go through it again.
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
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
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]
- Mon. 7-15 Oh God, what a night. They shelled us something terrible.
I had my gas masque on for 4 hours straight.
- Tues.7-16 The Germans came over after the shelling. The French
retreated and left us in charge.
- Wed. 7-17 Quiet night. We held them and they started in again, about
6 in morning, to come over.
- Thurs. 7-18 I was in hell for 6 hours. We held them back.
I haven't had any sleep or anything to eat for 50 hours. I don't know how
I stand it.
- Fri. 7-19 Things have quieted down. We stopped them. Hope things keep
- Sat. 7-20 Still quiet. We get some sleep now. Everyone has been on a terrible
strain. We left the trenches Sat. morn. [To Vadenay,
between Chalons and front -JJones]
- Sun. 7-21 We are now camped in a little woods. I took a fine bath in a
stream. We move tonight for the front. No rest.
- Mon. 7-22 Left at 3:00am for train [@ Chateau?
jj]. Had an aero raid on the station. Some men in 150 M G killed.
- Tues. 7-23 Some hike after we left the trains. Arrived at about 12 o'clock.
Slept all day. Christmas and Spring are dead.
- Wed. 7-24 Clear. Didn't do anything all day. Went to YM in evening and
listened to band. We are in pup tents. [@ Chameny?
jj] [Chamigny Sur Marne -Hourigan/Duffy]
"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
- Thurs. 7-25 Leave tonight for Chateau T, up to the big front. No rest
for us. Rolled pack 7 o'clock. Leave at 3pm.
- Fri. 7-26 Had an air raid. They dropped bombs on the station. We hadn't
arrived there yet. 150 M G men [hurt-?-] .
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>
- Sat. 7-27 On train all day. Enjoyed the sights and passed about 6 miles
from Paris, nearest yet. Wish I could sleep for a week. Arrived at [St.
Burle-?-]. Nice little billets.
- (7/27 ?- 7/28 ?) I went with a detail to the big town to buy things for
the platoon. Had my hair cut, had tomatoes.
"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
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
[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."
"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
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>
- Mon. 7/29-7/31 I am now acting corporal. I just can't
tell what happened on each day. It was terrible.
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.)
- (Tues. 7/30-7/31) We are on the famous Chateau T front. We
drove the Germans back about 1K and then they made a stand. They
had machine guns planted. They just slaughtered us.
*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
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
- (Thurs. 8/1 ?) We had to fall back. We were within
200 yards of them. Had no artillery to back us.
- (Fri. 8/2 ?) We have two platoons left. I am afraid I will be next. God
how lucky I was.
- (Sat. 8/2 ?) The Boche have fell back 10 K. We have to establish contact
with them. We have them again.
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?)
- (Sun. 8/4 ?) Our 3rd battalion lost 350 men. I tell you I feel blue. I
don't think I will ever go home. All the old bunch are gone.
- (Mon.8-5 ?) There are sixty in the Co. now.
We have been relieved. I am a wreck.
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
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
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
and Battle of the Ourcq. He details the movements of Company F. <nr>
- (Tues. 8-6 ?) I don't remember just what happened on such and such a day
but we are now in quarters in the woods.
- (Wed. 8-7 ?) All the boys are sick. We are getting new men all the time.
Some of them are good and some are bums.
- (Thurs. 8-8 ?) Bill W. is in the hospital with shell shock. [Nat's
good friend William Walker]
- (Fri. 8-9 ?)
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.
- (Sat. 8-10 ?) They gave some of the boys passes (48 hrs) to Paris. I don't
seem to be lucky enough to get things like that, but I don't care if I get
out with my life.
- (Sun. 8-11 ?) Ted is still OK. LaRuffa came back and said he saw Griff
Jones. I have his address. If I ever get the chance to write, I will.
- (Mon. 8-12 ?) I don't know what the folks think.
This seems to be the end of undated entries.
(I question the date of any entry which does not record the weather.) <nr>
- Tues. 8-13 Clear. We eat lots of green apples. I am in charge of quarters.
I hope I am [made-?-] .
- Wed. 8-14 Clear. We are paid. Still no drilling. I hope they keep it up.
Some of the old bunch came back.
- Thurs. 8-15 Clear. I can't say how glad I am to see the old bunch back.
We sleep on the ground.
- Fri. 8-16 Clear and very warm. We do nothing but eat and sleep. A bunch
of us went out and cooked potatoes.
- Sat. 8-17 Clear. We move tonight at 6:30. There was an air raid near
us last night. Got on the train about 1:35am. [Leaving
- Sun. 8-18 On the train again. We don't know where to. Passed Langres
[Small town in the south of the Haute-Marne département. - JM Pierre] . That is where we left for the trenches.
- Mon. 8-19 Clear. Arrived at our rest camp about 12 o'clock. The name
of the camp is Goncourt. I am still acting Corp. On guard tonight. [Goncourt
- Tues. 8-20 Cloudy. No trouble last night. Saw a good show at YM last night.
First time I was on guard as a Corporal.
- Wed. 8/21 Clear, another day off this makes three. I sent a lot of letters
out. I don't want to send one to D & L until [I am ?] [-?-] .
- Thurs. 8/22 Clear and hot. This is our first day of drill. I tell you,
that is one beautiful spot.
- Fri. 8/23 Clear and very hot. I don't feel so well. I guess it's the hot
weather. This is sure an ideal spot.
- Sat. 8/24 Rain. Had some bunk inspection in morning. We laid around all
afternoon. These beds are some hard. Still acting Corp.
- Sun. 8/25 Clear, beautiful day. This is a beautiful place. Went to YM
to a show by 2nd battalion. [3rd mention of how beautiful
- Goncourt and Gonaincourt: Very small villages
on the banks of the Meuse River. - JM Pierre]
- Mon. 8/26 Clear. Drilled all day. Got milk, it tasted good. Didn't go
any place this evening. Got a cold.
- Tues. 8/27 Clear. Went to the field as usual. Drilled all day and very
tired when I came back.
- Wed. 8/28 Clear with a little rain. Drilled all day then got order to
roll pack. I guess I get mine this time [(flights)-? flighty? fighting?-]
- Thurs. 8/29 Cloudy. Left Goncourt at 10:45, arrived at stopping place
4:30am. Some HIKE! I sure did feel on the blink.
- Fri.8/30 Clear. Walked [-?-] all night. Arrived at a place called ??.
[Viocourt] We camped outside the town. [Viocourt
is west of Neufchâteau in the Vosges département. - JM Pierre]
- Sat. 8/31 Clear. We are going to stay here tonight. We are on our way
to the front. No rest for us. I am still acting corp.
St. Mihiel - Allied Offensive
- Sun. 9/1 On guard last night and all day today. We have lots of planes
and they are good. Laid around all day.
- Mon. 9/2 Clear. Drilled all day. Only drilled from [-?-] & 1/2 hrs.
a day. They are now taking mail - Sent letters to Lillie.
- Tues. 9/3 Cloudy. Drilled in morn. I wonder if I will get mine at the
front this time. Sent a letter to Lillie.
- Wed. 9/4 Clear. Had battalion maneuvers this morning. I guess we leave
tonight. Drilled in afternoon.
- Thurs. 9/5 Clear. Yes, we did leave last night. Quite some hike. Camped
in some woods. Lots of rain. Leave tonight.
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
- Fri. 9/6 Clear. Walked most all night. Landed at a big town. Pretty tired.
Slept all day. Bulligny, name of town. [Bulligny
is south of Toul in the Meurthe& Moselle département. - JM Pierre]
- Sat. 9/7 Clear. Had a fine sleep. Yet some bad [bed ?] in charge of quarters.
Everyone was made but me. I can't understand. Got mail from Dell. We almost
got lost, so dark. Move again tonight. Can't get letters to Dell.
- Sun. 9/8 Rain. Walked all night. One of the darkest nights I ever seen.
Wet to the skin. Then pitched tents in mud.
- Mon. 9/9 Rain. Walked all night again. Rain, a terrible hike on
our way to drive on Metz. I hope I get out of this.
- Tues. 9/10 Rain. Walked 1 hour 1/2. Surprise. Stopped in woods getting
ready for drive. Lots of rain. Great life. Rolled packed.
- Wed. 9-11 Rain. Didn't move, put tents up again last night. This is a
mud hole. I wonder if I come through ok.
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.
- Thurs. 9-12 Rain. Went over the top about 1:00 o'clock last night. Was
hit in the head about 10:00 o'clock AM. Machine gun bullet.
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
morning, five hours into the attack, i think the 165th would have pushed
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
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>
- Fri. 9-13 Rain again. In the hospital. I never saw such fine people. Red
Cross gave us cigarettes and tobacco.
- Sat. 9-14 Clear. Didn't sleep so well last night. Head on the blink. I
wish they would take us out, I suppose I will get back on the drive for
Metz. We left about 6:00 o'clock (hospital train). Went to Base 18. [Base
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
(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)
- Sun 9-15 Clear. I hear we leave today. They have pretty [good eats-?-]
at this hospital. Evacuation - hospital 4.
- Mon 9-16 Clear. First night in a good bed, nice white sheets. Had a good
sleep. Went to YM in evening. This is the life.
- Tues. 9-17 Clear. Laid in bed most of the day. Saw a good show in YM in
the eve. "Baby Mine", actors from the states.
- Wed. 9-18 Clear and rain. Cooper went away with about 15 of the boys.
A fellow lent me 5F and I tell you it looked good.
- Thurs.9-19 Rain. Went to movies in YM last night. Didn't do much all day,
played cards. [Miss Cough-?-] man to a very nice nurse.
- Fri. 9-20 Rain. Didn't do much of anything. Had another needle of Tetanus.
Oh? It was [too much-?-] , feel sick.
- Sat. 9-21 Rain again. Having a good rest. Don't know how long it will
last. This is one swell bed, almost like home. Read in bed at night.
- Sun.9-22 Clear & rain. Laid around all day. Played cards, there are
only 11 of us here in this ward.
- Mon. 9-23 Clear. Didn't do much of anything all day. There is about 11
of us in ward. It's just like a family. Show in evening.
- Tues. 9-24 Clear. Saw that girl artist that draws pictures for McCall's.
We moved today from ward W to ward T.
McMein, attractive and "free-spirited" war-time illustrator for
McCall's magazine. -S Harris
- Wed. 9-25 Clear. I sure do have good nights sleep. Don't like this ward,
Boche prisoners with us. Went to the movies in evening.
On this day: The Allied Offensive at Meuse-Argonne begins
on September 26, 1918.
- Thurs. 9-26 Cloudy. Well tomorrow is my birthday. Last year I was at Camp
Mills. May go out today. Went to the movies.
- Fri. 9-27 Clear. I didn't know whether I would be alive or [not ?] Is
ROCHEU ALIVE? AM I STILL ALIVE? Yes.
- Sat. 9-28 Cloudy. Left Base 18 to go to base 116 to have my ear looked
after. I don't like it here. We all sat around the fire & [-?-] sang
- Sun. 9-29 Clear & cold. Went to church in morning, & evening.
Met a fellow from [Ola?-] . [frenghts-?-] shot off dark fellow. [-?-]
- Mon.9-30 Clear & cold. The Y man is a fine fellow. It seemed to get
colder. The Doc we have is some bird. He thinks he knows, lousy time.
- Tues. 10-1 Clear but cold. I have a job with Doc Doss. The YM men I have
lots of [-?-cigars?]
- Wed. 10-2 Clear. Still working on the moving picture booth. Went to the
movies in the Red Cross hut.
- Thurs. 10-3 Clear. This is a wonderful life. Oh! What a fine bed to sleep
in. Went to movie Red Cross.
- Fri. 10-4 Cloudy. Didn't do much of anything, hung around all day. I wonder
how the boys are.
- Sat. 10-5 Clear. Got a convoy in in the morning and in
the afternoon put in quarantine.
- Sun.10-6 Clear. Couldn't go to church in morning but went in evening.
Sneaked out, can't smoke in ward.
- Mon. 10-7 Rain. Quarantined again, can't go out of the ward. The trouble
is we can't get enough to eat.
- Tues. 10-8 Clear. Went to tent 25. It's kind of cold but have a good bed.
Doc. Dodd got me detailed to YM.
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!
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
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
- Wed. 10-9 Clear. Got job in YM to sell goods; pretty nice I like the work.
- Thurs. 10-10 Rain. I got that damned itch again. Saw the nurse, she gave
me something for it.
- Fri. 10-11 Clear. Nothing new. This life is about the same day in &
day out. Wonder how the boys are.
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.
- Sat. 10-12 Rain. Sent some letters home. Would like to know how things
are going home. Hope Ma is OK.
- Sun. 10-13 Rain, as it always does. Same old work [?] Wish I could get
... 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
- Mon. 10-14 Rain. Didn't do anything new, just worked in YM. That news
about the war ending is [-?-] .
- Tues. 10-15 We thought the war was going to stop but nothing doing. Still
in the YM.
- Wed. 10-16 Rain. Same thing. Got new pair of shoes. YM lady is a peach
- I like her very much.
- Thurs. 10-17 Cloudy. Worked all day in the Y. I guess I will leave Sunday,
the Y is going out of business.
- Fri. 10-18 Clear. I worked in the YM all day, then took Madame home. Then
went to the Red Cross to send letters to Lillie.
- Sat. 10-19 Clear. Took in over two thousand Frances worth of business.
This is the best YM I ever saw in France.
- Sun.10-20 Doc. Dodd preached a good sermon. Tired of the damp day. Not
much to do on Sundays. Went to Red Cross, got doughnuts.
- Mon. 10-21 Clear. Miss Gleason went to her barracks sick. I hope she gets
- Tues. !0-22 Rain. A very busy day. We took in over two hundred dollars
[-?-] [cold ?]
- Wed. 10-23 Clear. Got my hair cut. The old YM leaving Saturday and guess
then me for the front.
- Thurs. 10-24 Rain. Mr. Campbell came to help us. He is a very fine man.
Things won't be so hard now.
- Fri. 10-25 The Colonel of this outfit issued an order to the officers,
that no patients could buy smokes. He's a bird.
- Sat. 10-26 Clear. This is the last day the Canteen will be open. Doc Dodd
is going to hold services tomorrow.
- Sun. 10-27 Doc Dodd preach his finest [last ?] sermon. Clear, had dinner
with Madam. She wouldn't take any money. They took most of the stuff away.
- Mon. 10-28 Clear. Msr. Campbella and I took a walk. Said good-bye to Doc
Dodd. Feel tired of [-?-] [tired and blue ?] . Sure will look him up.
- Tues. 10-29 Clear and colder. Started work with Sgt. Egan to help him
in his office. A good job.
- Wed. 10-30 Clear. I hope this weather keeps up for the sake of the boys
at the front. I have the runs.
- Thurs. 10-31 Clear. I don't feel a bit well. I have a cold and the runs.
The paper had good news. I hope it stops. Am trying to get detached [?].
Nov 1 - Americans breakthrough German defences at Meuse
- Fri. 11-1 Went 4 times to the toilet last night. I wonder if this dope
in the papers will finish War.
- Sat. 11-2 Clear. By the way, I hope it keeps up for the sake of the boys
in the trenches. Still working with the Sgt.. Doc examined a bunch of men.
I like my job very well.
- Sun. 11-3 Clear, rain in evening. The Red Cross opened canteen. Worked
all day. I hope some of the peace rumors come true.
- Mon. 11-4 Clear. Worked all day, I should say and night. Had to get fellows
ready to go out. Good news in paper.
- Tues. 11-5 Clear. Look up a bunch for Ex today. Went over to the Red Cross
to see entertainment but was too late.
- Wed. 11-6 Rain. I always think of the boys in the front when it rains.
Got a bunch ready to go out in the morning. Red Cross in evening.
- Thurs. 11-7 Clear. Didn't do much of anything. Still in the office with
Sgt. Egan of Charlie Co. Went to the Red Cross in evening.
- Fri. 11-8 Clear. The papers these days have good news in them. I just
can't believe them it seems too good to be true.
- Sat. 11-9 Clear & cloudy. Had 15 men examined. I wonder if this war
is ever going to be over. Sent lots of letters last night (5). I am all
alone in office. Gee! I wish I could get a letter.
- Sun. 11-10 Turned out to be a fine day. I just finished reworking my diary
in ink. I wonder if this war is over yet. Went to church.
On this day: Armisice - November
11, 1918. Figting ceases at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.
- Mon. 11-11 Clear. This is a RED letter day. They say the
war is finis. I hope so. The bunch went wild at Red Cross.
- Tues. 11-12 Cloudy. As I write this the 26th Div. is passing down in the
village. When I heard the band it made me want to be with the 42nd.
- Wed. 11-13 Clear. Good old 42nd. The famous Rainbow Division. How proud I am to be a member. Saw show at Red Cross. "The Wild Straight".
- Thurs. 11-14 Clear & cold. The 82 & 26 Divisions have passed
through the town so far. Sold wrist watch to Egan. No mail. To movies
- Fri. 11-15 Clear. The name of this town is Bazoilles Sur Meuse
all around the town. 42-46-18-81-116-60-79. Red Cross in Eve..
This entry refers to base hospitals # 42,
46, 60, 79, 81, 116 (and 18) located in BAZOILLES SUR MEUSE
- Sat. 11-16 Clear & very cold but what wonderful weather. Got hair
cut. Went to town and helped carry wing for nurses. Dance, we had lots
fun going to Neufchâteau with Bigrow. [Huh?]
- Sun. 11-17 Cloudy. Met a [cook-?-] by the name of Roddy Hughs from my
outfit. I do get some fine [friends-?-] . Saw Miss Geason, also Miss Rodgers.
[Roddy Hughes is William Hughes of the Sanitary Detachment,
from Hell's Kitchen - S. Harris]
- Mon. 11-18 Clear. Had a [small fight-?-] [swell fref-?-] with Roddy Hughs
last night. Went to Red Cross and saw a good show.
- Tues. 11-19 Cloudy. I hear Sgt. Eagin leaves today. They want me to stay.
I don't think I will. Want to get with the [42nd-?-] .
*NOTE* Nov. 19, 1918. Borrowed 25F from the adjutant thru
the recomendation of Sgt. [S-?-] . [The rest is unreadible.]
- Wed. 11-20 Clear. This is wonderful weather. We have rough house every
night. Had supper with Roddy
- Thurs. 11-21 Clear. Sgt. Egan left this morning at about 5 o'clock. I
am down in the main office with Sgt. Ivens.
- Fri. 11-22 Clear. I go off this afternoon. Went to Neufchâteau.
Got ride both ways- worked late. [NEUFCHÂTEAU - JM Pierre]
- Sat. 11-23 Beautiful day. We got 200 patients in today. That means more
work. Went to the movies at Red Cross in eve. Rained in afternoon. [-?-]
I wonder when we go home.
- Sun. 11-24 Clear. Off this afternoon. Hung around all day. Had some fun
with my friend Shulfe, he is very fat.
- Mon. 11-25 Rain. I was saluted by mistake today. I must look pretty good.
Got news of McAdeo resigning. I wonder why? Dinner with Paddy.
- Tues. 11-26 Rain. I guess the bum weather has set in. Worked late, had
supper with Paddy. I hope we go home soon.
- Wed. 11-27 Rain. Got new coat. Had supper with Paddy. Sgt. Iriens came
back after being 48 hrs. overtime. Met Sgt. Clanesy.
- Thurs. 11-28 Rain. Had a great football game. Yelled myself hoarse. Had
turkey. Went to church. Thanksgiving [-?-] here.
- Fri. 11-29 Rain. Voice came back. Nothing of any account happened. Say
they got pay book in. I wonder when we'll be home.
- Sat. 11-30 Clear. I hope it stays this way. Band here in evening. Played
cards in eve. Didn't go to movies, had some show. Wish some mail would come.
Had turkey for supper.
- Sun. 12-1 Went to Red Cross and had cocoa. Clear. Didn't go to church
because I don't like the chaplain. Started to go to Neufchâteau but
mind. heard band.
- Mon. 12-2 Clear. Worked hard all day today. Pulled Golden in his bed out
in the street. Paddy lost his job.
- Tues. 12-3 Clear in day, rain at night. Got a bunch of new patients. This
hospital doesn't expect to go home until Spring.
- Wed. 12-4 Rain. Signed the pay roll, at last I will get some money. I
have 5 months pay coming. Went to the movies saw "Mother's Love".
- Thurs. 12-5 Rain. Worked all morning, off in the afternoon. Took bath,
saw some souveniouers I would like to buy. Col. went away.
- Fri. 12-6 Clear. Out all day. I don't think I will ever be able to stay
inside again. Went to movies at RC in eve.
- Sat. 12-7 Clear. This sure is wonderful weather for this time of the
year. Went to Neufchâteau. I am homesick. We've had a
couple of fights.
- Sun. 12-8 Cloudy. Went to football game between MTC and 116, score 0-0.
Gee, I am homesick.
- Mon 12-9 Rain. Busy day. We got 250 walking cases tonight. The place is
almost full again.
- Tues. 12-10 Rain. Went to the movies in eve.. Said we were going to get
paid. Didn't - 5 months since I had money.
- Wed. 12-11 Rain, and it did come down. After reading the papers I don't
think we will be home for eight months [-?-] .
- Thurs. 12-12 Rain. Why is it I don't get any mail? I will soon finish
this diary. Got paid 63F, not so bad.
- Fri. 12-13 Rain. Paid the 25f to Captain McRar. He is a nice man. Wish
I could send the folks a xmas present.
12-14 Clear. President landed today. They sure did give him some welcome.
Still no mail. Ate at the YM, talked to some English soldiers.
- Sun. 12-15 Clear. Went to Neufchâteau in afternoon, with Jones.
Had supper there. Saw wonderful sights. (Scenery beautiful [-?-] )
The town mentioned with different spellings is NEUFCHÂTEAU. It's about
7km from Bazoilles.
- JM Pierre
- Mon. 12-16 Clear. Got a new job in the office with Dukes & Hansen.
I would rather be outside. I eat in personnel mess.
- Tues. 12/17 Clear and rain. Same old thing. Walked to [colae-?-] YM with
Richard and Jones. Bought cigars. Bed early.
- Wed. 12/18 Rain. Worked all day with Dukes. It sure did rain in eve. Went
to movies in eve., bum pictures.
- Thurs. 12/19 Rain. Dills thought I might leave, go back to Div.. Nothing
doing. Rich and I went to Red Cross in eve..
- Frid., 12/20 Rain. Rich and I went to Red Cross. Saw a good minstrel.
Dukes and I took walk in afternoon.
- Satl. 12/21 Clear. Expect to go to [DOMREMY-LA-PUCELLE] tomorrow. Off
in afternoon. Got new x-mas tree for ward. Rich and I hanging around [mess
?]. Saw [Bois Chenu] where she saw vision (did something in back yard
- Sun. 12/22 Rain, gloomy day, but oh what a time we had. rich, Jones &
I went to Domremy, saw where she lived & went to church.
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]
- Mon. 12/23 Rain. Corps men put on a damned good show. Went with Rich &
Jones. Went a lot of postal cards.
- Tues. 12/24 Clear. Dukes and I took a long walk in morning. [-?-]
- Wed. 12/25 AM-I-still alive? How's the war? Rained in afternoon. Worked
in afternoon & evening. Had a good day. Everyone seemed to be drunk.
Had dinner [-?-]
- Thurs. 12/26 Clear. We had a snowfall last night. By the look of the[
papers I think ... with-?-] Russia.
- Fri. 12/27 Rain. Took bath in afternoon. Heard Miss Wilson sing. And the
best of all, got big bunch of papers from Dell.
- Sat, 12-28 Rain all day today. Don't think it will be long before I am
back with regiment. Isn't this a terrible [pages -?-]
- Sun. 12/29 Rain. Off in afternoon, didn't do anything. I could [-?-] get
back to [-?-]. Guess I will some time.
- Mon. 12/30 Rain. Work tonight. This life is terrible. Got some papers
from Dell. I wish she would write.
- Tues. 12/31 Rain. Went to town this afternoon. Got good and drunk. [-?-]
the small 1917 [-?-] drunk.
- Wed. 1/1 1919 Clear. [-?-] Off the stuff for good now. Start the new year
in good. Had big [head?-] Rick & Jones were with me last night.
- Thurs. 1/2 Rain. Rich Jones and I walked to [Harreville-?-].
Got in with a strange dog, he killed a pet rabbit. Movies in eve.
HARREVILLE LES CHANTEURS (small village very close to Bazoilles)
- Jean-Marie Pierre
- Fri, 1/3 Rain. Some day, I worked pretty hard. Got letter from Dell, the
first in four months. Train wreck.
- Sat. 1/4 Rain. Went to Neufchâteau to see Henry. He wasn't in.
Rich and I went to the show: "My Fighting Gentleman".
- Sun. 1/5 Clear, colder. Saw Pete Miloy from the Co.. Rich is to work at
the office. Out tonight [-?-]. Got hair cut.
- Mon 1/6 Clear. Jones & I went to Neufchâteau. Walked both ways &
met Henry again. Bed early.
- Tues. 1/7 Clear. Got 5 letters. A wonderful one from Lillie & Dell.
It makes me feel good to get letters like that.
- Wed. 1/8 Clear, I hope it stays so. Got a nice bunch of letters. Learned
I was reported dead. Rich, Jones & I to Red Cross in eve..
- Thurs. 1/9 Clear. Worked all day. Went to movies in eve with Rich &
Jones. We lay in bed and talked for sometime.
- Fri. 1/10 Snow in the morning. Wonder when I am ever going home. Gave
Major Abbot watch. Rich & I went to movies.
- Sat. 1/11 Rain. Rich is to go tomorrow. That breaks up the Big Three.
Jones sick. Rich and I went to movies.
FINIS - A-LITTLE-BOOK-I-HAVE-CARRIED-WITH-ME-ALWAYS