War is a developer of men. When nations are at
death-grips, certain individuals come forward as leaders.
And they are, through force of personality, the kind of
men whom others like to follow
We dedicate this history to Major Harold R. Barker.
Major Harold K. Barker
After the "guerre" was over, a new "guerre"
started for us, the editors of this book. Perhaps 'it is
well that we are not literary, for if we were able to
appreciate properly our many mistakes this volume
would never have been published.
Then too, we struggled with other difficulties;
barns were cold, wood was expensive, and cooties were
always sending out reconnoitering parties at the most
inopportune moments. But, all levity aside, we have
tried to produce a faithful picture of our many ex-
periences in France.
To the achievement of this end, our grateful thanks
are due to Livermore & Knight Co., to the Providence
Marine Corps of Artillery, to Mr. Walter Ball and
the home staff of the Providence Journal, to Mr.
Sibley of the Boston Globe, to Colonel Twachtman
and Major Barker, to Mrs. William B. Weeden, and
to the officers and men of Battery A. If you survive
our literary barrage, we, the editors, promise never
again to "rush in where angels fear to tread."
C r A-\mbroAi,Z3 ea|.
103™ FIELD ARTILLERY
BOARD OF EDITORS
EPITOR IN CHIEF
£ .Rexford Cleaveland Carroll B. Larrabee
Harold P. Churck Earle H.Plumpton
cJohn M. Dowc Julitw A.Saacke
History of Battery A 5
Historia ... 21
Quonset Point to Chemin-des-Dames ... .... 23
Chemin-des-Dames ... 29
The Sector Northwest of Toul 32
Chateau-Thierry to St. Mihiel ... 41
St. Mihiel a Verdun 52
Verdun to Armistice 60
Special Articles I'll
The Artillery Horse 11°
Machine Gun ... 113
155mm. Howitzer "O
Camouflage ... 14')
(). IV s 154
Welfare League 172
High Expi osive 1 75
A. W. O. L.'s 191
Dashed Hopes 192
"The Naiad of the Cow Barn" 195
fefor g ttf Battop h
& 8. N. (S.
VIDENCE MARINE CORPS
I OF THE R HODE I SLAND BA
IS ARMORY THERE WENT FORSERVK
ONT. DURING THE WAR FOR THE UNION 1861-1865..
= BATTERY: CAPTAIN CHARLES H.TOMPKINS
Of A CAPTAIN WILLIAM H.REYNOLDS
._RY B CAPTAIN THOMAS F. VAUGHAN
BATTERY C CAPTAIN WILLIAM B. WEEDF.N
n VTTERY D ' CAPTAIN JOHN ALBERT MUNROE
RY E CAPTAIN GEORGE E.RANDOLPH
Of F CAPTAIN JAMES BELGER
Of G CAPTAIN CHARLES D. OWEN
Of H CAPTAIN JEFFREY HAZARD
I BATTERY; CAPTAIN EDWIN C. GALLUP.
OFFICERS 96 ENLISTED MEN 2277
KILLED WOUNDED AND MISSIN G 17 KILLE D WOUNDED AND MISSING 362
IN THE" WAR WITH SPAIN. 1898*"
- BATTERY A . CAPTAIN EDGAR R BARKER
OFFICERS 4 EN LISTED MEN 106
THIS TABLET IS PLACED BY THE VETERAN ASSOCIATION
R M. C. A.
* 1917 *
This tablet was placed on the Benefit Street Arsenal on July IV, 1017
and a dedicalorial address was delivered by
Dr. George B. Peck
Mil RY A. 103rd Field Artillery of Rhode Island, ha
achieved national distinction.
The pleasing task and high honor of giving some ac-
count of the organization and activities oi the Battery, previous
to July 25, I'M", when il entered into the World War and be-
came a part of the 26th Division of the American Expeditionary
Force, has devolved upon the writer.
Concerning the formation of the Battery and its activities
during the Civil War from 1801 to 1865, facts and statements
have been drawn mainly from "The History of Battery A," by
Thomas M. Aldrich (1904), also from the Revised Annual
Reporl of the Adjutant General for 1865, corrected and re-
published in 1895 by Brig. -Gen. Elisha Dyer, Adj. ('.en. Also
from the Historical Address by Dr. George B. IVck, delivered on
|nl\ 19, 1917, at the dedication of the Memorial Tablet, placed
on thi' Arsenal. Benefit St., by the Veteran Association of the
Providence Marine Corps of Artillery.*
For information in regard to the action ot the Battery in
the Spanish War of 1898, reference has been had to "Rhode Is-
land in the War with Spain," by Elisha Dyer (1900), and to the
"History oi the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plan-
tations," by Edward Field (1902).
The Annual Military Reports of Rhode Island from 1861 to
1917 have also been consulted, though the Reports from 180"
to 1 872 are lacking.
"Battery A on the Mexican Border, 1916," by members oi
the Battery itself, has furnished material for the relation ot the
Acknowledgments are also due to Mrs. William B. Weedcn
and to Mr. George C. Nightingale for practical and kindly assis-
tance, while to Adj. -('.en. Charles W. Abbot, Jr., the writer is
much indebted for valuable suggestions.
*The Providence Marine Corps of Artillery, the oldest military organ-
ization in the United States, ».i^ chartered in 1801, and was the mother oi
the Rhode Island Batteries.
History of Battery A
103rd Field Artillery of Rhode Island
Prior to July 25, 1917
Compiled by Georgiana Guild
WHEN President Lincoln issued his first call for troops to defend and preserve
the Union, Rhode Island nobly responded to the call by immediately organizing
and sending forward to the capital of the nation, a full regiment of infantry and
a complete battery for three months' service.
But this First Regiment and First Battery had hardly left the State, when upon the
second call of the President for more men, Governor William Sprague began immediately
to organize another regiment (the Second Rhode Island Infantry), and a battery for three
years' service. Within a few days there were four hundred men desirous to join what
was then called the Second Rhode Island Battery, afterwards known as Battery A,
First Rhode Island Light Artillery.
The old Marine Artillery Armory on Benefit Street was the scene of the training of
the men in military tactics, under the untiring exertions of Lieut. John Albert Monroe
and First Sergt. Henry Newton. Finally, on June 6, 1861, the requisite number of
nun having been selected, the Battery was mustered into the service of the United States
for three years.
tThe original roll of officers and men included 156 men and five commissioned officers.
The complete list of names is given in Aldrich's History, pages 2 and 3.
JThe commissioned officers were as follows:
Captain, William H. Reynolds
1st Lieutenant, Thomas F. Vaughn
1st Lieutenant, John Albert Monroe
2nd Lieutenant, John A. Tompkins
2nd Lieutenant, William B. Weeden
'Aldrich's History of Battery A, page 1.
tAldrich's History, page 370, footnote.
JAldrich's History, page 2.
Some account of these first officers of Battery A may well be given. The records
are taken from Dyer's Revised Adjutant-General's Report for 1865, and from Aldrich's
History of Battery A.
William II. Reynolds - First Lieutenant, First Light Battery. Captain, Battery A, June 6, 1861.
Lieutenant-Colonel, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, Sept. 13, 1861. Resigned, June !(•>, 1862.
ThomasF. Vaughn — First Sergeant, First Light Battery, l-'irst Lieutenant. Batters A. | lined. 1861.
Captain, Batter} B. Aug. 13, 1861. Resigned, Dec. II, 1861.
John Allien Monroe — First Lieutenant, Batterj A, June (>, 1861. Captain, Battery I), Sept. 7,
1861. Major, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, Oct. _'4, 1862. Lieutenant-Colonel, Dee. 4, 1862. Com-
mander of Artillery Brigade, -'ml Army Corps; Army oi Potomac, Oct., 1863, i<> Mai eh, 1864. Inspector
<>f Artillery, April, 1864. Commander of Artillery Brigade, 9th Army Corps, May, 1864. Mustered out
of service, Oct. 5, 1864.
John A. Tompkins - Second Lieutenant, Battery A, June 6, 1861. Captain. Battery A. Sept. 13, 1861.
Major, FiiM Rhode Island Light Vrtillery, Dec. 4, 1862. Chief of Artillery, 1st Division, 6th Army ( !orps,
March 26, 1863. Commander of Artillery Brigade, 6th Army Corps, October, 1863. Commander of
same, December, 1864. Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel from Aug. 1, LS(>4. Discharged, March 30, 1865.
William B. Weeden — First Lieutenant, Battery A. June 6, 1861. Captain, Battery C, Aug. 25, 1861.
Chief of Artillery and Ordnance of Division of the 6th Army Corps, June 26, 1862. Resigned. July 11, 1862.
(The writer has had in her possession the diary of Lieutenant Weeden, containing mam in
t< resting incidents of his experiences during the Civil War. At the battle of Bull Rim he had his horse
shot under hint.)
The Battery went into camp on Dexter Training Ground with the Second Regiment
Rhode Island Infantry-. On June IS, ammunition was received for the guns and prep-
arations were made for breaking camp, which took place the following day, on June 19th.
The Battery, with the Regiment, marched through the streets of Providence to Fox
Point, and the Battery hoarded the old ferryboat, Kill van Kitll, while the Second Rhode
Island Regiment went on board the Empire State.
About sunset the steamers left the wharf and started for their objective, Elizabeth-
port, New Jersey', which was reached about ten o'clock on Thursday-, June 20th.
Here the troops were disembarked, and late in the day were entrained lor Washing-
ton. Enthusiastic greetings were accorded the men at all places along the route. Harris-
burg, I'enn., was reached in the morning; and Baltimore, about eight o'clock on the
evening of the 21st.
The Second Rhode Island Regiment marched through the streets of Baltimore from
one depot to another, with guns loaded with ball cartridges.
The cars containing the guns of the Battery and those containing the horses, with
a lew men on each to lake care of them, were drawn through the streets of the city by
horses. The men were under strict order-, not to eat or drink anything while in Balti-
more, as poison was feared. Precautions were deemed necessary, as this was the first
body of troops which had passed through the city- since the Sixth Massachusetts Regi-
ment had been attacked.
Battery A's progress was delayed for two hours before it finally reached the depot,
and during that time it was without protection. As it finally left for Washington, a
tew bricks and stones were hurled at it.
( )n Saturday morning. June 22nd, Washington was reached, where Colonel Burnside of
the First Rhode Island Infantry and Captain Tompkins of the First Rhode Island Batters-
had made arrangements to receive the troops.
After unloading the gun--, Battery A marched to Camp Sprague and pitched its tents.
The Battery was attached to Burnside's brigade, Hunter's division, McDowell's
The camp was christened "Cam]) Clark" in honor of Bishop Clark, who, with Gen-
eral Sprague, had accompanied the troops from Rhode Island.
The first Sunday in camp passed quietly. Bishop Clark preached a very impressive
sermon, and the day closed with a dress parade, President Lincoln and General Scott
being present .
On the 24th, there was a grand review in Washington by the President and the General.
It was a great day for the Rhode Island troops, that were everywhere lionized.
From this time on until July 15th, the daily routine of camp life continued, with
drill and dress parade.
A deplorable incident occurred on the 9th, when during field drill a limber chest ex-
ploded, two men being killed and one mortally wounded. As far as the records show,
these two men, (iunner Nathan T. Morse and Private William E. Bourne, were the
first men to meet death in Battery A.
On the 15th, there was excitement in camp, which was enlivened at the bright pros-
pect of an early movement.
On the 16th, the march to Bull Run began. The men were high with hope and courage
and were but little prepared for the fatalities and defeat of the battle itself, on the 21st
It is not necessary here to go into details of that tragic event. Its history and mis-
takes have been fully chronicled.
The casualties in the Second Rhode Island Battery at Bull Run were two men killed
and fourteen wounded.
The early history of Battery A has thus far been given with considerable minuteness,
but events now succeeded each other too rapidly for such detail to be practicable, or
desirable, in this limited sketch.
The Battery remained in active service during the three years of its enlistment, and
distinguished itself by unfailing courage and efficiency.
On September 13, 1861, Captain Reynolds was promoted to be Lieutenant-Colonel
of the First Rhode Island Light Artillery Regiment, and Second Lieutenant John A.
Tompkins was appointed to the command of Battery A.
Captain Tompkins was succeeded by First Lieutenant William A. Arnold of Battery
E, who was promoted to the Captaincy of Battery A on Dec. 13, 1862.
Captain Arnold remained with the Battery until June 17, 1864, when he returned
home with the men who were discharged from service. He was not one of the original
members of the Battery.
*The battles of the war in which Battery A participated were as follows:
1861— Bull Run
Aldrich's History, page 3S
Peach Orchard and Savage Station
White ( >ak Swamp
Turner's i lap
Snicker's < lap
L864 Orange Plank Road
rodd's Tavern and Po Ri\ er
Spottsylvania Court House
Pamunky Ri\ er
Totopotomoy ( Vcrk
Ny Ri\ er
The battle of Cold Harbor iii June, 1864, was the last engagement of Battery A, as
On June 5, ISM, Captain Arnold called upon General Hancock and informed him
thai tilt' three years' term of enlistmenl had expired and that the Battery desired to be
relieved. This was accomplished shortly afterwards by Ames's New York Battery.
On June 6th, Captain Arnold, who was to return home with the discharged men,
turned the Battery oxer to Lieut. Gamaliel 1.. Dwight, an original corporal of the Battery,
who had been appointed to reorganize and command it.
Wednesday . June 8th, was a day ever to be remembered by those members of Battery
A who had served their country faithfully for three long years.
The men were forty-six in number, some of the Battery having elected to remain
longer in service. At break of day these original members assembled at the Camp of
Battery A and left ("old Harbor lor White House Landing, a distance of fifteen miles.
Here a propeller, the New Jersey, was boarded and the trip down the Pamunky River
was begun. West Point was reached at nine o'clock in the evening, where the New
Jersey dropped anchor.
On the 9th, the propeller steamed down York River, finally reaching Chesapeake
Bay, and proceeded up the Potomac River.
( )n the afternoon of the 10th, Washington was reached, and the Battery marched
to the barracks of the Soldiers' Home for the night.
( hi the 1 lth, the start for New York was made, but it was not until five o'clock on
the afternoon of the 12th, that the Battery started on the last stretch of its home journey
and boarded a train for Providence.
At New London there was a long delay, owing to a mishap to the engine, and it was
not until daylight of the 13th that a new engine was procured and the start for Providence
begun, where an enthusiastic ovation awaited the Battery.
Exchange Place was [lacked with people, many of whom had been waiting at the
station all night, owing to the breakdown at New London. The Marine Corps of Artillery
tired a salute, and the wildest excitement prevailed. Captain Arnold endeavored to
form the men into line, but it was of no use. He finally ordered them to report at the
Marine Artillery Armory at eleven o'clock the next morning.
A banquet was tendered the Battery on the evening of June 15th, at the City Hotel,
where an address of welcome was given by Major Thomas A. Doyle, followed by speeches,
toasts, and songs.
On Saturday, June 18, 1864, Battery A met for the last time, at Railroad Hall, in
the old depot at Providence, and was mustered out of service. Thus closed the history
of Battery A during three years of the Civil War.
*But, as has already been mentioned, after the departure for home of the original
members of the Battery, it was reorganized and about fifty men, including recruits,
continued in the field. To these must be added the attached men from several infantry
regiments of tin- army.
In a few days, under the efficient supervision of Lieut. Gamaliel Lyman Dwight,
the reorganized Battery was ready for active service at the front and was assigned to
the Third Division (General Birney's), Second Corp>.
In June, 1864, the Battery participated in the battles of Cold Harbor and Peters-
burg. It was tlie first battery to cross over the James River, and it fired the first shot
into Petersburg. Lieutenant Dwight received the official thanks of the Major-General
commanding, for the handsome manner in which he placed his battery and drove the
enemy from the field.
On July 17th, Lieutenant Dwight was mustered out of service, by order of July 7th,
and on that same date. First Lieut. William S. Perrin of Battery B was ordered to take
command of Battery A.
On August 12th, another detachment from Battery A, whose time of enlistment
had expired, was mustered out of service, and the remaining men were transferred to
* Aldrich's History, page 371.
Battery B. As thus combined, they took pari in the battle of Deep Bottom in August.
*On Sept. 2.>, 1864, the two batteries, which bad been associated and operating
together since August 12th, were officially consolidated as one command, which there-
alter wa> known as Battery B, First Regiment Rhode Island Artillery. This act ter-
minated a distinctive history of Battery A, marked by brilliant deeds of one of the best
and most efficient batteries of the Second Corps, as well as of the Army of the Potomac.
tits fame rests not less upon its conduct on the battlefield, than upon the number of
enlisted men that rose to responsible positions.
JThose members of Battery A who remained in service with Battery B saw the rlo> ( -
of the mighty struggle which culminated in the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, and the
complete triumph of the Union Arms.
Battery B was mustered into service, Aug. 13, 1861. It was mustered out on June 12,
1865, having served three years and ten months.
**The following is a summary of the original members of Battery A:
Discharged for wounds 15
Died of disease 1
Discharged for disability 33
Dropped from the rolls 8
Returned home with the Battery 46
Dr. Peck in his "Historical Address" stales that Battery A had 279 names on its
roll, and lost 13 killed, with 64 wounded.
These, of course, were not all original members of the Battery.
From 1865 to 187° the history of Battery A was uneventful. There was the regular
routine of militia drill and instruction.
As Battery A is an integral part of the Rhode Island Militia, important events in the
history of the latter, since they closely concern the former, will here be mentioned in
In 1879, a reorganization of the State militia took place, under a law passed by the
General Assembly in April. The most radical change made was that requiring all mem-
bers of the militia to be enlisted for a term of years, thereby entirely abolishing the
former militia system.
In 187 ( ). also, occurred the first of the annual encampments, on ground leased for the
purpose .it Oakland Beach. This was in place of the former three days' tour of duty.
" Alilrii If- History, page 384.
t Peck's Historical Address, page 8.
} Aldrich, page 388.
** Aldrich's History, page 370.
This first camp was named Camp Van Zandt, and Battery A encamped with the other
troops from September 2nd to 4th.
A step was taken this year in the direction of furnishing State uniforms to the troops,
to be held as public property.
An appropriation of §2500 was made for this purpose in May by the General Assembly,
but the plan was not consummated until 1880, when an additional appropriation of
$30,000 was made and a State uniform for the militia was for the first time provided.
From 1880 until 1887 there were again no marked features of interest to record.
In 1887, 1892 and 1893, some important additions were made to the active militia
of the State, but these changes did not affect the organization of Battery A. An in-
spector of rifle practice and an assistant inspector were added to the staff of the Brigade
Commander in 1892, which seemed to indicate that a higher degree of proficiency in
marksmanship was needed throughout the State.
The annual encampments of the militia continued at Oakland Beach until 1893, in
all of which Battery A took its regular part.
In May, 1893, the General Assembly passed an act appropriating $17,500 for the
purchase and fitting up of a State campground at Quonset Point.
The need of a suitable State campground for the Brigade of Rhode Island Militia
had been persistently urged since 18S6, the facilities at Oakland Beach being entirely
inadequate for that purpose.
The first encampment at Quonset Point took place from July 11th to 15th, 1893.
The permanent name adopted for the camp was the "Camp of Rhode Island Militia,"
instead of naming the camp for some distinguished person, as heretofore.
In February, 1896, First Lieut. Charles W. Abbot, Jr., 12th U. S. Infantry, was
appointed on duty with the militia of the State.
*Lieutenant Abbot's thorough equipment in military knowledge and his earnest
interest in all matters pertaining to Rhode Island proved of invaluable service, and
the condition of the militia was materially improved in personnel and efficiency.
The closing years of the century were darkened by clouds of war.
On the 23rd day of April, 1898, thirty-three years after the close of the Civil War,
President William McKinley called for 125.000 volunteers for two years' service, to
oust Spanish forces from Cuba and Cuban waters.
During the period preceding the call, the work in the different military offices of the
State was of a more stirring and eventful character than at any time since 1865. When
hostilities seemed imminent, Governor Dyer had caused a thorough investigation of the
condition of the State militia and of the military stores in possession of the State, in
consequence of which, no State was better prepared to respond to the call than Rhode
The annual encampment of the brigade was omitted, and in place of it, the entire
command was mobilized for a three days' tour of duty in May.
The War Department authorized the enlistment in Rhode Island of one regiment of
infantry, and immediately after the President's call for troops, the Marine Corps of
* Adjutant-General's Report for 1896.
Artillery unanimously voted to tender its services to the Governor for foreign duty, as
Battery A, Brigade Rhode Island Militia.
Upon the second call for troops, on May 25th. Rhode Island recruited two batteries,
A and H of light artillery, both of which were formed from the batteries of the State
Batterj A was commanded by Capt. Edgar R. Barker. Cn June 8th, it left the armory
on Benefit Street, forQuonset Point, numbering 162 officers and men, afterwards increased
*During the entire interval, the officers had exerted themselves to the limit, preparing
the Battery for service, drilling in relays day and night for the last two weeks.
On June 18th, the Governor was advised thai only 110 persons could be mustered
in. and accordingly nearly one hundred men returned to their homes. Most of these
at once entered the Regular service.
On June 25th. 1898, the Battery was mustered into the service of the United States
for two years of the war. as Light Battery A, 1st Artillery, Rhode Island Volunteers.
tit consisted of four officers and 10(i enlisted men.
It was mustered out on October 2(>, 1898, never having left camp at Quonset Point.
a disappointing and harrowing experience.
*Twenty-five per cent, ot these men, however, joined the regular army and navy,
and visited the Philippines, one at least pushing on to Pekin at the time of the Boxer
After the close of the Spanish War, military affairs in Rhode Island resumed their
The attention ol the General Assembly had long been directed to the need of a new
armory for the State.
Finallj in January. 1902, the necessary appropriations were made for its erection,
and work on the structure was begun.
The year I'M). 1 ! was made memorable b\ a new organization of the militia of the (lif-
erent States, under a law of Congress in January, by virtue of which the officers and
men actually became a National Guard and were permitted to take part with the
Regular Army in the annual field maneuvers.
In 1907, the annual encampment at Quonset Point was omitted. Battery A had a
week's encampment in July at Fort Greble, for target practice with the new guns. Other
detachments served at different times.
The reorganization of the militia, ordered by Congress in 1903, had not been ac-
complished by 1907, owing to absolutely necessary delays.
The most important event ol 1908 was the completion of the new State Armory, and
its occupation bj the National Guard and Naval Militia.
* Peek's 1 listorj . page 16.
t Captain, Edgar K. Barker; 1 si Lieut., Charles 11. Weaver; 1st Lieut., James \Y. McKaj ; 2nd Lieut.
\\ illiam E. Arnold.
"Lieut. Pclham I), (ikissford, 2nd U. S. Field Artillery, accompanied Battery A to
camp this year, detailed liy the War Department to give instruction with the new 3-inch
Lieutenant Glassford, with lour non-commissioned officers from the regular field
artillery al West Point, also accompanied the Battery to camp in 1909 and 1910.
The year 1909 was most noteworthy in the history of the Rhode Island National
Guard, owing to a revision of the State military code, which permitted a substantial
compliance with the requirements ol the National Government for placing the militia
of the country in accordance with the law of 1903.
tin 1910 and 1 ( )ll material changes occurred in the command of Battery A, owing
to tlie resignation of several of the officers.
In June, 1911, the officers of Battery A were detailed to attend a camp of instruction
at Fort Riley, Kansas.
The Battery itself went into its annual encampment at Quonset Point in July. Lieu-
tenant Glassford was again present to give instruction, and reported a splendid showing
of the men.
In 1913, a field artillery camp of instruction was established at Tobyhanna, Pa., by
a battalion of the .Mil U. S. Field Artillery from Fort Myer, Va.
Battery A went to the camp l>y special train on June 20th.
Tobyhanna is a small village station on the Dekiware and Lackawanna Railroad,
situated on the edge of a tract of wild laud of some 50,00(1 acres' extent. There are no
roads and no human habitations.
The land is a succession of hills and valleys, affording ideal places for targets and
tiring points, under conditions closeK approximating those of actual service, inasmuch
as there is no danger in tiring in any direction up to five or six thousand yards.
In l'M4 and 1915 the Battery again went to Tobyhanna. Schools of instruction for
a limited number of officers and men were also held at the same place in June.
The ten days' tour at Tobyhanna each year, together with the occupation of the new
armory, with horses for riding and driving, tended to put the Battery in a high degree
of efficiency. Captain Chaffee maintained a high standard of excellence, and the men
responded to his training.
The State had reason lor gie.it pride in this command, for it led all others of the
organized militia in the rating of its gunners, by a substantial majority.
* I ieutenant Glassford entered the World War as Colonel of Field Artillery. He was promoted to
Brigadier-General of the l\ S. Army and assigned to command of the Field Artillery Brigade, which in-
cluded the 103rd Field Artillery and Batterj \
f Ralph S. Hamilton, Jr., was elected Captain in November, 1910. He entered the World War in
I'M 7 as Major of the 103rd Field Artillery, 26th Division, was transferred to the postal service in Paris,
and later promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel.
Everett St. J. Chaffee and Rush Sturges were appointed 1st Lieutenants in February, 1911; and
Everett S. Hartwell, 2nd Lieutenant in October, 1911.
Lieutenant Chaffee was promoted in Captain of Battery A in March, 1914, which position he held until
May, 1917. He entered the World War and was subsequently promoted to Major, Lieutenant-Colonel,
*Al the annual inspection in 1915, Battery A worked out a firing problem most
creditably, parading a number of men above the minimum, making an excellent ap-
*This was repeated in 1916.
Ilir condition <>i affairs on the Mexican border in 1916 had become more threaten-
ing, and the culmination was a call from the President on June 18th oi this year lor a
mobilization of the auxiliary troops.
In consequence, the military schools tor instruction were given up and the Battery
did nol lake il^ expected trip to Toliyhanna in June.
And now the history of Battery A in the Mexican campaign is reached.
To enter into any detailed recital of that period would lie superfluous, in view ill
(he extended and elaborate account already published.
As is i herein well said :
"(till of an apparently (dear sky, on June IS, 1916, came the climax of the Mexican
disturbances, and Presidenl Wilson's orders, calling out the entire militia for Border
duty, with Rhode Island Commands to be mustered in at Quonset Point.
"With a thrill of excitement, the Battery received these orders 'somewhere in Scituate.'
for by a remarkable coincidence, it had started oil the morning of June 18th, under heavy
marching order and with complete equipment, for a two weeks' tour of duty in the held."
To quote again from "Battery A":
"The President's call found Battery A far better prepared than many a National
Guard organization. Through the preceding fall, winter, and spring, the Battery had
worked regular!) and faithfully. One night a week was the requirement for drill, to
which all had responded, and results amply justified this demand."
The Battery at this time was under the capable command of ('apt. Everitte S. Chaffee.
The Roster from June 29th to Now 2nd, 1916, included, besides the Captain,
t 4 Lieutenants 3 Horseshoers
13 Sergeants 3 Cooks
20 Corporals 33 First Class Privates and
3 Musicians 93 Privates
3 Mechanics 2 Honorably discharged
1 Saddler 1 Furloughed in the National Guard Reserve
On the morning of June 20th, instructions from the Adjutant General's office reached
the Battery to proceed at once to Quonset Poinl and prepare as rapidly as possible for
sen ice mi the Mexican Border.
The foundation of the Battery's success on the Border was largely laid in the two
weeks of concentrated preparation at Quonset, under the earnest efforts of both officers
♦Adjutant General's Reports for 1915 ami 1916.
+ William Gammell, Jr., Senioi l-i Lieutenant
Gerald T. Hanley, Junior 1st Lieutenant
I lonald s. Babi '» I*, Senior 2nd Lieutenant
Harold R. Barker, Junior 2nd Lieutenant
On the afternoon of June 29th, Captain Chaffee received telegraphic instructions
from Governor's Island to entrain his command at Davisville and I lure await further
orders as to destination and service.
Within one hour the Battery was on the march, the first military unit to represent
Davisville Station was reached after a long and trying trip, where many friends of
the men were gathered to bid them Godspeed.
The work of loading lasted far into the night, and it was five o'clock on the morning
of June 30th before Captain Chaffee's Battery of 175 men and five officers left Rhode
Island for the long trip of 2600 miles across the continent, for "Service on the Border."
"Bound for Texas." "Have your mail addressed to El Paso." Such were the final
The journey was full of incidents already described in the published account to which
reference has been made.
On July 6, 1916, Battery A of Rhode Island detrained at Fort Bliss, twelve miles from
El Paso, pitched camp in the artillery station, Camp Pershing, and stood ready to
do whatever might be required by her country. So energetic and prompt were its
methods, that the fifth day in camp brought with it the establishment of a regular schedule
of calls and drills.
During the ensuing four months of its service, the Battery had varied and trying
experiences. Sandstorms, the "thousand species of cactus," tin- blazing sun of Texas,
with the temperature often at 120, the "elusive pay- day," inspections of equipment,
and mounts in the burning heat, and hard work generally, proved conclusively that a
soldier's life was not a bed (if roses.
But discomforts and hardships were borne with unfailing good humor, and rigorous
duties and privations accepted with a grit and endurance worthy of steeled veterans, as
such in truth the men became.
The first formal inspection of the Battery by its superior officers was on July 20th,
with a mounted inspection on the day following.
With the acquisition of its complement of horses within two weeks after its arrival
at El Paso, Battery A of Rhode Island was at this time the only complete, fully enlisted,
horsed and equipped war-strength battery in the whole I . S. Army.
On July 28th, Captain Chaffee completed a thorough reorganization of the outfit,
as instructed by the Army Reorganization bill, and divided his Battery into nine full
sections, five constituting the firing battery, and four of caissons and battery wagon.
This, it is believed, was the only nine section battery on the Border during the whole
An order for three months' rigid training for all militia outfits on the Border was posted
by General Funston in July. Exactly what this meant as to the length of stay of the
Battery in Texas, no one seemed able to determine. Lumber had begun to arrive, and
the building of solid mess halls in each company camp seemed to predict a long cam-
On the 2nd of August the Battery was assigned with the New Mexico Battery to the
5th Field Artillery. With the Fifth were brigaded the Eighth Regulars. Of all militia
guardsmen on the Border, Now Mexico and Rhode Island were the only outfits to be
brigaded with the Regular Army. This meant that had any campaigning been done,
the Battery would have gone forward as a part of the trained, standing army.
( >n September 5th, under orders from headquarters, the Battery started for a two days'
hike with Batterj A of New Mexico, under the command of Captain Debrettond. The
Battery drove off under full equipment, leaving only a small guard in camp.
This was one of the hardest, but also one of the most interesting, marches of the
entire stay on the Mexican Border. Theseveresl tests possible were given to the Battery,
both in marching and in firing, by Captain Debrettond, and the results elicited from
him the comment that Battery A had "the making of the finest battery in the United
There were rumors of a recall on September 15th, which proved, however, elusive.
On the 18th, the Batters 1 was called upon to work out a theoretical problem in the
defense of El Paso. At its completion, a temporary camp was pitched at Kern Blace,
at the very foot of the mountains.
A big Review on the 21st brought together the greatest number of United States
troops that had been assembled since the Civil War. A complete divisional war strength
of -<>, 000 men marched through El Paso to Fort Bliss, where they were reviewed by
( ienerals Bell and Clements.
The march covered twelve miles. In a straight line the division would have covered
twenty miles. By seven o'clock in the morning, the whole division was in line for the
parade. For more than five hours the soldiers poured past the reviewing officers out onto
the big drill held. What at first was a single thin line of men on the open plain, grew to
a massed body more than a mile long and nearly half a mile wide.
Not many miles of the march had been covered before the heat of the day was sorely
felt. In passing through El Paso, many of the residents had thoughtfully placed jugs
and pitchers of water along the route. Dust rose under the feet of the infantry, and when
the artillery and cavalry approached, it was almost impossible to recognize the command.
The entire mass of men stood to post for hours under the blistering sun, while greal
watering carts were used in the impossible effort to supply that vast army of men.
This Review will long live in the memory of the participants.
On September 25th and 28th, there was practice by the gun squads for the great
test of service firing, the most critical work of the summer.
On the afternoon of October 2nd, the Battery with its nine sections spread over a
quarter of a mile, pulled away for the sandy wastes east of Fort Bliss, every man eager
lor the strenuous test. It was the day for which the Battery- had drilled for months.
And while the opposing cavalry and hidden batteries were only imaginary, the firing
was supremely vivid and thrilling, for it stood as a preparation for actual conflict.
So it went on for a week. Finally on October 7th, the service firing was completed.
In an official rating of all militia Batteries, issued by the War Department on Oct.
9, 1916, Battery A of Rhode Island had 23,983 credits to its account. There were eighty-
five of these Organizations of Field Artillery of the National Cuard, and as in previous
years, Rhode Island's Battery headed the list.
The campaign in Mexico was ended, and the Battery was to return home. At retreat
on Saturday night of October 7th, Captain Chaffee gave orders that the Battery equip-
ment should be overhauled and turned into the Quartermaster's Department. Home
loomed high in the men's horizon. They worked swiftly and eagerly. Camp equipment
had the first attention, and personal effects came later.
It was a tired but happy outfit that slept in the Battery camp that night.
October 9th was the last day in camp, and the heavy work of loading the Battery
train began. Motor trucks were kept moving throughout the entire day. The Battery
was systematically divided into details and each assigned to some particular duty. By
six o'clock in the evening, after a long day's work, everything was aboard, and an order
soon came for the men to entrain.
As the Battery left Fort Bliss, it was raining. On into the night the train sped, with
only one thought in the minds of the men — Going Home!
A whole-souled welcome awaited the returning men. Providence turned out to give
the Battery well-deserved honor.
Mustered into Federal Service on June 24, 1916, Battery A was mustered out on
Nov. 2, 1916.
It is barely possible that some members of the Battery can appreciate the following
quip from the London Nation, with apologies to the Nation for a slight variation.
Any Soldier to His Son
What did you do, Daddy, in the Mexican Campaign?
Well, I learned to peel potatoes and to scrub the barrack floor —
I learned to use a shovel and a barrow and a pick.
I learned "to get a jerk on," and I learned "to make 'em click."
But though the Battery saw no positive war service, its four months on the Border
were of inestimable service in preparing the men for the great World War in which they
were soon to be engaged.
An account of this is left to those who took an actual part in the conflict. Vivid
personal recitals are of far more vital interest than any mere relation from a hearsay
chronicler of events.
The officers of Battery A, at the lime of its entrance into the World War, were:
Harold R. Barker, Captain
Joseph C. Davis, 1st Lieutenant
Harold P. Babcock, 1st Lieutenant
Everett S. Hartwell, 2nd Lieutenant
Earl P. Luther, 2nd Lieutenant
Its war story will long live in the hearts of men. All honor, then, to Battery A of
the 103rd Field Artillery of Rhode Island, of the 26th — the famous Yankee Division
of the American Expeditionary Force.
(The Board of Editors wish to express their appreciation for the careful researches
made by Miss Georgiana Guild in the preparation of this history.)
w w f* fj fyf^ w <& IP & 9 IB
Quonset Point to Chemin-des-Dames
ON July 25th, responding to the call for all National Guard troops of New England
group, Battery "A" was mobilized tor Federal Service at the Benefit Street
Armory. The day was taken up entirely in the ceremonies of departure. A
large parade was held in Providence, in which all the National Guard troops from the
State of Rhode Island marched through the blistering streets, receiving one of the finest
I, new ells ever accorded troops in the State.
On July 26th, the Battery was called together in the Benefit St. Armor} as a unit
which was to he held together throughout the war. After the usual delay, the men were
inarched to cars and proceeded to Quonset Point, the historical training grounds of
Here, beside the waters of Narragansett Bay, the first steps to whipping the organi-
zation into shape were taken. At first, the work was largely the purely mechanical task of
getting the men settled in camp, of getting them organized and of starting their training.
The old three-inch field pieces which had been to the Mexican Border with the
Battery were called on for drill
purposes, and the men learned
their first rudiments of Field
Artillery. The horses were also
used to some extent to accustom
the men to dri\ ing, but the work
was ot a mote or less desultorj
nature. For alrcaih rumors had
been heard that the Batter} was
to be used as a heavy artillery
unit , and neither officers nor men
could put their heart int-O the
ic w 3-inch I ii i d Piece
im, R. I
I he life at Quonse t was
pleasant. The Baj was close at
yet neither discipline nor work had
hand. Providence was only a few miles away, and
become irksome enough to interfere with the men
But soon orders came to proceed to Boxford, and the Battery entrained at Davi
ville. detraining again late that night at Boxford, thirty mile- outside of Boston.
The work of cutting a camp site ou1 of the woods was rather difficult to the men,
who were new to the strenuous work and had not yet learned to adapt themselves to
the many changes which army life makes necessary.
Alter a lew days, however, the camp was laid out and the Battery settled down to
the routine of training-camp life in America.
The Boxford camp is situated a half mile from the Boxford Station and only a lew
miles from the cities of Haverhill and Lawrence. It was a training-camp in the Civil
War and again during the Spanish -American War, and it was chosen as the place to
train New England artillerymen for the greatest war in American History.
When the Rhode Island men rirst arrived at the camp, it was occupied l>v two
regiments of Massachusetts artillerymen, the 101st and 102nd. There were also two
batteries from Connect-
icut, E and F, from
Stamford and Bradford
respect ively; also Battery
D, formerly Battery A of
New Hampshire. These
three batteries, with the
three Rhode Island or-
ganizations, were soon
formed into the 103rd
Regiment, which became,
with the lOlstand 102nd,
the 51st Field Artillery
At this time Battery
A was under command of Captain H. R. Barker, and had as its other officers, Firsl
Lieutenants Joseph C. Davis and Harold P. Babcock and Second Lieutenants Everett S-
Hartwell and Earl F. Luther. Captain Everett S. Chaffee, the former commander of
Battery A, was Regimental Adjutant at the time, from which position In- was soon
promoted to that of Major of the 2nd Battalion. Major Ralph S. Hamilton, a former
captain of Battery A, led the First Battalion. After a few weeks, Colonel Emory T.
Smith arrived and took charge of the regiment.
The work at Boxford was largely that of marking time, awaiting orders to proceed
to the port of embarkation. The old three-inch pieces were used but little and soon
were shipped away. The horses were employed only a few times for riding drill, and
soon tlies too were sent away and the regiment was left without horses and guns.
Much close order drilling was done, but this was easily abandoned at the slightest
excuse, neither officers nor men putting any interest into the drudgery of "doughboy
drill." Supplies were coming in constantly, and soon the Batters was equipped for
The life was pleasant foi the men, frequent passes to Boxford and Providence serving
to relieve the monotony. Then too, Haverhill and Lawrence were just next door,
and every night found large groups of men from the Brigade fighting to get a place in the
jitneys which clustered at the gates, waiting to take their loads to the two nearby cities.
mivv Visitors in Battery Street, Boxford, Ma-
During the stay at Boxford, the Battery received two increments of troops to fill
the ranks to war strength. The first men to arrive were several hundred National
Guardsmen from the Rhode Island Coast Artillery. Battery A drew men from the 3rd,
4th, and 5th companies, two of these originally from Providence. On September 23,
eleven men arrived from Camp Devens. They had been drawn in the first draft and
almost immediately assigned for overseas service.
At last the definite orders to move came. On September 24, Batteries C and D
moved out, to go to Newport News, Va., where they were given the rather disagreeable
task of getting together and bringing across a number of horses for the regiment. In
the meantime, the 101st Regiment had left, and soon news was received of their safe
arrival overseas. Shortly after they were followed by the 102nd, and on October iXth, at
1 :00 o'clock, the remaining troops of the 103rd left Boxford and proceeded to New York,
where they embarked <>n the White Star Line Baltic. At 1:00 p. m. on October 9th,
the Baltic left the dock in New York and set out for Liverpool, England.
The first two days of the trip were spent by the men in getting accustomed to the
sea. On October 11th, the Baltic arrived in the wonderful natural harbor of Halifax,
where it lay awaiting the formation of its convoy. On
the afternoon of October 14th, the convoy of nine ships,
three transports, an auxiliary cruiser which was really a
masked battery, and colliers and oilers, left Halifax.
Tlie Bailie was the flagship of the convoy ami was in
the middle of the formation. Beside it was the Justitia,
one of the largest >hip> on the seas, which later was
sunk off the coast of Ireland by a German submarine.
The trip was uneventful. All precautions were
taken against submarines, the ships proceeding in a
zigzag course. The men were forced to wear lifebelts
at all times, and frequent lifeboat drills were held.
For recreation the troops walked the deck, read, and played cards. Short morning
calisthenics were held, and there was a daily formation for inspection of men and equip-
ment. But, on the whole, the life was one of extreme indolence.
A few days on the seas, the convoy encountered rough weather, which grew steadily
worse until, on October 20th, the seas were breaking over the flecks, and at 3:00 o'clock
in the afternoon the little English destroyers pushed their way out of the fog and joined
the convoy as an escort over the last dangerous miles of the course. On the night of
October 22nd, a light was sighted, and in the morning the men caught their first sight
That day the Isle of Man, a purple boat dipping in a placid sea, was passed. Then
the course took the boat up the coast of Wales, a land of neat, purple fields and immaculate
white houses. Finally, late in the afternoon, the Baltic anchored at the mouth of the
River Mersey and the destroyers cut their way to their docks. Late that night the boat
was drawn up the Mersey and anchored off the landing stage at Liverpool, where it rested
under the grey, dripping finger of Blackpool Tower.
The next morning the men were awakened early, and, after gathering all their equip-
ment, were landed at the Riverside Station, where they were at once packed tightly in
English trains, which seemed then to be little more than toys.
Then followed the memorable trip through England. Firsl the route led through
industrial England, a land of brick-red dust, where the women were doing men's work in
the factory-. Later rural England was seen, with its ordered fields and wonderfully
kepi towns. Thru the train passed near London, and a1 10:30 thai night the Batten
detrained al Southampton.
After .1 wearying march through foggy, ghost-peopled streets, the men arrived a1
the resl camp on October 24th, where they were packed into conical tents in cold,
I In- days ,ii Southampton were spenl resting and giving the men a chance to gel
accustomed to the land. Passes were given after 5:00 o'clock in the evening, and most
ol the men wenl down to the city to cat in the restaurants and to wander in the dark
streets, getting their first glimpse of the English.
On the 29th of October, the men were marched to the dock and put aboard the Viper,
which sailed late in the evening. Thai night, one of the roughest of the winter on the
English Channel, was one of extreme misery for mosl of the passengers of the cross-
channel steamer. Late in the morning, far behind schedule, the battered boal drew
into the harbor al Le Havre and the men disembarked, with no regrets whatever at leav-
ing the dirty and ill-smelling decks.
Then followed a gruelling march to the rest camp on top of a high hill overlooking
the Channel. Here the men found themselves on a cold, wind-swept sea of mud. again
forced to pack too many into the small conical tents which seemed to be the only ac-
commodations of the English rest camps.
The next day a muster was held and then the Battery was marched to the station,
where they entrained for the lirst time aboard those tiny French box car- to which they
became so accustomed later; box cars which carried that humorously sinister sign,
"Eighl horses, forty men."
Alter a night's ride through northern Fran< e, the men awoke to gel their firsl \ iew of
the country which they had come to save. That nighl they detrained al Guer in the
Department of Morbihan, and were carried by trucks to the barracks al Camp Coet-
quidan, which was to be their home for three months.
< amp Coetquidan, famous in the history of France, training-camp for Napoleon.
from which mam soldiers had gone out
to fight and die for their country, was
an ideal artillery camp. The lOlsl and
102nd Artillery were already al work
on their training here, and later the 51st
Brigade was joined by the 67th, of the
famous Rainbow I >i\ ision.
It was here that both officers and
men had their first chance to see the
Schneider 155mm. Howitzer, which was
to be their piece for the rest of the war.
With scarcely a day's rest, the Battery-
started its rigorous course of training. Service firing was begun on November 5th, and
as soon as the horses arrived the drivers began their work.
Barracks w Coetqi ii» an
Corporal Weeden in Centre, and Serge \\i
Broadhead with Corporal Soman mounted
Throughout the winter, which was severe with its constant rain and snow, the men
kept at their training, conquering their first enemy in France, the mud. The work done
in the training was really remarkable, and in a few weeks' time the French instructors
were united in their praise of the Americans' adaptability and skill.
By the latter part of January the regiment had completed its final preparatory work
on a sector along the line. And so, on February 4th, the Battery was entrained at the
station at ('.tier and pulled out that night for a trip through northern France. The
next day they passed only a few miles north of Paris, and then swung off to the Chemin-
des-Dames sector, which lay just over the hills from Soissons.
T 9 o'clock on the evening of Feb. 5th, the train
pulled into the station of Mercin-Pommiers, and
orders to detrain were given immediately. The
column was on the road by 12:15, but did not
move until 2:00. The line of march led through
the city of Soissons, and the trip was a somewhat
severe test for the men, especially for the drivers, who
had had practically no experience in night driving.
It was the first taste of war-ridden France that Battery A had
had, and the march through Soissons, battered by shell, and burnt,
was one of revelation. The ruined buildings, which later became so common a feature
of the artillerymen's lives, were a new experience, and served to strengthen the stern
determination for victory.
The echelon at Bucy le Long was reached just at daylight, after a pulling hike, and
as soon as the horses were in the stables the men went to sleep in old French barracks,
carefully camouflaged beneath the trees in the park of the old Chateau.
The first few days at Bucy le Long were spent in general preparation of equipment for
the front. On the morning of February 9th, the officers went out on a reconnoitering
party, and at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon the Battery moved out and took up position
just after nightfall in a valley near Banc-de-Pierre, the men being temporarily quartered
in the big cave about half a kilometer from the position.
Banc-de-Pierre is situated along the Laon-Soissons Road, on the scene of the costly
offensive of 1917, when the French carried the lines from their menacing position around
Soissons to the Chemin-des-Dames, or Tadres Road. It is now a matter of history that
this offensive, which might easily have resulted in the capture of Laon, was stopped by
political influence, strongly against'the advices of both General Petain and Marshal Haig.
The front lines in this sector were in an extremely bad tactical position. The Chemin-
des-Dames was known as the worst "blood-letting" sector in the line.
At the time the 26th Division took up the lines, the sector was very quiet, an ideal
place for training.
The First Battalion position was in a narrow valley whose sides rose abruptly in
front of the guns, giving them very good protection against shelling, but necessitating
all firing from a rather high elevation. The valley widened out below the position and
was crossed by the Ailette Canal. About a mile beyond the canal was the Mont-de-
Coucy-le-Chateau, crowned by that famous castle which was so terribly and systematically
plundered by the Huns during their occupation. The hill itself was at that time used
as a formidable location for artillery, while French soldiers were quartered in the village.
In the village itself was a house long used as the headquarters of Von Kluck and in whose
rooms the Kaiser had often slept during times of inspection at the front.
The caves, which the Battery used at first for quarters, were really monstrous
caverns hewed out of solid rock, in which hundreds of soldiers were satVly housed against
any shell-fire. The sole entrance of the cave was carefully guarded as a safeguard
against gas; inside at night there was the busy hum of soldiers' conversation. It was here
that the men had their first chance to meet the real French soldier, and every night tin
American quarters were crowded with Poilus eager to exchange news, money and pinard
with their brother righting men.
The first day, Sunday, was spent in improving the position and carrying shells from
the narrow-gauge line which wound along the hill above the guns. At first no attempt
was made to complete the gun positions, hut every attempt was made to get the guns read)
At 2:34:15 on the afternoon of February 11th, Lieutenant Davis gave the command to
tire, and the first piece tired. This was the first shot of the second American regiment oi
155's to go into action against the Germans, and the first l>y any National Guard Artil-
lery in the war. General Petain, in command of the French Army, was directing the fire
of the 103rd Regiment.
The work done by the Battery in the Chemin-des-Dames sector was strictly pre-
paratory and more in the nature of a drill than actual work in a fighting sector. At all
times the work was under direct supervision of the French, who, from their vast wealth
of experience, were able to offer the greatest aid in whipping the men into shape in theii
final training period.
The gun positions, carefully camouflaged, were improved until very well constructed
emplacements had been made. The position, occupied months before by heavy artillery,
had several ruined abris which were restored and used as sleeping quarters and storage
places for shells and powder.
While this work was going on, dugouts were being built in the steep side-hill. This
construction was carried on speedily, all the digging being done in sand w'hich came out
with the greatest facility. After several weeks' work, the first chamber ol the dugout was
completed and men were allowed to sleep there. The work went on speedily, and soon
the firing Battery was accommodated at the gun position, only a tew men remaining
at the cave.
A shell slide was built from the railroad in the hill to the valley, and from the level
of the slide a small tank was run, greatly lightening the task of shell transportation.
Not once during the six weeks that the position was occupied were the batteries
shelled, a peculiarly fortunate circumstance, one of the charms of many fortunate chances
which marked the work of Battery A in France.
Compared to what was done in later sectors, there was very little firing done. The
first really effective work done by the Battery was done on February 19th, when the
men were called in the middle of the night to cover the French caught in an attack.
The promptness and accuracy of the night's firing brought the Battery its first citation.
On February 22, in accordance with the old custom of Battery A, a Washington's
Birthday salute was fired, the recipients of the honor being a number of cooks at a Boche
On March 14th, General Edwards made his first inspection of the Battery, this being the
first chance the men had to see their Divisional Commander, whom they learned to revere.
Mess Line a r Bu< \ le l.<
On March 17th, after six weeks' occupation of the position, the guns were pulled
during a Paris air raid, the machines
passing directly above the column.
On March 18th, the echelon was left
behind, and at 11 :()() o'clock thai
night the Battery pulled out of Mer-
cin-Pommes on the way to Bueme-
The life of the men at the eche-
lon during the six weeks had been un-
usually pleasant. Bucy le Long had
been the center of lire of 191 7's heav-
iesl fighting, when the Allies had
taken from the Germans the heights
dominating the Aisne. There was
a good canteen in the town. Soissons was just next door, and the men had comfortable
quarters. The arduous tasks were few, the work being divided among grooming the
horses, making trips to the front, and policing the grounds.
As a whole, the work of the Battery on the first front had been unusually pleasing.
Without a casual, the men had received their final training and were' ready for the more
arduous duties of holding a sector with the division.
The division as a whole came through this sector finely. The infantry suffered some
losses, but had repelled all raids against their trenches with heavy losses to the Germans.
The work of the 51st Artillery Brigade was especially noteworthy, and received the
warmest praise from the French.
Alter an all-night train ride, the Battery was detrained at Brienne-le-Chateau, where
Napoleon attended school when a boy. Alter a short march in the cold bleakness of
the aftern l, the men were billeted in a little village, Chaumesnil; the first Americans
to be billeted in the village.
Chaumesnil is situated in a broad river valley. In 1820 it was invaded by tin- Prus-
sians, and Le Rothnere, a village near Chaumesnil, was the scene of a fierce battle in the
Franco-Prussian War. Alter a short stay, which will always be happily remembered,
the Battery pulled out on March 23rd for the longest hike of its history.
For several days the troops of the 26th Division had been gathering in the Brienne
area, and when Battery A at last got under way it was to take part in one of the greatest
undertakings of the American Army up to that time. It had been planned to have a
series of Divisional maneuvers, the first time in American history when a complete
division had ever been marched over the road in maneuvers. But these maneuvers were
The Germans had started their drive on Amiens. The Allies were falling back,
fighting stubbornly to hold their places, but the irresistible rush of the Germans made it
impossible. While the French and British were thus fighting desperately, Foch had been
made Marshal of France and General Pershing had made the offer, so memorable in his-
tory, which put the American Forces under direct control of the Allied Commander-in
Orders were al once given for the division to move to Toul to relieve the First Divi-
sion, which by this time had seen hard service and had been holding the sector north of
Toul for several months.
The Division moved ahead as speedily as possible, in a series of marches which
will never be forgotten by the men who
participated in them. Never less than 20
kilometers were made in a day.
All kinds of weather were encountered,
and supplies were not brought up as they
should have been. However, despite the
many discouragements, the spirit of the
men never lagged, and they finished the long
march of almost 200 kilometers, in splendid
"Tin Little < .inekal"
The route ot the march led through
Thil, Yignery, north of Chaumont, to the village of Blancheville, where it had originally
been planned to pul the Battery in billets for rest and furlough. A short stop of two
days was made in Blancheville, where the march was resumed. This time the route led
through Neufchateau to Toul, the Battery finally ending its march at Rangeval, where
the echelon was set up in a quaint old monastery.
The Sector Northwest of Toul
( hi the night of April the third, the fourth section cannoneers relieved a gun crew of
Battery D, Fifth Field Artillery, at a lone sniper gun position known as Number 413,
or Jones I, situated on the Paris-Metz road. The night following, during a foggy drizzle,
the first three gun squads took over the remaining three pieces of D Battery, which we
located on the outskirts of the village of Hamonville. 'I "his latter position, called Jones II,
or Number 443, was more than two kilometers in real' of the sniper gun, and was camou-
flaged in tlie edge of a thick tir woods. Early in March, all four guns of D Battery were
in action at Jones I. However, the Germans, concentrating a sufficient amount of heavy
artillery on this position, fired five hundred rounds of high explosive. Of the four howit-
zers, three were pul out ol commission by direct hits. Fortunately, however, the casual-
ties were lew. The absence ol defilade at this advanced and exposed section of the high-
way made a four-gun battery emplacement a virtual target, impossible to conceal and
extremely easy to destroy. Thereafter, one piece only was retained by the side of this
famous thoroughfare as a sniper.
Thus, by the fourth of April, Battery A had assumed its share of the responsibility of
defending the sector northwest of Toul. And looking back, it becomes more and more
clear that in every respect, save that of time, the Toul front was lor the Battery its
initial fighting front. True, .it Soissons the men performed all their duties with a zeal,
a precision and an excellence thai was highly lauded by the French Commanders. Those
duties, nevertheless, were pleasant and free from danger, for there chanced to be during
RAI1C C VA It Ectic
this period bul little artillery activity. Concerning mustard gas and "butterflies," and
battles, the men were then ignorant. Nor was it ever necessary for anyone to dive head-
long into a dugout to avoid an exploding German 210mm. shell. However, in the Tout
Sector, where French warfare was developed to the nth degree, seldom a day passed but
that some gas, fatally sweet, painfully injurious, and with a name of about thirty-five
letters, contaminated the air. And times without number the dugouts trembled beneath
the loud crash of large caliber shells. At Soissons, the men were receiving the finishing
touches to their military education; at Toul they were veteran fighters. At Soissons,
the Yankee Division was brigaded with the experienced French Army; at Toul, without
aid, it held a front of twenty-two kilometers.
Owing to the long front assigned to the division, it became necessary for the Battery
to detail men for the organization of other batteries. One detail of men, under the com-
mand of Captain Davis, then 1st Lieutenant, was assigned to a battery of French
.95's, with a position near Dead Man's Curve, on the road from Mandres to Beaumont.
Another detail, under the command of Lieutenant R. E. Apthorp, was assigned to an
anti-tank gun in the shattered town of Seicheprey. Two other groups of men wire sent
to Observation Towers numbers 12 and 23. Meanwhile, the Battery itself occupied two
positions, Jones I and Jones II.
Jones I, never-to-be-forgotten Jones I, where the Hatters worked and fought tor
three months in the springtime and early summer, when the sunny days outnumbered
the rainy, and poppies, red and yellow, flowered everywhere, Jones I will ever remain
among the most cherished memories of the war. The Germans, strongly entrenched,
Machine ( ,i nners
Dugoi r, [one
View of Kitchen
oc< upied the powerful mountain fortress of Mont Sec. Stretched out beneath the
mountains were the broad, grassy lowlands of the Woevre. Across these lowlands ran
the Paris-Metz highway. And on this road about a kilometer east of the ruined village
ol Beaumont, Betsy the Sniper, the most advanced gun in the entire Toul sector, was
placed on a gentle, shell-torn -.lope. No camouflage concealed her. no camouflage ever
could, so prominent, so conspicuous was her little "place in the sun." The infantrymen
knew Betsy, lor she was usually roaring as they silently marched to the trenches. By
them she w a- i ailed "The Ground Hog," because after firing it was customary to run her
into a casemate or garage lor protection. Along the side of the road nearest the enemy
were lour gun-pits, ol which one only was in use, and on the Opposite side of the toad
were the kitchen and the dugouts, ten in number.
As the sniper gun was only a kilometer distant from the ciieim 's front line trenches,
it was possible to lire with uncanny accuracy and damaging effect. Thus by day ami by
nighl Betsy harassed and annoyed with marvelous success. For this reason the Germans
shelled Jones 1 more frequently than any other gun position in the secti ir. With consist-
ent regularity were received morning hate--, afternoon hate--, evening hales, and mid-
night hates. The groan of tin' Klaxon was no unusual occurrence, liar none, every gas
on their repertoire was employed by the Teutons. Tear ( '.as and Sneezing ( ias, < )hlorin< ,
Phosgene and Mustard Gas were used and reused in an effort to silence Betsy. But
Betsj always replied, gas for gas, and the ground around her was dotted thick with holes
made by shells of various calibers. So often was Jones I shelled and gassed that the
position became known throughout the sector as "Hell's Hall Acre."
Around the 15th of April it was obvious beyond a doubt to the divisional intelligence
department thai the Germans were planning an advance, the objective ol which ivas
the capture of the \ illage oi Seicheprey. Field Marshal Von 1 [indenburg's shock troop-,
nicknamed l>y the Yanks, "The Traveling Circus." composed of the famous Prussian
Guards and picked Turkish storm troops, were reported in the sector opposite. Finally
at 3 o'clock, on the misty morning of April twentieth, the battle began. For twenty-four
hours the artillery activity was most violent. French officers attached to the division
admitted frankly that the artillery lire in the battle of Verdun was not more intense.
According to the verj conservative
estimate of Major Barker, no less
than two thousand shells dropped on
Jones I during the twenty-four
hour--. Though shells were bursting
in ten-- and twenties around her,
Betsy never ceased to roar. Three
hundred ami fifty-three rounds ol
ammunition were fired by the snip-
er gun alone, with Captain Barker
acting as a member ol the gun crew-
all day. Likewise at Jones 11, the
cannoneers stood by the guns until
the last shell was expended. When
the battle ceased, the Germans had gained not an inch of ground. It was during the
grey morning hours of this day that A Batten- suffered its first los> through the
heroic death oi Sergeant Joshua K. Broadhead, while serving with the ,95's.
GUN-PI I IT Jl >M S I I
Walter Ball snaps boys reading The Providence Journal ai Rangevai
There elapsed a period, from April 21st to May 31 si , during which nothing oi cardinal
importance occurred. Each week, however, the artillery activity in the sector grew more
and more intense. The Germans, at irregular intervals, and more particularly at night,
harassed all channels of traffic conducting to the front. There was a war, and never
was the enemy permitted to forget it. His cross-roads and hair-pin turns were incessantly
colored with the savagely beautiful orange flashes, white smoke and grey flying litter of
bursting shells. His machine-gun nests, communication trenches, and battery positions
were often shrouded in a sea-green mantle of gas. At the echelon at Rangevai, things
arranged themselves in perfect order, both men and horses were now in the best physical
condition. At Jones II, after pumping water and ooze out of the dugouts all day, the
men managed to sleep at night with their heads above the tide. Meanwhile, at Jones I
there was being excavated a subter-
ranean passage from the dugouts on
one side of the road to Betsy on 1 In-
The morning of May 31st, the day
following Memorial Day, will always be
remembered as the morning of the "Mil-
lion Dollar Barrage." This raid, in
which approximately a thousand infan-
trymen took part, was centered on the
village of Richecourt, with the pur-
( i LVERT at Jones I
pose of capturing prisoners. At 2 o'clock in the morning, a preliminary barrage,
lasting about fifteen minutes, was laid on the village. Under cover of this curtain
of fire, the engineers advanced and with dynamite pipes destroyed long rows of
barbed-wire entanglement. Then, sharply al three o'clock in the morning, for one
hour a violent .ind perfecl box-barrage was laid down around Richecourt xxith the
object of shutting oul reinforcements and ol enabling the engineers and the infantry-
men, with a minimum <>i losses, to dynamite trenches, shelters, pill-boxes, and dugouts,
and ii> capture prisoners. The( ierman first, second and third line defenses wen- thoroughly
wiped out, and all «a> accomplished thai «.b planned, only one mistake being made.
The initial dose of medicine was administered in too strong a concentration, and l>ut few
of the Teutons survived it. ( Consequently, only a paltry two prisoners w ere gathered in,
(•I whom one xxas an adolescenl grenadier, IS years oi age. H> the infantrymen he was
promptly christened "The Million Dollar Kid." Besides inflicting greal damage on the
enemy, this attack served yel another valuable purpose. It shown! the infantry what
the artillery was capable oi doing. The "Million Dollar Barrage" was without doubt
the lit-st example oi precision firing ever done l>\ the 51st Artillery Brigade.
From May Mst until June With, nothing ol historical significance happened. Hie
echelon, on June 8th, was moved from Rangeval to Lagny. At Jours II the turn con-
structed new dugouts and improved the gunpits. Though the weather was. as a rule,
stuinx and pleasant, all lite men at one time of another suffered from "Three Day Dugout"
lexer. .\t Jones I. things were as they should be. From his observation balloons or
"sausages," Fritz watched Betsy as a cat exes a mouse. Diurnal "strafeings" were
received. The kitchen every lour days was re-"crowned" and rebuilt. And Betsy had
Sunday, June 16th, the Germans endeavored to stage another Seicheprey, another
surprise attack with the motive of taking prisoners. This raid was directed against
Xivray, a village on the extreme left of the sector. At 3 in the morning, the enemj
tired violently on the artillery positions. Direct hits w ere made on many of the dugouts
al Jones I . Mugg} and calm, the weal her was ideal lor the Use of gas, and for four hours
both Jones I and Jones II were smothered in phosgene. At times the low-hanging veils
ol greenish phosgene gas obscured the aiming points, and the gunner corporals were
obliged to use their auxiliary aiming points, which were erected precisely for such an
emergency . A prompt barrage was laid down bx the 75's, while the Battery was engaged
the entire forenoon in counter-battery work. At one time during the battle an aeroplane.
swooping down oxer Jones I, tired its machine gun at the
nun. This same aviator also discovered and photographed
Jones II. Throughout the morning ami afternoon the ene-
my, with long-range rifles ol large caliber, shelled Boucq,
Menil-la-Tour, Cornieville, Sanzey and other villages situ-
ated in t he real' areas. The bat 1 le ol \ix rax was primarilx a
.75 machine-gun and infantry engagement. Ami it is now
a matter of historj how the 103rd Infantry defended the
town, completely crushing the German attack.
I arlx in the morning oi June 19th, a moderate breeze,
six or sex en kilometers an hour, w as blowing direct Ix tow aids
the German trenches. Conditions could never have been
more favorable lor a cloud gas alt.uk. Consequently, at 2:30 o'clock, the engineers
discharged 923 large canisters of powerfully poisonous gas. As ,i precautionary measure.
owing in the proximity of Jones I to the trenches, and due to the possibility i>f .1 change
in the direction ol the wind, the men were ordered to wear their box respirators, com-
mencing 2:30 a. m., for .m hour, whether or nol the presence ol gas was detected. This
gas attack was a marked success. The Germans had concentrated a large numbei ol
troops in the trenches, in readiness for a raid on the American lines.it 3 o'clock. The
gas at tack, ci mi i ni; when it did,caugh( i lie enemy 1 maw are, his projected raid was an utter
failure, and it is known beyond a controversy that Ins e,as casualties were heavy. The
brilliant success was made possible largely by the excellenl work of the divisional intelli-
gence department, which knew nut only that there was lei lie a raid, but also tin- lime
when the Germans planned ti > go over the top. In retaliation for 1 his cloud gas at tack,
the rear areas were again shelled, and later mi the same i|.i\ Jones I was severely bom-
At 3 o'clock on the afternoon ol June 19th, with observers in two balloons sensing
the shuts, the enemy opened fire on Junes I with 150mm. and 210mm. howitzers. At
first, the rate ni fire was slow, one shell bursting on the position approximately ever}
three minutes. And , as the Germans were using delayed I uses, pits six feel deep and six
feel wide were pun in the suit ground. Alter two hums of this slow, methodical firing
there was a temporary pause, followed by a swifl and terrific deluge of shells. No less
than three large howitzer batteries were simultaneously concentrating their fire on
Junes I, with the intent ni destroying Betsy and of cavirtg in the dugouts. Nut fewei
than sixty shells per minute dropped on the position. Tree trunks a fool iii diameter
were blown from dugout roofs twenty yards into the field. Enough protection was ripped
away from some dugouts to permit daylighl to shine through. Even the duds from
these large e,uns landed with such momentum that they made the ground quake. Earl)
during the bombardmenl a projectile pierced the abri, in which were stored some ten
large boxes ol high explosive powder. The explosion that resulted was visible for miles
around. Debris and smoke were blasted a hundred and tiltv feel in the air, and heavj
iron I beams, eighteen feel in length, were twisted in knots and hurled t luce hundred yard
across the field. The concussion from this explosion was terrific. Gas curtains, sand-
bags, rucks, smoke, and mud came crashing into the dugouts, partially obstructing the
exits. Shortly before tin- powder abri exploded, an ambulance carrying two passed
infantrymen approached Junes 1 on iis way from the trenches in the Bois de Jury to the
He. ui muii t dressing station. The driver, believing ii possible to race through 1 he barrage,
continued his course. However, the powder magazine exploded jusl as the ambulance
was passing, and the concussion lifted the machine in the air and wrapped ii around the
trunk oi a tree like so much paper. Alter fully twenty minutes of intense bombardment
there followed a lull. Even during the lull, approximately six shells per minute wen
breaking on the position. Anticipating a second heavj attack, only an officer and time
enlisted men were allowed to expose themselves during these unquestionably dangerous
moments to investigate what damage had been suffered. By the side oi the wrecked
machine the driver and an orderly were dead. The tun gassed infantrymen who had
been pitched into the gun-pil and who had crawled into the fuse alni for protection, were
found injured and groaning. I ncler shell lire-, one ol these men was carried on cluck-boards
into a dugoul by First Lieutenant Van Ostrand and Private John I.. Walker. Mean-
while, the other was hurriedly carried by ( !orporal Earl 1 1. Plympton and Private ( reorge
II. Downey in an ambulance, which fortunately had jusl arrived from Beaumont, and
« sir. r>M<
li , "' 3
rushed away. No sooner had the machine gone than the Germans resumed the bom-
bardment, firing violently for a space of ten minutes. When the barrage ceased, a speedy
check of the men was taken. It was then learned that one of the dugouts in which nine
men sought refuge from the shell-fire had collapsed. Picks, shovels and axes were
quickly assembled. The men labored to unearth their comrades, most of whom were
couriers attached to the infantry. Three of the unfortunates, still alive, wen- extricated
from the wreckage. The work was difficult. It grew night rapidly. The men were
exhausted. Vet five bodies, as far as was then known, remained wedged deep in the
ruins. A special detail of men, equipped with the proper implements, arrived from
battalion headquarters ai Mandres and excavated the five. Meanwhile, .it eight o'clock,
i he men. except a few to insure telephone connections, walked silently in small groups
to Mandres, where arrangements had been made to quarter them for the night. On
the following morning, by daylight, it was discovered that still another body was lying
crushed under the debris. Of the eight men killed, only one was a member of Battery A.
Dona Dougal. Two other A Batterymen were among the injured. Betsy miraculously
escaped without a scratch. On June 20th all who were present during tin- bombardment
were ordered to the echelon for a rest.
The bombardment marked the one dark hour among the main golden that were
spent at Jones I. However, what the Germans had achieved was indicative neither of
brilliancy nor of efficiency. Times without number German battery positions were
methodically smashed and wrecked with equal and even greater ruthlessness.
The last few days in the sector northwesl of Toul were largely devoted to prepara-
tion for the awaited relief; guns were painted olive-drab, spare equipment was checked,
and pare wagons at the echelon were packed. Finally on the night of June 26th, while
shells from the guns at Jones II were whizzing over her, Betsy was rolled out of the gun-
pit and rumbled over the dark roads towards the echelon, passing on the way long, thin
columns of French "Poilus" and of 82nd Division infantrymen, who were relieving those
of the Yankee I )ivision. ( >n the quiet night following, a French gun crew with a 155 mm.
Schneider howitzer arrived at Jones II, and as the three A Battery pieces were lumbering
back to Lagny, Jones II became a lone, sniper gun position. Meanwhile, those men who
had been attached to the .95 battery, the anti-tank gun and observation posts were
relieved and each rejoined his former section. Soon after dusk, June 28th, the commands
"Mount" and "Forward Ho! "were given, and the men. united for the first time in three
months, left Lagny and marched via Tcul to Gye, which village was reached at 2 o'clock
in the morning. Here two restful days were passed and at 6 o'clock, June 30th, the short
hike was commenced to Toul, where the Battery entrained and definitely departed from
under the menacing shades of Mont Sec.
Chateau -Thierry to St. Mihiel
From midnight to early forenoon of the next day the Battery was rushed over the
road to La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre, where most of the evening was spent in detraining, the
work spurred on by the interrupting buzz of the Boche aeroplanes swooping around over-
head. The following two days were devoted to cleaning guns, resting, and generally
preparing for another long stay at the front. At this time there was not the slightest
inkling of the coming counter-offensive that was to change the entire complexion of the
war. The crucial situation of the war was already at hand, but few realized it. The
Germans were expected to commence shortly their last great drive, the drive which was
to take Paris and end the war by the conquest of Cierman arms. Ludendorff had been
2T-* Fbs'jti aa
1^ position % ft L» Ft«me be Paris
, • — ■ - LlUf. of ADVANCE
pouring troops into the unwieldy salient, preparatory to making the final great gamble.
The Allied General Staff, however, was fully aware of what was in the wind, and later
secured detailed information by a brilliant reconnoitering dash on the part of a small
French force. It was then decided to hold the Germans along the Chateau-Thierry-
Rheims front, and, if successful in holding on the eastern side of the salient, to launch a
powerful counter-offensive on the weakened western side of the salient. The most
difficult and important portion of the salient to hold and advance was the Bussiares-
Bois de Rochets sector, which marked the right flank of the Allied advance and also the
tip of the salient. This tip must first act as a cork to restrain the German forces while
they were being subjected to pressure on their flanks, and later become the pivotal point
as the Allied flanks swung toward the center of the salient. The third phase would find
the pivot changing suddenly to the edge of a wide swinging gate of troops that was to
close in on the retreating Germans, at the same time acting continually as a threat to the
right flank of the German First Army that had just attacked. That sector and the job
that went with it was given to the 26th Division, and how well their task was performed
is now a matter of common knowledge. It was a signal honor for the Yankee Division,
and a mark of confidence from the French, who were controlling our operations.
The First and Second American Divisions were in the line around Soissons, opposite
the pivot upon which the success of the German retreat hinged. The Third American
Division was on the right of the Twenty-sixth. To these four divisions fell the burden
of the difficult tactical work in the counter-offensive. Operations started on the night
oi J uly Fourth, and the Battery celebration of the event consisted in maneuvering to oppose
the mass of German reserves that were continually shifting back and forth in an effort
to conceal the point of attack. The firM position was slightly southwest of Chateau-
•♦* A I ' *
*♦ W /v\ARICW--ei*-00Le
Be&\jyard^«* -A* p ERE
2fe^ART\LLER.YCOFs ON * E '. \
* 2i r i
tll^lltl LiNL 01- ADVANCE
«i miiqii i> Return Roure
Thierry, at Citry. The Battery remained there for a day only, that night limbering up
and swinging still farther west. The maneuver imposed a severe strain on both men and
horses, and all were glad to rest for a day at Jouarre.
At ten o'clock on the night of July sixth, the guns left for the front assigned to the
division, popularly known as the Pas Fini sector. Slightly south of Montreuil, the guns
were unlimbered and set ready for action in a small growth of woods. Meanwhile, the
cannoneers slept and awaited the arrival of the echelon, which was being brought up
wagon by wagon to conceal the large troop movements that were going on at that time.
Advancing the next day by platoons, the firing battery relieved the 17th Field Artillen
at a position which was located in an L-shaped woods between
the Paris-Metz Highway and the Belleau Woods.
Meantime the echelon for the first time was divided into
two parts, the rear echelon and the advance picket line. The
rear echelon moved back to La Ferte and a life of ease. The
advance picket line established itself at Montreuil-aux-Lions.
In these three places the Battery remained until after the
commencement of the Aisne-Marne offensive.
The week preceding the offensive passed quickly, there
being for the most part the usual harassing fire and counter-
battery work by the artillery on both sides. Three days before
the Germans commenced their offensive on the eastern side oi
the salient, two artillery brigades, the 51st and a French bri-
gade, opened up a terrific concentration of fire on a patch of
woods opposite the sector. A large number of German re-
serves were massed in the woods. To insure the security of
the plan then in mind, it became necessary to wipe out this
force or at least to so disorganize it that it would be incapable
of doing any effective work. With this end in view, the
Yankee Division "75's" placed a box barrage around the
wood, making it practically impossible to escape, and, while the
Germans were thus boxed, the 103rd howitzers and the French heavies poured in a hail
of high explosives, literally tearing the woods out by the roots. The next day Captain
Barker was assigned the problem of blowing up a German General Headquarters, the
fire being observed by an American balloonist. Seven direct hits sufficed to end the
career oi that particular headquarters.
Two days before the drive, all but the third piece were out of action for various
causes, even the redoubtable Betsy being on the sick list with a worn tube. On the
afternoon of the eighteenth, things began to happen with a vengeance. Ammunition
trucks rolled in and out the position all afternoon, dumping load after load of powder and
shells, until the cannoneers, who stand almost anything, were demanding a relief. Late
that night and in the early morning Nature staged a prelude to the barrage that was to
come later, and it was by the intermittent flashes of lightning that the men found their
way as they slipped and struggled through the mud and undergrowth to their posts when
the call "stand to" came at half past three in the morning. Not realizing what was
about to happen, and with spirits somewhat dampened by the heavy downpour of rain,
\j- / it
l jf c
\ !■ \k 1.1 heli i\ \ i La Ferte
» v - -^r.^r .^
"IT '~rw ^*
^ : |
wii Crew, after firsi hay s itkim
in the Chateau-Thierry Drive
l i 1'akis Farm
the shells were greased and powder prepared, but at 4 :.>5 tin- whole front west of Chateau-
Thierry as far as Soissons hurst into flame as thousands of cannon roared forth the signal
for the Allied advance. From then on through the rest of the day the guns fired steadily
except as one piece or another went out of action for some temporary mechanical trouble.
The Germans after the first few minutes failed to return fire, being too busily engaged in
retreating to a position of greater security. At dusk the piece hitches arrived at the
position and harnessed into the guns. Battery A -tarted forward on its first advance
against the Germans and to experience for the first time the rigors of open warfare.
Where, at t'hemin-des-Dames and Totil,
it had become accustomed to the com-
parative comfort of a stable, quiet sec-
tor, it was now to sleep where it could,
cat on occasion, and to repeat the
Seicheprey affair as a daily exercise.
Communications were hopelessly tangled.
There were days that the rear echelon,
ignorant of what was going on up front,
\u\vd for towns which the Germans
id not yet evacuated. And many
were tile days on which supplier- tailed
to catch up with the fast-traveling firing
battery which was having all that it
could do to keep in touch with the infantry, and it was only by night and day riding
that the Batterj agents maintained any sort of liaison. The whole atmosphere seemed
charged with a go-get-'em spirit and a spirit that demanded speed and yet more speed.
WHIPH 1 \M> COOLE
Front ok thkir Apartments
Men in the pink of condition, who had for months been restrained from returning t lie
enemy more than two for one, were for the first time given license to chase Germans
until strength and ammunition gave out.
The firing battery went into position that night directly in the rear of the Belleau
Woods, later renamed the Bois de le Brigade des Marines in honor of the famous stand
that the Marines made there together with the infantry of the Second Division. The
stay in the rear of the woods was short, the German artillery making the place too un-
comfortable. So, on the afternoon of the same day, the guns were moved further forward
and everything was set in readiness for further battle, which was not long in coming.
The next morning took place the battle for Torcy, in which the Battery tired all its
available ammunition. The infantry took the town after grim hand-to-hand fighting.
In the meantime, the rear echelon had moved up to the recently abandoned advance
picket line and from there marched to Essomes, being on the road for the greater part
of 24 hours. The rear echelons of the regiment, because oi their peculiar makeup of sick
horses, useless caissons, and extra men, had been dubbed "Whitney's Circus" by some
nimble-witted private, and Whitney's Circus it remained until the end of the war.
Now came the first big push ahead for the artillery, Batteries A and B travelling all
night to the next stand, finally drawing alongside some woods on the heights above Bezuit,
overlooking the Chateau-Thierry -Soissons highway and railroad. The German line
was slightly north of the railroad, and when the infantry attacked here they met desperate
resistance and were severely hampered by machine-gun fire. A hurry call was sent
to the howitzers, and both A and B Batteries unlimbered and went into action on the
road, a few shots snuffing out or reducing the number of machine-gun nests sufficiently
to permit the infantry's advance without serious difficulty. The German artillery
immediately returned fire, but only one man was slightly wounded.
A better artillery position had been located in the morning, and the guns were at
once sent forward to what is
known by batterymen as the
Sand Bank Position. The first
platoon, with Captain Barker,
entered first, being shelled on
the way down the slope lead-
ing to the position. One horse
was killed, and only the prompt
action of the Captain prevent-
ed further trouble. The third
and fourth sections followed the
next day, and all hands were
busy digging in and camouflag-
ing the guns. Then came the battle for Epieds, a village in the old province of
Champagne, and formerly belonging to the bailiwick of Chateau-Thierry. The French
strategists regard the taking of this town as one of the principal points of interest in the
reduction of the salient.
Epieds is located in a valley, flanked on all sides by gently rising hills, and on three
sides by woods. The German machine gunners covered the approaches on three sides
Fourth Piece, Camouflaged hy the Section, Aided by
Chateau-Thierry Drive near Epieds
of tin- town, .ind when tin- infantiy entered, the> were mel l>\ .1 terrific barrage on the
(ipin side and were enfiladed l>\ the machine guns. Little daunted, but resolved nol
to waste lives unnecessarily, thej withdrew and senl back word to the artillery, which
successful^ covered the infantry and at the same time wrought havoc with the machine
niiib. Then General Edwards, by whal is characterized both in orders and press reviews
.1- "a skilful maneuver evincing a rare appreciation of the tactical requirements for vic-
tory," directed his infantry south of the town, and enveloped the hills which surrounded it.
Ii was not long after this that the order was again given to advance, and the men
cheerfulh packed up, a simple operation by this time, as must everything useless had
been scrapped, and sel oul for Epieds. The trip was slow, .is the Route Nationale and
all ilu- roads leading to Epieds
were clogged l>> theadvancing
Allied Armies. As far as one
could see stretched a long, sin-
uous line "l cavalry, artillery,
infantry, supply wagons and
w hat nol all going forward.
I lad the < ierman artillery been
in position instead of retreat-
ing, their is little doubl thai
the casualty list would have
been swelled appreciably that
morning. Epieds was reached
by sunset, and the guns placed
in a clearing ol the woods to
French Cavalry passing i-hrough Beauvardes the north of the town. While
the column --pent the da\ in
advance, the infantry had pressed on with such fury thai they had now reached the Fere
Woods and the road from Fere-en Tardenois. In this advance the} were accompanied
li\ a brigade from the 28th Division which had been turned over to General Edwards to
supply the gap-- in the ranks of the hard-hit Twenty-sixth Division Infantry.
The next day the Twenty-sixth as a division withdrew from the line and returned
10 a well-deserved and much-needed rest, bu1 the artillery, having escaped with
comparatively light casualties, continued as support lor five other divisions. General
DeGoutte, in whose army the Yankee Division was operating, paid a magnificent
compliment to the division. He had for a long
time been in Morocco in command oi a cele-
brated Moroccan division; all its regiments
have the fourragere: and their Hags are deco-
rated with a Legion of Honor. In speaking
of the 26th, he -aid: "I couldn't have done
better with my best troops,"
The division was at the same time cited
liv General Pershing in an order ol the day.
It was due praise for a division that had
advanced eighteen anil a half kilometer- in
l fc kj^MBJMi^BhiB
km.\\ Prisoners passing in review
before se rgb an i burton
seven days, taking 250 prisoners, lour field pieces, including one 210mm. gun, numerous
machine guns, one pontoon train and large quantities of ammunition. Its losses in the
drive were 5300 officers and men, of whom (>ll() were killed. To ils anus belonged
Torcy, Belleau, Givry, Bouresche, Rochet Woods, Hill 190, Etripillety, Trugny, Epieds,
LaFere Woods, and the Jaulgonne-Fere-en-Tardenois Road, thai objective being the last-
The next position occupied by I lie Battery was in a patch of woods a kilometer to
the east of Courpoil and south of Beauvardes. It was necessary to advance during the
day across an open held under direct aerial and terrestrial observation of the enemy.
The position was slightly in advance of the support trenches, the infantry digging in as
the Battery passed, and immediately in the rear of our own lirsi lines. It was the begin-
ning ol the forcing tactics that were employed to the end of the drive. The artillery from
now on followed American tactics ol previous wars, in which cannons were regarded as
weapons to lie used in or near the first lines.
As the pieces crossed the open field, observation was partly neutralized l>y camou-
flaging with tree branches, one cannoneer being assigned to walk beside each pair of horses
with a large bough in hand. It was a modem version of Shakespeare's Bimham Wood.
Taking position was uneventful insular as the Battery was concerned; most of the shell
ing being a hundred yards or so on the right. Everything was quiel until the Batten
opened lire, then commenced extremely accurate counter-battery work by the Germans.
Their shells raked the woods and. sweeping back and forth, searched out the guns. It
was miraculous that the Battery escaped with lew casualties. All through the night
and the next morning the position was subjected to a deluge of high explosives and gas.
The fust section, under direct command of Major Barker, Stuck to their gun, Betsy,
through the worst of the shelling, thereby earning individual divisional citations. The
other gun crews were not called upon to lire at that lime,. mil were told to take cover in
the shelter trenches. It was a nerve-racking night, lor even a partially successful counter-
attack would have engulfed the position and meant the possible loss of the guns, anil
casualties lor the major part of the firing Battery. To add to the general miseral ileness
of the situation, it had been impossible, owing to the heavy shelling, to get loud up to
the firing battery, and the men went two clays on one scant meal. On the 2 7th there
was no shelling, the Germans fleeing towards positions near Sergy and moving their
artillery back to the next line ol defense, the Battery joining in the advance on the heels
ol the retreating enemy. All night the Batter\
^•i s on the road, finding its way in tin- brilliant
illumination furnished by the burning < '.ernian sup-
plies and exploding munitions dumps. The arri
val at Beauvardes and the occupation ol a new
position on the northern edge of the |,,vvn in an
apple orchard was a signal lor enemy .ill ilb rx
activity, one caisson being smashed by a direct
hit, several men being more- or less wounded, and
twelve horses in the rear of the fust platoon being
torn to bits by an exploding shell. Here the guns
remained lor the better part of a week, tiring at
intervals on various targets, and here experienced
its first aeroplane machine-gun attack of any
severity, four Boche planes making two raids at a
low altitude. The 42nd Division Artillery was now advancing with the 26th. lust as
the Battery was about to move forward, Captain J. ('. Davis, formerly with Battery
Douglas ami C
i "rth Piece, in Apple Orchard in Beauvardes
A and now commanding Battery E, was killed by a ricochet shell splinter as he was
leaving his I'. C. He was buried at Epieds by a Battery A detail.
On the second of August the firing battery moved to the west of Scrgy and was
prepared to hasten the Germans' retreat from this town, but before this became
necessary the Germans withdrew beyond the Ourcq. The battle had now become
a mere case of pursuit, and it was becoming correspondingly difficult for the artillery
to keep in touch with its
The advance picket
line moved on tin- sec-
ond of August with the
firing battery, p. irking
about a kilometer in tin-
rear from then on.
On the noon of the
same day, the firing bat-
tery evacuated its posi-
tion and started on a
long hike through Ser-
gy, Nesles, and Marieul
to its last position in
this drive. There was
little to eat and less to drink, the hike itself being made on a small ration of stew.
Fismes, which marked the temporary end of the drive until later in the year, was now
under the batteries' guns. At midnight on the fourth of August, the 42nd Division of
artillery took up the work of the Y. D. artillery and the Battery was relieved, the
relief marking the completion of six months' active service on the front and ten months'
Then began the long inarch to the rear. The Battery pulled onto the road and
joined the column at midnight with the American "Long Toms" roaring a point-blank
farewell. The men were physically and mentally exhausted, but set up a stiff pace,
singing battery and regimental songs. Beauvardes was reached next morning, and, after
a light breakfast, pup tents were put up and
the men slept until late in the afternoon.
Towards evening the Battery started on the
road again for Chateau-Thierry, arriving
there just before sunrise, and the men were
billeted in what seemed palaces after their
late experiences. The next day the Battery
pulled into the site of its old rear echelon in
La Ferte, where it stayed for five thus, refit-
ting, generally cleaning up, and resting. A
number of the batterymen were lucky enough
to draw passes for Paris, and the majority of
those who weren't lucky went also. The stay
at La Ferte was enlivened by the party of
Billets at Aulnois
after the Chateau-Thierry Drive
August 6, 1918
Colonel Glassford of the 103rd, later made General of the Brigade. Everyone by order
resumed the civilian status, and for one bright hour there were no buck privates, no cap-
tains, no majors, no colonels. There was also an extremely hilarious entertainment. At
the end of the week the Battery entrained at La Ferte and used for the first time the
Paris-Nancy Railway that had just been retaken from the Germans by the reduction of
the Marne salient. When going through Epernay, at 11:00 that night, the sta-
tion was bombed, the air raid lasting the better part of an hour. The next morning,
■ VV-" I
near noon, the Battery detrained at Latrecey and hiked all day — 23 kilometers — ar-
riving at Leuglay at 5:30 p. m., now reaching its rest area and in sight of its long-antici-
pated furloughs, already twice denied. Baseball, drill, and rest occupied the Battery for
several days, and then, as the men were enjoying a well-presented entertainment by the
divisional troops and on the day preceding the first furloughs, fond hopes were shattered
by Colonel Glassford's announcement, "Men, we are off for another front." Truly it
was with an eye to the future that General Edwards had said a few days before to the
batterymen — "Efficiency has its penalties."
Entraining at Latrecey was rapid work, and the Battery was soon on its way for
another front — no one knew where. The Batten' detrained next morning at Longville,
14 kilometers east of Bar-le-Duc, and after a short rest started a series of forced night
marches to the Troyon sector on the St. Mihiel salient. Before reaching the sector, the
Battery camped near the famous Verdun road, holding games while awaiting orders.
September 4th, the Battery established an echelon near Rupt-en-Woevre, and on Sep-
tember 5th, in miserable, rainy weather, went into position east of Ranziers, about one
kilometer from the lir>1 lines and Vaux.
Saint Mihiel a Verdun
After the tide of the German advance of 1 ( M4 had been stemmed and swept hack,
it left behind it the Saint Mihiel Salient, which remained practically unchanged until the
First American Army, l>\ a cleverly planned and brilliantly executed blow, delivered
it from the Germans' hands. The head of the salient rested on the low, marshy lamb ol
the Meuse before the village of Saint Mihiel and extended al the right through the hills
of French Lorraine to Pont-a-Mousson, to the left through the steep heights of the Meuse
to the gate- of Verdun.
The Germans were placed in a position ol great strength. They had their artillery
in the hills, from which they could al all times batter a\\a\ at the Allied lines. At their
back was the extremely fertile basin of the Woevre, which ottered an excellent base for
supplies; and behind this were the iron-fields ol
Briey and Met/, which were of the utmost value.
On the other side, the Allies were at a great
disadvantage. The salient severed the Paris-
Nancy railway, making long detours necessarj
in the transportation of troops from the north
to the south. The Meuse canal which might
have been a valuable artery of traffic, was either
under fire or so cut off as to be of no use to the
French. Then, too, the Germans, from their
strongly entrenched position, at all times threat-
ened the two key cities of the central part of
France Toul and Nancy.
The French overcame the difficulties of transportation by a rerouting of trains and
the building, in some places, of new railway lines. They had little fear of an advance
through Toul. because the enemy had staggered and fallen before these two cities in the
fall of 1914. So, with all activity centering in the north, after a few unsuccessful attempts
to reduce the Saint Mihiel salient, the Allies were content to let it lie undisturbed. Grad-
ually activity in this pari of the line quieted down until it became a rest sector for both
French and ( iermans.
With the entrance of the United State- into the war. tin- Allies at last were able to
make plans for a general reduction of the whole Western Front. It became more or less
tacitly understood that the hrst ta>k of the American army would be the attempt to take
Met/, an endeavor which would have been realized if the war had not come to a quick
and almost unexpected end in 1918.
Direct 11m Chateai Thikkkn
The first step toward the taking of Mil/ must l>r the reduction of the Saint Mihiel
salient. All study in American military schools turned eventually to the terrain of the
salient, so tlt.tt when at last American troops wenl into the lines, the higher officers were
familiar with every difficulty of the road which led to Metz.
Tlic position of the 26th Division was extremel) difficult. Before tin- men lay .1
strongly fortified line of hills, the Heights of the Meuse, which was a key to the Woevre
basin. These once gained, the Amerii ans would be able to rc\ erse the situation and from
the vantage of the hills batter away at the Germans on the plain, beyond which lay
Conflans, Briey, and Metz istelf. The Heights of the Meuse were wooded hills, with
narrow valleys whose steep sides offered ideal fortifications. Immediately behind the
German lines was a waste of woodland which was nothing but a mass of undergrowth,
tangled and snarled with barbed wire and trenches.
The position given to Battery A was in a wooded valley behind the ruined village
ol Vaux, which had been between the lines for lour years. There was little evidence
of shell-fire in the valley, and even beyond in the lines the terrain showed a remarkable
freedom from all signs of war. 1 lere and there a hillside was stripped bare oi all foliage,
a barren waste of rotting trees that pointed griml) to foui years of war. Hut this wa-
in No Man'- Land and not in the hack areas.
When the greal * ierman withdrawal from France began, on Jul) 18th, it became pos-
sible for the Americans 10 make definite plans lor the attack on the Saint Mihiel salient.
The Allied command kit the entiic matter in the hands ol' General Pershing, offering
him all the troops that the) could possibl) -pave from their operation- to the north.
The plan of campaign was a heavy artillery preparation of several hours' duration,
after which the Infantry were to go over all along the line. Vigneulles, lying some
kilometers behind Saint Mihiel. was to be the objective of two different bodies of troop-,
one setting out from a poinl near Pont-a-Mousson, the other from the village ol I.es
Eparges, south of Verdun. In this plan the 26th l>i\ision was given the extremely im-
portant position neai Les Epargesw here the) were placed side b) side with French troops.
To make the attack successful it must be a complete surprise. All troop move-
ments had to take place during the night, and all indications of unusual activity had to
he carefully concealed. But so carefully was the plan worked out, ami so cleverly were
the troops moved, that thousands of men were broughl into the salient without the
Germans being able to discover anything unusual.
Foi days before the time set lor the drive, troop- were pouring in a stead) stream
into the lines around the salient. Moving by forced marches in the night, resting con
celled in wood- by day, these men were put into position ready to strike the expected
blow. Despite the fact that the weather of the week before the drive brought much
rain and made the roads slippery ways of mud, then- wa- wo retarding ol the smoothly-
planned troop and supply movement.
B) September 10th most of the Infantry and Divisional Artillery was ready, but
almost up to the minute of the attack, there was a constant stream iA American and
French Corps of Artillery pouring into the salient. And then on September 12th the
blow wa- struck.
Nogun-pits were built. The brush wa- cleared away sufficiently to allow the pulling
oi the piece- into position in the marshy land of the valley. The men were quartered
iii pup-tents on a steep side-hill just above the
position, and there i!h\ lived under adverse con-
ditions while they awaited the drive. The rain was
almosl incessant, and the tents offered little pro-
tec lion. The guns were laid as soon as the Battery
pulled into position, bu1 no registration was done,
as the necessity for concealment was too great. Any
unaccustomed artillery activity behind the Amer-
ican linos would have caused the Germans to expect
iho impending drr\ e.
The advanced horse-lines were onlj a fev
hundred meters behind the guns, in a fringi ol
trees above the road. The ground here became
churned-up mud, owing to the presence of the rest-
The rear echelon was situated in a ravine near
the village of Rupt-en-Woevre. This ravine was
l wi, , u iged b\ Nature given by it- inhabitants, for no reason whatever,
the name Hungry Valley. Here the men led a life
of comparative ease, having warm quarters and good food in contrast to the muddy
and wel homes and cold food of the men ahead.
At midnight on September 11th, the men were called out into a night ol almost
blinding darkness and rain and given orders to prepare lor the barrage. At 1 :tll) a. m.,
came the first indication of the barrage, when one of the- heavy guns at the right opened
up, to be followed by the belching roar of the mam gun- along the line, as they leaped
into action. The first American-planned, American-commanded drive was under way.
From 1 :00 a. m. until 1:00 the next noon the Battery kept up its firing. At firsl there
was no indication of an advance, but early in the morning new data was given, and after
that there came a Steady lengthening of range which told that the troops ahead were
advancing, The heavy rain that was pouring down when the firing started decreased
in volume until by noon the sk\ had cleared and the aeroplane- were out to make their
ob-ct \ ations.
The German Artillery, taken by surprise, with no data on the nam American
positions, and overwhelmed bv the great lone of American guns, was unable to reply
with anything but a most perfunctory and desultory lire. Several shells were dropped
in and around the guns of Battery A before daylight, but, although several landed
i lose to the pieces, no one was injured. Just before noon, the first detachment ol
German prisoners came down tin- road before their French guards. Although the
main body of prisoners was taken back 1 1\ the main road through Kan/ieres, the
batterymen saw enough Germans and Austrians to know that the drive had succeeded,
although at first they did not know how well.
Ahead, the Infantry was advancing steadily. They met practically no opposition
at lust, but in the woods behind the German line- were held up in main places by
machine-gun nests. However, the artillery preparation had been so heavy that there
was little stubborn fighting during the first hours of the attack, the bewildered Germans
and Austrians falling back en route before the Americans,
The advance was finally halted on a line which ran roughly from Les Eparges through
Marcheville, Riaville, outside Vigneulles, Thionville to a point near Pont-a-Mousson.
In the drive the Americans had liberated many square miles of French territory, freed
main French villages, taken hun-
dreds of guns and thousands of
prisoners, and were in a position to
batter at the very gates of Met/.
The 2()th Division alone had
advanced 1,4 kilometers, taken 2400
prisoners and about 50 guns besides
large bases of supplies, many motor
trucks, and much ammunition, and
won for itself the undying gratitude
of the French people which was so
finely expressed by the Cure of
The prisoners taken were
apparently well dressed and led,
although they gave a^ a reason the
fact that the Saint Mihiel salient
was being used as a re>t sector where soldiers were given new equipment and put in
condition for the heavy fighting to the north.
But, despite the apparent well-being of the prisoners, there w-as written in their
faces the war weariness which was the beginning of the end for Germany.
The Battery remained in position, doing no further firing until the 14th of Septem-
ber. At 9:00 in the morning of that day, the guns of the first three sections were
pulled forward through Mouilly, which a few mornings before had been almost within
the lines but which was now w r ithin range of only the heaviest German artillery.
German Prisoners Taken n
St. Mihiel Drive
German Trench and Dugouts
Si m hum Sector
German Barbed Wire
St. Mihiel Sector
After leaving Mouilly, the Battery pulled up a long hill and through "No Man's
Land," a dreary, desolate land of stark trees and churned-up ground. Now it was
far away from the lines, and already the Engineers, with extraordinary speed,
had constructed good roads to link with the better roads behind the old German
MOUILLY, NEAR St. MlHIEL
Just at dusk the guns were put into position in
the edge of a wood in an old German supply dump
which was always known to the men of the Battery
as the "Engineers' Dump." This was really a reserve
position, being so far behind the front lines that little
effective firing could be done. The first few days
here were spent in building shelters, with the aid of
supplies left behind by the Germans, and doing a
On September 17th, the rear echelon came up,
tints getting the whole Battery together. Horse-lines
were established and improved, and the men settled down to enjoy themselves.
But the position was too far in the rear to be of any value. So, on September
19th, orders came for the second platoon to move forward to Combres, a tiny village on
the plain, while the first platoon was to follow, going into position on the heights above
Combres in the Bois de St. Remy.
The second platoon got under way early in the evening, but was forced to stop
when the third piece became mired on a turn of the road just above Combres. From
here the men could look out over the Basin of the
Woevre, which was little more than a vast No
Man's Land, so elastic were the lines. The
Infantry and machine gunners were holding the
line by a system of outposts, although, Liter,
trench systems were begun.
The next evening the two guns were gotten
out of the mud and pulled down the hill into
Combres, which lay stark and battered at the foot
of the steep hills which dipped so gracefully into
the plain. The project of bringing the two heavy
pieces into the plain, where there were no effective
means for camouflaging them and from which in
event of an attack it would be extremely difficult
to pull them speedily, was extremely hazardous.
The third piece was in position in a tiny ell of
hedge, while the fourth piece was practically in the
open, having only an apple-tree to protect it. The
Germans had destroyed practically all the shelters
in the village, so that it became necessary for the
men to build themselves shelter at night when the
village was under shell-fire. These shelters were
only flimsy openings in the battered walls of the
houses and offered no great protection. The village was under a steady, harassing fire
from the Germans, which increased in intensity at night, and many nights the plain
was drenched with gas. After less than two weeks' time the fourth piece was pulled
Playing "Old Maid'
Bringing Mess ro the Boy;
l IS nil 1 I UN VI COMBRES
out, its position having been discovered
and registered on by the Germans. The
gun crows worked in two reliefs, the
day shift going to the plain before dawn
and returning after dark so as to be free
The work on the plain was danger-
ous and unpleasant, and each section
was far from displeased when its week's
tour of duty there was completed.
The position in the Bois de St.
Remj was better in every way. The
woods crowned a steep hill which rose
above the village of St. Remy and had formerly been a strong reserve position for the
Germans. It was encircled by a complete system < f trenches and concrete pill-boxes,
while the trees themselves were in main
cases concealment for observation
tower-. The Battery position was near
an old concrete dugout which burrowed
some sixty feet under the ground. This
was not large enough, however, to offer
shelter to all the men. Some were forced
to pitch pup tents in the woods until
wooden huts were constructed in the
trenches. These huts were well pro-
tected by the trench walls, and after
being fitted with stoves made almost
luxurious quarters for cannoneers who Thirh Piece in Actios
had been living in tents since the old "N Woevre Plain, near Combres,
days at Toul. 1N 1H1 St. Mihiel Drive
No elaborate gun positions were built, the guns being placed in cleared places in the
woods. A very efficient system of camouflage was constructed, covering all the
positions, the paths and the tiny
railroad which was used to carry
shells from the edge of the woods
to the position. After the first
days, the men settled down to a
regulated, fairly quiet life. Thefood
was good, the quarters comfort-
able, and they asked for no more.
During this time the rear
echelon was comfortably quartered
in the "Engineers' Dump." not tar
from the old position which had
Dugout at Combres Buu.t by 1st and 2nd Sections. Uvn abandoned when the guns
On October dth this Dugout Stood JO Direct Hits moved forward.
I \ I i; \m I ro ( .1 RM w I 'i i .
50 I i i i BE1 OW 1 ill Si Rl U I ST. \l mil I I 'l;i\ I
["he firing at l»>ili positions was largel)
harassing. One gun was given the work for
the night and fired in its schedule forty or
liliv rounds. The pieces on the hill carried
cm the greater pari ol tlii-- work, although
the piece on the plain fired frequently.
( )n September 26th, the final drive oi
the war commenced, when the Americans
attacked in the Argonne. The Germans had
been expecting an attack oi this kind, but
had been unable u> ascertain at what
poi ill i I WOUld
occur. To keep the Boche in a state of uncertainty, the
26th Division was given the task of making a local attack
<m Marcheville, thus diverting attention and giving the
Germans two points al which they must concentrate. The
action planned was <>nl\ .i large raid. 1 m t ii was 1>\ nature
a sacrifice attack and called for the most extreme courage.
The infantry, going over in the morning, ran into a hell of
artillerj -""I machine-gun fire. Snipers wen- in abundance,
and the hand-to-hand fighting very stubborn. The battle
raged steadilj all day, but al nighl the lines were withdrawn
in their old location alter both sides had suffered heavy
losses. The fighting al ihis point was probably as intense as
ii was any place along the line thai day. Bui the 26th
Division had carried out its task.
Thanks to the greal losses in German artillery in fuly
and August, the Boche were unable to locus any great
amount oi fire on the back area-.. The gunners on the plain
had the interesting experience, not often enjoyed l>\ them,
ol seeing their own shells burst on the plain ahead of them.
( )n ( )c toher 9th, the third piece was pulled out of position
•«^Kk . a.
' ' Bird" Ki w a
i\ \ Sm m i Shell-hoi e
Third Piece in Shell-hole on Plains, near Combres
to be brought to the hill via Herbeu-
villc. Just beyond Herbeuville the gun
was mired in an old shell-hole, and
while the men were endeavoring to
extricate it, the ( Germans started a heavj
shelling and gassing of the plain. The
piece was lett for the evening, being
pulled up on the hill the next nighl
alter a day ol hard work getting it out
of its hole.
On October 11th the Battery was
relieved by Battery A of the 115th Field
Artillery, and proceeded on an all-night march to a wood near Rupt-en-Woevre and
Genicourt. From here, after a day's rest, the march was begun again. During the
night the Battery was lost on the road, and after wandering about Verdun pulled into
the H<>is des Sartellcs, having covered over 40 kilometers. This march was a severe
test of the nun's powers of endurance.
After several days in barracks in the woods, the first platoon set out for the "Death
Valley" position. They were followed the next evening by the second platoon, which
completed the relief of a battery of French 155's which was in the position.
Verdun to Armistice
Just east of the River Meuse, between the villages of Samogneux and Haumont-
pres-Samogneux, is the Ravin Boussieres. From the heights at the head of this tiny,
steep-sided valley, one can look over the broad Meuse Valley to Le Morthomme, Dead
Man's Hill, on whose sides so many Frenchmen gave their lives to stem the German
advance in the Spring of 1916; Le Morthomme, which finally was battered to pieces
under a withering fire of German Artillery.
The whole terrain about the Ravin Boussieres showed the effect of the great battle
of Verdun. The village of Samogneux was a village only by name, being little more
than a waste of shell-holes and beaten mounds of stones. The hills, which were once
thickly forested, were stripped until they appeared as old, abandoned pasture land.
When the great Allied drive in the Argonne, named by Marshal Foch, "The Battle
of Liberation," was begun on September 26th, the Ravin Boussieres was in German
hands. From it the German Artillery shelled the advancing lines of Americans. The
slopes of the valley toward the French lines were honeycombed with dugouts, and at the
foot of the valley was an ammunition and supply dump which was annihilated by the
American artillery fire.
During the first days of the drive the 29th American Division took the valley by
flank attacks and succeeded in pushing the line ahead for more than a kilometer beyond.
The valley was then used by them as a machine-gun reserve position and the French
pulled in a battery of 155 mm. howitzers, to be followed later by a battery of 155 mm.
rifles. Two days before the first battalion of the One Hundred and Third took their
position, the valley was subjected to a heavy shelling by the Germans. During the
shelling, aeroplanes Hew low and finished the day's work by subjecting the men to a
severe machine-gun attack from the air. The American losses were heavy, and alter
thai day the Ravin Boussieres became to all Americans "Death Valley."
On the 17th of October, the first platoon of Battery A relieved the first platoon of
the French Howitzer Battery which occupied the upper end of the valley. That night
the second platoon followed, and the next morning the French turned the position
entirely over to the Americans. Where there had been only one battery of French
guns, there was now a battalion of the One Hundred and Third. The French rifles
remained in the lower part of the Ravine.
Betsy in Ai
The position at Death Valley was probably the most difficult of any ever held by
Battery A. The men, worn out, much in need of rest and furloughs which a beneficent
High Command had often promised but had never given, were thrust into a position
which was known to the Germans and which by its strength drew a constant harassing
fire from the enemy artillery. Added
to this was a difficult firing schedule,
poor living conditions and insufficient
Not a day that did not bring with
it heavy shelling. The nights were
long hours made miserable by shells
and gas. The mists which gathered
around the valley at dusk were filled
with all the gases known to the Ger-
mans, and the morning sun only served
to bring from the damp ground the gases
which lurked after the night's shelling.
Gas masks had to be always at hand, were worn a large part of the night, and the
least carelessness in this respect meant a casualty.
The dugouts, built originally by the Germans, were not well protected, and faced
the lines. They were damp, infested with vermin, and so far from the guns that in some
cases it was possible to reach them only after a long walk up the sleep hillside. In front
of the guns shelters were built, but they were small and almost impossible as living
quarters. But in spite of these difficulties the men, with the aid of a little salvaged
fire-wood, made their temporary houses as cheerful as possible. But, although the shell-
ing was heavy, there were few casualties. Every piece was scarred in many places by
shell fragments, while several "duds" fell when an effective shell would have meant
death to many men. The dugouts received several direct hits, and on two occasions
the powder which was piled behind the battalion position was destroyed.
On the night of October .ilst, while the
Battery was firing its last heavy barrage from
the position, the Germans began shelling the
position with both high explosives and gas.
The men were kept at their guns for several
hours, while there was a constant stream of
high explosives and gas placed, which remained
there during the days that followed.
While the artillery was in this position
the Infantry, worn out and discouraged, was
fighting brilliantly in the Bois Belleau and
the Bas d ' Haumont. These woods were
masses of tangled undergrowth, infested by machine gunners and snipers, and held by
the Germans with a grim determination which characterized the efforts of their best
troops in the last, discouraging days of the war. To lose the heights which they held
meant for the Germans disastrous retreat to the level basin below. And this retreat
1 1 Death Valley, near Verdun
Line ifatt STARTED FROM
— '•"" TUtoeeTicM. Line Nov. II —
(advance, unirs OP ZW^J
vVERt Soi^e. DiSTAHct
BfcYorfl) flu THE. AFTER-
Why was "Joe" Tinker Smiling?
Hi \Ii -i Have Found a "Wheel-horse'
could easily become a rout which would
leave .111 open road in Luxemburg before
t he Allies. The best troops the Germans
had were opposed to the Americans at this
actual poim. and as the line was being
pushed hack further to the north their
efforts to hold were characterized bj the
utmost stubbornness and most desperate
In ten days the Battery was called
in to aid in five attacks. The 75's were
spitting their rain of fire constantly againsl
the lines, while the Americans and ( Germans
mingled in the heaviest fighting in the woods. An advance oi a lew hundred yards was
considered a brilliant accomplishment. Time after time the Infantry would gain a few
yards but to be pushed back later because, weakened by heavy casualties, they were
unable to hold their advantage. But every day found at least a slight gain credited to
This fighting lasted from October 23rd, when the 26th Infantry with the 2')\h at its
left, went over for the first time, until November 1st, when the Infantry, having gained
their objective, were relieved.
During this time the Battery took part in several bar-
rages, the last one coming on the morning ol November 1st,
when the Germans put up a heavy center-shelling oi high
explosives and gas.
Much bombarding ot rear areas and reprisal was done
tit this time. One village, Damvillers, was so heavily shelled
that the Germans were forced to build a new road around
it for the bringing up of troops and supplies.
Every night found at least one piece engaged in harassing
tire, which was almost as harassing lor the men who tired as
it must have been for the Germans.
There was little regret felt when, on the morning of
November 2m\, the position was evacuated for one a kilo
east of Bras, where a French 1 attery was relieved. This
position was well equipped with dugouts. Emplacements "Only a Dud"
were already built, and reports said that there was little shelling.
The position was near the main road to Douaumont and Vaux, the two most famous
forts of all that famous ring about Verdun. The story of the gallant resistance offered
by the French in these two forts in 1917 is one of the most heroic of any that came from
the grimmest battles of the great war. Stormed again and again by the seemingly in-
exhaustible forces of the Germans, these forts held out until, all communication being
cut off, every man fell in his place unconquered.
On this historic ground, almost under the guns of the Fortress de Charity, which
never fell before the Germans, in a terrain pitted thickly with old shell-holes, the Battery
went into position.
Although the French had received little shelling here, the Americans at once received
everything in the German repertoire from 75's and the lightning-like 88's, to 350's,
which screamed and rumbled in the air For an almost interminable length <>f time before
they fell. At this position t lie third piece was put out of activity by a shell which exploded
near it. However, the casualties suffered here were ol a light nature.
The work done by the Battery was largely harassing fire, although on the morning
of November 11th a barrage was fired in support of a Divisional attack which was never
completed owing to the cessation ol hostilities.
It was here that t he- last shot was fired <>n November 11th, and after running up tin-
American flag at the position, the Battery definitely finished its career as a fighting unit
in the great war.
In strange contrast to the life at the front during this time was the life at the echelons.
For a time a rear echelon was maintained. But later this was moved and all the horses
were kept at Thierville just outside of Verdun. The horses were kept in clean, stone
stables and the men were quartered in comfortable barracks equipped with bunks and with
every facility that such a barracks could offer.
However, the work of the drivers was of a most hazardous nature. The task ol
getting supplies to the position caused them to travel along roads which were under
constant fire and which were never free from gas. And there was always a detail of
drivers in the valley itseli tor the handling of ammunition from the dump along the road
to the guns.
November 11th found the Battery an organization ol weary, driven men who had
maintained themselves at the front only by a spirit which was unquenchable, the spirit
which made them hang on despite the greatest obstacles and hardships. These last days
were the greatest in the history of Battery A, and, although marked by no brilliant deeds
of heroism, showed that the Germans could not conquer the dogged, stubborn will to
stick and win.
111 ! - ( 3L
51st Field Artillery Brigade,
American Expeditionary Forces, France.
11 November 1918
( Iperations Order
1. The artillery preparation and accompanying fire will be executed as
per Operations Order No. 336 until 11:00 o'clock, 11 November 18. All
fire will be carried 200 meters further away from our troops than stated in
Operations Order No. 336. Under no condition will a shot be fired after
11:00 o'clock without lurther orders from these headquarters.
2. The infantry will not advance.
3. No part of this command will move from its present station without
By Order of Colonel Farr:
Charles F. Reynolds.
Captain, Field Artillery Operations
I Hstribution :
101m F. A.
102nd F. A.
103rd F. A.
51st Inf. Brig.
52nd Inf. Brig.
(This is a copy of the order to cease fire as given the 51st Artillery Brigade on the morn-
ing of November 11, 1918. Delivered by Holsenbeck. The Brigade stationed in the
Bois d' Haumont near Verdun.) (The order that silenced Betsy the Sniper and her
three companions. I
Successive Periods in Line on the Western Front
Date of Entry Pi \< i Sector Date Withdrawn
Feb. 6, 1918 North of Soissons "Chemin-des-Dames" March 21, 1918
(Brigaded with French)
Apr. 3, 1918 North of Toul "La Reine" and "Boucq" June 28, 1918
July 1(1, 1918 Chateau-Thierry "Pas Fini" July 21,191s
Sept. 8, 1918 St. Mihiel Salient "Rupt" and "Troyon" Oct. s. 1918
Oct. 18, 1918 North of Verdun "Neptune" Nov. 14, 1918
Aggregate time in line — 7 months, or 210 days.
Note: "Date of Entry" and "Date Withdrawn" as used above, are the dates on
which the command passed to or from the 26th Division. This table does not in
reality show the exact time which all units of this division served in line. There were
several instances where regiments and brigades entered the line several days in advance
of the passing of the command to the division. Also, during the nine months' service
from February 6, 1918, the division spent only 10 days in a rest area (just prior to the
St. Mihiel offensive), the balance of the time being consumed in moving from one
sector to another, or in support position, awaiting entry into the line.
Joshua K. Broadhead
Joseph C. Da\ is
Dona J. Dugal
John E. Benson
Charles E. Jenkins
William 1). Packer
Fred A. Almquist
Carl F. Green
Beverley S. Lake
Ernest H. Munroe
Eugene K. St. Amour
( ieorge A. Rieo
William F. Andrews
Harold J. Aspinwall
Jesse L. Beard
Leslie A. Boswell
Raymond E. Burrows
Raymond E. Crowell
John M. Curl in
Killed in Action
Killed by Accident
Private First Class
Died of Pi sense
Private First Class
Private First Class
Private First Class
April 20, 1918
July 30, 1918
June 1'), 1918
August 31, 1918
January 1, 1918
September 9, 1917
August 2, 1918
May 30, 1918
March 8, 1919
December U, 1918
March 12, 1919
October 25, 1918
April 21, 1918
July 25, 1918
November 5, 1918
July 30, 1918
October 25, 1918
November 5, 1918
July 26, 1918
June 19, 1918
October 10, 1918
November 7, 1918
James E. Eaton
Henry J. Flint
Harold S. French
Arthur J. Frey
Henry G. Gilbert
James C. Gould
Morris L. Harrington
( ieorge B. 1 tarvey
Cornelius P. Hanlun
William 15. Kellej
Carroll B. Larrabee
Edgar L. Mot<
Ray E. Palmer
Archie F. Patterson
Charles C. Plumb
Earl H. Ramage
Donald D. Ring
Raj mond E. Siegel
Raymond E. Taylor
Foster M. Trainer
A. Mortimer Van Ostrand
Bert L. Vincent
Roger \Y. Williams
Private First Class
Private First Class
Private First Class
Private First Class
Private First ( !lass
Fn\ ate I nst ( lass
Private First Class
Private First Class
Private First Class
November 7, 1918
October 10, 1918
July 24, 1918
November 4, 1918
April 17, 1918
November 3, 1918
April 7, 1918
November 2, 1918
October 31, 1918
June 19, 1918
May 7, 1918
October 10, 1918
April 21, 1918
October 10, 1918
October 2<), 1918
April 24, I'M 8
October 10, 1918
October 22, 1918
October 10, 1918
October 2ft, 1918
April 7, 1918
June 1 ( >, I'M 8
October 10, 1918
April 20, 1918
Roster oi Battery A fr<
fuly 26, 1 <>1 7
Abbott, Chester C.
Abbott, Preston 0.
Adams, Carroll E.
Adams, Harold V.
Adams, Ronald T.
Almquist, Fred A.
Ainsworth, Stanley S.
Aspinwall, Harold J .
Atkinson, Francis K.
Balchin, Charles E.
Baldwin, Earl F.
Ballinger, George, Jr.
Ballon, Fred B.
Barthelmess, Frank E.
Batcheller, Carry 1 L.
Beard, Jessee L.
Beaulieu, Peter A.
Benson, John E.
Bischof, Stephen J.
Bishop, Harold W.
Bitting, Kenneth B.
Bizon, Arthur |.
Black, Oswald B.
Blackmar, George C.
Bondy, Perry E.
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Frivate 1st Class
Boswell, Leslie A.
Bosworth, Leland S.
Bothroyd, George A.
Bouchard, Edmond A.
Boucher, Joseph A.
Braman, Harold A.
Bright. Miles P.
Broadhead, Joshua K.
Brockmann, < ieorge T.
Bronsord, William |.
Brooks, Ralph W. '
Brown, Edmund A.
Brown, ( rilbreth
Brown, Harry < '..
Brown, Louis ( .
Burrows, Raymond E.
Burton, Raymond H.
Byron, Daniel E.
Campbell, Bertram T.
( 'ampbell. Thompson A.
Cannon, Albert ( '.
Caruolo, Anthony M.
Case, Benjamin W.
( 'asev, ( ieorge A.
Cazanas, John A.
Cederholm, Gustol L. E.
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Fri\ ate 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Chandler, George A.
Chaplin, William W.
Choquet, Henry A.
Church, Harold P.
Clark, Henry W.
Clark, William P.
Clarke, Francis A.
Clarke, William J.
Cleaveland, Ernest R.
Clement, Burton R.
Coker, Lewis R.
Cook, Leslie R.
( ciolc, Cordon C.
Couch, John R.
Coyle, James E.
Crowell, Raymond E.
Crowther, Robert E.
Crum, George F.
Curley, Thomas E.
Curtain, John M.
Damon, Howard C.
Damon, Samuel R.
Daniels, Frederick L.
Danielson, Oscar M.
Davies, Oliver J.
De Grange, Felix J.
De Martino, Antonio
Dennis, Albert E.
Deny, Ernest N.
Deskin, Thomas H.
Di Battista, Michael
Diset, Alma M.
Dodworth, Wilfred K.
Donovan, John J.
Dowe, John M.
Downey, George H.
Dreistadt, Joseph A.
Dugal, Dona J.
Dwyer, Michael W.
Easterbrooks, Wilfred K.
Eaton, James E.
Elliott, George A.
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
, Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Finlay, Raymond F.
Fleming, Leon H.
Flood, William J.
Fowkes, Ernest E.
Francis, Paul W.
Freeman, Arthur C.
French, Harold S.
Frey, Arthur J.
Gaffney, Leo C.
Gilbert, Henry A.
Gilmore, Harold G.
Goodman, William H.
Gorham, Isaac W.
Gould, James C.
Grady, James J.
Green, Carl F.
Griffin, Timothy P.
Grimes, Thomas M.
Grover, Harold E.
Gurry, Ellis T.
Hainer, Albion E.
Hall, Albert E.
Handy, Courtland J.
Hanlon, Cornelius P.
Hannaway, Henry A.
Harmon, Walter T.
Harrigan, John P.
Harris, John H.
Harrington, Francis B.
Harrington, Morris L.
Hart, Charles E.
Hawes, Russell C.
Hayden, Eugene B.
Herring, Elmer R.
Hickey, James E.
Hicks, Peter E.
Hicks, Russell G.
Hill, Harold E.
Hoar, Frank T.
Holbrook, Walter A.
Houle, Edward W.
Howard, Vincent A.
Hunter, Edward C.
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Jackson, Newton J.
Jenkins, Charles E.
Jones, Donald C.
Keach, Charles B.
Kellev, Loring S.
Kelley, William B.
Kennedy, Frederick G.
Kensil, John T.
King, John H.
Kittredge, Guy W.
Knapp, Alden D.
Knights, Edwin N.
Laffey, Joseph J.
Lake, Beverley S.
Langdon, Chauncey T.
Langdon, Robert C.
Lapointe, Charles F.
Larkin, Russell E.
Larrabee, Carroll B.
Laxton, Ira R.
Lawson, Harry E.
Lees, Chester F.
Leland, Edgar A.
Lippitt, Charles W.
Little, John W.
Loomis, Clarence, D'O.
MacDonald, George R.
MacFarland, Robert J.
MacLaughlin, Joseph A.
MacMillan, Webster C.
McCarthy, Edward F.
McCormick, William B.
McElroy, Arthur V.
McGowan, William I.
Mclntire, Lowell A.
McKenna, Fred A.
McPhee, Joseph H.
Major, Basil K.
Maloy, Charles B.
Marshall. Floyd C.
Private 1st Class
Martin, Warren W.
Private 1st Class
Meagher, Charles A.
Private 1st Class
Mellor, John H.
Private 1st Class
Metcalf, Paul B.
Mitchell, Herbert G.
Moftitt, Samuel A.
Private 1st Class
Monroe, Eric A.
Private 1st Class
Moore, Bradford K.
Moore, Karl R.
Mott, Edgar L.
Mulcahey, William T.
Private 1st Class
Mullard, Samuel H.
Private 1st Class
Munroe, Ernest H.
Murphy, Arthur L.
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Murphy, John J.
Private 1st Class
Murphy, William R.
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Nevin, John B.
Private 1st Class
Nield, Raymond C.
Nye, George H.
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
O'Brien, Williams J.
O'Connor, John H.
Private 1st Class
Packer, William D.
Private 1st Class
Paige, Percy E.
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Palmer, Ray E.
Papineau, Alfred L.
Private 1st Class
Parkin, Ernest D.
Parks, Fred J.
Parsons, Paul S.
Patterson, Archie L.
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Paty, Frederick R.
Pearson, Robert A.
Private 1st Class
Pelchat, Alfred J.
Private 1st Class
Perry, Charles H.
Perry, Ellis E.
Pettee, Herbert B.
Phillips, Eugene A.
Private 1st Class
Phillips, Samuel H.
Private 1st Class
Pierce, Willard D.
Private 1st Class
Plumb, Charles C.
Plympton, Earl H.
Ramage, Earl 1 1.
Raney, Roy E.
\i,v>\'. Walter I).
Rhoads, John W.
Richardson, John H.
Rieo, < ieorge A.
Robertson, John F.
Robertson, I lugh
Robinson, I ,eo A.
Ronne, Arthur 1 1.
Ruhl, Aim E.
Ryan, Lyman 1 1.
Ryan, Thomas X.
Saacke, fulius A.
Salter, Howard P.
Saw yer, John H.
Scammon, Paul A.
Scanlon, William A.
Sheetz, Frank H.
Sheldon, Herbert H.
Sherman, 1 leibert L.
Shunney, John M.
Siegel, Raymond E.
Singleton, James J .
Sisxin, Russell E.
Smith, Wendell ('.
Sohan, William A.
Springer, Allan P.
St. Amour, Eugene K.
Stimpson, 1 [enry P.
Si urgeon, Claude
Sweet, Russell 11.
Sweet, Walter H.
Private 1m ( lass
Private 1st Class
Tarbell, Luther A.
Taylor, ( ieorge A.
Taylor, Raymond E.
Tetreaull . Joseph N.
Thomas, Royal I..
Tinker. Herbert T.
Tourjee, Paul W.
Trainer, Foster X.
Tursi, James Y.
Usher, Reuben A.
Vance, Thomas F.
Vincent, Bert L.
Vincent, Robert E.
Wade. Bissell L.
Walker, Alpheus A.
Walker, John L.
Wall, Frank A.
Walsh. Joseph H.
Weeden, Raymer B.
Wells, Maurice C.
Wesl, Fldred G.
Whipple, Earle G.
Whipple, Charles ( '•.
Whit warn, Anil in ise
Williams, Roger W.
Wood. William F.
Wright, Carlos G.
Yeilush, John F.
( hief Mechanic
Private 1st Class
1'riv ale lsl Cla>s
I'riv ate 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
as a Training School for Officers
IN the fall of Nineteen hundred and ten, Battery A of Rhode Island was reorganized.
Always after the reorganization, Battery A was in the foreground of her rivals in
the National Guard, and was, indeed, an actual and excellent training school for
officers. From Nineteen hundred and ten until the entrance of the United States into the
war against Germany, a large number of enlisted men were instructed l>y thorough and
efficient officers in all branches of work pertaining to field artillery. And. according to
the most accurate and complete data obtainable at present, one hundred and fourteen
former members of Battery A served as commissioned officers during the World War.
Of these there were one colonel, one lieutenent-colonel, eight majors, twenty-five captains,
thirty-one first lieutenents, thirty-nine second lieutenents, six cadets, one captain, F. S. N.,
and two lieutenents, senior grade. (J. S. N. Furthermore, eighty-one of the one hundred
and tourteen officers served in France, and one in Siberia.
Unfortunately, however, the following list is incomplete, for it is believed that at
least fifteen other members of Battery A, concerning whom information can not be
obtained at present, were commissioned officers.
Adams, Carroll, 2nd Lt. C. A. C. Instructor, Army Heavy Artillery School, France.
Adams, Ronald T., 2nd Lt. Tank Corps, 301s1 Bn. Heavy, France.
Allen, Walter L., 1st Lt. 302nd American Train Co., France.
Andrews. William F., 2nd Lt. Batt. A, 103rd F. A., France. 1st Lt. 54th F. A.. U. S.
Angell, Carl H., 2nd Lt. F. A. (). T. C. Camp Jackson, S. C.
Babcock, Donald S., Capt. Commdg. 2nd Batt. 103rd F. A., Major Postal Service, France.
Babcock, Harold P., 1st Lt. Batt. A, 103rd Field Artillery and Balloon Service, France.
Bagnall, Charles L., 1st Lt. C. A. ('., Batt. A, 66th Artillery, France.
Bailey, George W., Jr., Cadet Capt., West Point. F. S. M. A.
Balchin, Charles E., 2nd Lt. 302nd Field Artillery, 151st Brigade, Corps Art., France.
Barker, Harold R., Captain Batt. A, Major 2nd Bn., 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Berry, Stanton K., Capt. Infantry Personnel Officer. 340th Inf.
Killed in action October 9, 1918.
Bitting, Kenneth H., 2nd Lt. Hdqrs. Co., 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Blanding, Alan C, Lt. Senior Grade, F. S. N., Foreign Service.
Bliss, Carlton M., Aviation, F. S. A. Killed by accident November, 1918.
Bontecou, Fred H., 1st Ft. Field Artillery, France.
Bontecou, Russell, l-t It. Field Artillery, France. Captain Field Artillery. F. S.
Bowen, Charles \V.. Jr., Capt. U. S. A. Field Artillery, France.
Braman, Harold A.. 1st It. Field Artillery, France.
Brown. Stewart P., 2nd Ft. F. S. A. 125th Reg., 8th Corps Field Artillery, France.
Bullock, Earl C, 2nd Ft. Batt. C, 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Burnell, Ray I... Capt. F. S. A.. 79th Field Artillery School of Fire, Fort Sill. Okla.
Burnham, Walter IF. Capt. F. S. A. Ord. Office, Chief of Ord., Washington, IF C.
Burton, Wallace, 1st Ft. Batt. IF 147th Field Artillery, France.
Butterfield, Theodore S.. 2nd Ft. F. S. A. Quartermaster Corps, F. S.
Cady, John Hutchins, Cadel Field Artillery, Camp Taylor, Ky.
Cantwell, Percy J.. Capt. 351st Field Artillery, France. Major. F. S. R,
Chaffee, Everett St. John, Maj. and Lt.-Col. 103rd F. A.. France. Col. 55th F. A.. U.S.
Chandler, George A.. 2nd Ft. 86th Div., Batt. F, 331st Field Artillery, France.
Chace, Kipp F. 1st Ft. Mn<.\ Field Artillery, France.
Chase, William C, Capt. 11th Machine Gun Bn., 4th Div., France.
Christy, Edward F. 1st Ft. Co. M. 48th Reg. Inf.. Newport News, Va.
Clark, Henry F... Officers' Material School. F. S. Naval Reserve Force.
Clark, Harold F.. Cadet Aviation, F. S.
Clayton, Ernest, 2nd 1 t. Casual Quartermaster Corps, France.
Collins. King, 2nd Ft. limit Field Artillery, 31st Division, France.
Congdon, G. Maurice. Capt. Ordnance Dept., Washington, IF F.
Cummings, Matthew J., (.'apt. Field Artillery, I. S.
Damon, Samuel R .. 2nd 1 t. Hdqrs. Co., 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Daley, Frank IF. 2nd It. Field Artillery. F. S.
Darling, C. C, Ft. Ordnance Dept., Washington. IF F.
Pavis. Joseph C, 1st Ft. Batt. A. 103rd F. A. Capt. Batt. E, 103rd F. A.. Franre.
Killed in action July 30, 1918.
Dillon, Asahel S., Fapt. 112th Trench Mortar Batt., .'7th Division, France.
Dodge, W. I'.. Fapt. Ordnance Dept., F. S.
Dodworth, Wilfred K., Fapt. Han. F. 305th Field Artillery, 77th Div., France.
Drummond, Frank F. P., 2nd 1 t. 113th Field Artillery, 30th Div., France.
Eaton, Richard F. Fapt. Field Artillery, 1st Div., France.
Eden, Charles IF. Jr.. 2nd Ft.. Field Artillery, France.
Engelhard, George, 1st Ft. Field Artillery, F. S.
Files. Chester A.. 2nd 1 t. Batt. F. 144th F. A.. 40th Div., France.
Gammell, William. Jr.. 302nd Field Artillery. 76th Div., France.
Garnett, Evanda IF. Aviation Cadet, British Army.
Killed in action. France.
Gibson, Reuben Timothy, 2nd Ft. Batt. A. 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Goodspeed, George S.. 1st Ft. 4th Reg. Field Artillery. F. S.
('.rant, Wilmonl A., 2nd It. Batt. 1$, 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Grosvenor, William, 2nd I.i. Air Service, U. S.
Hamilton, Ralph S., Jr., Major 103rd Field Artillery. Lt.-Col. Postal Service, France.
Hanley, Gerald T., Capt. Batt. B, 103rd F. A., France. Major 54th F. A., U. S.
Hartigan, Thomas J., Capt. Dental Corps, France.
Hartwell, Everett S., 2nd Lt. Batt. A, 103rd F. A. 1st Lt. and Capt. Airplane Observer,
Hazard, Frederick R., Jr., 2nd Lt. 54th Field Artillery, C. A. C, France.
Heminway, Loring S., 2nd Lt. 71st Field Artillery, France.
Hess, John K., Jr., 1st l.t. 301st Field Artillery, 76th Div., France.
I lolt . < ieorge T., Lt. Senior Grade U. S. N., Foreign Service.
Howland, I >aniel, Isi l.t. Battery A.
Howe, Paul I)., 2nd l.t. Chemical Warfare Service, U.S.
Hubbard, Dana M., 1st l.t. Halt. C, 103rd F. A., France.
Jenckes, Thomas A., 2nd Lt. Field Artillery, U. S. 1st Lt. Field Artillery, France.
Kelley, Solon C, Jr., 2nd l.t. I'. S. A. Field Artillery K. D., Camp Jackson, S. C.
Langdon, Duncan, 1st l.t. Balloon Observation Service, France.
Langdon, George W.. Jr., 1st l.t. 102nd F. A., France, (apt. Field Artillery, U. S.
Lewis, George W., Cadet I . S. M. A., West Point,
lewis, Lester 'I'., 1st Lt. l()2nd Field Artillery, France.
Lippitt, Charles Warren, Jr., 2nd Lt. 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Lull, Ernest I'., 2nd Lt. Field Artillery, U. S.
Luther, Earl !•'., 1st Lt. Chemical Warfare Service, France.
MacColl, William P., Maj. Q. M. C. Chief Purchasing Office, Paris, France.
MacDonald, George R., 2nd Lt. Co. B, Military Police Bn., Coblenz, Germany.
MacLeod, C. Cordon, Capt. Halt. A, 103rd Field Artillery, France.
MacLeod, Norman D., Major 1st Bn., 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Major, Basil K., (apt. Field Artillery, France.
Malone, Charles B., 2nd Lt. Batt. C, 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Marshall, C. C, 2nd Lt. Air Service, U. S.
Marshall, Floyd C, 1st l.t. Field Artillery, France.
Metcalf, E. T. H., 2nd l.t. and 1st Lt. 103rd F. A., France. Captain 55th F. A., U. S.
Metcalf, George T., 1st Lt. Inf., also for five months attached to 103rd F. A., France.
Metcalf, Paul Barney, 2nd Lt. 137th Field Artillery, 38th Div., France.
Miller, J. W., 1st Lt. Field Artillery, Regular Army, L. S.
Moore, Bradford V., Capt. Field Artillery Batt. I-:, 124th Kej;., 33rd Div., France.
Murray, William A., 2nd Lt. Supply Co., 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Nelson, Hendrick ('.., 1st Lt. 103rd Field Artillery, France, (apt. Field Artillery, U. S.
Nevin, J. Benjamin, 2nd Lt. Batt. B, 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Nightingale, J. H. K., Jr., 1st Lt. Quartermaster Corps, Hoboken, N. J.
O'Connor, Lucian J.. Cadet Canadian Field Artillery, Camp Borden. Hants, England.
Three and a half years' service in France.
< >'< iorman, Thomas A.. Jr., 2nd Lt. State ( iiiard, I . S.
O'Rourke, William T., 2nd Lt. 125th Field Artillery, 2nd Army, France.
Phinney, Harold T., 2nd Lt. Batt. B, 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Richmond, Lawrence, l>t Lt. Infantry. Intelligence Division Hdqrs., A. E. F., Siberia.
Ryan. Thomas \.. 2nd Lt. Batt. F, 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Siteman, John 11., 2nd Lt. Batt. B, 103rd F. A., France. 1st Lt. F. A., U. S.
Stiness, Henry R. W., Lt.-Col., Judge Advocate General Dept. Hdqrs., 41st Div., France.
Stockwell, Fred C, Capt. Field Artillery, France.
Stowe, Roy C, 1st Lt. Hdqrs. Co., 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Sturges, Rush. 1st Lt. Batt. B. I'. S. Capt. Ord. officer. Angers, France.
Sullivan, Robert J. B., Capt. Ordnance. France.
Staples, Robert 1\. Capt. 4th Field Artillery, France.
Sawin, Melvin E., 2nd l.t. Field Artillery. France. 1st Lt. Field Artillery, (J. S.
Sisson, Russell E., 1st Lt. Q. M. C, Office of Zone Supply Officer, Baltimore, Md.
Sheffield, William P., 1st Lt. Field Artillery. France.
Tarbell, Luther, 2nd l.t. Casual, France.
Walsh. Raymond J., (apt. 15th Field Artillery, France.
Ward, Stanley A., 1st Lt. Batt. I", 103rd Field Artillery, France.
Webster, Charles A., 1st Lt. Ordnance Dept., U. S.
Itea^R&^il The 26th Division received forty-two c
l^wtjfSj give an idea of their general tenor:
Headquarters, 26th Division,
American Expeditionary Force
France, Sept. 15, 1918.
Special Orders No. 77
1. The following letter is published for the information
Rupt-en-Woevre, September 13, 1918.
Your gallant 26th American Division has just set ns free.
Since September, 1914, the barbarians have held the Height- of the
Meuse, have foully murdered three hostages from Mouilly, have shelled
Rupt and, on July 23rd, 1915, forced its- inhabitants to scatter to the four
corners of France.
I, who remain at my little listening post upon the advice of my Bishop,
feel certain, Sir, that I do but speak for Monseigneur Ginisty, Lord Bishop of
Verdun, my parishioners of Rupt, Mouilly, and Genicourt, and the people
of this vicinity, in conveying to you and your associates, the heartfelt and
unforgettable gratitude of all.
Several of your comrades lie at rest in our truly Christian and French
Their ashes shall be cared for as if they were our own. We shall
cover their graves with flowers and shall kneel by them as their own
families would do, with a prayer to God to reward with eternal glory these
heroes fallen on the field of honor, and to bless the 26th Division and
Be pleased, Sir, to accept the expression of my profound respect.
Cure of Rupt-en-Woevre.
By command of Major-General Edwards:
Duncan K. Major, Jr., Chief of Staff.
Official, C. A. Stevens,
"St. Mihiel Salient."
Headquarters, 26th Division
American Expeditionary Force
France, March 29, 1918.
General Order No. 24
I desire to express to the officers and nun of this I )ivision my deep grati-
fication for their excellent conduct during the recent tour of duty at the
Hardships were encountered and battle losses sustained, but with a
cheerfulness and determination that proclaim them a stout-hearted lot of
All eyes at home are watching our troops in France. What you have
done has given encouragement to our own people there, as well as to our
Allies here. We are now taking up new and difficult tasks, hut with the
know ledge that our Allies have confidence in us and that the division has
already abundantly demonstrated the fact that it has the will to win.
C. R. Edwards,
Major-General C 'ommanding.
32nd Army Corps Staff
3rd Office, 3292-2 Headquarters, June 27, 1918.
General Order No. 133.
At the moment when the 26th Division of Infantry of the United
States is leaving the 32nd French Corps, I salute its colors and thank it for
i he splendid services it has rendered here to the common cause.
Under the distinguished command of their Chief, General Edwards, the
high-spirited soldiers of the "Yankee Division," have taught the enemy some
hitter lessons, at Bois Brule, at Seicheprey, and at Xivray-Marvoisin; they
have taught him to realize the staunch vigor of the sons of the Creat Re-
public, fighting for the world's freedom.
My heartiest good wishes will accompany the "Yankee Division"
always, in its future combats.
Commanding the 32nd Army Corps.
Citation Given to All Men in the 103rd Regiment, Field Artillery
by Col. J. Alden Twachtman, 103rd F. A.
Battery A, L03rd Field Artillery
ro be with a batterj while it is being organized . to go through it-- training
period with ii and, finally, (<■ sen e in the field with ii during .1 period of hard-
ship which called upon the \ erj limit of one's energy . is to know that organi
zation as no outsider can evei hope to know it. This is my position in
respect to Batterj A.
M\ onlj regret is that 1 lack sufficient skill to express, adequately, the
utmost respect and admiration which 1 hold for the men in tlii> battery,
\\ hat you men have done in the field \\ ill serve as an example to batteries
in future generations, and you may well feel proud of the fact that you rep-
resent Batterj A. 103rd Field Artillery.
ro a Bat terj Commander, j'our example of loyalty, cheerfulness, disci-
pline, and ,il>ilit\ was .1 source of constant inspiration, and may it always be
mj good fortune to serve with men ol such character. In future life you
men will attain the success you so justlj deserve, and in days to come the
same spirit, ability, and dash shown bj j'ou will be invincible.
Men ol Bat terj A. I salute 5 ou!
II R B VRKER,
We didn't sec you often up there in the lines. But when the Boche barrage started
we remembered you and knew that you were up there, next door to hell, down in a trench
that was being pounded to pieces, waiting for "them" to come over. We knew you'd
stick and hold until "they'd" gone back through the broken wire.
When we gave you a barrage, we knew you were going over and that the only thing
that would or could stop you this side of Berlin would be an officer's command.
We never saw you in action, but we did think of you in those gray hours of the dawn,
going out behind the puffs of the .75 barrage, stumbling, sliding, falling along in the
pitted land, going into a wall of machine-gun and rifle bullets, and — going through.
You always got what you went after. You never gave "them" an inch.
You were dirty, you crabbed, you called us by those names that only you can call
an artilleryman, but we liked you, and — well, we knew you were better than anybody
else in the world.
You fought the hardest, the most discouraging kind of a fight, and then when you
came out, cursing, almost too tired to see or care, you would look at us and show your
teeth in a dusty smile and say in that voice of yours that seemed to come like a whisper
from way down inside, "We got 'em."
But it was you who won this war, you and those you left behind out there, who lay
huddled awkwardly in the mud and grass, pathetic in their quietness but great in their
courage, always facing "them."
We are proud that we were able to help you, the whitest, finest, bravest, toughest
bunch of fighters in the world.
We knew you were out there in front ol us, sometimes just ahead. In the quiet
nights, when "they" lei up and we hadn't anything to do l>ut listen and watch the stars
and wait with a half fear for something to start, there would come the sharp beat of your
guns. We knew then that you'd seen a shadow out in the line, and we felt strangelj
comforted because you were there. And when "they" came over we thought of you
some of you crouched in shellholes to spit death right into their grey laces, other of you
back in the pits when the shells were giving you hell and we knew that it was all right,
that "they'd" have to stop, that they couldn't stand up to these little black, spitting guns.
You called yourselves the "Suicide Club," and when some of you had seen what "they"
left you when they went back we understood. Hut you stuck, and while it was going
the hardest you laughed and you cursed and you kept the guns going. You had the
"guts," and we're glad we knew you as you were, a brave, hard bunch of lighting men.
The Signal Corps
When we were young and green we thought that the Signal Corps ran the telephone
centrals in the S. O. S., but as we got more and more into the war, we learned that where-
ever wire ran also went the men of the Signal Corps. There aren't many worse things in
war than to go out alone into tin- inky blackness of the night and find a short circuit
somewhere along the line from the Infantry brigade P. C. to the front line, and then,
under the foiled whining of the shell fragments, to repair the break coolly and skillfully,
and many are the times that you do not come back from those errands. To you were
entrusted the vital life links of an army in the field, and, fast as our doughboys traveled,
you were rarely far behind and unable to report — "Communication Established." Your
work was far from spectacular, and your praise from the short-sighted world was scant,
but the hats of those who know are off to you, Men of the Signal Corps.
Well, little unattached, half-forgotten hand of Suicide Club, the war wasn't so had
to you after all, was it? Three fronts and you were practically through, because the
Yanks abolished trenches as a component part of the war. You arrived the last, with
us, and you were the first to go home.
You made life a terror for the doughboys who were mortally worried with anything
Trench Mortarish. But Frit/, knew just what the real worry was when you set your
six-inch Dispensers of Worry Pills and lobbed over twenty-inch 1 Kills of Concentrated
Death. You didn't shoot much, but when you did the map of France was very much
altered. Victims of circumstances, you never got the opportunity of seeing every front
line, but your guts were strong and your nerve like tempered steel. There is no yellow
in a gun crew that haunts the front line.
Infantry, road menders, dugout wreckers, trench diggers and barbed-wire erectors
— what did you not do in this war?
You were over the top at Richecourt and you buried the fallen at the Marne. You
were out demolishing wire at Mouilly to make way for your infantry, and then spent the
morning building the road across the shell-strewn land of craters, so that the food and guns
could go forward. We never envied your lot, but we were proud of your accomplishments.
If any one unit in this great division of ours deserves any greater praise, we have yet to
find it. It takes a world of nerve to bridge the Allette in the face of a living wall of steel
and lead, but you did it. It takes as much to build a road and dodge the machine gun
snipers at Douaumont, but you did it. No man can have better praise than to have it
said of him, "He had a dirty, nerve-wrecking job, but he did it."
^ *v »/j
How we cursed you when up from the murky shroud of the dawn you lumbered
with load after load of <>. A.s and F. A.s powder and fuses. Your every visit was a signal
for labor and sweat, but we were tired and worried then and did not receive you with the
glad hand of welcome that you so richly deserved. Now on thinking it over, we better
understand your trials and better appreciate your skill in piloting your big trucks over
shell-torn roads, swamps, and fields, through blinding darkness, always getting there,
searching us out in every nook and cranny of the Western Front. Wherever trucks
could go, you went. Bui for your ceaseless driving, day and night, no rest, snatched
lunches, and tired eyes, the artillery's record at Chateau-Thierry would never have been
possible. While we rested, you worked ; and when we worked, you perforce worked harder.
The Artillery likes you, Hoys!
Oh, Dispensers of C. C. Pills and Daubers of Iodine, Intimate Guardians <>f our
Health, we know not whether to praise or deride you. You who have made our lives
miserable in training camp and rest billets; who for colds, rheumatism, broken bones,
headaches, and lexers prescribe C. C. Pills and Iodine and Duty. You are the erratic-
children of our hearts.
But — long after the derision and the joshing oi your pre- and post-war activities
have faded into the dim, forgotten past, we will remember your brave, unflinching services
under fire, your gentle and mother-like handling of the suffering, your long sleepless
hours of work, your self-sacrifice and devotion to duty, your prompt and efficient treat-
ment. Nothing speaks better lor you than tin- minimum mortalities in a vast number
We respect the men whom the Rules of War forced to stand the gaff without striking
"li tool, you l<> months after you k 11 ' to France t<> k 1 ' 1 k o '"h. but when you did
we K n| i lothes and shoes and candy and food. Hut where were you when the war was on
and why didn't you k<'I the things we were crying for <>nt to us? Why did you fail to conic
through?" So plaints the superficial observer.
Yes, it's true, we didn't gel the clothes and the shoes and the cand\ and the food in
the quantities that were needed, lint it wasn't your fault, Q. M., you could not issue
that which was not. You were the victim of an Army system thai proved a distinct,
sad failure until the Spring of 1919, and we know that you regrel as individuals your
tmpotency to give us the necessities that were lacking. \<nl tape chained you tighter
than hands ol steel, while short-sighted and unimaginative policies Kit your storehouses
empty. So we wore our salvaged Uniforms and borrowed underwear and spent our pay
lor food enough, meanwhile cursing the man that thought that Canned Corn Heel' and
Luck were good enough lor the Man I p Trout.
There are M. I'.s and M. l'.s. For one type we have no use lor arrogant, over-
bearing, authority-puffed Warriors of Tours, Paris, and Brest. Tor the other type,
the men w ho were up there, we have the highest regard, and our heartfelt thanks go to you,
Military Police of the Yankee Division. You knew what the war was.
I l was One ol you that stood posl at the shell pounded crossroads beside our position
at Bras .ind who everj morning slipped across to our kitchen to chat between flappers
and coffee and then hustled hack to your position to regulate traffic l>y the constantly
shelled crossroads. 'The last thing we heard yOU say before we went to sleep that night
iii the security of our dugouts was, "All right, old Timer Hit 'er up you got four
minutes before the next shell." That night you stood your last post. We "hope you're
on the crossroads when we arrive on Main Street, Heaven.
- ^-S® ^ i
VGAZINES and newspapers, especially those
leaning toward fiction, which applies to the
latter as well as the former, have done a great
and far-reaching work in disseminating misinformation regarding the life of a soldier
at the front. The life of an infantryman is not all the red hell that the artists, corre-
spondents, and fiction writers from Council Blurt's would have one believe.
The artilleryman gets little said about him. When one rinds an article on the ar-
tillery there are sure to be many phrases describing the roar and the blinding flash, or
many statistics explaining how Lieutenant M. Swivel-Chair increased the annual output
of shells by several billion.
There is little romance in the life of an artilleryman: little of that element of the
general hellishness of life that ap] the before-mentioned artists, correspondents,
and fiction writers here ex g r '.ems. and moments of great danger,
around the big guns.
Were the ordinary writer, who observed the work of artillery closely for almost
an hour one quiet afternoon, to tell of the life of the gunners, he would make about as
accurate and interesting an article as some of those which appeared in a certain well-
known weekly concerning the work in the S. 0. S.
eel the many misundei - gs and the large amount of misinformation,
these little pieces are written to tell what kind of an animal a cannoneer, a driver or a
specialist really is.
V cannoni -a. Chinaman or an actor. From the moment
that he is designated by the magic name "Cannoneer," he becomes a being separate,
distinct : far above the ordinary person whom he calls casually and a bit sadly "an ig'orant
driver." He takes on a sudden hate for middles, grooming kits, shovels, anything that
even suggests the driver's life. When ordered to attend a stable call he will g
lengths ■ .: it.
n an argument he will assert loudly and surely that he knows far more about
driving than any driver in the outfit. When another Battery passes on the road he
will regard it condescendingly and make critical remarks on the driving and the looks
of the hor.-c- Vbove all. he will assure one that a driver's life is a bed - - para-
dise compared to that of the pool dden cannoneer.
In his eves there is always a look of wistfulness, a fleeting glance of sadness which
might lead the inexperiencet - - ime time he was crossed in
and is now a cynical, wordly-wise person. He ha.- - - -.row. indeed, but it is
sedbynolong _ affair. He can never forget that he has to walk while the driver
rides - v here one may comfortably hide beneath a
'paulin, but only the more scientific s. I awaj with this.
A*. this strange, superior person walks about, one is moved to wondei what can be
the life of the man, that makes him that wav ? \\ hat does he think? What does he feel?
His life on tin' whole is a routine of work in which .ill the jo) must come from the
cannoneer himself. 1 1 1- will always saj that his part in the war is the hardest and most
unappreciated, lh.it the officers persecute him and that the non nuns are merely
hirelings for those highei up.
["he march to the front, which always takes place at night when the mis and holes
in the roads are carefully hidden from the ordinal \ eye, is the firsl step low. ml the scene
of action. Before the march the cannoneer rolls his roll and places ii on the piece 01
the caisson. \ caisson is .1 large box set on wheels which is of no use whatever, but
gives the drivers something to haul. At the end ol the war the caissons wen- traded
in for .t luw monke) w 1 ench.
Late in the war, when horseflesh was scarce and victor} was near, the cannoneer
w.is forced to carrj his belongings in .1 pack suspended from his aching shoulders. It
w.is.u first thought possible to camouflage some of the equipment in .1 wagon, bul the
Speei.il Detail was there first. Hiis disagreeable feature occurred late in the war, and
the weight of many full-pack hikes that followed can be forgotten.
As soon .is the carriages are packed, the horses are hitched in. Ai this stage ol
the game, it is difficult to find .1 cannoneer. Then, just .is the column is aboul to move.
some somnolent member of the batter) hurries up with his roll, on which he has been
reposing while the industrious were at work packing. After .1 little delay the march is
tin. ilU started.
Many a wear) hour follows, when the cannoneer stumbles blindl) along behind the
puee which moves now at a good pace, now like .1 snail. Main choice comments are
ma. le at this time on the ability ol the drivers up ahead. Someone has to man the brake,
and there is always much competition to see who will be the unluckj wighl to cling to
the cold steel through the night. Hie brake has one advantage. It helps one along
wondei full) . acting as a tope to pull on the tired wanderer.
No smoking is allowed on the night march, but the resourceful cannoneer can always
manage a lew drags along the roadside, carefull) camouflaging the cigarette beneath
the hands. A march always stalls musically, all the cannoneers singing at the lops ,,(
their voices. Hut how different as the march drags on. One by one the voices drop awa)
until the only sound heard is that low, horrible curse emitted between clenched teeth.
Despite the Articles ol War, the man leading the column conies iii for many a clear and
lucid vituperation. The pertinent tact that he is riding is mentioned several times.
Some even hope that his horse w ill break a lei;, thereby making the leader walk.
At last the position is reached, the horses unhitched and the drivers go back to the
echelon to spend the nexl lew days, according to the cannoneers, in a life ol line meals,
lots of sleep and a continuous round of commissary trucks. The rolls are dumped oil,
and, alter main cries of "heave, heave," the guns are trundled into position.
After the guns are laid, the cannoneers may sleep; that is. all but those w ho are chosen
tor guard. There are never volunteers for this guard, although, it there is ammunition
to be carried, a guard displays no particular unwillingness to take his post. He will
always complain, but as he watches his comrades sweating under their heavy loads, there
is a look in his eves which may be construed to mean that there are worse things than
guard. At least, there is no incidenl on record where a guard has volunteered to carrj
From the firsl day a1 the position, the cannoneer's life settles down to a routine.
The firsl thing done is the improving ol the position, and every cannoneer knows in his
heart that if he were to die and go to Heaven there would always be some kind officer
about who would put him to work at oner improving the Golden Gate. II the position
is in a fixed sector, there are dugouts to be built. This work is always taken tip happily,
for the cannoneer loves a shovel with thai -a me touching affection which he show s low aid
his rifle, which he looks at only before inspections, when it is necessary to .lean off sc\ eral
inches of accumulated rust.
There is ammunition to be carried. A shell is a long, tapered objed of steel, weigh
ing about a hundred pounds and feeling like a ton. Powder is packed in while and green
bags which are in turn packed in boxes invented bj Kaiser Wilhelm himself. These
l>oxes ate itisi iix. heavy for two men to carry, awkward lor three, and too small for four.
To add io the pleasures ol the soldier, a beneficent ammunition officer usually sees to it
thai the shells and powder are unloaded some distance from the pieces, so that it will
be necessary to carrj them some distance.
Included in the routine at the front is much firing. The Rim crew is composed ol
seven ordinary men. a gunner, and a chief-of -section who .ire a bil above the common run.
The chief-of- section, who is a sergeant, unless there is a lot of beer at the echelon, when he
is replaced by a corporal, has many duties according to regulations. However, at the
trout his duties consist ol getting the gun (tews out at unpleasant hours, picking details
and spending much time in the P. ('. (a mysterious place whose formula is understood
only by the initiated) talking oxer things with the C. < >. (another mysterious term).
No one ever knows whal these talks are about, but it is understood on good authority
that some of the toughest problems of the war were settled at these conferences. At
hast, the chicbof-scction tries to make one believe that fact.
The corporal is in charge of the sights. This does not hinder him from letting s< nic-
otic cUr clean l hem. His duties are lo yell "Trail left," in the meantime pushing his hand
the wrong way, and to simulate work when officers are about. Corporals have I ecu
known to work, but this is a fault soon corrected.
The gun crew is composed ol seven cannoneers. Number One, the busiest man in
the war, does many mysterious things about the breech. He knows much more about
the gun than Mr. Schneider himself, and, what is more, is not bashful about telling all
he knows in a loud tone of voice. All Number Ones chew tobacco. Number Two and
Number four have nothing to do but ram home the shells. As shells only weigh about
one hundred pounds, this is an easy job. Good men at this work can push a shell right
through the gun and out ol the muzzle, and often have to be cautioned against doing this
lest the shells explode and kill off a gunner corporal or two. After the or six hundred
rounds, these men are apt to show signs of fatigue, expccially if they are a bit out of
condition. Number Three has the position de luxe. He does nothing but cut bag strings
with a little knife and mix the charges by throwing about slicks of powder in a non-
chalant manner. The one drawback to his work is that when the tiring is finished he
always draws a little detail. Numbers Five, Six and Seven do the heavy work. They
do the greasing and carrying of shells. A good Number Five can take nothing but a can
of grease and a brush, and hop at a defenceless shell with a cry of joy. When Ik- emerges
from the fray lie is carefully camouflaged with several coats oi grease, while the shell
itself is scarcely serviceable.
Teamwork is the essential to the success of the gun crew, and the Battery A gunners
always worked together in fine shape. In some batteries the cannoneers cursed at
each other, but not in Battery A.
After the firing is done, the gun is cleaned and tela id, and the gun-pit is tidied tip so
that it will be in good condition to get dirty again soon. A gun crew, gathered about a
breech block on a blistering hot day, applying kerosene to the rust spots which won't
come off, is indeed a happy sight. They are buoyed up by the thought that probably
they will have to fire again in a few minutes and then they will gel another chance to
clean the breech.
Dugouts are places of refuge; refuge for the cannoneer when he is about one jump
ahead of a Boche shell, for rats who desire food and lodging, and lor cooties who desire
not only food and lodging, but a nice, quiet place to breed. Dugouts are fitted with
bunks that bunch under the back and fall away from beneath the head. Modern dug-
outs have running water, lots of it; each bunk having more than it-, share. Often the
tired cannoneer awakes in the morning and finds that he has been saved the trouble of
pulling his clothes from beneath the bunk, that they are floating peacefully on his chest.
But despite the few discomforts, there are many feet of rock and earth and concrete oxer-
head, which gives plenty of protection and allows a man to sleep in peace.
The door of a dugout is always too small, especially when eight or nine cannoneers
are hurrying to refuge from an oncoming shell. Even when there is no cause to show
haste, a cannoneer must be a clever man if he does not bump his head and I, ill down stairs
when entering a dugout. Each door is lilted with a gas curtain tor which no ttse has
ever been discovered, although tin- gas guard watch oxer it with a greal (.ire.
When there are no dugouts, the cannoneers dwell in puptents. These leak in
mam- places when it rains, and it always rains. They are cold and have been found to
be but poor shelter against shell fragments. Butterflies have a habit of forcing their
way into a puptent without any hesitation whatever.
If the cannoneers are quartered in puptents, a trench is always dug, usually in
some inaccessible place. Cne of these trenches is good shelter from the front, sides and
back, but the overhead protection is not all that one may desire. The only time a trench
ever saved a man's life was when it was so muddy he didn't dare go in it for fear of
drowning. Trenches arc always small, but this is no obstacle to the cannoneers when
shells are hovering overhead.
The cannoneer has no regular day's work. He is subject to call at any time, and the
call usually comes at night after he has been fooling around for the greater part of the
day in the mini. On the 155 there is no work that isn't heavy, so the day's work is sure
to be arduous. There are shells to carry, guns to clean, holes to be dug. and, when there
is nothing else that an officer can think of, positions to police.
The bathing facilities at the front are anything but adequate, and a cannoneer who
washes once a week is considered by his dirty comrades as a bit too "stuck-up." The
men shave (when ordered to), and are required to wash their feet once a day in whale
oil. During the war the battery received one quart of whale oil, so this duty was some-
times neglected. The water is drawn from a nearby shellhole, and there is no more
beautiful sight than the face of a man who has just shaved in water from an old mustard-
gas shellhole. Drinking water is obtained from a water cart which is drawn to and from
the position by a decrepit mule and a fool mule driver who need plenty of aid from the
The clothing of a cannoneer at the front is worthy of note. Men who were sartorial
wonders at home sometimes allow their care for dress to lapse a bit under service con-
ditions. Those who never went in for dress at home just naturally let it slide. There is
always one torn shirt, covered with grease, above a pair of breeches with only one but-
ton left and lots of ventilation in the rear. It is a poor pair of breeches that doesn't dis-
play to the gaze ol the passer-by about three yards of underclothing. Puttees are never
worn, as the labor entailed putting them on is both useless and unnecessary. The shoes,
which are always too large, are encased in a layer of mud through which run little rivulets
of water which hesitate only when they reach a dirty sock, and then not for long. A
cannoneer at the front looks like the marooned hero of a motion picture after lie has
been on a desert island for nine years.
The chief annoyances at the front are shells and gas. The worst of all shells is the
"dud," oih' which fails to explode. Many a man has had his hair turn grey as he waited
for a "dud" to explode as he stood by and said his last prayers, ('.as isn't so bad, but
it makes necessary a gas mask, which has a faculty for punching one in the eye or in
the ribs at unexpected moments.
There are two ways to escape shells. One is to leap into the nearest dugout. The
only danger here comes from the possibility of a collision with a friend who is also leap-
ing. Or one may fall into a shellhole. If there is a dry hole and a wet one, filled with
mud and water, a cannoneer invariably picks out the wet one.
As a rule the shelling at a fixed position is pretty steady, and many an infantryman
who talks ot the easy and safe life in the artillery, has been seen to hurry by a position
with a strange look of apprehension in his eyes.
Despite the shells and the cooties and the gas, the cannoneer leads a happy existence.
Give him mail and food, and life isn't so bad after all. Truly, he makes most of the
happiness himself, but there are many laughable incidents at the front, and he can keep
in good humor.
When tlie cannoneer is out of the lines he has a feeling that the world owes him a
living. He will wail loudly when he is called upon to do any work at all, and takes guard
as an insult. He eats much, and drinks much, and longs to be back at the front. The
cannoneers had little time behind the lines, however, so that the ultimate study of their
psychology is impossible.
The cannoneer's life is a dangerous one, a dirty one, but like all American soldiers,
he quickly adapts himself to anything. He is just as happy at the front as he would
be at home, although he would deny that fact with much vigor. He complains a lot —
but, will, he'd complain if he were home.
Pictures Taken from Captured German Plates
■7,. : K#
VK Nil FCHJ
I ["HOI GH the ^uii^- and their attendants, the can-
noneers, were the mih' qua non of the little fracas in
France, thej would not have been of much value had
it nol been for the drivers and their charges. One was
dependent upon the other, despite the friendly arguments between the two as to
who won the war. The driver had unquestionably the easier of the two jobs, but
also the most monotonous. There was hardlj a driver who would nol have been a1 the
front, could he have been ih<' master
oi his own destiny: but someone had
to conduct the nags, and those who
had volunteered an affirmative answei
to the question, "Would you rather
be a driver and ride?" were picked.
In the earlier stages ol our careers as
"soldats Americaine," the drivers lis-
tened more or less attentively to lec-
tures on hippology, and tentatively
experimented with the few horses that
were at the disposal ol the Battery. Sometimes the horses did not take kindly to
the novitiates' experiments, and there came the consequent falls, bumps, kicks, and
bites that every good horseman must endure before he ran properlj be termed a
It was after a few weeks at our mudhole in Coetquidan that horses of all sort- and
varieties arrived wild, frisky horses with but a single thought not to be driven
by the hand of man. And it is still
the talk ol the Battery how the clerks,
student-, and young business men mas-
tered that set of equine devil-. Bill
Man and all his cowboy associates had
nothing on the driver-, according to
tlu- cannoneers, foi in the short space
ol a month, the horses were so trained
thai they pulled the guns and caissons
ovei the roads and through the mud
seas with hardlj ever a failure. [Yue,
at first, it sometimes took a do/en horses
to pull around an empty pare wagon
•1 1 K- \I I 1 1 ..1 \\
that six men could have moved with ease, but that wa- due to the misdirected energy
of the chevaux, one pair trying tor a direction due north and the others headed
for the remaining point- ol the compass.
Horse Lines ai Boxford, Mass.
food, and lumber, and it was seldom thai any i
than (nice every ten days. Strangely enough,
had the first real experiences with s
S wnii w I
1 1 was ai our first front thai the
life cil t he dri\ er commenced to be "I
interest. The first echelon, or horse
line, was located a1 Bucy le Long,
alicmi thirteen kilometers in the rear
of the lines. Here the horses were
kepi in stables thai were dry horse-
mansions compared with the two-foot
mud ll > thai existed at Coetquidan.
There were two or three trips a week
in the battery position in haul supplies,
me driver had to go to the front more
ii was the drivers in the echelon who
erman big Berthas dropping over some
ten or twelve 210mm. shells in an effort
to register on the railroad running along
the Aisiie. Naturally (he drivers were
more interested than afraid of their first
time under lire, Inn there wen- some
thai sought the Stvgian darkness (if
nearby wine cellars, explaining rather
sheepishly that they wanted to live
fur their country rather than die lor
ii which it must lie admit ted is en-
tirely praiseworthy. The same program
was followed on the Toul front, with the exception that the work was inure fatiguing
and more dangerous. Here the drivers had nightly in rim the gauntlel with Death
(in the well-known Dead Man Curve, and venture up In the adv. lined Junes I. Owing
to the lack of motor transportation and Decauville systems on this sector, it was neces-
sary that the drivers haul a large part of the ammunition and powder. During the
battle of Seicheprej and on several other occasions, the drivers winked night and day
supplying the gun positions mi the road all night and part (if the next day, coming
ill dead tired and then feeding and gr ning before even thinking (if their own well. ire.
This constant cart' of the horse showed its results when, towards the end oi the war, at
thi' echelon in Baleycourt, A Battery possessed the greatest number of serviceable
horses of any Battery in the regiment, a fad which won the praise of the regimental
and brigade commanders.
The Aisne-Marne offensive was undoubtedly the hardest task that the drivers and
their hitches were called upon to perform. From the day of the drive the drivers ol the
first four sections were on the go night and day, pulling the guns forward, grooming and
feeding their horses, foraging far and wide through the shell-torn countryside for grasses
and wheat, and sleeping at what odd moments could lie snatched from those hard and
fast traveling days. Between shells, bombs, sleeplessness, under-nourishment, and
worry for their tired beasts, it is small wonder that the drive was more or less ol a wild,
chaotic, feverish dream for them. All this added to the fad that it was the first time that
they were called upon to live a cannoneer's life.
in i ii \n u I ii i hi m Drive
The driver's life was far from being the dream of ease and leisure that the sometimes
too pessimistic cannoneers were wont to believe. It had its moments of leisure, but it
held for each such moment, hours of dreary, monotonous drudgery. The best testi-
monial that the drivers ever received came when the Chief of Staff, A. E. F., said that it
was never necessary to worry about the 51st Field Artillery Brigade, for, no matter how-
it was accomplished, the brigade was always there on time. And it was no less than the
driver that got the brigade there "on time."
No fancy breed were you brave, old war horses, shaggy and strong! Not of the
high-stepping, pedigreed kind were you, nor of the rare blueblooded. You were a vari-
egated equine assemblage mouse grey, strawberry roan, carrot red, dapple white, ebon
black, brick, and straw. Motley and mongrel, powerful of muscle and limb. Ever
trying, willing, suff'ring. Ofttimes hours on hours in deep ooze 'neath heavy packs
you waited and waited and shivered, while the cold night rain in miniature waterfalls
streamed from your bellies and legs, mud encrusted and numb. You knew the rack of
hunger and of thirst. You knew the utter anguish of forced marches. You knew the
bitter throes of steely war. Though you were without food and water, though loads
were heavy, and though long the highway and up-hill, you kept the traces taut. Though
you were weary and your backs were sore, and though your heads drooped low, you kept
the traces taut. Though crossroads, turns, and hairpin curves were shelled and re-
shelled, though gas, as a veil, floated over the narrow, sunken lanes, you kept the traces
taut. And when the men fell asleep in the saddle, drenched and exhausted, what of you?
You kept the traces taut. You had no trappings, no gay ornaments, as had the chargers
of warriors olden, no honors, no war-crosses, but you kept the traces taut. Brave old
war horses! Long familiarity with you has bred in us the highest admiration.
ALLOPINC, at a dead walk on
"Teeth," Corporal John Latham
Walker sunk his spurs the deeper
quivering sides and guided the faithful
certain shell-strewn, poppy-covered field
He was on a desperate mission. He glued his type EE binoculars to his eyes. There,
200 yards ahead, was his objective. It was then 16:32 o'clock. Could "Teeth" hold
out another half hour? Could his faithful yet ever-hungry charger forego the dainty
morsels beneath his feet long enough to make the Hamonville V. M. C. A. before
closing time? The soldier pictured his disgrace if he failed; the biting sarcasm of his
little Sergeant, Tim, if he returned empty-handed; the disappointment to John Little,
awakening two days later, and learning that the errand was fruitless.
Meanwhile, "Teeth" plunged nn, never missing a single blade of grass or a tender
sapling. Promptly at 16:59 the Y was reached. Corporal Walker dismounted, giving
the sharp command "At Ease" to the faithful "Teeth," who was already at "Parade
Rest" in a clump of weeds, eating his head off. < >ur hero staggered in, threw fifty francs
on the counter and hissed "des oeufs."
"My young friend, you are very late, too late in fact," said the Big Brother. "It
is now 17:01 o'clock, and we close at 17:00. Come tomorrow at 16:00 o'clock, when
"But they're for an officer," lied Corporal John Latham Walker, unblushingly.
"Ah, why did you not tell me that in the first place? How many dozen do you want?
And how about some chocolate and jam? I can very easily open up another case for
In a trice the sale was completed and he was atop "Teeth" again, riding in triumph
at the same breakneck walk to his Sergeant.
He had done his week's work. Had he failed, the specialists would have been re-
quired to eat the same chow as a cannoneer. Perish the thought.
* * * *
To our readers who are well versed in things military, but whose battles were all
fought at Devens, Dix, and points west, our little prologue may seem a little hazy, but
to us it is but a truthful pen picture of one of the many-sided activities of the specialists.
* * * *
At Boxford, when Battery A of Rhode Island was incorporated into the 103rd F. A.,
and the old Rock Island '98's turned in, the battery was reorganized under the tallies of
organization for six-inch artillery. The old fifth section was promoted or demoted (which-
ever way you choose to take it), to the tenth section, and the P. W. F.'s now lined up at
the left ol the batter} along with the cooks, K P.'s, supph sergeants and other camp
followers whose duties call foi better eats and a better place to sleep than the rest of the
batter} It was a grand mobilisation of talent, and in all fairness let ii be said that not
a single instance did the special detail >;i\ t- evidence thai ilu- confidence placed in them
l>\ the \\ .u I >epai tment, 01 « hoevei made up those tables ol organisation, was misplaced.
I mil Vpril 29th, 1919, we can truthfully say that the specialists .in- better, slept longer,
drank deepei and worked less than their more unfortunate brothers, the driver and the
I'ln-ii duties we shall brief!} speak oi here In the section were 'wo sergeants, sevt
corporalsand .i - othei loafers with the less exalted grade of private, first class,
upon whose shoulders toll the Herculean task of operating .1 four-drop switchboard
four hours in ever} h so this switchboard was installed in the best-lighted and
most comfortable dugout, tin- P. C, through whose doors came for distribution .ill mail.
\ thet reason whj the telephone operators were the most widelj read and best fed body
. .1 in batterj \
Wo have seen what von cu-as\ cannoneers and von foul-smelling drivers have written
about \oin jobs \ on poor deluded mortals'. We need not sa\ a word. Our actions
and inaction will live after us. rum to another page of this N->ok. Tan any soot ion
.\1 a delegation in the S.vioto des Mopes as the Special Detail? Hell, no.
Do you soo callouses on our hands, blisters on out feet, or eyes r\1 with sleepless
\ hell, no.
l'ho onK blot on om 'scutcheon was sustained when wo were away from the linos.
w . n on a Km*; hike wo turned our horsi sov< - 1 oomis and his herd of over-fed help,
and a few - ry third daj unless we could hide under a 'paulin,
which we usually found. But you poor fish, you walked every daj didn
Could Scott ha\o kept up his morale during - 5 uj days Jones 1. unless ho
had someone to read your letters to as ho censored them? We listened to thorn all.
\\ . k » \ . . girl as intimately as you do, and we know . ttj well just how the land
es with you and her.
V\\ shall lotexpla ... igth the intric; ss x - uldn't under-
stand them .,-».. t< -\ u \\ K Sniper had it not been
. hot in faultless communication wit!-. O.'s in the res
Hie shells nev» s real men to keep those lines
ared every foot during our three
s' sies ■ ■- very' front
\ . y did we s . Vt the echelon ^ - as fine
v strawberry roan, our s
blue a John Dean -
- .... king of beasts ss ss, pick
. . n ellig* . . s . \ - stangs
s all. We s .
v ships, savings
Chief" N - -
. . - est duties and "< \ - c -
x 1 g before July Is
c * '
& Y& v • VI
A< HINE guns .nid I55mm, Howitzers as
i ompanion in a< tion seem ralhei in< on
gruous .ii in i '.I. ■, 1 . 1 1 1 like manj anothi i
adaptation from the Allies' wai lessons, ii had Be(
■ in axiom that artillerj and mai hine guns were depend
ciii upon one anothei foi efficienl action. With the growing trength ol the German
.mi forces in the earl} daj - oi the war, the Allies learned the bittei truth thai theii
artillerj could be partially neutralized and even rendered useless bj the effective
use ol aeroplane observation and raids on artillerj positions, Ii was found, however,
thai il the batteries were equipped with machine guns, the unwel • birdme Id
I ie < 1 1 i \ en nil . il in il I hi uii'lil i Ii i\\ n.
Consequently, when the cannoneers began to studj the mysteries ol the big gun, .i
corporal and three men were detailed to master the intricacies ol the machine gun
Right then and there, the machine gunners ol \ Batterj started to earn their title as
the superlative machine gun artists in the regiment. Not onlj did they Bhine in com
petition in the training camp, the nearest crew being ie ds behind A Battery's fasl
trio, I hi i also in action al the front. Foi econds mean a lol in assembling and disas
sembling machine guns.
We were one ol the few Amerii an I atteries to use the Freni h gun, .i Bhorl des< ription
ol which follows:
The entire mechanism ol the Hotchkiss gun contains Inn thirty pieces, which are
assembled withoul a single screw. The parts are so constructed that il is impossible to
improperly assemble them. With nothing ol a too-difficult oi technical nature to be
learned, the main objecl in life foi the machine gunners w.i^ speed and accurate firing
The gun is composed ol a special rifle barrel, joined to a breech cover, < ontaining the
firing mechanism. The rifle barrel differs from i dinarj rifle barrel in that it is
slightly heavier, and so better able to stand the rough u iage and constanl vibration that
the ordinary rifle is not subjeel to. The cartridges are mounted on rigid, metallii strips,
tO i entimeters long, each In. Mini; 24 rounds. There is also the articulated strip holding
250 rounds, bul this was seldom used. The gun is ordinarilj upported bj a tripod,
.mil fire directed bj means "I a handle al the butl ol the piece. The gun is fired bj .i
type el pistol trigger, and the es< aping gases are directed into a gas piston which operati
,i mechanism ol extraction, each shot furnishing enough powei to advance ili<- ship
containing the cartridges, recock the piece and eject the used cartridge. The gun .
as used with the Battery wen-, however, placed on special mounts foi anti-aircraft
work. At the Bal tery positions, the gum were carried on a post which, in turn, supported
.in offset carriage, allowing the gun to fire al extreme elevation. While on the
road, the Kims were, as a rule, strapped to the caisson limber, and set on the s|»-< i.d aero
plane mourn as a protection against any too-daring, marauding plane. The speed of
fire was regulated by a check on the gas pressure. Ii was possible to fire (>()() rounds a
minute, but as a rule, the tiring was done in short bursts, so as not to wear out tile barrel
and to prevent overheating. There were two kinds of cartridges used, the "1 )" cartridge,
similar to those used in the French infantry rifle; and the tracer cartridge, which burned
a phosphorescent blue as it traveled through the air. The latter were used to inform
the gunner just where hi-- shots were going. Usually, every fifth cartridge in a strip is
At the front, the machine gunners were quick to realize the utter worthlessness oi
the complicated system of tire control and range finding. By the time that the weary
crew had the range, speed of flight and direction of travel figured out, the plane was some
ten miles out of the way. Inasmuch as effective firing can only be done while the hostile
plane is within It II 1(1 feet, some better method had to be devised. And so it came about
that the gunner corporal relied upon his good right eye for direction, and estimated the
height and speed from experience, the plane being picked up for markings by some other
member ot the crew . As soon as the buzz of a plane was heard, the man on duty at the
machine gun swept the sky regions with his glasses, located, and identified the plane.
If the black cross which marked a German plane was picked up, the cannoneers were
warned to take cover, and the crew of the machine gun prepared for action. One man
inserted a strip of cartridges, while the gunner kept his gun trained slightly ahead of the
approaching plane. If the Boche aviator had apparent designs on the Batter} position
and came too close for safety, the gun opened up with a spurt of lead and kept it up until
the plane was driven off.
During the Seicheprey battle, the artillery did not have the best of aeroplane pro-
tection, and one German plane circled low over the position, directing fire on [ones I.
The machine gunners, despite the heavy bombardment which was then going on arourd
the position, stuck pluckily to their posts and made it so uncomfortable for the intruder
that he soon flew away, with his task uncompleted.
From then on until the Battery was installed on the outskirts of Beauvardes, during
the Aisne-Marne offensive, the machine gunners had very little to do. Not that there
were no more German planes, but because the Battery had secured positions which
were well concealed, and unnecessary firing on the part of the machine guns might have
revealed the hiding-place to the Germans, which would have made it both personally and
strategically unpleasant for the Batten,'. At Beauvardes, however, the artillery was
so placed that discovery meant little or nothing. There was intense traffic through the
position, and the rear of the position seemed to be an attractive spot to park armored
cars and what not. Consequently, the invading German planes singled out the point
a- worthy of special attention, and busy were the machine gunners. At the same place
bombing planes came over in the early evening, but were not fired upon for the good
and sufficient reason that the bombing plane would fire back, and no matter how you
would figure it, the machine gunners could not see the percentage in exchanging a few
more or less useless bullets for a ton or so of high explosive dropped in their immediate
It was not until the Battery arrived at Death Valley, so called, which was north of
Verdun, and elsewhere in this book more fully described, that the machine guns worked
every day. Our aeroplanes had evidently all disappeared, or perhaps it was thought
unnecessary to use them. At any rate, the Germans played hide and seek with the
Battery every day, sneaking over the tops of the hills and below their crests around the
corner of the ravine. They spied at the most unexpected times, and calmly made ob-
servations for their own artillery. The results were rather disconcerting for the Battery,
because the Germans for once were accurate, and shells that ought to have blown the
guns out of the ground, landed directly behind and in the gun-pits. Very fortunately,
a larger part of the close ones were duds. But the machine gunners kept everlastingly
at it, making it so hot for our multitudinous visitors that a lot of damage that might
otherwise have been done was averted.
The Battery Combat Train
CREAKING wheels, and straining equine refuse used to announce the approach
of the battery combat train, or the 5th and 6th Sections.
A Parcwagon is a rather long-drawn-out affair as wagons go, with sides four feet
high and springs. Into its spacious depths are piled boxes, bags, baggage of all sorts
and descriptions. Officer's roll, blacksmith's coal, mechanic's tools, and Captain's stools;
misfit shoes, and bolts and screws; breeches, coats, and extra oats, rakes, rope, and harness
And is there a hitch of strong and able horses picked out to haul these towering loads?
There is not. In a battery the guns are naturally the most important consideration,
and therefore the cream of the horseflesh is selected to draw them. Thereby the inferior
residue goes to the supply wagons. And the men? There are, of course, men in the com-
bat train — but the guns have to be served — and they have to be served by the best
Let us hurt no one's feelings. We will hasten on to say that the 5th and 6th Sections
invariably got there. It has often occurred to the writer, who was himself once a 6th-
Section non-com, that those who had rejected and laid aside apparent lemons in the
garden of efficiency, had ofttimes passed up peaches unaware.
Let it be said of the 5th and 6th Sections that with the exception of the time when
one of its heavily laden carryalls pressed its wheels through the pavement of a street in
Chateau-Thierry, it never delayed the Battery on a maneuver or failed to draw into
camp in good order.
CAMP Beeckman, where the majority of us received our baptismal mouthful oi the
wild and witching joys of the army, was situated eighteen miles I rum Providence,
at Quonset Point, <m the shores of Narragansett Bay. Here for main years the
State of Rhode Island mobilized and trained for varying periods, usually in the early
summer months, its various cavalry, ambulance and field artillery units of the National
• uiard. During the Spanish-American War, A Battery, under the command oi ('apt.
E. R. Barker, was stationed lure for eleven months, and fieri- the bal tery camped in 191 7,
approximately four weeks in July and August, under the hot sun and the dogstar. 1 Hiring
tli is period were also under canvas al (amp Beeckman, Batteries B ami C, Troops A, B,
C, and M, and the Ambulance Company.
The camp grounds at Quonsel Point possessed many of the requisites oi a good
military training post. Surrounding the stone storehouse, the barn, and three wooden
barracks, were expansive grassy fields, excellent for the purpose ol mounted and dis-
mounted instruction, and for reviews. The salt air was always invigorating, and the
thick woods that fringed the grounds afforded excellent outdoor classrooms for lectures
on hippology, materiel, guard duty, etc., by the sun-kissed, stripling survivors ol the
Mexican Border tour of duty. Still another striking feature of the camp was its mani-
fold facilities for personal cleanliness. In addition to numerous washstands, sho
baths were installed for each organization, and as the water supply was always adequate,
nothing obstructed the path of any individual who chose to bathe. Furthermore, the
briny blue waves of the bay were but a few stone's throws distant, and thus aquatic-
sports frequently gave tittilations to our nerves. However, the "big noise" at Quonset
Point was the tin flivver,. our seven-league boots, which joggled us to Providence and to
the only only.
The preliminary work of pitching tents was done by a detail of five officers and
thirty-two men, who left the Armory for Mounted Commands on July 2,-ird. Meanwhile.
on July 25th, the battery paraded in Providence, and on the following forenoon arrived at
Quonset Point. After a short time things fell into their natural course, the red letter
clays being but few in number. Anent the red letter days, see the Battery Calendar.
A day's schedule at Quonsel usually commenced with finger-stretching and toe-
spreading exercises by the numbers. Gymnastics were followed by the Elysian raptures
<>l picking up lollypop slicks, ice cream boxes and spoons, and the newspapers, thought-
fully dropped everywhere by our "picnicy" visitors. The joys of policing over, the
cannoneers victoriously fought sham battles with that large and most deadly engine of
destruction, the American three-inch field piece, vintage ofl 880, while the drivers, mounted
on fiery charges, made Buffalo Bill even in the heyday of his career, look amateurish.
Then the mellifluous harmony of the bugle, blown with consummate delicacy by one of
the battery's arch-musicians (whose musical proclivities were inherited from his mother,
wlio had operated the steampipes of a circus calliope during two trans-American seasons),
announced that mess was ready. The men, full of joy, of breeze, and of sunshine, ad-
vanced to receive their portion of Blue Points on the half shell, sirloin steak smothered
in onions, French-fried potatoes, angel cake, and a cup of iced Oolong tea. After lun-
cheon at 12 o'clock the men were at leisure all the time until 1 o'clock. At this hour, the
scintillating French love romances were tossed aside and the men were marched onto
the drill grounds to practice "to the left, take two pace intervals" and all the other
movements (hat won the war. After retreat, the fortunate ones who had passes "slicked
up" to go to East Greenwich, Apponaug, and Providence. Those of us who were obliged
to stay at Quonset philosophized that Quonsel after all was a better place than Rhodes,
and .ii taps «<■ enveloped ourselves in our emerald-colored netting and were lulled to
sleep by tlie soporific humming of the mosquitoes.
To go to Providence dressed like a Brigadier General it was necessary to have a
great granary of gall. First, it was conventional to borrow from someone his new Stetson
hat, someone else's leather puttees, from still a third person his tight-fitting blouse,
and from sonic other "Easy Mark" his tan shoe polish and nickel-plated spurs. After
putting a Sir Bulwer-I.yt ton looking-glass finish on shoes and puttees, and incidently
borrowing a dollar from Soft Guy, it was customary for the embryo general to dash for
a jitney, vault into it and shout: "To Providence and my Queen of Sheba."
ON the extreme southern part of the department of file - et -Vilaine, about thirty
miles from the city of Rennes, is situated Camp de Coetquidan, home of Battery
A from November 2nd, 101 7 , until February 2, 1918. The buildings crown
oneof a long line of low hills, while the tiring range extends for main kilometers west, into
the hilly country of the region.
The camp itself is oneof the oldest and finest in France, or in the world. The old stone
barracks, which now form the nucleus of the larger camp, have housed many thousands
of soldiers. It was here that Napoleon once trained his men for the gnat wars of the
early nineteenth century. In a little wood, not far from the center of the camp, is a
church where the Great Consul at one time worshipped, while further out on the range
is the shell of the once-comfortable home where he lived.
Many famous generals have had their first course of training here, and some of the
hardiest soldiers of France have gone out from the old barracks to fight and die for their
country. In the villages about the camp, one may see the quaint insignia of those men
who went in 1870 to meet heroically the most bitter defeat France ever suffered.
At the outbreak of the war in 1914 the French, realizing the extreme value of the
camp, set out on a series of improvements and enlargements which were to make the
grounds and buildings as they were when Battery A arrived in November, I'M 7. When
the United States entered the war, it was seen that Camp de Coetquidan, with its proximity
to St. Nazaire and Le Havre, would be an ideal training place for Americans. The
first Americans to take the camp over wire the batteries of the 101st Regiment; the first
troops of the 51st Brigade to reach France, the first National Guard artillery to train in
The camp, when the first troops of the 26th Division arrived, was large enough to
quarter over five thousand soldiers. The Americans had been given practically all the
buildings for their use; the French reserving only a few barracks for German prisoners
who were engaged in the work of construction and improvement, and the French guards,
men too old or physically unfit for the harder service at the front.
On either side of the main road which leads through the camp are long rows of
wooden barracks, and the better constructed buildings of tile and brick which are em-
ployed for headquarters and offices. The 103rd Regiment was given two rows of barracks
at the western end of the camp, next to those occupied by the 102nd. It received
these as permanent quarters about a week after arriving in camp, having had temporary
quarters nearer the camp entrance assigned on its arrival.
The regimental unit consisted of four rows of barracks, four stone kitchens, four
washhouses, an infirmary and a headquarters and post office building. The A Battery
street was used also by Battery B and the Headquarters Company, running from a road
which roughly marked the southern boundary of the camp to the main roadway. From
the tool ot the street one could look out over a beautiful valley, rimmed by a gray range
ni hills thai losl itsell in the mists many miles away. At the head was the hospital — six
large, concrete buildings which, although poorly equipped and managed at first, be-
came later a> comfortable and well equipped, both in materiel and personnel, as many of
the large lusc hospitals.
Hack ol the hospital, occupying the eastern end of the long range plateau, was the
gun park, where were kept the guns of two brigades. Beyond this the hill slipped at
first gently and then abruptly into the valley where lay St. Malo de Bcignon. On the
upper part of this slope were the newly built stables, which were not occupied for several
weeks alter the Battery's arrival. Across the road from the stables lay the stone bar-
racks, occupied by the lOtsl Regiment. Above these were the two water lowers, built
on the highesl point in the camp and visible for miles. Beyond these, to the west of the
gun park, was the range with its flat tableland, for the most pari grassy meadow, but
with here and there a thicket of low trees.
The range itsell was large, extending a-- it did for almost unlimited distances into
the country, and ideal for artillery training. The gun positions were all on the large
plateau which ran westward from the camp, a plateau almost as ll.it and even as a floor,
rhis slid away into a narrow valley, from the other side of which emerged a range of hills,
whose slopes com. lined the targets employed. One of these targets was an old village
which had been boughl by (he French government and was being gradually battered in
pieces under the constanl firing of the guns. Guards were maintained along tin 1 roads
at various points to keep unwary travellers from the danger /ones. On the edge of the
plateau wen- also situated (he observation towers, from which observation was made,
and corrections telephoned to the pieces.
The climate at the camp was equable compared lo thai of New England, but the
damp winds, which brought with them much rain and snow, were exceedingly depressing
and unhealthful for the Americans. A few days after the Battery's arrival, the winter's
rains and snows set in, and ever after the ground was little more than a sea of mud, save
on the range with its thick carpet of mailed grass. Ai one lime the weather was verj
colli, a condition uncommon to that section of France.
The barracks, the homes of the men tor three months, were long, brown wooden
buildings, with interior walls painted a dirty while. The men slept in one large room
which accommodated fifty. Al (he from of each barrack were' small rooms used as
offices, supply rooms, and living quarters for the more fortunate.
In the middle of the main room was a wide aisle, on either side of which the bunks
were laid on a platform raised about a foot above the floor level. Each man had a
mattress, and wall, and shelf space al the head of his bunk for equipment. The windows
were long, narrow and close to (he eaves. In the center of the barrack were two doors
used as side exits. Stoves were placed in each end of the room, but these were not large
enough to give much heal, although when the wood supply was plentiful the quarters
were kept fairly warm.
The lib' at Coetquidan was a strange mixture of hardships and pleasures. In the
morning at 6:00 o'clock, the men stumbled out of the barracks to stand reveille in the
cold darkness. Breakfast was eaten in the gray light of the dawn, and the men were
usually at the stables and on the range before (he sun had risen fully. The quarters
iii the morning were usually deserted save for a few sick men and the room orderlies,
whose task it was to keep the floors clean and the lues going.
At noon the men would come in only long enough to leave a little mud in the aisles
and eat their mess, which usually consisted of a watery slew and some hard, French bread.
Late in the afternoon the men returned from their work and, after they had eaten their
supper, which was probably a repetition oi the noonday meal, went out to the environs
of the camp for amusement, or lay on their hunks reading, talking or playing cards.
The scene in the barracks in the evening is almost indescribable. The electric
lights were practically useless, so the men lighted many candles. Above the candles
was a heavy pall of smoke that eddied its way to the rafters, almost hiding the ceiling
There were always the loud hum of voices and the scuffle of hobnailed shoes to
make a tumult that suggested a frenzy of speed which was not present. Main- a book
was read, many a game of cards played to the accompaniment of clinking sous and francs,
while the popular and ancient African game of craps was not unknown.
Late in the evening the men returned from their wanderings in search oi . i muse -men t ,
adding with their voices in a great measure to the general hubbub. Then the rooms
gradually quieted down, and by Taps most of the men were in bed, although a lew re-
mained awake to finish a chapter or lo continue in whispers a late game ol cards.
Finally, when all were asleep, the quarters took on a quiel ili.it was interrupted only
by an occasional visit from the Officer of the Day, or by the noise when some zealous guard
in pushing open a window from the outside would knock several mess kits onto the
It was a queer life, but one which will be looked back lo by most of those who were
at Coetquidan with the happiesl recollections; unexciting, but enough to fulfill the
demands of ihose who were working hard all day preparing for the life at the front.
The stables were long, wooden buildings, some of them almost slipping oxer the
edge of the steep hill which led lo St. Malo de Beignon. They were open on one side,
and then- was an area between them where a pickei line was stretched, to which the
horses were lied for grooming and harnessing.
Thi' nearest watering place was several hundred yards awa\ down the hill from the
1 01 si barracks, while another watering trough was at the foot of the hill beyond St. Malo.
Getting horses down the Steep incline lo Water them was not easy, as the horses were
vicious French animals and the men wen- inexperienced.
It was lo these stables that the men were forced lo Stumble early each morning
when the whole camp was lost in a discouraging gloom, which was usually a mixture of
Hying rain or snow, blown on by a wind that bit its way into the body. Early in the
morning the ground about the stables was half-frozen mud, deeply rutted by wagon
wheels and horses' hoofs. Later in the day the mud thawed into a liquid with the
consistency and adhesion of glue. At all limes the walking about the stables was ex-
tremely difficult, and as the days went on this difficulty increased, rather than lessened.
The morning's work began with watercall. After this the horses were harnessed,
and there followed a tedious riding drill or a trip to the range to move the guns. The
drivers were forced to ride all morning, and sometimes all afternoon, in the biting wind
that made fingers little but useless, frozen stumps. All the time the horses were kicking
about in mud that almost encased them in its sticky, frozen folds. Then, when the work
was finished, the horses were broughl back to the stables and groomed. Grooming in
the twilight, when the horses were mere masses <>l mud and hair, was no easy task.
While the drivers were laboring throughout the day, the cannoneers were working
with the ,mins. It was interesting enough at tirst when everything was new, but eventually
the work lost its glamour of novelty. Early in t lie course of training, the guns were tired
from near the camp, but later they wen- pulled farther and farther out on the range, so
that it became necessary to leave the barracks long before daylight to get the pieces in
action in time lor the tirst good observation. Time after time the men were pulled out
on the range to stand about in the fog, rain or snow, awaiting orders t< lire which nevei
When there was no tiring, the cannoneers were engaged in standing gun drill, the
monotonous bane ot an artilleryman's life. On weekends, speed tests were engaged in.
Battery A usually coming out ahead in competition with other batteries.
Frequenl inspections of quarters were held, usually on Sundays, when the men felt
that the day was theirs. Several mounted inspections took place on the range, and
although they meant a little extra work, they came as a welcome relief from the ordinary
This, then, was the daily life of the cannoneers and drivers. But despite the hard-
ships, which at that time were real hardships to men fresh from factory, office or college,
the Battery came through the winter in good physical condition. It is a fact that the
103rd Regiment had the best health record of any organization at the camp. The men
from the Middle West in the (>7th Brigade were particularly susceptible to the change
in climate, and suffered considerably during the winter.
Xo matter how hard the day's work had been, there were always the amusements
of the night, which, though at first they seemed inadequate, gave a great relief after
the hard work of the day.
There were always the villages about the camp to be visited, to say nothing of the
stores and cafes which lined the Guer road beyond the camp gate. St. Malo, a tiny
hamlet, smothered in the blackness at the foot of the hill, to be reached only after an
almost perilous descent down the steep, muddy slope, was the end of many a night's pil-
grimage. Nearer yet was Coquinville, a cluster of houses and cafes, perched on a ledge
above St. Malo, where one could obtain many eggs and much apple-sauce, and might
even play a game of billiards at the home of "Shortee," the smallest barmaid in France.
And then the "Galerie Militaire," with its thousands of useless souvenirs, was always
More often, however, the weary soldier turned to the "Univers" or other cafes along
the ( '.tier road. Here he was sure to be forced to pay doubly for food and drinks, while
outside at the miserable little stands, with their even more miserable proprietors, he
was liberally overcharged.
The autocrat of the Guer road was Chicago Joe, the baker, who, aided greatly by
his pretty wife and a little by his command of English, made and sold apple pies for
nine francs, or over SI. 50, to say nothing of many other indigestible bits of pastry. There
was the "General Store" where Mademoiselle sold anything or everything, and made one
forget the price when she smiled. And just before it was time to go home, the American
papers arrived trom Paris, so that one could read the Peace news and argue on the chances
of the Battery's ever seeing action.
When it grew late and the time came to go home, there was the little formality of
passing the Military Police at the gate. Although every man was carefully searched for
concealed bottles, many a small bottle was brought in beneath a hat or concealed in one
of the long loaves of French bread which were so common.
Then came Sunday. Sometimes there was a dreaded inspection, which accomplished
little beyond putting both officers and men into an ill humor. But after this was over,
there was plenty of opportunity to visit Guer, St. Malo, Beignon, Plelan or Paimpont,
while the more ambitious sought Ploermel, some twenty kilometers away.
Guer was a typical village of Brittany, and in many ways, typical of France. It
was made up of low, stone houses with dirty exteriors and scrupulously clean interiors;
of shops, indescribably dirty and cluttered ; of cafes which sprung at one from everywhere.
The Church rose above the dirty houses about it in the main square, and along the roads
leading to the Church, could always be found the carts of the sidewalk venders who sold
nuts and fruit.
The other villages of the neighborhood, with the exception of St. Malo, were harder
to reach than Guer, but had the advantage of not being overrun by Americans. If one
tired of village life, there was always a walk in the countryside to visit the ruins of
some ancient, feudal chateau or a Napoleonic church, or to see the peasants and observe
The Mecca of the Americans was Rennes. Here was a city where one walked on
real pavement, saw real tramcars and talked to pretty mademoiselles. Of course there
was a tedious, three hours' ride on the "T. I. V.", or Tramways Ille-et-Vilaine, where one
was lucky to procure a seat even on top of one of the toy cars. But it was a city, and
no matter how tedious the trip, or how foolish the expenditures, anrl they were often
very foolish, each soldier described the day's leave as a "fine time."
The work accomplished by the Regiment at Camp de Coetquidan was really notable,
and marked a fine achievement for the men who wintered there. Tin- drivers had had
no experience, and yet in a short time, with French horses, who were naturally vicious
and difficult to handle, and on roads which were usually little but mudholes, they gained a
mastery of the art of driving which made possible their later skill under service conditions.
The cannoneers, who had never seen a 155mm. Howitzer until they reached the
camp, mastered their work in an extremely short time, greatly surprising the French,
from whom they won the highest commendation. And all this was accomplished under
weather conditions that were extremely trying, by men who were unused to hard work
in the open.
To the officers goes much credit for the results shown. By their untiring patience
and careful example, they were always of the utmost aid and inspiration to the men.
There were many hardships, for most of the men were new to the game. At times
they were tried almost to the limits of their endurance, but never did the morale ebb
sufficiently to interfere with the rapid advance of the training. And, after all, these
hardships made it possible for the men to overcome the difficulties of the trying drive at
Chateau-Thierry, where Germany's power was at last broken.
Despite the hardships, the members of Battery A will always look back to Coetquidan
as their one real home in France. Many of the difficulties will fade away into the mists,
while the memories of the leisure hours will remain among the most vivid and valued of
all recollections of France.
X the gentle slope of thai vine-covered hillside between
the little village of Beaumont and the soft green
shade of Jury Wood there was situated, in the early
Spring of 1918, a Battery of 95's. But there are those who
would tell it differently, and they tersely called it the middle of Hell's Halfacre. There
was Mont See in the front yard, Jones I at the right, Dead Man's Curve just behind,
and the communication trench to Seicheprey at the left. Shorts from the curve, overs
from tin- road, and a by-no-means small allowance (if hate for the position itself — such
was the life on that quiet hillside.
Because of the large front held by the Division on the Toul Sector, it was necessary
to organize from the personnel of the regiment, several batteries of Sector Artillery.
Such were the 95's, or Davis Battery, under the command of First Lieutenant Davis.
With him, from A Battery, were Sergeant Broadhead, Corporal Dowe, Privates Batchel-
ler, Burrows, Crowther, Derry, Laxton, and Williams. The new Battery from the
103rd relieved a similar battery from the 7th Field Artillery on the evening of April 4th,
the men being rushed by trucks from Rangeval before they could drop their packs after
the long 14-day hike from Brienne-le-Chateau.
When the men emerged from their dugouts on the following morning, they quickly
learned why their guide had insisted on such haste in getting them under cover on the
preceding night .is they tumbled out of the trucks and stumbled in the darkness to the
position. The fresh shellholes, the stale odors of gas, and the litter from previous bom-
bardments explained it satisfactorily.
As at Jones I. there was no attempt at camouflage. The position was known, very
well known. In place oi camouflage, a lavish amount of cement blocks, sand bags, steel
and wooden beams was employed. The dugouts looked secure, and the gun emplace-
ments, banked waist-high with sand bags, afforded a fair degree of protection to the gun
d'he first day was spent in a stiff drill on the new guns. The position was a much
more important one than any held by the regiment on the Chemin-des-Dames, and at
any time the occasion might arise which would bring a call for artillery. Situated scarcely
one thousand yards from the German line, the 95's were in a position to respond to such
an appeal quickly and with telling effect. Accordingly, officers and men set about learn-
ing their new duties with the utmost energy and enthusiasm. So well was this done,
that when the first order to fire came at seven o'clock that evening, a hurry call by rocket
from the infantry, it was a 95mm. gun that first illumined the hillsides with its flash.
Less than twenty-four hours after reaching the position, the Battery had not only learned
to serve the guns, but was the first to respond to a call for a barrage.
It was strange yet interesting work serving these guns, old 1885 model cannons
with their fortress mounts and antiquated recoil and sights. It was still stranger work
firing them. When the lanyard was pulled, there was not the graceful recoil of the 155's.
Instead, the piece had to be fastened to a steel plate in the floor of the emplacement
in order to keep it from backing entirely out of the gun-pit. When fired, the tube, which
was merely balanced on its mount, swayed up and down while the carriage rocked and
tossed about for a good five seconds. When finally its efforts were spent, the gun was
pushed back into position for the next round.
Within the next three weeks, the Battery was thoroughly organized. Though it had
within its organization men from all the units of the regiment, every one found his place
and was already showing a pride in the existence of the new Battery. Stiff firing schedules
were assigned daily, which were always completed with a promptness and effectiveness
that early earned the commendation of the higher commanders. During this period
all spare time was spent in improving the position or in repairing the damage caused by
the frequent bombardments.
( )n the morning of April 20th, came the attack on Seicheprey. At the very beginning
of the preliminary bombardment the position was subjected to a withering fire of gas
and high explosive from German artillery concentrated on the sector opposite. One of
its particular missions seems to have been to silence the 95's, which, because of advantages
of position and range would be a highly dangerous factor in repulsing a raid.
Within a very few seconds after the bombardment had begun, the infantry had sent
up their rocket, calling for assistance. The second, third, and fourth gun crews were
immediately called to their guns, the first piece being out of commission. It was in-
credible, so violent was the shelling, that the men could make their way from the dug-
outs to their guns. Yet they did, stumbling through the heavy fog which enveloped
everything, found their places, and in a few moments were returning the German fire.
The third section was put out of action before it could get off a shot by a direct hit upon
the trail of the piece. But one man of the crew remained unwounded. The two re-
maining guns carried on the work in the face of this blinding fire for fully five hours.
Throughout this period there was a steady rain of shells in and about the position, which
seemed almost automatic in its regularity. First the whistle of the incoming salvo of
shells was heard, and immediately afterwards the slight or violent concussions, depending
upon the proximity of the bursts. Then, as the patter of the flying mud and shell splinters
on the ground was dying away, there would come again the piercing whistle announcing
the next salvo. At regular intervals the sharp crack of one of our own slower-firing gur.s
would be heard, blotting out for a moment the noise of exploding shells.
From two hours before daylight until well into the morning this kept up. The men,
under heavy fire for practically the first time, were compelled to work in their gas masks,
thus increasing their discomfort and hampering their movements. Fifteen out of the
forty-four at the position were either killed or wounded. Vet the remainder carried
out the nearly doubled amount of work thus made necessary through these casualties
until 8:30, when the supply of ammunition was exhausted.
There was now time to learn the extent of the damage and look after the wounded,
w liile a new supply of ammunition was being brought up from the rear. Sergeant Broad-
head, who had volunteered to help in getting out the gun crows during the early minutes
of the engagement, had been killed. Just as he had completed his work, a shell splinter
had wounded him in the back. He refused the assistance of one of the cannoneers in
getting him to the dressing station, insisting that every man was needed on the guns.
As lie worked his wa\ to the dugout, another shell brought the end. Lieutenant Aver of
Batterj C was wounded alter giving the data to the gunners. When Lieutenants 1 >a\ is
and Wheat attempted to remove him to safety another shell struck in the midst of the
group, throw ing all three to the ground, killing Lieutenant Aver, and wounding Lieutenant
Wheat. Private Roger Wilson of Battery F was wounded immediately upon leaving
his dugout. Word was brought to Private Frank E. Cordon of Battery E that Wilson
was King wounded and must be brought in. Gordon was at that moment in reserve,
King on his bunk in his dugout. Jumping up, he rushed to his friend's side. Carrying
Wilson in his arms, he started hack through the rain of shells, when one, striking close,
killed both, hour killed and fifteen wounded before scarcely a shot had been tired.
With the arrival of the first ambulance, came Father Farrell. He stayed at the por-
tion throughout the attack, until wounded on the following afternoon.
The remainder of the day and the following day were spent in tiling as each new
supply of ammunition was brought up. The casualties during this period included six
wounded. The enemy continued to send over everything that he had. After the first
furious bombardment a 'plane was sent oxer to ascertain the extent of damage inflicted
upon the position. Die Battery was still tiring. Swooping down to a height of fifty
meters, it sprayed the gun-pits with it> machine gun. This fire was returned in kind from
rifles by everyone not actually engaged in the firing. After several severe bombard-
ments throughout the first day, a further attempt was made in the evening to finish the
job. A deluge of large caliber shells over 200mm. in size was poured into the position.
The Hat tery was not tiring at the time, and the damage was confined solely to the dugouts,
three of which were partially destroyed, lint throughout all this, the Battery held its
position until the following afternoon, when it was ordered to withdraw and construct
a new position.
The conduct of the Battery is best told in a communication from Major Chaffee
to Ceneral Lassiter, as follows:
"This command was made up of details from the various organizations of the regi-
ment, placed under the command of Lieutenant Joseph C. Davis ami attached to this
battalion. Within a few days, it appeared well organized, able to serve the 95mm. guns
issued to it effectively, and its Battery commander was asking for opportunities to fire.
"Thereafter there was hardly a time when any position was called upon to tire but
that 4()() was ordered to tire with it. There was very little cover for the gun squads.
The enemy adjusted frequently and very accurately. An emplacement was destroyed
by enemy tire. The Battery promptly reconstructed it. The guns were one by one put
out of action, but repaired and returned to duty again.
"On the twentieth, after hours of tiring, mostly in gas masks, with all telephone
lines cut, all guns put out of action except one, one officer and three men killed, and his
remaining officer and nine men out of the little command wounded, the Battery com-
mander sent to me by runner, asking for more ammunition.
"This was supplied, and later in the day the command carried mil the barrage
assigned to it with the remaining gun under a severe fire and al a time when, it is reported
to me, the neighboring batteries were silent.
"From what I can learn of that night and day ol serving the guns, there were acts
of gallantry and devotion that measure up to the highest standards of American artillery."
General Lassiter, in forwarding Major Chaffee's report to General Edwards,
appended this note:
"Forwarded, recommending that this letter be put on record in Washington, as
testifying to the courage and devotion to duty of this officer (Lieutenant Davis) and the
men under him, all belonging to the 103rd Field Artillery."
Too much cannot be said in appreciation of the conduct of the men during the occu-
pation of this position, nor can too much credit be given to Lieutenant I )avis for his part
in setting, by his own conduct, an example for his men. I >uring the Seicheprey engage-
ment, the first real warfare lo be seen, he was to be found above the ground every moment
during the heaviest of the bombardment, exposing himself constantly to danger, in order
to help in the firing — stopping for a moment in some gun-pit to hearten the gun crews,
helping here in evacuating a wounded soldier, constantly removing his gas mask to test
for gas, at all times having a complete command of the situation. Later, as fresh supplies
of ammunition arrived, he helped in unloading the truck and in carrying the ammuni-
tion himself. If one man was needed lor a particularly hazardous duty, instead of sending
anyone he would perform it himself. At all times it was his coolness and firm courage
that served as the inspiration to .ill those who served with him during the attack.
After ten days at the echelon at Rangeval, the Battery, with new men to replace
the casualties, moved to Mandres for the construction of its new position, two hundred
meters east of the town, ('.round was broken on the fourth of May, and the four guns
installed in time for the Kichec ourt-Lahayville raid later in the month. The work
continued throughout June both in improving the gun emplacements and in the con-
struction of dugouts. Finally, when the Battery was relieved, two dugouts, each large
enough to accommodate sixteen men, had been quarried from solid rock underlying the
position. The guns were never called upon to lire as often as at the former position,
because of the desire to keep location secret from the enemy. It was more of a reserve
position, cleverly camouflaged, and one which could, in event of a successful enemy-
offensive, do valuable work in holding in check the hostile infantry while a part of the
artillery was being withdrawn. No fire was received on the position except scattering
shots from the many targets which flew thick on all sides.
The relief was completed late in the afternoon of June 27th, by a French battery, and
the men were returned to their own organizations. It meant the end of the 95's, and, as
much as the men welcomed the relief and the opportunities to get back to their own
batteries, there was, nevertheless, a feeling of regret at its breaking up.
Ill' village of Seicheprey, aboul 25
kilometers northeast of Toul, known
td all American troops who ever held
the Toul sector, was situated almost in the
front lines, like any village so placed, its houses had become mere piled-up ruins, ii-
streets churned and rutted roads. However, these battered wall- and torn streets
offered ideal protection for strong points of defense. So, before the coming ol the Ameri-
cans, the French had set up several anti-tank guns in the edge oi the village which faced
the German lines, adding these to the alread) strong defense of barbed wire, trenches
anil machine guns.
As soon as the 26th Division took over the Toul Sector, several batteries of the
1 03rd Field Artillerj Regiment were called on for a detail of men in take care of the guns
in Seicheprey, Hie second <\a\ after iis arrival in Rangeval, Batterj A sent nine men,
under Sergeant Brown, for this work. Those selected were Corporal Walsh and Pri-
vates B. r. Campbell, Cottuly, Faber, Gould, i iilmore, Springer and Tourjee. Batteries
B and C had also m'iu details, and they were all under I ieutenant R. E. Apthorp.
rhe Batterj A detail was given a '75 ai the extreme right ol the village, taking over
the position in the night. Batterj C had a one-pounder, a hundred meters to the left,
near the Metz road, and beyond w ere the men from Battery H with another one-pounder,
rhe quarters of the officer in charge were near the Battery C dugout. Before each gun
was an an ol defensive barbed w ire, w hile beyond was the regular system of wire in No
Man's I and.
The \ illage ol Seicheprej it sell w as used 1 >> the infantry for quartering men. Main'
dugouts and shelters w ere seal tered among the nhncd houses, and in the rear ol the village
were a Battalion Headquarters and a Field Dressing Station. In addition, there were
several machine-gun nests concealed at various strategic points.
The Batterj A gun was in a well-protected, well-camouflaged position, in the rear
ol which was the dugout, which offered fairly comfortable quai ters. According to orders,
absolutely no firing was to he done unless there was an attack by tanks, the '75 being
soleK lot the purpose of anti-tank defense. However, the trail pit was carefullj marked
according to certain data, so that the gun could be brought into action to defend its arc
of tire at a moment 's notice.
As the men were unaccustomed to the '75. the first days at the new position were
spent ill drill. There was no work beyond I his and, as the quarters were comfortable
and the food good, lite ai this forward position was not at all unpleasant.
The Toul Sector, probably more than anj other on the line, was famous for its
spies .ind wire 1. 1 pi icrs. Hardly a move was made by the Americans thai was not known
to the Germans by means of their extremely efficient intelligence system. Time and again
wires were found cul or tampered with, while there were man) stories of spies in the
villages of the back areas. Some ol these stories were substantiated by later events.
So, after a few days .it the position, the men had the strange feeling ol being always
watched by some strange being whi( l> linked in the shades along the fronl lines.
On April 1 7ih the Division Intelligence Department issued .1 warning to .ill troops
tli.it ,1 strong attack, which would probably be preceded by Ilea's y slid line, was expei ted.
Observers had repotted the entrance ol much German artillerj to the set tor, and the
notably increased activitj behind the Boche lines gave every indication ol preparations
for .it least .1 lie.iv \ raid.
.Alter .in unusually quiet nighl along the lines, .11 3 o'clock on the morning ol April
20th, the Germans opened an intense barrage which was concentrated on the wire in No
Man's Land. French observers reported thai this barrage equalled in accuracy and
intensity some ol the most severe ever put down by the Germans along the Western
Front. Alter the heavy bombardment of the wire, the barrage was lifted to the line
and later played on the village itself.
\\ hen the men came out ol their dugouts, during a lull in the shelling, the) saw, in
the heavj lot; that cloaked the valley, a large number of Germans fighting their wa)
through the wire. These men were right on the heels of the barrage, one of the le
III. 11 kalile leal lues ol I he raid.
The attack centered along tin- Mel/ road near the Battery C dugOUt, when the
Boche came through in greal numbers so close behind the line of dropping shells thai
they were able to take the entire one-p ider detail before they had a chance lo oil, i
any resistant e.
There was a minor attack at the wire on the right ol Battery A's position, where a
machine-gun nest was set up in an old shell-hole. The gunners manning this point had
lived miraculously through the heavy shelling, bul to be killed latei bj the oven* helming
force of Germans. After the battle they were found with their throats cut, having re-
ceived the treatment which the humane Germans always accord to captured enemj ma-
As soon as the barrage h.nl lilted, the American infantrj organized lor defense, lull
so hea\ \ was the attai k that, alter desperate hand to hand fighting, the Americans were
driven to the extreme rear of the village. A line was formed about the Infantry Bat
i.ilion Headquarters and the Dressing Station. This line held. Although three quarters
of the village was at one lime in the enemy's hands, at no lime were I he Americans driven
completely out of its limits.
Through the entire action ihe Battery A detail wa- ,a ti\el\ engaged with the In-
fantry. Rut, although practically every man had several narrow escapes from deslruc-
tion, none was wounded. With their much neglected rifles, pistols that they salvaged
from i\v.u\ men about them, or with hand grenades that were 10 In- Ion ml anywhere, these
men helped to repel the at lack.
The Germans were in the town onlj a little oxer half an hour lief ore they were driven
back. They he-Id a line lor a lew moments in the center ol the village, bul soon were
forced to evacuate entirely. As soon as they had been driven out, the Infantry was
posted in a rough line along the walls of the village, awaiting a second attack which
All during the da} there was heavj fighting in the Bois de Jury and along the fronl
lines, while a more or lcs> constanl stream ol shellfire was kepi playing on the village,
roward night the fighting became less \ iolent, until it finally died out in the earl) evening,
M. <w t-\ ii . there was .1 stead) exchange ol artillery fire for main hours after.
rhe Battle ol Seicheprej , although not .1 battle in the real sense of the word, but
<>nl\ .1 heav) raid, was the first real engagement in winch American troops had partici-
pated. It has been estimated thai the Germans sent over 1200 men, picked shock troops
who were to inspire fear in the hearts of the i.iw Americans. A small number ol Pinks
wen- iii the raiding party, although at that time America was not officially .11 war with
Both MiU'> lost heavilj in killed and wounded, rhe Germans, however, owing to
the intensity ol the barrage and the brilliant mannei in which they followed it. were
able to take .1 large number of prisoners. Out of 200 Americans which it has been esti-
mated were in the village, only 35 rami' out of the fighting unscathed, rhe battle «.»
in u a great credit to American tacticians, Inn it was a brilliant example of the fine, dogged
spirit oi tin' American troops under the most adverse conditions.
\iiri ii was certain that the Germans would nut attack the village again, the Anti-
rank detail was ordered to tin- rear, lu it the men returned the next day ami took up their
work again. After the 20th there were no other attacks on Seicheprej . the onlj menace
being from the shelling, which became livelier as tin- days went on.
Aboul a week before the
ili\ isional relief \\ as ordei ed,
tin' '75 w as pulled out . t )w ing
to tlir nearness of the position
10 iln- t .11 man lines, the relief
was a rather hazardous piece
ol work. I'lii' gun hail to In'
dug out ol it> emplacement,
ami tlir work li.nl to be done
inuli'i camouflage, being com-
pleted just before dark. Al-
though thi' valley was drenched
with gas, there were no mis-
haps in getting awaj from the
position, ami the men soon
rejoined the Battery.
While tin- Anti-rank de-
tail iliil no firing with their
'75. the) had the satisfaction
ot knowing that they had ta-
ken a part in America's first
b.u tie of any size in the Great
War. ami thai they hail fought
side liv side with the Infantry
in one of its most discourag-
scicMrpKtrv — ~
IV*. fuioMt^ QdMhBrev
. 1 , .no!*.. pigr$£— it *"" 2
Upper picture — 155 mm. Houti/i-.k in ACTION
Loner picture — "BETSY THE SNIPER" FIRING M NlCHI
The 155mm. Howitzer
Schneider, Model 1917
WE were equipped in November, 1°17, while at Coetquidan, with the Model 1917
Schneider Howitzer of 155 mm. caliber. This placed us in the class ot Heavy
Field Artillery. Our howitzer was originally designed in 1915 by M. Schneider,
one of the famous French firm of Schneider el Cie, with factories in many parts of France,
notably at Le Cruesot. The 1915 model was designed lor ammunition provided with
a brass cartridge case, bul was modified in 1017 to permit the use of propelling charges
contained in cloth bags. The piece was designed to supply the deficiency of power ol
the 75 mm. in the destruction of organized enemy works, such as batteries, shelters, and
trenches. It is not a barrage weapon. Firing relatively light charges with a high angle
of elevation, it may be used for curved fire, and is capable of hitting targets protected by
defilade against the relatively Hat trajectory of the "75."
The variety of charges lor the same shell, seven in number, makes it possible to
obtain different angles of fall for the same distance, depending upon the target fired at.
This in itself is a decided advantage. For example, the destruction of a dugout requires
an angle of fall for (he shell as nearly perpendicular as possible. In addition the how itzei
may be placed in deep valleys with good sheltering defilade, or in thickets of young growl h.
It is essential that such a gun must lie able to follow t he infantry and cross any kind
ol ground. As a rule, our guns were drawn by ten horses, with the drivers mounted
on the "near" horse in regulation artillery style. The cannoneers were obliged to walk.
The packs and baggage were lashed to the "oil" horses, the caissons and guns, or carried
in the park wagons. American harness, with steel collars, was used.
In operation the howitzers gave little or no trouble. The diagram which accom-
panies this article indicates the structure of the material. The following figures will
give an idea of the dimensions:
Length ol Tube, 7 feet 8 inches
Length of Rilling, 5 led S inches
Greatest Width of Carriage, 6 feet 3 inches
Length, Limbered, 33 feel
Weight in Battery, 7300 pounds
Weight, Limbered, 8200 pounds
Weight Caisson Loaded, 6900 pounds
Weight Average Shell, 96 pounds
W 7 eight Maximum Charge, 8.4 pounds
Weight Minimum Charge, 2.5 pounds
Maximum Range, 6.7 miles
After the gun is fired the recoil is absorbed by an apparatus that works on the prin-
ciple of an hydraulic brake — whereby a liquid is forced through openings or vents of
constantly diminishing size — and also by the compression of gas in the recuperator
cylinders. The gun having ceased to recoil, the return to battery is insured by the
action ol the compressed gas in the recuperator cylinders, which is in turn checked by
the recoil cylinders. The length of the recoil varies in accordance with the charge used
and the angle to which the gun is elevated. Thus it is evident that the operation does
not depend on springs. It is merely necessary to keep the correct amount of liquid in
each cylinder and the proper gas pressure in the recuperator. On the road, the tube is
habitually carried out of battery, that is. after limbering up, the tube is unlocked, pulled
to the limit of recoil, and then locked. This serves to better balance the load.
For ammunition we used forged and semi-steel high explosive as well as gas shells.
We never tired shrapnel, canister or star shells on the front. The semi-steel shell, being
brittle and giving countless small fragments, was used against unprotected targets. The
forged steel shell was depended upon for demolition, as it burst into large fragments
which were dangerous for a radius of 400 meters. The shell contained 25 pounds of high
explosive, Melinite or Schneiderite.
The propelling charge consisted of smokeless powder with a black powder igniter,
fired by means of a primer inserted in the breech-block firing leaf. Seven different
charges could be used, a full bag of BG5 being charge 00, the most powerful, and a bag
of BSP, containing only bundle number 5, being the weakest. Reduced charges were used
whenever possible to save wear on the gun. Five fuses were supplied with varying de-
lay action, from ;J» to J^ of a second.
Firing involved greasing the shell, placing it on the loading tray, screwing in a fuse,
ramming the shell home, inserting the powder charge and primer, closing the breech-
block, and pulling the lanyard. At the first shot the gun carriage would generally
recoil several feet until the trail spade seated in the earth and prevented further motion.
Exceptionally fast crews were able to exceed five shots per minute, provided the
charge was light. But sustained fire was only practical at the rate of two shots per piece
per minute, with a delay every twenty shots to grease the bore and cool the tube. It is
only by such care that the maximum life of the gun (12,000 rounds), may be obtained.
In emergencies the howitzer demonstrated its wonderful strength — one French piece
firing 220 shots in one hour at Combles.
The larger part of the cannoneer's time was devoted to concealing the position,
digging shelter trenches, gun-pits, and dugouts. Each position had to be so organized
as to permit efficient firing both by day and night. Night firing predominated. Protect-
ing the powder from hostile fire as well as from sunlight and dampness proved a difficult
The firing was practically always done from the wonderfully accurate French Battle
Maps. These maps, on a scale of nshns, were originally enlargements of the .tress
military maps, and were constantly perfected by aerial photographs reduced to proper
scale. They indicate the enemy works to the most minute detail, showing even paths
and telephone lines.
The guns w : ere usually laid parallel to a given basic direction by means of a compass.
This basic direction was used as the reference point for subsequent targets. In figuring
the data, it was necessary to take into account the variation in muzzle velocity due to
different lots of powder, varying weights and types of shells, charge to be used and the
atmospheric conditions of the moment.
ON arriving in the Toul sector, we traded guns with Battery D of the 5th Field
Artillery, and took over the positions just as they were. It was thus that we
came to inherit Betsy, but she hadn't been named then, and figured in the tran-
saction merely as howitzer number 1312, the sole occupant of Position 413, or Jones I,
as the 5th called their forward position. She was in the third pit of a nearly-ruined
battery position on the Beaumont-Flirey road, a hundred yards or so east of where the
Seicheprey road branched off to the north. The position was too ambitious for a battery
of 155 mm. howitzers, and three guns had been destroyed shortly after being installed,
by accurate enemy shell-fire. Number 1312 had, however, borne a charmed life, and
escaped with a few nicks and splintered spokes. So she was left all alone to persuade
the enemy that his gunnery was poor. When the battery received three new guns to
replace the damaged ones, they were located in the rear at Jones II and kept silent in
reserve, while to Betsy was assigned the task of firing the targets for the entire four
guns, thus simulating a fairly active battery. She was technically a sniping gun, and the
idea was, in the event of an attack she would draw the brunt of the enemy fire and no
doubt be smothered, while the three guns in reserve would be able to come to the rescue
and do effective work, unhampered by hostile fire.
Such was the situation when we arrived. The Boche shelled Position 413 daily
to the extent of 100 to 150 rounds of small, high-explosive shells, caliber 77 or 105 mm.
We could often hear the reports of the battery firing at us, followed shortly by the warn-
ing hiss and final burst of the enemy shells. Our dugouts were sunk in the lee of the
friendly road, Betsy being on the enemy side of the road in a deep gun-pit, with a case-
mate ahead, into which she could be rolled, out of sight and danger. We at once set
out to make operations as safe and rapid as possible. Climbing out of the dugouts and
going up and over the road to the emplacement, closely resembled going over the top.
Most of the 5th Field Artillery men injured at this position had been hit while up on the
road where the shell fragments flew thickest. Enemy balloons could detect our every
move, and camouflage was useless. Some days the baskets looked so close that we felt
sure the Boche could even tell the type of shell that we were using.
We were accordingly confronted with the problem of tunneling under the road —
and this was no mean task, for the highway was over one hundred years old , hard and deep.
A search revealed a low, strong, stone- vaulted stone culvert, dated 1808, which cut under
the road about 50 feet west of the gun-pit and was partially ruined by enemy gunfire, the
northern exil being closed bj d6bris. A detail was sel to work cutting a deeper passage
through the stone, and clearing the blocked end. At the same time, work was commenced
on .i deep-covered trench connecting the culverl with the gun-pit and casemate. The
weather was favorable, cloudy and dark, but the soil was soggy, tenacious clay which,
rain or shine, proved a heart-breaking task to dig away, and with a disposition to cave
in and crumble on the slightest provocation. After >c\ eral cave-ins, it became necessarj to
use side frames to hold up the walls. The job was finally completed amid glad sighs oi
relief, and it was possible to enter the gun-pit with a reasonable margin of safety from
shell splinters and observation. The gun-pit was then improved, a new platform and
splinter-prool shell racks, as well as a trail circle, being installed. During these repairs
and improvements we Frequently fired 100 shells per day and maintained a stock ol 600
to 7(Hi projectiles. Our expenditure of ammunition averaged from 35 to 37^ "I the
total for the battalion, or more plainly, about three times as much as anj other one gun
in \ and B Batteries. We also came to expect daily two or more seances oi rapid enemj
shell fire, delivered at unexpected moments. It was well to constantly keep in mind the
nearest trench or dugout, and be set for a quick dive to shelter.
The work was hard and nerve-racking. The day was -pent in digging or repairing
the latest damages to dugouts, telephone lines or the kitchen, while the night was taken
np with harassing lire en the Borne lines of ronimunieation, towns, cantonments, and
batteries. And after dark, our supplies, water and munitions came tip. a- nearlj as
possible dining hours when we did not expert to lie shelled. As each wagon or truek
reported to Battalion Headquarters at Mandres, the word was phoned up to Jones 1,
and we would advise if the roast was clear. Since the Boche were supposed to have
a highly efficient microphone service, we were ordered to talk over the phone in
rode, so the apparently highly personal remark, "Murphy's fleas are bothering him,"
merely meant that the sergeant had a hitch of eheveaux champing on their hit-, readj t"
take a trip around "Dead Man's Curve." *
Owing to the extremely strenuous climate around tlu position, each section was
relieved after a week's service there, and thus each section received it- baptism ol fire
and became welded into veteran gun crews, able to shoot accurately and rapidly under
trying circumstances. We also managed to acquire a prodigious amount of property,
including a twelve-drop switchboard, seven telephones, two excellent pumps. 20,000
machine-gun cartridges, -'(HI hand grenades, a great surplus of rirles. pistols and ammuni-
tion, ami any amount of tools, wheelbarrows, gas equipment, and reserve rations. We
had a wonderfully complete telephone system, with twelve lines leading to three obser-
vation poM>, B Battery's two positions, Battalion Headquarters, and our own position
at Jones 11. a- well a- to various points in our own position. But we could not get rid ot
our ever-growing legacy of rats and mire, line mouse, known as Clarence, was a con-
spicuous inhabitant of the 1'. C. He grew friendly and performed marvelous teats ol
acrobatics on the rafters and bunks, in search of food.
We found many opportunities to adjust our tire, and discovered an excellent obser-
vation posl in the infantry lines, whence we could obtain a tine view of Mont Sec and Other
Boche territory. When the rear position desired to adjust, it was our duty to tire simul-
taneous!) in order to break up the sound wave- and prevent the Boche from discovering
See G trge Pattulo's article in The Saturday Evening Posl, entitled, "Piny Work at tlu- Cross R<uls.'
the location of Jones II. We managed to take good care of our ammunition, and Betsy
repaid us for our labor in keeping her spotless, 1>> demonstrating phenomenal accuracy
as well as high speed. Twice the Fourth Section fired five shots in thirty seconds,
but no one, except those present, can ever realize the spirit, energy and enthusiasm
required of a section on a dark, cold, and rainy night when the order would suddenly
comedown from Major Chaffee's I'. C. "40 rounds mi battery 9666 ,i^ fasl as you
can get them out." It meant jumping into cold, wet boots, scurrying, scrambling,
falling over to the gun-pits, fumbling over the powder, preparing charges, greasing shells,
setting, off the new elevation and deflection, shifting the trail, and training Betsy on the
target. Then, with bubbles level, and data verified, would come the command, "Fire,"
followed by a blinding flash and a crashing roar, and perhaps tin- trail spade would smash
back through sand bags, crushed rocks, logs and all, and Betsy would nearly skid
off the slippery platform. Perhaps the primer wouldn't detonate or the aiming light
would flicker out. What a feeling of tense excitement until the firsl shut was tired,
and how much satisfaction it was each time we could phone back "40 rounds on 9666
Then on many a night, filling in between the tal-1, it -lat ol some nervous
machine gun. would come the muffled scuffle of tired, cautious squads of our Y. I ). I >ough
boys as they slowly filed up to the J ury woods, and a hi parse voice would whisper, "Loi >k
out, that's Betsy over there. See, she's going to shoot, for the light's lit." For the
doughboys christened her Betsy as night alter night they came up or went back, often
dropping into the kitchen for a cup of hoi coffee whii h we always tried to have on hand
on the nights when "they" were "going in." And main' a doughboy has leaned hi^
tired back up against the wall ol Betsy's kitchen and gulped down a last big cup of hut,
sweet collet', then shuffled off with the characteristic full-pack gait that we all came to
know so well. But they never failed to thank u-- and tell us how good it felt out in the
trenches to hear Betsy banging away at the Boche throughout the night, and reminding
them that she was right up there loo, trying to do her bit, and we in turn were proud of
our friendship with our big, husky infantrymen who were to make the name of the 26th
Division mean something.
The kitchen was a popular institution, for the ration was ample, and flappers or
oatmeal, thanks to the battery fund, made even our breakfast a success. So our visitors
got into the habit of paying visits at mealtime. All the cooks took turns at the position,
and many and heated were the arguments as to the relative merits of our cooks. So we
finally decided that, while Sherman was right.it wasn't epiiteso bad if one had good cooks.
And Harvey announced that army life would suit him perfectly if General Pershing would
only give him a couple of months off to spend at the seashore.
And after Seicheprey, when we knew that we could beat the Boche at his own game,
the fields grew knee-deep in grass and poppies. The trees took on their leaves and we
could look far in all directions — clear to Metz and Toul and Rangeval. Fife wasn't
half so bad.
For it seemed that everybody knew Betsy. Passers-by would slop at dusk and
chat and tell us what was going on up No Man's Land, bring us trophies, or marvel at
the gun and compare it with their own rifles. Enemy propaganda often floated over,
attached to tiny balloons. And Lufbery or Eddie Richenbacker would fly over us as we
silenced the Boche anti-aircraft guns for them, repaying us by doing stunts overhead.
The sea-going cooks, Paige and Pierce, would explore far and near to discover hoards of
duds and other grisly treasures, while Ramage would instruct his class in dismounting
hand grenades, and Sergeant Saacke would bemoan t lit- loss of his latest overcoat. But
the sergeant at last, through the charity of a fatigued negro doughboy, secured a
final overcoat. It grew so warm that fires weren't needed and Harvey no longer jinxed
the powder record or risked the life and limbs of all the inhabitants of the P. C. by build-
ing tires for the captain out of a mixture of powder and kerosene. Meanwhile, Sergeant
Abbott found a swimming-hole out in plain view of the Germans, and Marcil, the barber,
and Hank Hill, who was assistant to the supply sergeant then, escaped alive after hazard-
ing a sight-seeing trip to the front. The nights of May and June found the men playing
cards or out in the moonlight listening to the bombing machines as they flew over to lay
a few eggs in the German back areas; the sky lit up with Hares and the speckling flashes
ot thi' vainly searching anti-aircraft shells. We even had the battery victrola for a week.
It is interesting to note that on attack days we weren't silenced for long — witness
the performance of the Second Section on Scichcptcy day, when they tired 353 rounds
without a casualty.
After considerable argument it was decided that Betsy was to be the property of
tin' First Section. At the commencement of the Chateau-Thierry drive, the old tube
wore out and was condemned, and another lube from a wrecked E Battery gun replaced
it, the change being made in twenty-four hours. From this time on, Betsy was never
again out ot action, and when we hauled her south, down the road towards Verdun, and
away from the front, on November 15th, 1918, she had approximately 8,500 rounds to
We will never know the extent of the damage inflicted on the Boche by Betsy — we
can only judge by the results of observations carried on while tiring and by the aspect
ol targets which we wore able to inspect in the wake oi the Boche retreats. We always
considered the large amount of ammunition tired at Betsy in the nature of a compliment
to her "accuracy and speed," for example, 2500 rounds in one day on Jones 1. Red-
letter days record the scoring of a target on a fallen enemy aeroplane — with the fifth
shot at a range of six miles, while the machine was being towed to safety by a squad of
( iermans. Also, the blowing up of Battery 9666, show ing our enthusiastic balloon observer,
logs and dugout construction hurled high in the air. Another exciting event took place
when a light German battery pulled into position near St. Baussant. Twenty shots
from Betsy caused the enemy to abandon the position, and as the personnel fled across
country, we tried to pot them on the wing. An inspection of Battery 1546, an old
target of ours, showed evidences of remarkably accurate and effective fire on the part
of Betsy. An observer at Chateau-Thierry reported a battery in action. Twenty-five
shots from Betsy sufficed to silence it and cause three munitions expl< sinus, besides setting
the position on tire. Thirty shots tired into Lahayville on the day oi the Seicheprey
battle caused a German prisoner to admit that his regiment , while forming for an attack.
was suddenly tired on by two batteries of 155's, and lost (>(>',' of their men. Much of the
credit for Betsy's performance that memorable day was due to the work of Corporal
McGowan, Plympton, and Robinson, the machine-gun crew. The enemy could not see
us, lor their balloons were down. Therefore, to secure an accurate adjustment ami to
demolish our gun, they sent oui an aeroplane to observe and report the landing of each
shot. The corporal, with his crew, repelled the avion each time il tried to approach,
with a hot fusilade, and caused the aviator so much worry that he finally gave it up as a
bad job. As shells were continually bursting near the machine gun, the plucky trio had
to hit the dirt frequently and wait for the smoke lo blow away before resuming activities.
It was the nerviest exploil performed by any of the battery at the time, and their names
were turned in for a divisional citation.
Before we started into the Chateau-Thierry drive, General Aultman ordered us to
paint Betsy's name on the shield of the gun in large, clear letters, and, although parts
wore out or were wrecked by shell-fire, she was still (he same old Betsy. While in our
possession she received two new wheels, a sight, a new tube, and a spade, the only parts
of the gun remaining intact throughout the war being the recoil system and cradle, the
shield, and the chassis.
Needless to say, it was with no little regret that we loaded her onto a flat-car at
Vitry, Haute Marne, and turned our backs to her as she left for the Happy Hunting
( Grounds of all good guns that made life one big question-mark for the I luns on the receiv-
ing end of her attentions. Negotiations are under way lo secure this gun for Rhode
Island's trophy, and A Battery men would ask nothing belter.
Toward the End of the Chateau-Thierry Drive
*ROM the first German gas attack on
April 22nd, 1915, until the armistice
was signed, gas played an ever-increas-
ing part in the war. Naturally the initial
gas attack made in the Ypres salient, during
which both cloud and shell gas were used, surprised the British Army and. lacking pro-
tective appliances, its casualties were heavy. However, the cloud gas was promptly
recognized by its color and odor as chlorine, and the shell gas, owing to its effect on the
eyes, was found to be lachrymatory or tear gas, and every possible endeavor was made
to devise some means of protection.
The first respirator consisted of two layers of flannel with tapes attached to either
end. This device was soaked in soda solution each time before it was tied over the
mouth, but it afforded protection only against a moderate concentration of chlorine.
The next type was a respirator of cotton wool in a gauze envelope. These were
made in England by a voluntary effort, and the record number turned out in one day
exceeded one million. Though this appliance was chemically treated in hypo, 10 lbs.;
soda carbonate, 2\ lbs.; glycerine, 2 lbs., per gallon of water, before ii was issued, it was
dipped in a soda solution again before use. This respirator proved to be protection
against chlorine, but was exceedingly difficult to adjust.
Consequently, further experiments were made which resulted in the introduction
of the hypo or smoke helmet. This helmet was simply a bag of flannel treated with
hypo carbonate and glycerine solution and was provided with one large eyepiece made
of tale. During several gas attacks made in May, 1915, this helmet was used and was
found to be fairly satisfactory.
As the prevailing winds from June to September were towards the German lines,
there was ample time for the further improvement of the respirator, and for the prepara-
tion of retaliatory gas attacks. The first British cloud gas attack was made at Loos,
September 25, 1915, and from that day, owing to the fact that the wind direction 75
per cent, of the year was in favor of the Allies, the Germans were frequently and severely
As a result of information received in July by the British that the Germans were
preparing large quantities of phosgene gas, still another type of helmet had to be devised,
and on September 1st a new respirator called the "P" helmet was issued. This helmet,
though similar to the hypo helmet, was made of flannelette, and, having a longer skirt,
could be more safely tucked under the uniform. It was treated with a new solution
which gave protection against chlorine, phosgene and prussic acid gas, and it was provided
with an expiratory tube which not only rendered it more comfortable but also eliminated
the gases exhaled by the wearer. Phosgene was first used by the Germans in a big gas
attack on December 19th, and though there were many casualties, the helmet, when
adjusted in time, afforded perfect protection.
In order to secure increased protection, two other modifications were later made to
the "P" helmet. A small percentage of Hexamine was added to increase the protection
against phosgene and prussic acid gas, and the respirator was then called the "P. H."
helmet. When this latter helmet was again improved by the addition of a rubber-faced
eyepiece for the protection of the eyes against lachrymators, it became known as the
"P. H. G." helmet.
The gas attack against the British at Messines on April 30th, and five or six subsequent
attacks, emphasized the fact that the Germans were always shortening their assaulting
front with the purpose of attaining a higher concentration of gas. Obviously a respirator
was required that would give a greater margin of safety than the various helmets. Finally,
in the Summer of 1916, the small box respirator, patterned after a large and cumbersome
one which had previously been in use by machine gunners and artillerymen only, was in-
troduced. This small box respirator was built on the principle of absorption, and was
composed of three parts — a canister, a corrugated rubber tube, and a facepiece. The
canister or box contained charcoal, permanganate of potash, soda lime, and also two
layers of cotton wool and one layer of Turkish toweling. In order that the granules of
charcoal might be held firmly together, the contents of the box were separated by three
layers of wire mesh screen. At the base of the tin canister there was a rubber valve lying
on a flat, perforated metal disc. When one, wearing the respirator in the presence of gas,
inhaled, the rubber valve lifted up and both gas and air were drawn into the canister,
where the gases were absorbed so that air only continued up through the corrugated
rubber tube, through the metal elbow, and into the mouthpiece. When one exhaled,
the rubber valve lay flat on the metal disc, thus preventing the air from passing through
and thus wasting the absorbent chemicals in the box. This exhaled air passed through
an outlet valve which was a hollow piece of rubber with two slits. The facepiece was
made of perfectly air-tight material and contained a nose clip which could be worked
from the outside by means of a wire ring, also two eyepieces made of a special prepara-
tion which was not easily broken. To the facepiece were attached two elastics and a
khaki tape, known as a retaining tape. The respirator was carried in a canvas satchel
which was divided into two compartments, one for the box and the other for the face-
piece. From the Summer of 1916 until the conclusion of the war, the British army used
this respirator exclusively. Also, when the first American troops entered the lines, they
were equipped with these Fnglish respirators. Later, a respirator was manufactured in
the United States which, except for a few minor improvements, was practically a duplicate
of the British.
Another stage in the development of gas warfare was reached in July, 1917,
when, for the first time, the British used projectors and the Germans used mustard gas.
However, no improvements were necessary to the British box respirator, as it afforded
complete protection against this new gas. Finally, after a period of five months, the
Germans, on December 10, 1917, also made use of projectors, and on February 26, 1918,
the Germans, using projectors, made their first gas attack against the Americans. Mean-
while, gas shells were fired by both sides in progressively increasing amounts until at the
conclusion of the war, twenty-five per cent, of the shells used by the British and over
fifty per cent, used by the Germans were gas.
The German gas mask was very unique and interesting. Owing to the British
blockade and the consequent scarcity of rubber in Germany, the Germans were compelled
to use leather as the material for the facepiece of their mask. In order to make it flexible
and to close its pores, this leather was treated with various oils and fats. Unlike the
British, this facepiece had neither nose clip nor a mouthpiece. The mask was held firmly
over the face by the means of retaining tapes which were elastic because they were made of
cloth-covered crimped wire. At the base of the facepiece was a metal projection into
which was screwed a small, metal canister, containing absorbent chemicals. Thus, when
ruined or unserviceable, the canister could be replaced by screwing on another. When
one, wearing the mask in the presence of gas, inhaled, both air and gas were drawn into the
canister, the gas being absorbed by the chemicals and the air passing up into the facepiece.
Obviously, protection with such a mask depended entirely on the fit of the facepiece, as
the air in it was the air breathed. If there was any leakage around the facepiece, free
gas would penetrate and pass directly to the lungs. In the case of the British respirator,
the inhaled air was not the air in the facepiece, but air that had been filtered and purified
in the canister and then passed up through the mouthpiece. However, the German gas
mask, in one respect, was far superior to any; namely, it possessed eyepieces that after
10 or 12 hours of use would not grow dim and foggy. These eyepieces were treated by
a secret formula so that they w : ould absorb moisture, grow soft, swell up, and yet never
grow opaque. In order to see with the English eyepieces, it was necessary to wipe them
off at least once every five minutes. When not in use the German mask was carried in
a cylindrical tin box.
There were three distinct types of gas attacks — the cloud or wave gas attack, the
projector gas attack, and the shell gas attack. The cloud gas attack was entirely de-
pendent on the direction and velocity of the wind. The gas was carried to the trenches
as a liquid in steel cylinders. These cylinders, containing 65 pounds of gas and weighing,
when loaded, about 140 pounds, were installed in the trenches every two or three feet,
were protected by sandbags, and were connected with pipes leading out over the parapet.
When the valves of the cylinders were opened the gas escaped with a hissing sound, mixed
with the air, producing a bank or cloud which was carried by the wind towards the op-
posing trenches, spreading out as it went forward. Cloud gas was usually, if not invaria-
bly, phosgene, or phosgene mixed with chlorine. In very dry air it might be almost
transparent and slightly greenish in color, while in damp weather it formed a white cloud.
However, by the addition of smoke and chemicals, a cloud might be produced of most
any color. Cloud gas attacks were usually made at night or in the early morning, during
wind velocities varying from 3 to 20 miles per hour, i. e., from 1^ to 10 yards per second.
Thus, in a nine-mile wind the gas would reach trenches 100 yards distant in 20 seconds.
Without doubt the cylinder gas attack was far more searching in its effects than the other
types, for the gas, frequently discharged on a front of five miles, swept over whole areas,
penetrated into every nook and cranny, and was known to reach points twelve miles be-
hind the front trenches.
The projector gas attack depended very little on the direction of the wind, as the
gas contained in bombs was discharged from 8-inch Levin's projectors and from Stokes'
mortars. In gas projectiles, such as shells or trench mortar bombs, a part of the ex-
plosive charge was replaced by a liquid which was converted into gas by the explosion,
and consequently the explosive lone ol these projectiles wa> considerably less than thai
of high explosive shells. The gas bombs, containing 30 pounds of liquid gas, were
fired from Levin's projectors, which weighed 86 pounds and were two feet, nine inches
in length. These projectors were fired electrically I y blasting machines, being connected
electrically in series of 25 to 50 for thai purpose. By carefully synchronizing watches
shortly before firing, from 1,000 to 2.000 projectors were fired by the British within
three seconds. When al the zero hum-, 1,000 to 2,000 projectors were simultaneously
fired, the skies were illuminated as if by a flash of lightning. Rifle or howitzer shells
flow through the air. nose alwavs ti> the front, bul Levin's bombs toppled end over end
like a toot hall, the projector having no rifling in the bore. As, at the moment of discharge
the flash was bright, it was possible to see these bombs in mid-air. However, a bomb
toppling o\ er \ ery fasl appeared to l>e stationary, just as, on a black night during a down-
pour ol rain, w hen a streak of lightning illuminated a mad. the w heel of a buggv passing
rapidly b\ would be seen, not as a wheel rotating, but as one wheel with each spoke clearly
outlined. Projectors were always set at an angle of forty-five degrees, and the various
ranges were attained by varying the powder charge, the extreme range being 1.400 yards.
By means of compasses with illuminated dials, the} were set at night, and a large number
ol them were usually discharged into a comparatively small space, thus producing a
deadly concentration of gas. Frequently, instead of gas. the bombs were filled with thirty
pounds of oil. 75 per cent, being ordinary crude oil and 25 per rent, light oil. These
bombs burst into a mass of smoke and flame upon striking.
Differing considerably from the Levin's projector, was the four-inch Stokes' mortar.
These mortars tired bombs which were self-contained, that is, which contained the
primer, explosive charge, and seven pounds of gas. The bombs were simply thrown by
hand into the mortar, which was set at an angle of forty-five degrees, the charges being
ignited when the bombs struck the bottom. 'These mortars, being readily portable, were
pushed up to the front with attacking troops. The gas was used as a surprise, by firing
for two minutes only, at a rate of twenty-five bombs or a hundred and seventy-five pounds
of gas per mortar, pet minute. These same mortars also tired phosphorus and thermit
bombs. Phosphorus bombs were used to shower globules of burning phosphorus on
personnel sheltering in shell-holes or ruined trenches. Thermit bombs were burst in the
air like shrapnel, and globules of molten iron at white heat were thrown to the ground.
Shell gas attacks depended little on the direction of the wind, but the best results
were obtained on muggy days, with the lowest wind velocities, or in dead calm. Shell
g.i- bombardments were usually very heavy at first in order to develop a strong concen-
tration of gas. The advantages of these bombardments were that especially chosen
targets at the longest ranges could be surprised and in a short time smothered in a high
concentration of various different gases.
The various poisonous gases used during the war might be classified into three
general groups — asphyxiants, paralysants and irritants. The more common of the
gases classed as asphyxiants were balite u-arbon trichlorine), surpalite (carbon tetra-
chlorine), chlorine, nitrous fumes (nitro-oxide) and phosgene (carbonic chlorine, COO 2).
These gases, ol which chlorine and phosgene were most frequently used, caused very
irritating and damaging effects upon the respiratory organs. Chlorine was easily de-
tected by its strongly irritating odor, somewhat similar to the odor of chloride of lime,
widely used as a disinfectant. II this gas was breathed in moderate concentrations for
an hour or more, edema ol the lungs was produced, which was followed frequently by
bronchitis and pneumonia. A man exposed to a very high concentration of chlorine
might be affected with such a strong spasm ol the glottis and air tubes thai he could nol
draw air into the lungs, became cyanosed, tell down unconscious, and died of asphyxia
within a few minutes.
Phosgene was quickly recognized by iis pungent odor, somewhal similar to the odor
of old, moldy hay. The effeel of this gas differed in man) respects from that of chlorine,
and mi i he whole, ii was far more efficient and deadly. II breathed in high concentrations,
it killed immediately. In small concentrations, iis effect was almosl limited to the
little terminal air cells in the lungs. lis action SO hindered the lining of these little air
tells and of the small blood vessels in the cell walls thai the fluid pail ol the blood leaked
OUt ol the blood vessels into the air cells. In addition lo ihe lilood vessels there was
a nol her system ol \ essels know n as the lymphatics, which, from our point ol view, may
he looked upon as sewers to remove secretion. The symptoms ol phosgene poisoning
might be delayed for a considerable time, because the sewers al first were able to carry off
the greater part of the secretion; a time came, however, when ii was impossible lor these
sewers lo remove the secretion as fast ,is ii was excreted from the lilood vessels. Conse-
quently, the air cells began to Till up with fluid, which was.it first thin and which later
became thicker, almost like pus. The result was that death from phosgene poisoning
was a slow and prolonged drowning in the subject's ow u bod) fluid, a drowning infinitely
worse than in water, because instead ol eight lo tin minutes, ii required eight to ten
days. The symptoms were those ol drowning; the subjed was blue, and snuggled
for breath. The fluid ran OUl of his mouth and nose. A pool ol fluid was often on the
floor I eside his lied, where he had hung over his head to lei ii he drained or ( oughed out .
As in i he case ol the resuscitation of a nearl) drowned man, a verj helpful means of treat-
ment was to aid nature and stand the patienl on his head for one or two minutes to facili-
tate the outflow. As the case progressed, the patienl bei ame bluer, colder, unconscious,
and finally, after eight or nine days ol suffering, died from inability to get sufficient an
to maintain life. Oxygen w as administered at the earliest possible moment. However,
patients were often more restless alter oxygen was administered than before, and they
frequently attempted to remove the oxygen apparatus. The explanation was, that
before receiving oxygen the patienl was so far gone and unconscious thai, though he
suffered, he did not know it . The oxygen brought him to life again and to the realization
of his tremendous suffering and pain. Obviously, phosgene, always a favorite with the
Germans, was an excellent gas; if strong ii killed immediately, if moderately strong it
made a most distressing casualty.
The more common of the gases classed as paralysants, because they killed by paralyz-
ing the respiratory system, were prussic acid (hydro-cyanic acid) and cyanogen (CN).
These gases either killed instantly or produced practically no ill effei is.
The gases classified as irritants consisted chiefly of liquids, the vapors of which, even
in very great dilution, had an irritant effect upon the delicate tissues, especially those
of the eye. They were frequently called, therefore, lachrymators or tear producers.
In stronger concentrations they approached the effects produced by the gases classified
as asphyxiants. The most commonly used gases of this class were benzyl bromide,
ethyliodoacetate, diphenylchloroarsine, chloropicrin, and dichlorethyl sulphide (mustard
gas). Benzyl bromide and ethyliodoacetate were gases strongly irritant to the eyes,
causing them to water and to pain. I )iphenylchloroarsine, because of its sternutatory
effect, was called the "sneezing gas." This gas was in reality not a gas, but a fine dust.
The irritating powder was packed in a glass bottle, placed in an ordinary high explosive
shell, and was scattered in the air by the explosion of the shell. Chloropicrin (CCI3 NO2)
was used continually by the British because it was particularly effective in penetrating
the leather gas mask used by the Germans. Once it penetrated the mask it caused
irritation of the eyes and nausea, necessitating the removal of the mask by the wearer.
Therefore, more highly poisonous gases were habitually used in conjunction with chloro-
picrin in order to kill after the chloropicrin had forced the wearer to remove his mask.
Mustard gas was distinguished by its mustard or garlic-like smell, which, however, was
sometimes disguised by the use of chemicals. Its immediate effects were but trifling,
and the great danger lay in its insidious nature, because, unlike chlorine, it could be
breathed without appreciable irritation to the air-passages and without discomfort or
oppression in the chest. As it did not cause coughing and a choking sensation or immediate
irritation of the eyes, men were deceived into believing that it was harmless and impotent.
However, the delayed effects, which appeared from 4 to 12 hours after exposure, were
most extreme. Pains in the eyes resulted, which rapidly became intolerable, often
feeling as though there were sand or grit under the lids. Then there developed a severe
conjunctivitis, rendering those affected blind for periods varying between three days and
four weeks. In addition to this effect, it was very irritant to the skin, blistering it wherever
there was moisture and thus producing severe burns which were slow in healing. Conse-
quently, when it became necessary to carry on in the presence of mustard gas, the body
was covered with pants, a slicker and gloves made of an oil-cloth material; and especially
important was it that all buttons be securely fastened. Those parts of the skin which
had been exposed were promptly and thoroughly washed with soap suds or bicarbonate
of soda. Clothing, metal, anything in fact which had been exposed to this gas, was not
used until washed in a solution of chloride of lime, and later in pure water. Food which
had or was suspected to have become contaminated was destroyed, and drinking and
washing water was condemned. Mustard gas had the peculiarity of clinging for a long
time to cloth, especially woolen clothes. If a man was close to the burst of a mustard
gas shell and his clothes became contaminated with liquid, he must undress before enter-
ing a dugout, as men in inclosed spaces could be gassed by even small quantities brought
in on clothing and equipment. Doctors have been gassed while attending patients,
which exemplified how imperative it was to remove entirely all wearing apparel. Con-
taminated cloth was first much weakened, and after twenty-four hours thoroughly rotted.
When a mustard gas shell exploded, the gas formed a small cloud, though some of the
oily liquid sunk into the ground and remained dangerous for twelve to forty-eight hours
or even longer in cool weather. The persistency of this gas was another of its many
striking features. For example, it often remained strong and dangerous in valleys or
near sunken roads after two days of rain. Ground apparently free from mustard gas
at night, gave it off in dangerous concentrations when warmed by the morning sun.
Consequently, the shell holes were covered over with a quarter of an inch of chloride of
lime and at least a foot of fresh earth. This precaution did away w r ith the annoyance of
the gas, but the earth must not be disturbed, as the chemical was not destroyed by burial
and only disappeared slowly. And lastly, mustard gas attacked the lungs, and by its
action caused pulmonary complications which usually resulted in pneumonia and death.
Horses and mules being susceptible to the dangerous effects of the various gases,
an anti-gas horse respirator was devised by the British, which consisted simply of a flan-
nelette bag with a canvas mouthpiece, which was placed in the horse's mouth and saved
the flannelette from being bitten through. In the presence of tear gases it was customary
to tie bandages around the animal's eyes. Horses and mules, however, were capable of
standing a higher concentration of gas than human beings, without material damage.
A multiplicity of defensive measures against gas were taken. The individual was
protected mainly by his box respirator, which was daily inspected. He was also furnished
with protective clothing for use during mustard gas attacks. Groups of men were
protected by dugouts which were made, as nearly as was possible, gas-proof chambers.
All dugout entrances were provided with double doors, with an air space between. The
greatest care was taken in the fit of the doorframes, in order that there would be no cracks
between the frame and the earth or the sandbags forming the sides or roof of the entrance.
A gas blanket cut to the proper size was nailed to the top of the frame with a lath to prevent
tearing, and the blanket overlapped the face of the frame by at least three inches. The
frames of the inner and outer doors were not less than three feet apart, in order to allow
a man to enter the air space and adjust the first blanket before passing through the second.
When not in use these blankets were kept rolled up, and so held that they could be instantly
released. To render the blankets completely air-tight, they were sprayed every evening
with water, using Vermorel sprayers. All windows and chimneys were provided with tight-
fitting gas screens, and provisions were made for blocking up the ventilating flues. At
the first sign of gas, the gas guard promptly spread the alarm to all men awake or asleep
in the position, by means of a klaxon horn and by shouting "gas." Immediately, gas
masks were adjusted, all gas-proof dugouts closed, and fires in the dugouts, because they
vitiate the oxygen in the air, were extinguished. Following a gas attack, the "All
Clear" signal was given only by a commissioned officer. Shelters and dugouts into which
gas had penetrated or had been carried by clothing after a severe shelling with mustard
gas, were evacuated and were cleared, by means of a brisk fire and Aryton gas shovels.
As gas, especially mustard gas, may remain in liquid form on the ground for several
days, all new gas shell-holes were as soon as possible sprinkled with chloride of lime and
covered with fresh earth. Gas has a corrosive effect on metals, consequently all bright
parts of guns, also ammunition, were cleaned and wiped dry after an attack.
It is beyond doubt that as a medium for inflicting casualties on the enemy's personnel
in trenches and dugouts, gas was a most deadly and effective weapon, and gave the maxi-
mum return for time and labor expended. A study of the statements of gas casualties
inflicted either by or upon the enemy showed that hundreds and even thousands of casual-
ties could be caused by gas within the space of a few minutes.
(Ed. This article was compiled from the pamphlets on Gas which were in possession of the Battery
A Gas Non-Commissioned Officer.)
IF only for the prominence to which camouflage has risen in the war, ii deserves a lull
description. Hut it also is an intensely interesting art, of which the public at large
has been kept in ignorance or of which it has been grossly misinformed by oxer-
imaginative newspaper men. Camouflage is not, as they would have you believe, the
conversion of the howitzer into a perfectly innocent cow, grazing on the hillside, all
done by the clever strokes of the brush. If the difficulties of camouflage in the A. K. F.
were no more that that, the Americans would have painted their way to Berlin long
before the November of 1918.
Camouflage is the defense against hostile observation by the creation of an optical
illusion which seeks not only to fool the human eye, but also the far more penetrating
eye of the aerial camera. Camouflage, under other titles, has existed and been used
with success as far back in history as anyone has cared to search. Xenophon, Caesar, and
Napoleon used camouflage in their campaigns. Nature has always used it in the form of
protective coloration in certain animals. In fact, camouflage, concealment, what you will,
has been so much a part of our daily life that no particular thought has been given it,
nor have any attempts to improve it been made until the development of trench warfare
necessitated quick and permanent concealment against Mars' latest eye, the avion.
Then camouflage emerged from its chrysalis and took on hues and perfections never
before dreamed of.
Camouflage has three purposes: to create invisibility by special devices - the artillery
type; to reduce visibility by means of painting — the dazzle type; and to obstruct
vision — the road-screen type.
Artillery camouflage is perhaps the mosl extensive, and is certainly the most interesting,
involving as it does, the solving of new problems and the combating with a new means
of hostile observation. Time was when the artilleryman threw a few bushes in front
of his gun and rendered it reasonably safe against detection. He did not have to worry
over the fact that an extra tree out of place might give rise to suspicion, or that sometime
during the day a flying man would sneak overhead and discover his retreat. But let our
modern artilleryman resort to such ancient methods of concealment, and he would shortly
be mingled with the fragments of his own cannon. The modern artilleryman, therefore,
has many worries, extra work, and constant vigilance as the price of his comparative
After many modifications, there was developed the so-called "flat top" that is used
extensively by the Allied armies. The British relied mainly on a plain flat top, while the
French developed a flat top with gradually sloping sides. Neither was perfect, and the
American Experimental Station, after several months' work on the Plateau de Malzeville,
succeeded in producing what is known as the "stage," or "step" flat top, combining the
advantages of the British and French methods, at the same time eliminating their faults.
I nasmuch as the true examples ol camouflage art are to be found only under the conditions
of stable warfare, the greater part of the article from now on will be concerned with the
construction and methods of camouflage as found in the trench warfare period. The
camouflage oi open warfare is but little more than the proper use of natural cover and
The principal materials used in the formation of artillery cover are burlap, raffia,
and canvas, attached to cither chicken-wire rolls or cord nets. Raffia and burlap can
be used interchangeably. The former is better adapted to the open field, while the
latter finds its best location in woods. The nets are usually erected for temporary use
and carried on the gun trail. The permanent work is done with chicken-wire rolls,
placed over framework, erected to follow the contours of the terrain, and pieced together
so as to form a continuous design.
The practical erection work is the least interesting in camouflage, anil involves much
hard labor. A site is first picked by an artillery officer who more often chooses his
position for Hash defilade than for the overhead defilade or camouflage. The site is then
plotted, and a position designed. With the plotted design, the camouflage officer views
the chosen site, with a particular eye to field lines and contour. Field lines are made
by the plowing and consequent mounding of the soil for drainage. On aerial photo-
graphs, such fields appear as grey rectangles outlined in black. He also views closelj
the surrounding toliage and herbage, sometimes sketching them in water color. The
drawing is then turned oxer to the men in the rear who run tin- camouflage factory.
With the drawing is a complete description of the country, contours, location of sur-
rounding woods, colors of the grass, earth, and rock, relation of the position to Hast and
West, and even such details as the height of grass and nature of the weather. All these
play an important part in the production of the final, finished design. The camouflage
factory is then responsible for the selection of the best material to conform with furnished
information ; for example, the selection of raffia for a position to be located in tall, brow nish
grasses. Tall grass throws a deep shadow and photographs an absolute black. Thinly-
strung raffia produces the same result, at the same time satisfying the eye.
Meanwhile, the field men, as the camouflage men who work on the front are called,
commence work on the foundation. Posts, usually six feet in height, are staked around
the position ami at intervals within. Heavy, malleable wire is then run across the top
of the stakes and stretched tight enough to hum when touched. The tight wiring is
nee essar\ in order to prevent sagging, w hich destroys the entire value of a tlat top, gi\ ing
the appearance of a depression where in reality exists a mound or level ground. This
work completed, the position is covered by the Battery, usually at night under the
direction of a camouflage man. Each roll is numbered consecutively and put on separately .
forming a complete design. The rolls are for the moment joined loosely, and later
tied at one-foot intervals, the work of tying and stretching being completed beneath the
camouflage. The construction of the position proper, gun-pits and dugouts is then
carried on, care being taken to conceal all debris. As a rule, the cover is made sufficiently
large to hide all the debris and dirt resulting from the construction work. For every
position thus made there is another made in reserve near by. These are but a foot or
two above ground, and when it becomes necessary to use the reserve position, it is only
the matter of a few hours to raise it to the required height. For some obscure reason,
these are called "gas positions." The position covered and completed, doors or embrasures
are installed, which are kept closed except when the guns are firing. The majority of
embrasures are swinging, sliding, or counterbalanced. In some cases, as in guns with
a high angle of fire, the embrasure forms a part of the roof work.
Camouflage is chiefly a defense against indirect observation or the photographic check
by aeroplane. Consequently, it is necessary to know just what the camera detects and
how it may be deceived into making a false record. A complete camera record is kept
of the entire front, each sector being continually rephotographed day by day, and the
resulting negatives being closely studied for the most minute changes. There are but
two shades in a photograph, black and white, all other tones being graduations. This
considerably simplifies the problem of deceiving the camera. It remains only to produce
the proper tones of black and white by the proper use of camouflage and to conform to
the contours and field lines. This being done, a position is safe from detection.
It will render the understanding clearer if the photographic tone values of the follow-
ing things are remembered : Roads, paths, and flash marks appear light grey, the more
worn, the nearer white. Roads and wagon tracks made in soft earth appear as a series
of black lines outlined in white. Water in shell-holes and the tops of extremely high
objects are white. Water in large bodies, ponds, lakes, are deep black, there being no
reflection. Tall grasses, wheatfields, etc., are nearer black. Woods appear dappled,
white, grey, and black, and are further determined by an outline shadow. Trenches,
ditches, and holes are black. Houses, barracks, and piles of material appear outlined by
their shadow. Hills, contours, etc., are plainly shown by graduated lights and shadows.
The method by which camouflage is made to reproduce exactly the tone of the ground
it covers is known as "thinning out." Solid burlap or canvas would reflect white.
The remedy is found in slashing or cutting out pieces of the stock, thus allowing the
sun's rays to pass through to the ground at these points. In this way, the number of
rays that would reflect in such a way as to affect the sensitized plate of the camera are
reduced. It follows that the more the camouflage is thinned out, the darker the shade
reproduced on the plate. For nearly bare ground, camouflage is thinned but little;
for tall, grassy locations, it is thinned considerably. Experience teaches the necessary
amount of thinning out, but always the work is checked by "before and after" photo-
graphs taken by Allied aviators at varying altitudes. Often one must thin a bit more
here and add a little there. The East and West edges of the flat top are always thinned
almost to bareness to obliterate the shadows cast by the sun in these directions. If
this were neglected, the position would be outlined by a telltale shadow.
The French take care of the edges by making a gradual slope to the ground, thinning
increasingly with the descent. The Americans combined the British and French systems,
descent at the edge being treated by building successive steps, each thinner than the
preceding. This method has the advantage of maintaining the same plane thoughout,
reducing the possibility of detection by any shadow thrown by the slope. Ditches and
creeks running though the position are imitated by cutting away all burlap from the
wire, following the course of the ditch. A path may be continued over the position by
running a solid canvas strip across the top.
Once a position is finished and turned over to a Battery, its value will be soon lost
it" the strictest care is not exercised by the men around the position. Camouflage disci-
pline now comes into play, and it is this that destroys whatever traces of affection the
cannoneer may have for camouflage. The cannoneer must watch not only his own
proper work, but also guard against the carelessness of the drivers, who seldom regard
the simplest rules necessary for the preservation of the position. There are five vul-
nerable points in the camouflage defense — the formation of new paths, flash marks,
the starring oi a position, the misuse of established paths and roads, and the outlining of
a position by wheel marks and paths. A number of new paths, all leading to a point
detected in photographs, quickly give rise to suspicion, the area around that point being
more carefully observed than it would be otherwise. Flash marks are caused by the
flash ol tin- guns burning away the foliage and grass, leaving a bare spot. This may
be corrected by a very low flat top or the application of twigs and brush. Should this
be neglected, the photo will show four white spots, their regularity taken in conjunction
with the converging paths, establishing beyond possibility of doubt, the existence of a
position. Starring a position is the forming of a target, with the position as a bull's-eye.
This fault is committed mostly by inexperienced artillery units. It consists in forming
paths from several different outlying points of the compass to a center, the position.
The outlying points are, for example, a well, a canteen, a house, a village or some place
of attraction for the bored cannoneers, who soon form well-defined paths from these
points to the position. The German Intelligence Service, of course, possessed a suffi-
cient amount ol grey matter to figure that paths do not run into the center of an ap-
parently harmless field. Often when the entrance to a position is not readily accessible
from the road, the incoming caissons and ration wagon skirt the outer edges of the camou-
flage, thus outlining the position — another target. Roads joining two main branches
may be made, even across lots, without showing the exact location of the artillery posi-
tions on that road, unless the drivers, instead of continuing on by the position to the
other main roail for their return trip to the echelon, turn around at the position. Then
portions of the road are used and worn down, while other parts are left to grow weeds.
This misuse of cross-lot roads shows up distinctly in an aerial photograph.
Camouflage will endure the weather for approximately seven months, when it becomes
necessary to either re-cover the position or spray the camouflage and patch, neither of
which tasks is large.
In open warfare, nature furnishes the best camouflage in the form of woods and
bushes. I hotographic work is largely dispensed with, and observation is made for
circulation only. The main duties of camouflage then consist in keeping circulation
and formation oi crowds to the minimum.
There is a special branch of camouflage which seeks to reduce the visibility of objects
by painting. In artillery, an attempt is made to render the guns, caissons, and other
vehicles indistinct by glorious daubs of multi-colored paints. While this futurist work
will deceive the eye slightly, it will not fool the camera. Its value in artillery is very
much open to question according to the heads of the camouflage section of the American
Forces in France. Green and brown tones on avions have been of some value, but it was
conceded to be of more value to paint the avions a brilliant white, a difficult target
because blurred. Paint found its greatest use in dazzle painting applied to ships, the
object being to deceive observers as to the vessel's true speed.
The camouflage of roads was chiefly the work of divisional engineers, and consisted
merely in the erection of screens to conceal the movement of trafhc wherever there was
direct or lateral enemy observation of a road. It was of no value against aeroplane
observation. When it became necessary to hide all traffic in preparation for an offensive,
the darkness of night provided perfect camouflage.
While, as an art of war, camouflage has been improved vastly, it is still in its infancy.
There are many perfections to be made, and new methods to be discovered. There is
no doubt that the next war, if there be such a possibility, will find America well in the
foreground in this branch.
N observation post is a place of incarceration, situ-
ated as close to No-Man's Land as the engineers
could build it, and manned by artillery men, chosen
for the work principally because if they should get bumped
off, their organization would suffer little if any loss. This fact, needless to say, makes
the position of observer or telephone-operator in an observation post a very desirable
one, and when the news gets out that you have been elected to the position, your friends
all advance, look you in the eye, and, shaking you by the hand, turn mournfully away.
After experiencing these touching farewells a few times, you begin to reflect on your
past life and wonder how your folks are going to take it. You begin to wish you hadn't
so hastily sacrificed yourself on the altar of freedom, and had remained at your old job
of carrying ninety-five-pound Hun-erasers up to Betsy the Sniper.
So, all in all, you are in a merry frame of mind as you report to the officer in charge
of the 0. P. and are instructed in your duties, which are, chiefly, to stand gazing through
binoculars at the enemy scenery, to note any signals, rockets, or movements which you
may observe, to plot on the map new emplacements or positions of the enemy, and to
report to Headquarters all such information immediately by telephone. Also the O. P.
must conduct reglages on request.
Our first O. P. in the Toul sector was called O. P. 12 and, like the overseas hat, was
built not for beauty, but for utility. It was about six feet under ground, thirty feet long
by five feet wide, and consisted of two rooms, the first, which was the kitchen and sleeping
apartments combined; and the second, which was the Observation Platform. The
bunks were ranged two deep along the wall, and since there were four bunks in all and
a staff of five men and an officer, some of the bunks were occupied most of the time.
The Observation Room was handsomely outfitted with a map, a chair and aperture
(at the height of the eyes) through which a binocular and a long, light stick were thrust.
The binocular, as is obvious, was to increase the range of vision, and the stick was used
to disperse the rats from in front of the aperture when the observer desired to cast his
gaze on the enemy. It was a constant struggle whether we, the rats, the cooties, or the
water would occupy the quarters, but, due to our rugged determination and vigorous
use of the pump, the other animals and water were ousted, and we remained not wholly
victors, but masters of the situation to a certain degree. The roof, a very essential
feature of an O. P., was not a very rugged affair, as it hardly kept out the rain, and every
evening when Fritz would send over his compliments, the crew would glance dubiously
at said roof and wonder how it felt to be buried alive.
Although the Boche had (). P. 12 plotted on their maps and knew when each man
was on shift, yet it was in the regulations that our position should always be concealed.
Therefore, no fires could be started in the daytime, and this forced us to eat hut one
meal a day, which usually took place at midnight. And how we all did curse when, just
at the point of taking the browned steak from its bed of onions, the infantry's green rocket
would ascend, the Klaxons whirred, and the foul odor of gas began to be recognized,
for then at once, the fire had to be extinguished, gas-masks donned, and the food thrown
away. If for nothing else than that, we hated the Germans.
Being a new man, you were of course presented with the graveyard shift at the tele-
scope, and you also rated the delectable job of carrying a five-gallon bidon of water and
the day's supply of champagne from Beaumont, two kilometers away, through a winding
trench, ankle-deep in mud and water. We could have drawn the water in Seicheprey,
a short distance towards the front line, but as that little village was a favorite target for
the Kaiser's rollicking crew, we preferred to travel to Beaumont, even though it was a
"Baldy" Damon and Jerry Walker, the two sandpile experts, handled the telephone,
sending in the reports, and information picked up by the observers. The other three
men of the detail were observers, and they stood four hours on duty, with eight off. You
can instantly recognize any of these men now by the puckered expression of the right
eye, caused by lengthy gazing through the small end of a telescope. It is a blissful
experience to sit on that chair on the graveyard shift, from midnight to four A. M.,
peering into No-Man's land, wondering when the Boche were coming over and when your
relief was coming out.
Things went along very well, and we rather enjoyed the daily shelling, especially
the ones that scraped the roof in passing and landed about thirty- yards to windward,
but we didn't really realize what war was like until that Seicheprey battle. That memor-
able morning, the Huns surged over No-Man's Land, and by the force of numbers over-
whelmed at first our doughboys, but then we witnessed the old Yankee fighting spirit
come to the fore, and the thin line of Infantry, machine gunners and anti-tank men form
for a last stand ; we heard the retreat call sounded on the Boche bugle ; saw the first counter-
attack of our boys and the ensuing rout of the enemy back to their trenches, followed by
the terrific fire of our own 155's, which took heavy toll of dead and wounded from the
ranks of the baffled raiders.
It was the first indication of the fighting worth of our troops, and from that day we
never for a moment doubted the final outcome of the war.
The last shell of the enemy barrage was, unfortunately, aimed at us, and completely
demolished our Observation Room, killing four men, but all of the detail survived. Pritz
Palmer had left the 0. P. and run the barrage on a very necessary errand, and was wounded
in a very delicate position. He was our only casualty, but the rest lost most of their
possessions and any love for war during the excitement. This episode closed the career
of O. P. 12.
The next O. P. was established by Captain Barker and the detail, in a shell-hole
overlooking the support trenches, and it was named "Double Zero" in honor of the
powder charges the Huns directed at the skipper when he went out there to conduct
reglages. The Boche had a clever observer on the skipper's movements, so "Double
Zero" had to be abandoned.
Oui next 0. P was "Seventeen," and wa9 .1 modern, up-to-date, concrete .itt.iii
|oe Hnker, 1 stabrooks, and Gurrj made a verj congenial crew until an officer, \\l><>
shall be nameless, «.b sent up to take charge, and then things took on the appearance
ol ,i musical corned) "Puss in Boots" had not been in the service as long a> most "t us
had -pent in .1 gas mask, and had nevei seen an P. except in pictures, but nevertheless,
we win- forthwith gathered togethei and given instructions >>n how to observe We
were then at the viul ol om second month ol confinement in O. P.'s, but we gracefully
assumed the position ol "at ease" and allowed him to finish the oration. First ol all,
he wished the existence ol the 0. IV kept secret, so that when a man left the 0. P, foi
reasons best known to himself, he was ordered to secrete himself under a piece >>t camou
flage and proceed b) circuitous routes to his destination. Oui Lute reported: "The
104th Infantr) are going into the trenches l>\ an open path," ovei the "phone, while
the personnel in ordering .1 bottle >'t mk would have to camouflage hi- conversation so
that the Huns listening in, wouldn't know the P, was out ol ink. rhen we camou
Raged the whole 0. P. with bright, new screens which made it stiek out more prominently
than evei on the landscape, rhen how horrified he was to learn we h.ul cooties, and in
.1 tew >l.i\-- he himseli h.ul hundreds,
One day, .1 gas shell whistled ovei and exploded in the road neai n- The 1 ittle
General sniffed, and at once said there was phosgene in the air, The ie-t ol u> sniffed
and agreed thai we smelt something, but thought it was the usual odor of the 0. l\
Well, the hole must be guarded" so the\ hung the job on Estabrooks, who tor two
hours pushed -ill traffic around that hole. One fellow approached the Dignified Icicle
and told him ol a well known but not \ei\ polite method of killing the gas. "Go out
and do it." he said, and soon I m\ h.ul something else besides the hole to guard. Mean-
while, in response to frantic calls ovei the 'phone, the engineers came rushing up. ["hey
heard the story, threw a little dirt into the hole, and, looking sadl) at our dashing leadei .
moved silentlj awa) .
Manx weie the eomie.il incidents, loo numerous 10 mention here the time out C. O.
was caught sleeping on post, .uul how he disapproved ol us drinking champagne. Vlso
the arguments about hie, .uul whethei it was an) thing else but what we thought it was
All these can be on!) indicated, but the day of the Grand Review demands .1 mote length)
One Saturda) we weie informed ih.n the next morning there would be an inspection,
rhinking our C. O, was joking, one fellow inquired it it was to be of the S. A variet) .
.uul w.is instant 1) squelched. So. .u l > A. M. Sunday, the l me instructed Sergeant
Scammon "to have the men tall in outside theO. V . facing the West." We fell in. facing
the designated direction according to ages.
Scammon faced the troops. "Fall in," he ordered "Right dress" then sighted
along the hue, gave "Front." The toll was called, Scammon about faced, saluted
the Inspectoi General (who h.ul meanwhile issued out of the back dooi all shined up
like a nigger's eyeball), ami reported All present, sir, but Gurry, who is on duty."
"Gurr) will be inspected when he i> relieved, lake youi post, Sergeant." Scammon
took his post at the light ot the rigid line. "Prepare foi inspection" was the hoarse
command, ami then followed a rigid examination. One man h.ul his pistol pointed to the
reai ovei hi- right shoulder, but our kind hearted 1 me overlooked that trifle "Haven't
you any b i i ■ • '" he demanded of 1 1 d man In llm I 1
III. I in. . I |in.| in, ill. I i Hll'l g| I ftttj " I.I I lli il II i |
"Sew up I hut but tun iew up thai hlrt." I In n i uni I In lutri unwind U
ii.' i in i. .ui' i i ii 1 1 ..I in. i Hi. I < i 111 .1. iui|)|) nrd >' nun. i. .1
ii 1 1 1. 1 1 w< m i'ii' i dial i" - it in ..iii. . i i in i u i. • ..ii.. i i inn, which i' "i been
a I ill nil i mi to u up to then "DIniiiI lelall. Sergeant," itnd ion Inking
in |... Hi. .11 in froni ..I ii i rani . ild, 'Wi II I'll hi , i H ml i d m
I I i. i I | mini mi Iiii.iii. . • ii.|i . I in. I I In • holl hi 1 11(1 I [lidded III) I iii. Iii. i
\n.i .. ii.. ii r hi. ..Mni mi, with period ui culm and lli i i iging bndli Itli
period ..i inn. ..in. in mi. i | ■• i .ii with lli i pleii in I i erj Inrgi pi I
.ii 1 1\ 1 1 ■, , 1 1 i 1 1 ui . I hi i mil i ' i in). , • • i iniiinii ..iii I in . [tolled i iii
. in in vim p , informed tin hut lei ol I then vatched tin hell from ou i
gun i nil 1 1 in | in . • in H i • . i . i'l.i.i .... ii I. i in . . .i i , I work doui
When wi caughl tin '■ '■ Ignul from thi Inland , ■ itched Ihi i Ii id
iiVI'I In l.i 1 1 mi I Iii I Inn l nil i in I | i n I I I n 1 1 1 i | | 1 1 1 1 | ■ I . i ' I I • . I I n 1 1 I l ■ in I n I In 11 il |
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I , i i I,. .■. Il i.|... ...... 1 1 I, i ml Inn;- l.ii I hi n... mni I In In II I n I ,i . , I i In || ,
M . 1 1 1 ll.ni;-. linn;. \ i, llnmi, Ii lli .1 mi,. In l.nl I In I, ,,,,•, l ,,l ,11 , ,.
I In I ill 1 1 I 1 1. 1 1 . .inn mil . .| mm nnii' .1 • I . ■ i. .uni ■ In I I. . I nnl in,|, , Inn, I | In .
enough for u lo reach out and touch 1 1 I'hen, 1 cry I hin| vtt i i ilm itnd |
I nl ,i a Sunday ul I u when uddenl) i gui Id hoom oul unolhei Id ... ver It,
until the air wa filled with (hi ound of (he flying melal and (hei [ihwlon 1 1 eemeil
,i 1 1 il li 1 1 i ii li.nl l. m t on earth Uul aftei i vhlli th i Id ubxldi hit l)j l)ll
until there wi thing but the morning <|ul gain And (hen, burl Id come om
bird I" Lli' Up Hi' M "I Inn lln Ii.nl I .1 |,li.| II I In .1 In
foretell the peace that would oon reign in pile of the uni vei il Lruggl I lhal on (hi
world ■■ "nl. I e( lie thai ame peace and quietni unld tin veel realllli I hat had onl
I., i n iii i ,im in n hat da) ■ • aw (he old homi hon growing mini y ond IndUilncti
lllll ll v.i i mil. I ii I In m in. nmn
I , /
"Dis-donc, Mon Coco!"
"£^1QN," s.iid Mrs. Shell to her newly-returned soldier boy, Corporal <). A. Shell of
^% Battery A, "tell me something aboul the French people you met over there. Did
you like them, or not ?"
* * * *
"Dearie," asked the trustful little New England girl who had waited so long for
Private Rationdump, the heroic K. P., who had been decorated after the battle of Loisy,
"how did the French fight at Loisy, where you won that A. W. < >. L. Bar-le-Duc medal
you told me about? Do tell me aboul the Poilus. Are they very brave?"
* * * *
"Oli, the frogs?" was the answer both times. "Well, they're queer ones. I don't
know what to tell you. The best of them are tine. But, Gee, they don't know how to
It's a puzzler. Alter eighteen months in France, what do we think oi the French?
We ought to know them pretty well, yet how main of us dare say we understand them
In the first place, we Americans are an intensely practical people. "Get results!
Invent your own method, but get results! Anything goes, provided it's honest and it
succeeds!" That is the spirit of America.
. Now the Frenchman isn't built that way. He cares more for ideas than for advantage,
more for theories than for practical results. All through French history, one great
idea after another has called forth the splendid energy of France, and it has never made
any difference whether or not the idea was practical or advantageous to the French
people. A glorious idea could always start a wave of enthusiasm which swept all prac-
tical considerations before it.
First, it was the Crusades. The French were the most enthusiastic Crusaders of all,
for the idea of freeing the Holy Sepulchre was a very beautiful one. It wasn't practical.
France couldn't possibly gain by it. Yet for it she gave the best of her sons to fall use-
lessly on foreign shores.
Next, came Joan of Arc. The idea of the pure young girl leading the armies of
France, transformed badly beaten troops into victorious ones. The plan to have the
king crowned in Rheims cathedral was risky, with no practical advantage, since the king
was the rightful monarch, no matter where the crown were handed to him, but the idea
was glorious and the recently cowed French made it a reality. Later the idea that the
English had martyred their girl saint gave them such strength that they threw* off the
British yoke forever.
A few centuries later came the conflict of religious ideas, and for main years France
bled herself while in one long war after another, with no practical gain in view. In
other countries the religious wars were fought to win freedom, as in the Netherlands,
or to determine the relative power of princes, as in ( lermany. In France there was never
a real question of dynastic succession nor of the maintenance or improvement of civil
institutions. The long struggle was a conflict of ideas, pure and simple.
Later still, the French Revolution blazed forth and the great idea of Liberty, Equality
and Fraternity lighted up France for the first time. The disorganized French Armies,
thus inspired, beat the veterans of Europe. Their object was practical this time, for
they were righting for the newly-established free institutions. But when the Revolution
became the democratic empire of Napoleon, and when the battle for freedom became
the battle for the mastery oi the world, an impractical project without possibility of
permanent gain to France, the glory ol the conception still made French arms invincible.
We have all seen for ourselves what France can do in a life-and-death struggle. Every
Frenchman has known for years that when war came, France would have to beat, l>y sheer
courage, fighting ability, and strategic genius, armies bigger and better-armed than her
own. At the Marne, in 1914, she did exactly that, won out where eight of the enemy
were opposed to every five of her own soldiers, gained one of the decisive victories of the
world, on her nerve and on the strength of a glorious idea.
This great French characteristic is romantic, sentimental, very different from our
Anglo-Saxon practicality or the machine-like German efficiency. It explains why
the French are so great in the arts, in everything pertaining to the inspirational and
the beautiful. They have a different set of values for life; to them the word "accomplish-
ment" means an idea perfected, to us it means a result obtained.
In the arts of expression they far surpass us, for they are "playing on I heir home
grounds." They are working with ideas. In the art of living, the advantage is with
us. The best of them live generously and well, but their grand average is far below
ours. The French moral and social standards are sentimental, impulsive, irregular,
the worst product of the national character. In the most intensely practical side of
life, that of the home and the family, far too much of young French manhood has chosen
to follow wild, sensual ideas worthier of Turkish civilization than that of Western Europe.
It is this dealing with ideas rather than practical conditions that makes French
standards so hard to judge from our standpoint. Are the people real wonders of gen-
erosity, or are they grasping, mean and miserly beyond belief? When we think of the
kindly families of Leuglay orVicq, of the unending hospitality with which those villages
received us, of the affections they showed us, we must realize that in no other foreign
country would we have been received with such unscheming generosity. There is a
hotel-keeper in the Loire Valley for whom I did a small favor early in 1918, and I could
not, to the end of my stay in France', dine at his hotel without receiving, as a gift from
him, a ten-franc bottle of wine to wash clown my dinner. No matter how I tried, I
could not pay for that wane; and finally his generosity embarrassed me so much that I
had to stop dining at his hotel. It wasn't a practical generosity; it far exceeded the
value of the service rendered, and it grew to burden its recipient. Hut it was very
On the other hand, we all know how the French have deliberately raised prices for
us. That wasn't practical either. We Americans have learned at home that a "two-
price house" seldom succeeds in the long run. The French have terribly antagonized
their rescuers and helpers and have lost much friendship and good feeling to gain a few
The peasantry squeeze a sou until Louis Napoleon hollers. They are thrifty and
save money, but they don't know how to live. We will never forget how uncomfortable
farm life and village life in France was. No baths for the village people, no heat, a
manure pile right over the well, primitive agricultural implements, lots of work and
little comfort, bad cognac and cheap vin rouge. Thrift i> a beautiful idea, and the ac-
cumulation of great wealth in the land has kept France on a level of influence with her
larger neighbors. Hut the people don't progress and don't breed, so their thrift isn't
We must admire their brilliant gallantry in war, for they saved the world from the
Hun. We must admire their artistic gifts. We can never forget the generosity of the
good people in districts which had not been worn out by constant billeting before our
arrival. As for the rest of their complicated make-up, let us remember that they belong
to a different race and blood from ourselves, that they lay the emphasis of life on less
practical things than we do, and that it takes all sorts of people to make up the world.
The French contribution to civilization is magnificent, but thank God we are Americans!
NO account of Battery A could be complete
without some mention of athletics — for we
are some athletes; we even admit it ourselves.
Our life as a battery and our athletics began almost simultaneously. We had hardly
become settled at Quonset and recovered from the sore muscles caused by our new mode of
life, when a grand field meet, with baseball games on the side, was staged, batteries A, B,
and C, Troops A, B, C.and M and the ambulance company all taking part. With Downey
as our mainstay, ably seconded by the rest of the team, we had no trouble in romping
away with the field meet, the scores being as follows: Battery A, 31; Battery B, 13;
Battery C, 5; Troop M, 3. We were not so fortunate in the baseball game, as we lost
to Battery C by a 3 to score, its Bagley-Bullock battery being too tough a proposition
for MacLaughlin and Mason.
Shortly after this the battery was moved to Boxford, where the fast-cooling weather
and the lack of adequate grounds soon made baseball only a memory. So we turned
our attentions to football. Everybody pitched in and subscribed enough money to
purchase suits, for the team missed a good deal of afternoon drills. We had a large
number of enthusiastic candidates, until our coaches got busy and thinned them out.
In its final shape, the squad was composed of the following men: Wade, MacMillan,
Batcheller, Sheldon, T. Crawford, F. Robertson, Burton, Tarbell, S. Brown, 1.. S. Kelley,
Downey, W. Murphy, Mellor, Mulcahey.
After about a week of practice, we played the strong Headquarters Company one
Saturday afternoon, with the very gratifying result of a six to nothing victory. It was
a close and exciting game, and was saved to us only at the last minute when Corporal
Kelley made a wild dash which resulted in a touchdown. It was there that we suffered
one of our first casualties when Monty Wade was sent to the hospital with a broken collar-
bone. Owing to interruption by orders from Washington, this was the only game played
on a large schedule.
During the months that followed, we were busy — and too cold to do anything in
our leisure moments except hug the fire, though they say that certain ill-advised Sergeant
Instructors, who visited at our barracks during the long winter evenings, were observed
to go away talking to themselves after a session at "African Golf."
It was not until late in the spring, when we were finally well established on the Toul
Sector, that our athletic paraphernalia was brought out again. We had waited a long
time for .1 chance to gel bat k at Batter) C, and late in May, .it the echelon in Rangeval,
we got ii I In' ii\.ih\ was intense, and when we finally did carrj away die victon to
the tune "i 7 i" 3, more than 2000 francs went with ii. Mac! aughlin and Francis made
a great battery, and the rest oi the team \\ as in top form,
i )thei mi inn games were played at Rangeval, but ii was nol until i he li h oi fulj that
anj large events look place. The First Battalion was then at Jouarre, and Battery C
nui being around, we swamped Battery It in .i very rough field with .i 16 to 2 score. In
the afternoon we had .i little field meet .ill to ourselves, to settle several arguments that
h.iil ,u isen between the various sections. Captain Barker added interest i<> the occasion
|i\ putting up .i prize <>t lot) francs For the winners oi the greatest number of individual
points. In addition to the dashes and short relay races, which were .ill thai the size of
the course permitted, we 1 n-l* 1 .i grand "Puttee" race in which the puttees of the con-
testants were taken ofl and rolled on again. Corporal Usher finished this with lots of
time to spare, .is most ol the other competitors were hopelessly tangled up, Joe Laffej
succeeded in winning Captain Barker's 100 francs.
Jul} Mih, Bastille d.i\ . was .i holiday for such ol us .is were able to take advantage
of it. and the large field in back of the echelon at Meurette offered ,i very convenient
place for .i regimental meet. As it tinned out, the meet was quite an imposing affaii
as it was attended li\ large crowds ol the French inhabitants and enlivened bj the band.
In the baseball game Gurry and McCarthy did meat work as a battery, and, as usual.
were well supported, so that we won a close game with our old enemy, Battery C, by a
score ol ,; to 2, Meanwhile our track team piled up a score ol .'1 points to our nearest
competitors. Joe 1 affey again starred. Hie K. ol C. crowned the occasion by coming
toiw ard w ith prizes.
l >u the 18th of Jul} the lii s " offensive started, and from then until the latter part of
August we gol enough exercise, without having to play games, to work off the surplus
energy. It was nol until the battery was relie\ ed and had reached the rest area, so called,
at 1 euglay, that we had a chance foi any organized athletics.
Perhaps oui best, and certainly our most exciting, game was played with Battery C
on the roadside above Heippes just before the opening ol the St. Mihiel drive. C took
the lead early in the game, and 1>\ the ninth inning was leading 3 0. Bui w ere we down-
hearted? No. Our trusty clouters came back and evened up the tally, The tenth
and eleventh innings went l>\ without scoie, hut in the twelfth, C broke loose ami put
across three more. rhings looked pretty dark, but, urged on by the frenzied yells of
its supporters, the team came back with 4 large runs and the game. Incidentally, Joe
Ma. 1 aughlin sa\s this is the most satisfactory game he ever pitched lor the battery, for
in addition to largely contributing to winning the game, he managed to strike his brother
out three times and hit him in the head once.
Hut Joe wasn't the only man who came through that day. In the track events, Bud
Harrington, a dark horse, romped home an easy . unexpected w inner in the 880-yd, run.
Bud had lo close one eve to make the last lew coineis, and was all in at the finish, but
he revived enough to take the JO francs which the Colonel put up as a prize. 1'hiis our
baseball season in France came to a triumphant close, as this was the lasl athletic event
indulged in li\ the batter) until alter the armistice.
Shortly after thai eventful day the battery was withdrawn from the lines and billeted.
On Thanksgiving Day a new game made its first and only appearance, Given .1 barrel
of beer for a prize and .1 general determination to have .1 good time, the result was as
follows: At the whistle two batteries lined up en masse, with one football apiece and
no rules except to drive a ball through the opponent's goal. Ii was an exciting game,
but disastrous to clothes, skin, and temper. Alter a long struggle, Battery F finally
bore away the prize in triumph.
Shortly after ihis, soccer became our official game, and teams were organized from
each section to form a battery soccer league. From these teams, Kennedy and Moffitl
wen- picked to represent Battery A on tin- regimental team. Incidentally, our regi-
mental team defeated the 102nd F. A. soccer team by a score of 1 to on their own field.
As they claimed the A. E. F. championship in soccer and had defeated the champions of
the French Army, we of the 103rd considered it a k"<»<I day's work.
From this time on soccer games, track meets, and football games followed one another
in rapid succession. Alter a two weeks' schedule, places in the- intei sec lion soccer league
stood as follows: 1st, 2nd Section; 2nd, 5th Section; 3rd, 4th Section.
As the division moved toward the back areas, the competitions began to be of a more
general character and the battery as a battery took little more part in them, although
it had men on nearly every regimental and brigade team.
( )ur official athletic career ended with the divisional meet at kcomoy, and shortly
afterwards we turned our faces toward America and civilian life.
Major-General Clarence R. Edwards, Commanding the 26th Division
Colonel Everitte St. John Chaffee
Colonel J. Ai den I « v< in man
si< ond Lieutenant
Stanley B. Wright
]■ [RSI I III I I NAN I
III (.11 B. Si "i i
Kikst Lieutenant E.J.Cunningham
C MAPI UN
\YU LTAM J. I \KKI I I
Second Lieutenani R. Timothy Gibson
THEORETICALLY, in the hierarchy of things military, officers should be to en-
listed men as were the purple- togated patricians of ancient Rome to their Ethiopian
galley-slaves. However, save for rare exceptions, this theory remained obsolete.
Our officers were men whose insight into human character, whose education and good
manners, whose kindliness and qualities of leadership entitled them to their higher,
but not, therefore, more worthy position in the army.
"Comparisons are odorous," said the brilliant Mrs. Malaprop. And correct she
was. Yet, odorous or not, lite taet was that enlisted men invariably favored those
officers who had been promoted from the ranks. They wire as a rule more considerate
and better qualified to lead men. Their experiences as privates and non-commissioned
officers had acquainted them with the many difficulties of these ranks. They were with,
not against, the men. They constantly entertained an eager, fatherly interest for each
individual. Never did they assume an aloof, high-horse attitude.
However, not difficult was it to observe on the part of a few mushroom officers
of Plattsburg a tendency to lord it over all, to behave as though the heavens were be-
neath their feet, and to act as il rule by divine right was their preternatural prerogative.
Nor did it require a penetrating mind to perceive that these few yearned to he the chiefest
frogs in the pond, and to realize that it annoyed them because privates were often men
of larger purse, higher social connections, and wealthier mental resources than they.
Like white elephants, they were more a hindrance than a help. And like the hydra-
headed water-serpent, no sooner was one sent away as unlit, than whence or how, no
one knew or cared to know another was wished on the Battery. How found these
tyros their way to be officers? How found the blind sow among the leaves an acorn?
I.uck. Sheer, downright, unalloyed luck.
In regard to officers, Battery A was most fortunate. Indeed, it would have been
well-nigh impossible to find anywhere in the American Expeditionary Forces more
popular, more brave, and more efficient officers than those with whom A Battery men
had the distinct honor to be associated for so long a period — Major-General Edwards,
Brigadier-General Glassford, Colonel Chaffee, Colonel Twachtman, Lieutenant-Colonel
Spencer, Major Barker, Major Hanley, Major MacLeod, the late Captain Davis, Captain
MacLeod, Captain Hartwell, Captain Hascall, Chaplain Farrell, and Lieutenants
Babcock, Andrews, Scott, Gibson, and Wright. Whenever A Battery nun spoke about
these officers, complimentary adjectives and superlatives were never scarce.
Fortunate, also, were the men of A Battery to l>c associated \\ ith such splendid officers
as Captain Houghteling, Captain Cox, Captain Ruffner, Lieutenants Cunningham,
Van Ostrand, Hutchins, Shriver, Richmond, Rundell, Stone, Taylor, Apthorp, and
At differenl times, for varying periods, a few other officers 15 in number according
to battery records were brooked stoically by the men. However, these pouter-
pigeons have ceased to strut by now, for strutting in tish markets, behind ribbon counters,
and 5 and 10 cent stores always was an act of colossal asininity. Yes, "comparisons are
odorous." These men, compared to our excellent officers, were like turnip-, compared
First Lieutenant William Andrews
Headquarters 91st Division
Judge Advocate's Office
A. P. (). 776 • A. E. F. March 4th, 1 1 >V>.
To the Editor or Battery A Book:
From the "Phantom Roll" ol Battery A, may I emerge to write a word for
your volume, if for no other reason than abiding faith in, and affection tor
the "Outfit." For a year and a half I have been serving with a far Western
Division, in fact two of them. Separated from you, 1 have bul little idea
of the assignment to duty of the various men - -and officers. My mind
pictures Battery A as I knew it. May I speak just a word from thai stand-
point? My first news of the Battery filtered through when "Pole-prop"
Howeti, dignified as a First Lieutenant, rejoined his orderly and seven pieces
of baggage at St. Aignan, and began a fortnight ol complete rest while, with
t he assistance of ( "het Files and Stanley Ainsworth, a dozen ol the lost legion
of the R. I. Battalion were gathered together and tagged "103rd F. A.,"
put upon a "40 Homines" and shipped to the "26th." The bathless Hill
Hlodgett, closely followed by Jack Lewis, next crossed the path. Their woe
was that of Pas du pay day, which having been adjusted, they "parteed."
Then there was an event. Corporal George ("rum was announced and
his transfer arranged to the lloth Engineers. "He fell among strangers,"
became purchasing clerk of the small wares not disgorged by the Supply
Depots, ranked a private out of a sidecar — "Fini." Ray Palmer came from
the Hospital, earned his way to a "Top Sergeant" job, and thereafter, upon
recovering from double pneumonia, sailed, with stateroom and trunk, to
the U. S. A., marked "D." Sergeant Tucker, with an enlarged German
vocabulary and "Due the Soldier" account, appeared, closed the last-
mentioned account and permitted a three-day leave in Paris to engross him
prior to his arrival in your midst.
I have seen several officers in various parts of France, Candidates at
Saumur, and others of the "( )ld Battery." I saw Archie Coats just before the
end, Pearce Drummond in the hospital in Dijon, the irrepressible Adams
Brothers, Major Hamilton and "Split/." among the white lights of Paris,
Rush Sturges at Angers, and Runx in the officers' coach of an "Express,"
and again almost immediately in a cafe. The privilege of serving with
you was not mine, but the interest in you was, as with all Rhode Islanders,
keen and sustained. It is with a sense of deep gratitude that the former
service with the Battery is recalled, and therewith is the hope that this may
find place in some obscure corner of your volume in memory of other days,
when we awaited the "Troop-train."
Henry \V. Stiness.
THE "Battery A of Rhode Island" Welfare League was originated in July, 1917,
through the initiative of Mrs. Mary Downey, whose son was a member of Battery
A. By courtesy of the Shepard Co., the first meeting as an organization was held
in the recreation room of that store on July 24, 1917. Here, once a week, meetings con-
tinued to be held until the increasing membership of the organization made necessary
new and larger quarters. Consequently, since January, 1918, all meetings, as well as most
of the varied activities to raise funds, were held at the Marine Artillery Armory on Benefit
The original object of this organization, which was composed of those who were
interested in the "Boys" of Batteries A, B, and C of the 103rd Field Artillery, and of the
104th Ambulance Company, was to formulate plans to add to the comfort and welfare of
the "Boys" for the duration of the war, and to do everything possible to cheer and com-
fort those left behind.
The organization was originally known as the "Battalion and Ambulance Aids of
Rhode Island." Later, it was decided to include the Headquarters Company, and the
name was changed to "Battalion, Headquarters and Ambulance Aid." In February,
1918, it was voted to adopt the name by which the organization is now known — "Battery
A of Rhode Island" Welfare League. This seemed a very appropriate and inclusive
name, since the units represented by the League were all National Guard units developed,
for the most part, from the famous Rhode Island National Guard outfit, Battery A —
an outfit known to all patriotic Rhode Islanders.
The first president was Mrs. J. E. Osgood, under whose careful and devoted leader-
ship the society steadily grew in numbers and the object for its existence began to
Among the first things done was the purchase and sterilization of hospital supplies,
which were sent to the camp at Quonset Point. Also a quantity of yarn was bought, which
was distributed to volunteer knitters; and later, when their needs became known, knitted
articles were sent to the "Boys."
Soon after the batteries reached Boxford, tobacco, chewing gum and various sweets
were sent to the "Boys;" and when, at a later date, some of the "Boys" were ordered
to Newport News, edibles and knitted articles were sent to them also.
As soon as it was learned that the "Boys" had sailed for France, plans were promptly
made for sending Christmas boxes overseas, and on the first of November, 1917, ten
packing-cases filled with 1200 bags (containing all sorts of Christmas remembrances),
were shipped to the five units.
According to Article IV of the original constitution, the term of Mrs. Osgood as
president expired in October, 1917. She was succeeded l>y Mrs. Charles Warren Lippitt,
through whose loyal support and untiring efforts the League continued to grow rapidly
and branch out in many lines of patriotic and philanthropic service. Of these various
branches of endeavor, the most active was that of Surgical Dressing, which has sent
several cases of surgical dressings and clothing to the Garibaldi Relief Committee and to
the American Fund for French Wounded. Meanwhile, a considerable amount of sewing
was done for the Red Cross.
Various comforts and necessaries were sent to the "Boys," until the ban was put upon
sending packages overseas. The organization then immediately planned ways and
means to raise money for the mess-funds of the five units. By co-operation and faithful
work of members and their friends, all sorts of entertainments and suppers were given,
ranging from card parties on a small scale to bazaars on a large scale. The success of
these efforts speaks for itself, for from the proceeds the organization has been enabled
to send, from June, 1918, to March, 1919, the sum of $3650.00 to the mess funds of the
five units, besides donating generously to all War Drives. In addition, $25.00 monthly
has been contributed to the "Journal Tobacco Fund."
Since the return of the "Boys" to the United States, the League has tried to learn
the names of the Rhode Island Boys in the various hospitals, and whenever the name
of any such "Boy" has become known, fruit, candy or other comforts have been sent;
and as an expression of Welcome from the League, fruit and chocolate were sent to the
five units upon their arrival at Camp Devens.
The League kept abreast of the times by inviting speakers, in various spheres of life,
to the meetings, all of whom gave instructive and impressive addresses.
It was the good fortune of the League to hear an address from time to time by a
member of the 26th Division, direct from France, bringing personal news from the "Boys'
overseas, and the encouraging message thus brought by each in turn was a great source
of comfort and cheer to the hearers. These speakers in the order of their coming to the
Sergeant Grimes Sergeant San Souci
Sergeant Andrews Private Darling
Lieutenant Siteman Private Gaboriault
Captain H. G. Nelson Private Emidy
Lieutenant-Colonel Chaffee Private Siegal
Lieutenant Hartwell Corporal Boswell
Corporal Cairns Private Pitochelli
Corporal Jackson Sergeant Heaton
Sergeant Jeffers Major Barker
In February, the League was honored by a visit from Major-General Edwards,
accompanied by Governor R. Livingston Beeckman. General Edwards, in a most
interesting address, paid a glowing tribute to the "Boys" of the 26th Division, and was
a great inspiration to all who had the good fortune to hear him. After his address,
General Edwards dedicated a Y. D. flag that had been presented to the League through
the initiative of Mrs. E. R. Barker, and both the distinguished guests were made honor-
ary- members of "Battery A of Rhode Island" Welfare League.
(Signed) Suzanne G. Mackie, Secretary.
Daisy B. Keech, Historian.
Word of Thanks
The men of Battery A have not forgotten, nor ever can
forget, the generosity of the "Battery A of Rhode Island"
Welfare League, and of the Junior Welfare League.
Whenever a mess was better than ordinary army rations
permitted it to be, we knew to whom thanks were due.
When we had flapjacks for breakfast, the gray morning
hours — so frequently accompanied by chilling rains —
were nibbed entirely of their depressing gloom. When-
ever we had fresh vegetables, often when we had sugar
and milk in our coffee, we knew why — and your efforts
in our behalf were fully appreciated. Because, and only
because, of your liberal contributions to our mess fund,
were our two Thanksgiving and two Christmas dinners
in France brilliant successes. Thus, the men of Battery
A gladly take this opportunity to express once more their
sincere thanks for the loyal support given them by the
"Battery A of Rhode Island" Welfare League and by
the Junior Welfare League.
Fop picture U.S.S. Mongolia, Boston Harbor
Middle picture - Battery A. in V. D. Parade, Boston, April, 25. 1010
Lower Picture— MAIN Street, PONTVALLAIN, Sarthe, France
Tune (if "I Don't Want to Get Well"
Let's give three cheers today
For old Battery A,
Fighting men of the Hundred and Third.
They work us all the day time,
Night as well;
But when we pull the lanyard
Some Boches go to Hell!
When the rain comes along,
We just start up a song
To keep the gang a-smiling
All the time — fine
Some fair day the war will soon be over.
We'll all get drunk — go home
And live in clover
But we'll fight till the day
When the Kaiser will say,
"I've got to hand it to Battery A."
F. M. Trainer
Tune of "Mother"
M is for the mushey grub they gave us;
O is for the oatmeal that was cold ;
T is for the tea that tastes like water;
H is for the hardtack, tough and old;
E is for the eggs that came in tin cans;
R is Rotten, That 'twill always be.
Put them all together on the Baltic;
Don't bite the hand that's feeding you.
Tune of "Goodbye Broadway, Hello France"
On Boston Common, only just the other day,
A man was speaking for the great V. M. ('. A.
"Dig down in your pockets, give money," said he,
To benefit our soldier boys way over the sea.
The soldiers he meant, 1 guess,
Were those in the S. O. S.
If you're a soldier in the rear,
There'll be V. M. huts for you
Where you can buy sweet chocolate,
Cookies, jam, and cigarettes beaucoup.
Hut if you're a soldier in the line,
You're S. (). L., you see.
If there's ever another war
They won't get a single cent from me.
Foster M. Trainer
Tune of "Hit the Line for Harvard"
We're on the trail of the Kaiser;
We're Yankees through and through
And we'll show the sons of Germany
What the 26th can do!
We come from old New England,
Victory or die!
And we'll give the grand old cheer, boys,
When the Hundred and Third goes by.
F. M. Trainer
Tune of "Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding Yon"
Last night while I lay a-sleeping,
A wonderful dream came to me.
I dreamt that the war was all over
And we all gone back home, you and me.
We were marched through a beautiful city
By a band that could certainly play.
And a sign over every bar-room
Read — Free drinks, Men of Battery A.
Just to think — no more army coffee,
And no more corned willie at all.
In a nice warm bed to lie
Eating doughnuts, cake and pie.
Perhaps have a big Scotch highball
And to get rid of all the cooties;
See the movies or take in a show.
But I woke up, I'd only been dreaming;
I heard someone yell "Chow — Let's go."
F. M. Trainer
Tune of "I Met a Doughboy"
Oh, Captain Barker,
Why did you go away?
Oh, Captain Barker
Why didn't you stay.-'
You made the outfit
What it is to-day;
You made the Boches
Fear Battery A.
One thing worries me.
I'll put it plain:
Tain't the same
Since you're gone.
We would follow you
Right into Hell — just say "Come on."
Throw up that Major's job to-day
And come back to your old Battery A.
One thing troubles me,
And this is true,
We're all blue
Since you're gone.
F. M. Trainer
Tune "I "Madelon "
When once a Yank gets a glimpse oi sunny France,
At speaking French he will often take a chance.
Bon Jour and Oui, and perhaps "Comment ca va,"
Then too, he uses the famous "Ooh La La."
But when he speaks a little better,
And wears a golden chevron on his sleeve,
He sails into a restaurant with his comrade.
"Can I speak French?" says he, "Just get me, Steve."
"Avez vous des oeufs? Voulez vous faire cuir."
"Toute Suite," grunts the comrade, "and bring beaucoup beer.
Oh, it's a- cinch to learn to parlez Vous.
Take it from me — just see if it ain't true.
Buy a drink for some old French poilu,
Use your bean, 'twill come to you (to parlez vous).
"Mademoiselle," some time you'll hear me say,
"Je vous adore, je veux vous embrasser."
"Ah, Oui," she'll answer right away.
So start today, to parlez, le Francais.
F. M. Trainer
Yankre Division Sons to the Tune of "Quand Madelone"
Words by WlLMER H. ElCKE
Battery C, 103rd Field Artillery, 26th Division
Killed in act ion at
Samogneux, North of Verdun
I tctobei 24, 1918.
When Uncle Sam put his finger in the World War,
Boys from the States answered quickly to his call.
North. South, and West sent enthusiastic troops, but
New England was first of them all.
Mark there in Yankee I. ami they trained us,
Put General Edwards in command.
Then sent us sailing o'er the ocean,
Brought us at last to France's strand.
And now we're here to stay,
We're here to clear the way,
We're here to make the people shout and say "Hooraj
Ooh, la, la, la, here come the Fighting Yankees;
Here arc the boys from whom the Kaiser runs.
See the doughboys marching into battle,
Hear the crack and crash of the guns, (Boom, boom!)
Onward they go the Bodies cannot hold them.
Everyone knows they're sure to win the day,
Clear the way — the Yankee Boys are coming,
It's the old 26th on its way!
Since we've been here, we have fought in many a battle.
Trenches or field-work to us is all the same.
Starve, thirst, or fight, if it only wins the day, boys.
That's only playing the game,
Come, keep it up — we've got 'em going,
Show them what Yankee men can do —
Drive all the Bodies o'er the Border
Edwards will tell us when we're through.
That's where the Kaiser fell,
There we were marching well;
And the gang will lose the step and yell like "Hell"!
Tune ..i "Mammy'i Little Cool-Black Rose"
1 ,M ■"■ was a man in Civil War time,
< «eneral Sherman was his name.
He said thai war was Hell; believe me,
ln those good old days, ii was tame.
1,1 the firsl place, they were righting
In the good old I. S. A.
And nol al I hateau-Thierry
Or thai God-forsaken place, Mandres.
General Sherman never wore a big tin hal ;
(a big tin hal I
He never even lugged a gas mask think of that;
(jusl think ol thai !)
Of course, a bullel mighl have hil him,
Bui not a single cootie bit him.
No trem hes were around;
Nol a dugoul could be found.
He could sic,-,, so safe and sound
And nol even underground,
And when lie wrote .. letter to his family,
^ didn't take two months for an answer oversea -Gee'
i lie reason he said war was Hell
Was 'cause ii nearly drove him silly
I'" live on canned corned Willy.
Wha1 he did say,
Sounds like baby play.
War is m °re than Hell in Iran,,, to-day.
F. M. Trainer
A BILLET is a damp darkness, overinhabited by soldiers, bounded on three sides
by cobwebbed walls and on the fourth by the north wind. It is not, as our girl
imagines it, a grand chateau, where we corked until noon in six meters of eiderdown
and goose feathers; where they awakened us when the sun was high and brought us our
toast and eggs; where we whiled away the long evening before the fireplace, alone except
for the two beautiful daughters, aged seventeen and eighteen.
No, Little Girl, the pictures you saw of the American private and his French mademoi-
selle picking magnolias in the garden behind his billet de luxe, were taken by the same
gentleman who snapped those pictures of the "Y" man passing out chocolate at the
listening post and, like them, should be treated accordingly.
During most of our sleeping time away from the front, we had to hit the hay either
in barracks, puptents or billets. Our best accommodations were the barracks, although
there was one Lieutenant who found them a bit too noisy for his own pleasure.
Our next best were puptents, made of two small squares of thin muslin or cheese-
cloth buttoned in the middle and anchored to the mud by means of bayonets, trench
knives, stones, anything, in fact, except the pins issued for the purpose. And yet, a pup-
tent was found to be more comfortable, drier and roomier than the space we had assigned
to us in billets.
The billets were the worst. Therefore, most of our time outside the lines was put
in around billets. A billet is not a chateau or a house or anything that implies comfort.
It is a barn; and the wild cries by night, and the heavy odors which creep up from below
by day and night, more than imply the presence of animals; they proclaim it. We slept
in billets because we had to.
A few hours before we arrived in a town, a billeting detail of one officer (U. S. R.)
from Battery B, and an orderly, arrived to arrange things. It was the duty of this detail
to look for quarters for the men and officers, to find kitchen space, picket lines, watering
places and drill fields.
The work proceeded as follows: The billeting officer arrived in town, turned his
horse over to his orderly with instructions to arrange for a dinner at the hotel. He then
plunged into his work. He first visited the Town Major. They split a bottle of cham-
pagne, which the government paid for on the officer's next pay voucher. Then the sit-
uation was talked over.
In the first place, a matter of prime importance must be settled, that of the officers'
quarters. The Town Major ordered his car, and with the officer, scoured the terrain
in search of well-appointed rooms where the belted intellects might rest during the
particularly strenuous first day when the men were cleaning harness. The officers'
mess, with its clean linen and faultlessly matched china, could not be neglected.
These details finally settled, the officer dismissed the Town Major and went to the
Hotel de France where his orderly had arranged the petite dejeuner. He gave the
orderly final instructions to stay around where he could be reached, issued him his reserve
rations and then went to his meal. And alter the meal, of course, a nap.
The sun set, night came, and still he slumbered. Toward morning the column
entered the town. The orderly guided them to a pasture and returned to awake his
master. The officer rose and went to meet the Battery. The guns had been parked,
the horses picketed and the men, wearied with the all-night hike, lined up.
Then he marched them to their billets. Here is where that marvelous presence of
mind that took him to the training camp, rather than the recruiting office, was brought
into play. He commanded a halt at the first stable. The men were ordered inside.
When no more could be wedged inside the door the officer stated that the billet was filled.
Nine sections are now billeted. Just the specialists are left. They are marched
up the street to the next barn, a much larger, cleaner and better-lighted building. The
officer ordered the specialists inside.
His task was done and he was filled with a glow of satisfaction because of a hard
task, well performed. The officers wire comfortable, their breakfast was ready, the
picket line would be pretty good when the ground could be cleared of brush, the drill
held O. K.. considering that it was on swampy ground, the kitchen was well oft the road,
hidden coyly behind a pile of refuse, and the men were out ol sight. Now tor a snappy
two hours of reading the men's letters.
The men in the first billet had entered, felt their way through the darkness to a broken
ladder, and climbed to the loft. At first, forty had found a place. They had dropped
their packs and by 7.00 o'clock were asleep. The rest left. After a few hours of this
in the musty, dust-laden air, with the cooties doing their utmost, a pair of alien socks in
tlie face, and unfriendly hobnails in the ribs, and in spite of extreme fatigue, the Top's
whistle was welcomed. Nine o'clock, and the men fell out for reveille. There was a
separate way for each man to fall out. Some preferred the ladder, others a hole in the
Hour, while many fell down the hay chute, landing on the backs of the cattle beneath.
In the second billet peaceful sleep reigned supreme. The specialists, having the
barn to themselves, sought out comfortable beds, spread their blankets, undressed and
slept the sleep of the righteous. The top sergeant, having no idea where they slept,
lei them rest uninterrupted throughout the day.
But within two or three weeks, affairs were fairly well straightened out. By this
time the specialists had installed themselves in beds throughout the town, evacuating
the barn. Thus a half of the Battery could be assigned to their old quarters. But it
was too late. Life in the billets had begun to show on the men. As there was not room
for all to sleep, main- had lost weight. Those who sought shelter from the cold and
wet evenings by going to bed had been sent away with hay fever. The hardy ones
who had braved the blasts hail been carried away with the flu.
The battery, with its ranks thinned by sickness, was fairly well accommodated in the
We slept everywhere; in tents, in barracks, in the hold of a ship, in horse cars, in
beds, in straw, in mud and in water. But, Billets, you were the worst. One day of you
and we were sorry the armistice was signed. Oh! How we wished to be back again at
the front, where at least one could sleep!
O, Sunny, those soldiers you see there in the
picture didn't lose a bet, nor are they under
arrest. They are good soldiers like your
father was. They have just been honored by the
Their names have been posted on the bulletin board. They are soldiers
Only Runx Weeden ever called it that, and you
You sit very quiet, and Father will tell you all
"Tell me, Papa, what's a d'tail?"
"Don't pronounce it like that, Son.
don't want to talk like him. do you?
"I was acting private with the crack Battery A through the war and —
"Oh, and did you have to get a recommendation and buy a uniform, like Otto Soban's
father did, before you could enlist?"
"Yes, Child, but be quiet or Papa won't tell his story. A detail was some bit of
unnecessary work that was done when it would do the least good, with too many non-
coms on hand for the size of the job, and one-half the number of privates actually work-
ing that there should have been. The word detail is of peculiar construction and is a
by-product of the coming of the Americans to France. The first syllable is from the
French word 'de' meaning 'to.' The last syllable is the American word tail' or
'end.' Combined, they mean 'to the end.' That was what the top sergeant did
every day when he had every man safely on detail — he slept 'to the end' ol the day
in his billet."
"But didn't you have details in Quonset and Boxford before you went to France.-'"
"Oh yes, many details. For two whole months Sadie O'Connor's father was on a
painting detail. He had to make as many as seven overnight trips a week to Lawrence
for paint. Before he was done both shoulders of his uniform were a brilliant pink.
"Then there was that barber detail of that fresh McElroy kid's father. His father
was away from camp an entire week on this detail. He spent a whole day trying to
recruit a barber, but it was Sunday and the barber shops were closed, so he spent the rest
of the week in silent grief at his girl's cottage at the beach."
"And did they put you on detail then, too, and did you have to work hard like Mr.
"Yes, Child, I was on detail. I asked the clerk once when we were going to be paid.
He cursed me under his breath and strode off, muttering that he'd get me. He did
He put me on an incinerator detail under a very hard and stern man, Corporal Rhoads.
I helped build twenty or thirty fine brick and stone incinerators which, as fast as com-
pleted, he would order torn down and moved right or left 'just a hair.'
"Then we came to France. We were sent to Coetquidan to be trained in modern
warfare. Hut immediately the duty roster was put under the most severe strain in
its young career. Besides Regimental Guard, Cossack Guard, Stable Guard, Gun Guard,
and Range Guard, your father got excellent training for the front in daily details to the
(amp Headquarters, the Gamp Quartermaster, the Camp Post Office, the stables,
the coal pile, the watering troughs, the railhead, the latrines, the kitchen, the laundry,
the ammunition dump, the garbage cans. I wired the barracks for electricity, 1
shacked wood in the forest behind Beignon, I swept the barracks, I drove a hitch to Guer
for baggage, I dug trenches for the telephone school, and I built tables in the officers'
quarters. There wasn't a single detail that 1 missed.
"Late in January we heard rumors of going to the front. I resolved to get a little
training. I must get to drill one day. I lined up with the cannoneers. We went to
the range. I was to see the big guns fire. Perhaps they would let me help fire them.
I took off my coat and tried to find my place. Lieutenant Luther saw me. He detailed
me to take his horse away from the guns and to hold it while they fired. Seven more
days of details and we were off for Soissons, and the front."
"And when you got there I bet you fought fiercely and bravely!"
"No. I was detailed to an ammunition dump. But that marked the end of my
details for a long, long time. For while I was gone, there were many Xmas packages
arriving at the battery for me, none of which I ever received. When I came back tin-
top sergeant and the clerk were changed men. They treated me like an old friend.
They offered me a cigarette and a bar of chocolate. The office force is not utterly heart-
less. They will often let a man in on one of his own packages.
"So pleased were they with my Xmas boxes that they made me a specialist. That
meant that my days of details were over. My horny hands grew soft. My drawn and
emaciated face again took on its healthy glow. While the battery worked, I slept. When
the battery walked, I rode. I saw the war from atop the world until November. We
were issued a new Captain. The Armistice was signed. Our new Captain listened to
the vitriolic tongues of his green-eyed subalterns and we were canned. With the col-
lapse of Imperialism came the downfall of our little band of mounted intellects. The
Specialists were scattered to the eight winds. United we slept, divided we worked.
Once more the bulletin board bristled with your old man's name. The color sergeants
welcomed me back to the streets. From midnight to four, 'most any day, I might be
found walking my post. From daylight to dusk, I could be found with shovel, hammer,
mop, or pail; digging, scrubbing, scraping, or building. Half a year of this, and we came
back home and — "
"Then you were mustered out, and got your old job back, and lived happily ever
"No, Son. I was detailed to help the supply sergeant straighten his account-,.
In \930, the work completed, I was discharged. I must leave you now and study my
general orders because there is a can of jam in the kitchen and there has been a tough
character, named Ballou, prowling around the neighborhood to-day."
'HE scene is on the Veranda of Good Fellows.
It borders on the edge of a great cliff which dips
away into the limitless depths of a sea of the
most intense azure. There is a golden rail which borders the veranda. At the right
is a drive which enters a Golden House that is like a great seaside hotel. On the veranda
are tables and chairs. As the curtain rises, a waiter is hovering around, fixing up the
table for a banquet, putting in the finishing touches. His movements gradually lead him
Waiter (surveying his work): "There! It's ready for them." [There is awe in his
voice.] A trumpet sounds. They are coming. The stage is empty for a moment.
The door swings inward with a violent crash, and Sergeant Baldwin limps across the
doorstep, falls against the table, knocking over several glasses.
Sergeant B. (pulling himself up): " ! ! He throws himself into a chair
which breaks — " !" His eye falls on the table and his countenance brightens.
"Ah, Vin Blink. We'll all be flukin' tonight, pes-i-tiv-ly tlukin', —
[Enter Sergeant Weeden. He looks about him. Goes to the table and examines
the bottles and shakes his head dismally.]
Sergeant W.: "Ah, only nectar. Now the average god would like nectar — but
for me — ah, give me Negrita rum. Good Negrita rum." Sees Sergeant Baldwin —
"Ah, hello, Baldy."
Baldy : "How the is you, your old hide."
Runx: "Now, that is not accurate. I believe that forty years is not old, and, besides,
it is not a old hide." [He walks to the edge of the veranda and stands looking out
over the sea, meanwhile musing aloud.] "What an afternoon for a sail. That reminds
me of a day on Narragansett Bay when I beat the champion swimmer of the world.
But, alas, I was good in everything. I played tennis, tiddle-de-winks, caroms, football,
hockey, but I excell particularly at puss in the corner, which reminds me " [Baldy
The door is slightly opened, and Sergeant Burton comes in and, pulling chair from
under Baldy, seats himself at the veranda rail, watching the sea. The door is swung
smartly open, and Sergeant Thomas enters. With a very businesslike air he runs around
the table several times, stands a moment in an attitude of a Napoleonic thinker, and then
Tommy: "Hello, Runx. If I weren't so busy, this day would remind me of a day
at the Border. But I've so much on my mind." [He walks busily about the veranda.
Runx still gazes at the sea, although he is sharpening a pencil. Looks up.]
Runx: "Now the ordinary person doesn't know how to sharpen a pencil. You
see — " [As no one pays any attention to him, he subsides.]
[Enter Sergeants McKenna, Goodman, and Stimpson. They look about.]
Baldy: "Hello, fellahs, - — !"
Together: "Hello, Baldy." Baldy rushes up to them, puts his arm about them,
and tries to kiss them. Finally he is repulsed.
Fred: "Say, what do you think of my new suit? Classy! That would go good on
Westminster Street ."
Stimmy: "Ah, Westminster Street — [weeps] — Westminster Street and my
girl." [Goes to the rail and looks off to sea.]
Fred: "Lots of Vin, I see. While I don't drink the stuff, it ought to please you,
Bill." [Bill blushes fearfully, plays with his mustache but says nothing.] The music
strikes up, and from without a voice rises in song, increasing in volume as Sergeant
Saacke dances in.
Juicy: "Oh vow, oh yow, the feast is prepared, the feast is prepared." He dances
about for a minute and then runs down. "Oh, say, did I see your gas mask, your ever-
lovin' gas mask — tara-ta-di-da-dum-de," he sings, and then goes off humming to himself
as he realizes that the war is all over. [Enter Sergeant Frey.]
Arty: "Howdy, fellows — I was just up to the P. C., talking things over, and I
told him where he got off— [Is interrupted by the entrance of Sergeant Abbott,
who wabbles slowly in.]
Sergeant Abbott: "Just arrived in my hack. Nothing is too good for a member
of the 4th section, but where is Timmy? He came along."
[Enter Sergeant Gibson, dressed in deep mourning. He walks slowly up to the table
and brightens considerably at the sight of the feast.]
Press: "Timmy, you ought to can the black — '
Timmy: "But you see, Press, I hate to. I was almost there. If the demmed
war hadn't ended . Almost, almost [tragic voice].
.4/7 sergeants together: "And we all could have been, but we were in the wrong outfit.
Oh, if it was only some drafted outfit — . [They look sadly at one another.]
[Ed. Note: Timmy eventually arrived in time to go home in a first-class cabin on
Baldy: " , , ! I'm hungry, let's eat!"
Fred : "But, the others "
Baldy: "To hell with them."
The sergeants are seated with Runx at the head of the table. The waiter brings on
Runx: "Ah, Oysters. But they are not as good as the oysters in Narragansett
Bay, which reminds me of one Friday when I was at a lecture on oysters, back in '49,
when you were kids — ' [He is interrupted by the appearance of Sergeant Hill.]
Hank (with a vacuous smile): "I was a bit late in coming, well, owing to a game of
golf, the African kind. I won. Let's see — [he counts his money] — I won ten francs.
Ah, a feed." [He is seated and the waiter now brings a goose.]
R/tnx: "A goose. I love geese. But they are not as good as the geese on Narragan-
sett Bay. The average man carves a goose with a knife, but I invented a little device
whereby I can carve a goose with a can-opener. Now — [he searches] — but I have no
can-opener. Ah — that's the first thing that I have forgotten in — let's see — 35
years. I'm always prompt, I'm always prompt. Now three years ago" — [he is stopped
by the somnolent entry of Sergeant McGowan, whose face shows signs of recent sleep.]
Mac: "What's the idea of the early feed? I had to get up at noon to get here, and
I've been working the last few days like hell."
Fred (in a meaning voice): "Like Hell."
The Chief Mope is seated. They are all talking, and it is possible to pick up snatches
from the general hum of the conversation.
Arty: 'As I came into the P. C, I met Lieutenant Scott, and I said, 'y° u can't '
Hank: "Oh yes, I will get the dubbing sure tomorrow."
Tim: "How's everything — all right?"
Stimmy: " like to walk into the Strand with her — "
Press: " a couple of bottles of beer and — '
Fred: " and my new suit is the cat's '
Juley: " licked, I say. It's got me licked —
Baldy: "— , ,— ."
Thomas: "I've got business with the Lieutenant — '
[Goodman and Burton eat in silence and finally the conversation dies away. Bacchus
is beginning to steal his way into their affections. Goodman rises, blushing furiously,
and twiddles his mustache, and opens his mouth to sing, when suddenly there is a noise
of volcanic violence. Sergeant Murphy stamps in.]
Spud: "You wouldn't invite me, would you? I didn't want to come to your dam
old party anyway. You and your — old clique. And I ain't hungry." [He sits down
and begins to stuff away all the food in sight, and between mouthfuls comes "dam old
clique" and "I ain't hungry."]
Runx (rising) : "A song was suggested. Now, being only ordinary men, you probably
haven't heard this one — " [chants].
"The cannoneers have hairy ears" — [sees Sergeant Brown, who enters] — "Ah, Gil,
just in time for a game of bridge. Last night we played, and I won 42 centimes, not 41
or 43, but 42. I am always exact."
Stimmy: And I'll say to the old man, "Pa "
Baldy [falls over chair, well pied]: " ."
Stimmy: "Let's have a little game." [Boys bring out the bones. Hill gets excited,
pulls out money, shoots 20 francs and subsides. Sergeant Burton silently takes all he
wishes from the table and goes out.]
Juley (singing): "It's time to go. Yes time, time, time to go. Oh, yes, it's time
to go. I'm licked. I've got to go. What time is it?"
Freddy: One o'clock.
Juley: "Gee, and I thought it was only nine. I've got to look after my section.
[Goes out, but returns.] "Oh Freddy, have we any bread in the room?"
Freddy: "Under my pillow." [Juicy goes out singing and dancing.]
Spud: "To hell with you fellows. I can lick every one of you and your clique.
Rut I told the Captain that he couldn't make me feed B Battery's horses. I says, 'I'll
tear them stripes off before I feed 'em' — " [Starts off stage.]
Fred: "Where are you going, Spud?"
Spud: "To feed B Battery's horses." [Exit.]
Thomas: Now I've got to see Lieutenant Scott before two o'clock." [Goes away.]
Frey: "So this is the Half-Way Place. And we can go on to heaven from here."
Fred: "Sure. But what's the use? It's too good here. Just like old times.
Who wants to go to heaven?"
Stimmy: "I want to go home." [They are silent.]
Baldy: [Mumbles] " — — ."
Runx (looking out over the sea) : "( )h, to be out there in a cat-boat. I was the best
man with a cat-boat on Narragansett Bay. That reminds me of a funny story. I said
to Governor Beeckman one day, 'I have a fine cat-boat.' 'You have?' he said. And we
both laughed loudly. [Laughs.] Very funny, isn't it? but that was — thirty years
[The sun sinks low and everything is bathed in gold. The orchestra plays softly.
The sergeants remaining, stand at the rail looking over the sea.]
Fred : "They were the best days. Why go to heaven?"
Thus in the gathering dusk, they light cigarettes and stand smoking peacefully,
[The curtain falls.]
HE sat and brooded carelessly for once of the warning whines of oncoming shells.
The same old thing, day in and day out for nine long, long months. The same
old details and the same old "do this and do that." For days without end it
had been "corned willy hash" and "corned willy cold" and "corn willy sliced" until his
stomach revolted. Beside him, dropped unnoticed, lay a copy of a well-known American
Weekly, on the cover of which appeared an impossibly fresh and pink-skinned warrior
striding along the streets of Aix — that playground of the American troops — while
all around him was the very antithesis of playground, with its filth, pitted and shell-
plowed earth, broken boxes, and scattered old ration cans.
From the creeping dawn he had spent a weary morning, waiting, as he had a hundred
times before, for the ammunition trucks. He was tired of it, sick of it all. Winning
the war — for what? Working for months, courting death every instant, while others
who had not volunteered were selected and trained by the best, treated as pets, and
reveled in the reflected effulgence of the light of victory which he and his division were
keeping ablaze As his thoughts ran, he dreamed of happier things.
The first day had been wonderful, a marvelous cleanliness all about, stores with
myriads of tempting delicacies, and pretty women. "Absent without leave," was he.
Well, he felt conscience-free. Why shouldn't he have a day or two more of life and
pleasure, of sparkling wine and admiring glances? And that night! Snuggled deep in
the warm, feathery embrace of a bed, a real bed, he reveled in homespun joy until claimed
by Morpheus, he fell into a child-like sleep, innocent and sweet — such a sleep as he had
been unable to snatch for many months; months when his only beds were the harsh
earth and dark underground recesses.
And the second day, he had been able to eat from white linen and leisurely dawdle
through the soup, the roast, and the dessert. Opposite him sat a dark-haired maiden of
France, who talked vivaciously in her mother tongue to him and, seeing that he under-
stood but little, encouragingly tried to cheer him with the few words of English that she
knew. She had said "Attaboy," with a quaint French lisp, and it had cheered him as
only native patois can cheer. Then a warm, sunny, lazy afternoon along the peaceful
riverbank, strolling aimlessly, with ear and eye attune to the half-hidden beauties in
life. That evening he wrote his first happy letter in months. He wrote hopefully of
coming home, of the end of the war, of upholding the ideals of the country for which he
was fighting. It was good to be alive and "over here."
A far-off, hollow plop — the banshee moan of hurtling metal, a hiss as from a thou-
sand Medeas, a blinding, searing flash, with flying, flesh-rending masses of steel — his
letter was ended. From the debris stared an impossibly fresh and pink-skinned warrior
striding along the streets of Aix.
JOLLY well we remembered the day at Boxford when rumor filtered in that our
Regiment was to be made an organization of six-inch Howitzers. "Pretty soft,"
we said, "let the war go on, we have nothing to fear; while the battle is raging
we'll be tucked snugly away behind a hill miles in the rear, shooting at Billy Boche over
the other fellows' heads." And to our pals and compatriots in the 101st and 102nd,
we tendered words of consolation, such as: "Tough luck, fellers, they say it's awful
noisy up front with the Infantry; better get transferred to a good outfit and get some
enjoyment out of the war." The old man was pleased because his favorite son and heir
was not to be exposed to the deadly fire of the enemy, and mothers' previously formed
visions of Casualty Lists vanished like mist with the knowledge that we were to handle
the "Big Ones" from far in the rear.
In the spell of this hallucination, we were spirited out of the land of pie and cake —
and Ehrets dark, across the bottomless sea to England, there maltreated by the British
Commissary for a few days, and finally jammed into that Ark of Misery, the Viper, which
same deserves a bit of a paragraph all to itself.
Viper, rightly named old barque, as such you go deep down into the Archives of
the Battery, and in years and generations to come, we'll rise and clink our glasses to your
memory, even into eternity. Painted and bedaubed little rack of torture, in whose name
we gave up everything — everything from the last Corned-Bill sandwich to our belt-
buckles, what prayers were uttered 'tween your decks that awful night; prayers one
minute that your gaudy sides might 'scape the rending crash of a torpedo, and prayers
the next that some dirty Hun hidden away in his sneaky "tin-fish" might, with unerring
aim, plug you squarely amidships and bring to an end our long hours of suffering. ( Note :
Opinions vary, but mine is that the majority were for the Hun with the unerring eye.)
However, you got us across the channel, though you did it in your own sweet way, and
at last draped yourself, shame-facedly I should hope, alongside the shores of France,
the home of the Vin Twins, Red, and Blink.
Time, and the Grace of God, brought us to a training camp, where we had our first
look at our "Long Range Guns." Big ones they were, decorated up like a barber-pole,
and warranted to shoot many "killy-floppers;" a killy-flopper being five-eighths of a white
man's mile, though we didn't know it then and some of us aren't sure of it yet. A few
days of regulation flubbing followed, and then we hooked our Big Berthas to a string of
idiotic horses who dragged them around to suit themselves for a week before finally
getting disgusted and dumping them stark and cold in the middle of a wind-swept prairie
where your teeth froze together and the blizzards, popular in those parts, blew you out
of your 0. D. underwear. All the fault of those fool horses; they could just as well have
left them down by the cook-shack as way out in that open lot. But no, a horse never
thinks of anything but himself, though he really doesn't need even do that, because that's
what we have lieutenants for, to see that the horses are contented an' happy an' comfort-
able all the time. Well, anyway, that's where they left those cannons, and as they were
too heavy for us to move back where they belonged, we had to shoot from there. Cuss
a hawse, I say.
Of course, the first shot was quite an event, we being the first National Guard to be
inflicted with such weapons, and no small amount of apprehension was enjoyed by the
Cannoneers when they began to speculate on how much noise the thing would make.
At last, however, the zero hour arrived, and, while everybody stood on tiptoe, mouths
open and ears jammed full of cotton, breathing hard with the anticipation of the terrific
cataclysm about to follow, the lanyard was pulled, yanked, jerked, and otherwise brow-
beaten, until the poor primer pounded into insensibility, gave up the ghost, and our
"Terror of the Huns" gave birth to six quarts of fire, eleven of smoke, and a hell of a
racket. Everybody looked quickly around, seemed surprised to see the gun-crew alive,
and then lost their fear of the thing.
Three months of this rough stuff followed; the horses occasionally condescending to
drag the guns around for us, and each time leaving them in some howling swamp or on
top of a colder hill than the one we had just left. Who said a horse had sense? Yes,
three months of this followed, and during that period we concluded that the "First Hun-
dred Thousand" were not killed, but pestered to death.
Some of us survived the treatment, nevertheless, and the first of February caught us
loading our belongings onto a lot of Boy Scout freight cars, heading for the front, and
ready to do our part toward eliminating Kultur. Twenty-four hours in those dinky
cars — standing room only — and we were at our destination in the suburbs of Soissons.
A few days of hard work and anticipation, and we had our four guns lined up, along with
four representing "B" Battery, on the lee-snde of a big hill far back from the front line,
but just close enough to worry our friends, the enemy. Great! The 75's were out in
front of us, and we were shooting over their heads as previously planned, so we dug
ourselves in and commenced firing pig-iron over into Heinie's front yard. Every day we
came to enjoy the war better; the chow picked up, champagne was only five "francers"
a quart, and money was plentiful. Brother Sherman was off in his opinions — we
were sure of it. Six weeks found us hardened veterans, so far as the champagne was
concerned; used to the smell of burnt powder — our own; and with a strengthened faith
in the long-range capabilities of our guns. Then we moved off that street into another
and more popular section, Toul, and here we woke up.
Arrived in the rear of the line there, we were told that we should relieve and con-
tinue to keep on the map, a certain sniping position, located a few hundred yards behind
the Infantry front line trenches. Still unbelieving, we sneaked up there and, under
cover of darkness, exchanged places with the First Division crew, who greeted us with
joy and then made about the quickest get-away to the rear ever recorded. They did
the first mile in nothing flat, so rumor has it, and witnesses swear to the fact. The
balance of the night was spent adjusting ourselves to the cramped quarters we had
fallen heir to. Morning brought realization and smashed our dream of shooting from
the S. O. S. to smithereens, for there we were, stuck solitary and alone, way out on the
verge of destruction, in front of some of the machine-gun "pill-boxes" and so far ahead
of the 75's that we could only hear their shells as they whizzed high over our heads.
This position did have one, and only one, big advantage — we were never bothered with
visits from the Colonel. Very soon we came to know the Doughboys better, far better
than we did our pals of the 75's, for upon moving north to start the Chateau-Thierry
Drive, we changed Colonels and at the same moment our entire mode of living.
From the nominal title of Heavy Artillery, we soon came to be known as "Class-
ford's Trench Mortars," and as trench mortars we did duty until the end of the war.
Before the Chateau-Thierry Drive was over, we caught our Regimental Boss designing
bayonets for the six-inch Howitzers and planning to equip the Rear Echelons with hand-
grenades. The ammunition caissons were thrown into the discard and an attempt was
made to organize the Headquarters Company into a troop of Cavalry, under the able
and fatherly guidance of one, Lieut. Livingstone Whitney, better known as the "Apple-
tree King" and famed as having put to rout an entire regiment of Prussian Guards,
though armed only with a megaphone and his "soixante-quinze" horse pistol, which might
always be seen swinging low on his hip.
This practice of getting "Over the Top" ahead of the Infantry continued through the
St. Mihiel Drive, until our old Colonel was boosted General, and another took his place.
A-a-a-h, we hoped Mr. Twachtman would be conservative. He was! At Verdun he
had us shooting under the barbed wire while our rolling kitchens carried food back to
the Infantry, getting ready to go over on a raid.
And so it was when the Armistice suddenly appeared out of nowhere' and threw us
out of a job. Heavy Artillery we may have been, but we rise to state that while our
limit of range was only eleven kilometers, there was seldom a time when we couldn't
drop a shell ten and three-quarters kilometers behind Bill Boche's lines.
•?\Sbaj*W J -i*a_-J>* 1 «Vr.W
Cm fi>aro y
Melodrama in three acts by A. Little Dippy
Time: A post-bellum day in December, 1918.
Scene: 'Neath the moss-covered, thatched roof of a Brittany cow-barn, this lachry-
mose, blood-and-thunder melodrama takes place. From the fungi-overgrown rafters
there hang here and there rusty barrel hoops, jugs, and scythes, all draped in a heavy
network of dusty cobwebs. The dim light which ekes through the cobweb-curtained
(and only-washed-on-the-outside-by-the-raindrops) windowpanes shows on the right
interior the mangers, stalls and sties of the owner's livestock, and on the left interior
a miscellaneous collection of buckets, barrels and grindstones. Against the back wall,
in which is built the large barn door, are a small trough and a pump. The owner, who
is conspicuous in this blood-curdling melodrama, both by his absence and by virtue of
the fact that he is the sun and the moon to our ethereal and ambrosial heroine, is the
village miller, as haybellied as his faithful old brick-and-straw-colored mare.
The Naiad Ethereal Cleo, daughter of the miller.
Cleanliness Private, 1st Class, in the front rank Larrabee.
Occasional sweet pastoral melodies of zithers and lutes, or, better still, horn work
by our battery buglers, should accompany this splash of melodramatic brilliance.
Once in a miller's barn we slept
With chickens and the goats,
With horses, cows, the rats and geese,
The brood sow and the shoats.
The miller had a daughter fair —
No Naiad she, we grant.
Three hundred pounds of sweetness, weighed
This baby elephant.
SIk- was as lovable as plump,
And pigeon-toed was she.
Because her form looked like a barge,
We called her "Chic-a-dee."
Coy "Chic-a-dee" came often in
The shed with sabots on
To tend the cows and chop the wood;
She was an Amazon.
Oh! "Chic-a-dee"! dear "Chic-a-dee" !
Puffed as a fat balloon,
When we said "lion Jour," your big cheeks
Glowed like a great, sard moon.
Now Larrabee, a college man,
A scholar, to be frank.
Had just received promotion to
The first class private rank.
He'll not forget, as he hath quaffed
Of Springs Pierian.
That day, if should he live t" be
This honor dwarfed his college feats
( No one can this refute),
As towering huge Titans dwarf
The toy-like Lilliput.
As army honors beggar all
An Alma Mater hath,
It turned his head to such extent
No lie — he took a bath.
In France a bath is perilous;
'Tis rarely done, in fact.
But great promotion roused his soul
To do this insane act.
With water cold he filled a tub,
Then in the barn did lave.
In complete nakedness he washed,
Who said they're dead — the brave?
When he was soaped from head to foot
With lather thick as cream
In burst the mammoth Venus — Hell!
She saw and she did scream!
| Carta in falls rapidly as Battery buglers labor at horn work with tempestuous violence.
Sweet "Chic-a-dee" reeled in a swoon,
And 'gin the bull was spun;
She played Europa, but this beast
Was not the fabled one.
The bull was sable, gruff and mean.
In anger fierce like floods,
He kicked the maiden in the rear,
Head first into the suds.
At first the nude was dazed and blanked,
His limbs were petrified,
But when the mermaid struck the suds
He was electrified.
He hopped around with impish glee,
Of conscience not one stab.
The maid was not amphibious,
He knew she was no crab.
And yet he danced and laughed and jumped;
His joy was undilute,
The maid revived, hurled pail, he dodged,
She smashed the poor hog's snoot.
The air rang loud with squeels and grunts,
Chick waddled, drenched, away;
For Larrabee there came the end '
Of one real perfect day.
Somewheres in France,
March 22, 1919.
Hon. Joseph C. Gallivan,
South Boston, Mass.
I was reading your speech what you spoke in Washington, D. C, the
other day all about the glorious 26th Division was getting it in the neck.
The next time if they aren't afraid to let you talk will you kindly say about
a lot of us not getting no furloughs since we are called out?
When the time came around for the YD to be relieved at Chemin des
Dames, some of us lads in Battery "A" were tipped off by "Rex" Cleveland,
who always managed to see most of the orders before they were lost, that
G. H. Q. with the assistance of the Y. M. C. A. had opened a leave area at
Aix-les-Bains. According to these orders, every 1 7 weeks the weary drivers
and the war-worn cannoneers would drop their work and go to the leave
area for a ten day vacation. Advertisements were put in the "Stars and
Stripes" saying "Come and play at Aix-les-Bains." Now at this time we
had been over 4 months and were eligible for the issue vacations. Acting
upon Rex's information, the wise ones started to mobilize the silver francs.
Old pocket account books bearing the salt spray of the Atlantic were opened.
Entries running something like this, "231x. 05 = $11.55" were multiplied by
5.73 with the result that Sergeant "Gil" So-and-so was gently touched for
the 65 francs that he had probably overlooked. "Oh yes," the astute birds
would say, "It was for that heart game and if you could pay me now?
You know I allotted too much and etc."
The relief was completed and then the long hike to Blancheville for a
rest came but the furloughs did not. Three months around Toul and nearly
two months around Chateau-Thierry brought us to Leuglay where again
could be heard the gentle requests for the long over-due centimes. There
could be no hitch in the furloughs this time. Division had issued an order
on it. Small sums were invested with Joe and Dick in hopes of generous
returns. Two weeks of anxious waiting and close figuring and Colonel
Glassford took affairs into his own hands. He ordered us off to another
fight. (Note: Colonel Glassford is a Regular Army Officer. What con-
clusions would you draw?)
So we snaked our fowling-pieces into position on the northern side of the
St. Mihiel Salient and laid around in the mud for a week thinking. Here
we'd been in France ten months and in active service thirteen. New
leave areas were being open faster than the Germans were losing ground,
but we'd never been able to connect on a furlough. Then came the offen-
sive. Between the shots of the big six-hour barrage a plan was devised.
Why shouldn't we act for ourselves if G. H. Q. and Divisional couldn't do
anything for us.
Our plan called for the opening of a chain of rear echelons in the semi-
S. 0. S. F. B. Harrington because of his perfect control of the French
language and his influence with the K. of C, was chosen to inaugurate the
system. He was peculiarly fitted for the position having secretly recon-
noitered the ground three months before. So within two days, by a mere
interchange of notes with his representatives in Nancy, the drawing of forty-
odd cartoons and the despatching of six telegrams to Walter Ball, he was
able to bring into being the "First Advanced Rear Fchelon Leave Area"
with headquarters at Bar-le-Duc and branch offices at Troyon, Commercy,
Chatillon, Dijon, and Toul. This leave area was self-supporting, the
expenses being met by the profits accruing from the sale of candles which
Harrington always brought to the position with him.
The plan of picking men for the leave areas was unique and depended
upon the ingenuity of the man himself. All drivers were eligible and went
often and stayed long. A cannoneer must first lay claim to be troubled
with an aching tooth or a touch of rheumatism which automatically made
him eligible. His schedule called for a return to the echelon — two days
sleep, and then two days in the leave area.
The main difficulties to this plan was the hostile reception by Lieutenant
Clifford of our disability claims and poor service on the part of the drivers in
getting the notes up to the Chief of Section with the headache story and the
request for more time.
Nevertheless, in spite of these one or two short comings its success
warranted the opening of another. By dint of judicious playing and good
cards, Bender and Creep left the battery late in September with sufficient
funds to open the "Second Advanced Rear Echelon Leave Area" with
headquarters in Paris and a branch office in Meaux.
As an alternative to the leave area plan, every soldier was given the
opportunity, of course, to be evacuated to a hospital in case he was severely
wounded, gassed, sick, or had a story sufficiently convincing to the doctor.
That brought us well into October. On November 11th the armistice
was signed, but two prior to this, four men had left on a real bonafide, honest-
to-good ness furlough with expenses paid by the government and a Y. M.
C. A. man to lurk them into bed at Taps. During the month two more
contingents left swelling the list of official leave-takers to twenty men.
Nearly ten per cent, of the men eligible had connected. Then slappo
there were no more. Due to heavy demands on the railroads, it was im-
possible to furnish us with leave trains because of the large number of
Marines who had been M. P.-ing in Brest and Bordeaux for nearlj -i\
weeks needed the trains for their second trip to the land of rest and play.
Well, we eased along under the watchful guidance of Captain Hough-
teling for a couple of months, getting our play along the Montoressi lines
and rest between Taps and First Call daily. Then we moved to Pontval-
lain and the furloughs were resumed. But what furloughs they were! The
( irders were issued one Saturday evening that if anyone wanted a furlough for
fourteen days to hand in their name and go Sunday. These orders said that
we could go to any- part of France that we wanted, that w r e could get to our
destination by any means of transportation that we chose, and that we
would be paid our ration money while away. Under the circumstances, is
it any wonder that the veterans of the Battery, those accustomed to a year
and a half of finger fidgetting, laid back in their billets, looked wise and
allowed Luke Brennen and the rest of the Sixth Section to blaze the trail
at Lyon while it was still unsophisticated to the bankrolls of the American
The funny part of this was that when Luke led his faithfull pioneers back
to Pontvallain orders were immediately forthcoming which said in sub-
stance "Next." The wise ones needed no urging this time. Just one look
at the first band of Pilgrims staggering back to their mattresses and sink-
ing immediately into a bleary, six-day sleep told more eloquently than
words that the furlough had not been wasted. More went when these
came home, and before these came back another gang was off. The month
of February and March as a result will be celebrated in years to come as
the anniversary of the complete occupation of France by the Rainbow and
There it is Mr. Gallivan. The writer has no kick. He finally con-
nected. And even if it was a trifle galling to see Horseshoer Clarke and a few-
other supernumeraries go before him, his heart is light. He spent his
furlough wisely, and as a true soldier should, he left with 2 "beaucoup
jack" and he came back broke and went through the period of worry that
all good soldiers do after returning from a furlough. Worry, we shall say
perhaps, of just when those eight or nine hundred francs would be returned
to there owners that parted with them in the loan-floating days just prior
to the departure for the furlough.
In closing let me express my sentiments which were oft repeated in my
ears by the charming misses of Paris, "You good for me, I good for you."
THE American Expeditionary Forces are composed exclusively ol men, but there
is at least one lady who has accompanied the Battery on all its wanderings —
Old Dame Rumor. We have visited many places and traveled hard and fast, but
however far we went and however fast the pace, the old lady was always found waiting
for us at the end of the trip, fresh as a daisy — and it was a dark day indeed that was
not somewhat lightened by "inside dope" on what was going to happen next.
As a general rule, this inside dope may be divided into two classes — one which is
founded at least on fact and which comes generally from someone who is in a position
to hear the talk of officers, and one which is the invention pure and simple of some bright
mind which has nothing better to do at that particular moment. But rumors do not have
to come from these two sources. Any old soldier, or new for that matter, is possessed
of powers of observation and deduction that shame Sherlock himself, and so the slightest
indication, overt or otherwise, of any change or impending move will spread with in-
Our first real rumor, and one of the very few that c ame true, by the way, was the now
famous utterance of a sergeant-major who shall be nameless, "We leave for Europe.
Monday, at two o'clock." At that time we were too inexperienced in handling such
news to spread it boldly and brazenly to the four winds. So it came about that our
camp resembled, for the next few days, a huge conspirators' rendezvous. Everyone
looked as if he had a secret sorrow, but it was only the responsibility of carrying around
our first great secret. Every nook and corner was occupied by groups of whispering
men, and on all sides could be heard the mystic formula, "H-sssh; Monday at two o'clock."
By way of partial explanation, for the only time the gossipy old lady ever did let us in
on something real, it might be said that it cost the man who started the rumor his job
and caused many others to walk in fear and trembling for some little while. The result
was that, after this, real information didn't come through si easily from those who chanced
to acquire it.
It has been told elsewhere that when we finally did embark, Frank Hoar's trusty com-
pass told us that we were headed for South Carolina, and during the first part of our stay
at Coetquidan, we were too much occupied with matters of sleeping and eating to bother
about our old friend Rumor. At last there came a lull. We had all been hoping to go
to the front, as our preliminary education had been practically finished and we had been
told that we had done well. By slow degrees, it began to leak out that we had done too
well. The ever-busy scouts reported that we were to stay at Coetquidan and instruct
the men who were to come after us in the gentle art of managing the six-inch howitzer.
The "Crape Hangers' Union" gave this choice bit of news wide publicity, and for a few
(lays everyone was deeply plunged in gloom, which was finally lifted only when we were
parked ami started off for the front.
For some unknown reason, hard manual labor and rumors do not seem to appreciate
one another's company, although no one has ever succeeded in satisfactorily explaining
just why. This proved the case at Chemin des Dames, and even Bud Harrington couldn't
bring any real dope, but perhaps that was because he was working too.
But, oh. how times changed when we reached the Toul front. We had hardly gotten
settled when some of our more inquisitive members discovered the mouth of a tunnel
at least two kilometers long and about twenty feet square, which was being driven deep
underground, beneath the valley which lay between us and the German lines, for the
purpose of blowing up Mont Sec. Daily reports on the progress of the engineering feat
were made for quite some time, but it is suspected that the members of the 101st Engineers,
from whom these reports were obtained, had many a quiet chuckle to themselves. And
Mont Sec still remains a part of topographical France.
And it was about this time that General Edwards and General Pershing hail a talk
over the situation on our sector and decided that Mont Sec must be taken, whatever
the cost. Suddenly we found ourselves in possession of the straight dope. If we took
Mont Sec by the thirty-first of May, the Twenty-sixth would be sent home in glory —
and a rowbo.it. The great news was easy enough to believe, as it was what everyone
wanted to believe, anil it is related that some of the boys even went so far as to polish
up their rities preparatory to a struggle in close quarters. But unfortunately we didn't
make the attack, so the real truth of the matter will never be known. By this time,
signs of our departure for other climes and battles or what not began to multiply at a
rate that staggered even the veteran statisticians of cootie census, and it was made out
that we had been ordered to Italy to help the Italians in their great advance. A day
or two after we quite forgot about the Italians. Somebody just back from the hospital
had seen our barrack bags at Brest, and what is more, had heard from officials in the
port that we were scheduled to go home. (By way of an aside concerning barrack bags.
it might be said that according to the information received our bags seemed to be con-
stantly shifting back and forth between Brest anil St. Nazaire, which may or may not
account for their worn condition when we finally took them out of storage at Andelot,
the headquarters of our never-occupied winter billets.) And now the fuller details of
our departure for home spread and developed with the greatest rapidity. Letters came
in, saying that various buildings in Camp Devens were marked, "Reserved for the 26th
Division," and that a triumphal arch had been erected in front of the Outlet to welcome
us home. With this latest and best news, the Battery lost all doubt, and many were
the arguments put forth by the various dopesters as to whether we were going to relieve
the regulars in Honolulu or merely going to the border to keep the Mexicans quiet. In
the midst of the discussion, to our great disappointment, orders were received which
said that all reports of the division being about to leave for home were German propa-
ganda and entirely untrue. So one mote dream was shattered.
It may have been because of the talk of the Border or because the weather was grow-
ing warm or because our overcoats had been taken away from us, or it may have been
merely the expression of a disordered brain, but whatever it was, Old Dame Rumor chose
this time to come across with one of her wildest and most fantastic attempts. One
dark evening the facts of the case were brought to light before the admiring eyes of the
batterymen. We were going to the Sahara Desert to till sandbags for the English.
This was certainly astounding news, but we refused to be astounded, and the pros and
<-ons of the matter were seriously discussed tor some time. Indeed, there is a story,
probably a base calumny, that our Chief Mechanic spent some of his leisure time in
constructing a home-made stm helmet.
All these rumors were found to have at least one germ ol truth in them, which was
thai the Battery was ordered to leave the Toul bout. We had but just entrained when
some of our envied friends, who were in touch with the men higher up, informed us that
we were shortly to have the great honor of parading in I'aris on the Fourth of July.
Sure enough, the train took us nearer and nearer the capital, and by the time we got
in sight of the Eiffel Tower the doubters were lew . But it was not to be. We got nearly
through the suburbs of the great city, and then swung off toward Chateau-Thierry and
another front .
It was at Voulaines that < ieneral Edwards fust asked us if we wanted to wear t he Yl >,
but it was not until the operations around Verdun that we finally received the coveted
insignia. After that it was no time at all until the Battery not only had the Yl) and the
two service stripes, but also, theoretically at least, a neat silver star showing that we
were among the first hundred thousand to come across, and the fourragere, more com-
monly called the hose pipe, which denoted thai we were highly honored by the French.
It is true, that we have not .is vet been granted these last two officially, but there are
still some of us who firmly believe that they will come. In any case they have served
their purpose, for they helped us to pass the weary hours on our last front.
It seems a little peculiar that the signing of the armistice and the virtual end of the
war, which was almost melodramatic in its suddenness, stole upon us, so to speak, almost
unheralded by any advance information. As a matter of fact such an event was one
of the last things that any of us in the lines really looked for, and was the one story
that no one believed in enough to spread around. Hut a little later when the Battery
had definitely severed its connection with the fighting forces, and was waiting to go home,
tin- rumor hounds and crape hangers came into their own.
It is reported that a young man of inquisitive turn of mind went out one morning
during this trying period and in the course of twenty minutes found out the following
facts, all confidential and warranted to be all wool and a yard wide:
We were starting for home in a week.
We were not going home for six months.
We were in the army of occupation.
We were not in the army of occupation.
We were going home through Russia.
We were going home from Brest, Bordeaux and St. Nazaire, etc., etc.
When last heard from, this unfortunate youth was reported to be in a base hospital,
suffering from brain fever.
In spite of this sad event, Old Dame Rumor has used us well on the whole, and, if
she has done nothing else, has furnished us with the material for the hot discussions
which have served to while away many a weary hour of marching or waiting in the mud.
And in after years, when the men of Battery A meet together, her prophecies will always
be recalled with a grateful sense of interest and amusement.
A sailor boy was Harry Ward.
Who feared nor storm nor sea;
Thus when the Viper left the bay,
His heart was filled with glee.
He was the only happy man.
The others feared the trip,
Because the Viper was so dwarfed
And such a pigmy ship.
"Oh, well," spake Ward, "my dear Papa
Is English, and their place
Is on the sea, so I descend
From the seafaring race."
A storm blew up, the sea grew wild,
The waves of indigo
Came sweeping o'er the tiny bow
In never-ending flow.
The Viper reared and tipped and tossed,
She was a playful thing.
She rolled and swayed and dipped and pitched.
Oh Death, where is thy sting?
The curtain rose, the works were on,
The joy was unrefined,
That burlesque, tragic, comic farce
Has never been outshined.
Men waltzed beneath the lifeboats,
Some round the masts did rags,
While others thought their stomachs were
As large as barracks bags.
Sonic jazzed around the funnels,
Some practised fancy hops,
Sonic, rolling on the sticky decks,
Were imitating mops.
The officers were feeling spry,
They trilled in tenor tones,
So sweet, they did out-frog the frogs
With throaty, gutteral groans.
Meanwhile we searched to find that lad
Who feared nor storm nor gales,
Who loved the tang of the salt air,
Who never fed the whales.
There by the gunwale drooped the tar
( )f the "seafaring race,"
His mouth was opened up so wide,
One could not see his face.
He looked around forlorn and licked,
His cheeks were ashen hue,
And on his sleeve 'twas plain to sec
What poor shois sometimes do.
Schoolbooks agree that kingfishers
Regurgitate their food ;
He had these birds backed in the shade;
He made them look so crude.
Nine long, long hours of joy and song,
Of revelry and dance;
Then dropped the curtain; land at last,
The shores of "Sunny France."
COTTULY CROSSES THE OURCQ
Cottuly was a soldier brave,
He feared no hostile raids;
On Seicheprey day he laced the foe
And fought them with grenades.
But Ah! The noblest deed of all —
A deed beyond compare —
Was when he crossed the River Ourcq,
Like George, the Delaware.
The noontide sun was shining bright,
The birds sang on the wing,
The day was as the day should be
To pull this little thing.
Thus to the river-bank he strode;
The waters roared and raved;
He hopped across the seething Ourcq —
Democracy was saved.
1'at Parsons was a gentle youth
With legs, both large and strong,
To which there were attached a pair
Of pedals — one foot long.
Old Thunderfoot, they dubbed hint; sure
He kicked up clouds of dust,
And if there were four pup-tents near,
He'd knock down four, he must!
He tramped upon our tender corns.
Our bunions were his bait;
Then he would play his old trump card —
"Excuse me" — when too late.
There lay in slumber dreaming once,
Upon a box-car floor,
Floyd Marshall, dreaming of those days,
Those golden days of yore.
Of maidens who, like cherry buds,
Were sweet and sweeter still;
Of fond embraces in the dusk,
Of love sighs and the thrill
When lips on lips are tightly pressed,
When Crash! Right on his Knob!
A shoe size twelve, with hobnails steel, —
Twas 1'arsons on the Job.
A groan, an oath, a fearful curse,
()ur "Duckey" was near dead.
Then up he jumped and in his wrath
To Thunderfoot lie said:
Tli, it which, we, the board of editors, being respectable gentlemen at all times.
even when intoxicated, will under no circumstances divulge.
(Dedicated to Ernest Rexf
>rd Cleaveland, Clerk of the first water and song-bird
Lonely you dreamed, 'neath the lilacs sweet,
Of loves of some long bygone day,
Visions of ladies fair came to you —
You burst in a quaint, homely lay.
Sweeter you sang than soft melodies
Of zithers and violins old;
Thrushes in thick-waMled wild grapevines
Were hushed by your voice as of gold.
Often ymi sang that olden love-song
With quaint, such a quaint. sad retrain.
Your dulcet tones wen' as soothing as
Red Bags to fierce bulls of Old Spain.
Thus to its close ebbs out war's
frightful day —
Gas smells grow faint, and whizz-
bangs fade away;
A> thro' the maze of drills and drudge
Due thought sustains-- the hope o)
"SWEETIE IN GAOL"
A number of boys on pleasure bent.
Into Southampton one day went.
('t passes they'd little time to think.
For their main idea was a darn good drink.
Among the bunch was the "Hat Hound" Sweet,
Who loved his liquor and things to eat.
The Army was licked, he believed, for a while.
A- he walked down the Street with a happy -mile.
Hut soon came about the unforeseen,
In the shape of a gentle but firm Marine.
He asked for the passes, to no avail.
So he hustled the bunch around to Gaol.
They were ushered into a little place,
Where an English Officer, face to face.
Demanded their names, and then watches too.
Poor "Sweetie" didn't know what to do!
With his watch he evidently had to part,
And the thought of ii nearly broke his heart;
Hui he handed ii over with courage slack,
And said, "Am 1 going to get '• back?"
The Officer's lace turned to vivid red.
"You're dealing with gentlemen here," he said;
And added, as "Sweetie" began to pale.
"You're nol in a blooming American jail."
Stripped of their trinkets, the party went
Behind the liars, to think and repent
( II how each one was a silly ass
To invade Southampton without a pass.
Mill soon from out their "dungeon damp"
I In \ were speedily hustled back to camp.
"Herb" got his watch, and he smiled once more
As he and his comrades walked out the door.
THE CHRISTMAS GOOSE
The Christmas season came anon,
Yet joy and wine and least were lacking.
Oh! how to taste that fatted goose
The only one in town a-quacking?
The town belle owned the luscious bird -
Now, who's the one to bandy phrases?
What Romeo can charm her heart?
Who best can lilt in Sapphic praises?
Ah! Harold Church, our Charming Prince.
You are the man, there's no denying,
( If Eros sine, to J uliet ,
And soon the plump goose will be frying.
Church lisped as sweet as songs of birds
That nest in cypresses and myrtles.
1 lis ( jrecian face and azure eyes
Reminded her of the mud-turtles.
In pity she brought forth the goose.
"Just twenty francs," with smile disarming.
The bird was won, the feast prepared,
More power to you, Mrave Prince (harming!
Being a poetic version of bow Private Ballon dared to laugh at our one-time Colonel
'Micky" Smith, and incidentally got away with it.
At Retreat one night at the echelon,
The Colonel was dressing the battery down
For the debris and dust and papers found
In the barracks and trenches and on the ground.
Some men had gas masks and some had not ;
For the ones who hadn't, he made it hot ;
In vain 1 tried to suppress a smile.
But I chuckled inwardly all the while.
The Colonel noticed my seeming glee,
And strolled down the ranks in front of me,
"I want to see you," he curtly said,
And I fell out of ranks to where he led.
With eyes that glittered like little sparks,
He said, "What's so amusing in my remarks/"
If I had told him exactly win I smiled,
M\ words would probably have made him wild.
So I answered most deferentially
Saying. "Sir, I smiled inadvertently."
The magic effect of this word of mine
Was noticed by all the men in line.
IC.HT was falling — cold, wet, and dreary —
when the order to move was given and you
picked up your roll and hit the pike that
led to No Man's Land.
Day was breaking when you were finally given the order to halt. You'd walked all
night and were weary, and footsore ancJ hungry. You dropped your pack, fervently
thankful that for a few short hours you'd rest and sleep. And then —
"You're on guard — 1st shift horse lines — ten to two" — just time to throw your
things into a corner, snatch a cup of coffee, and then four long hours with the horses.
Maybe you grumbled a bit, and perhaps a cuss or two dropped out, but that was all.
You stood your shift, and when the call came to get under way again that night you were
there, tired but cheerful, pack and all.
That was before November 11th broke up the Kaiser's little party and started us
on the long, long road for home. That was when things weren't breaking ju>t right
and Mr. Boche was sitting tight just over 'cross the way.
But November 11th — something snapped that day.
"You're on guard — 2nd shift — ten to two."
"The Hell 1 am. I gotta sore foot, and Doc Hascall told me to go easy on it. You
haven't got a chance of makin' me walk post today."
Why was it? What had changed him? He was always so decent about a little guard
duty in those good old days when the guns were talking.
"You're on guard today. Formal guard mount at 4 this afternoon."
"No siree, I ain't. I know 15 men in this- — outfit who haven't stood a guard
for over six weeks."
"Who are they? Can you name one?"
"Sure I can. But you don't think I'd squeal, do you? It ain't up to me to find 'em.
That's your job."
Funny — he was always a sure bet when there was a bit of extra work to do around
"Hey, you're on guard."
"Aw, lay off, there's 65 replacements in the Battery. Haven't they been here long
enough to get their names on the Roster? Give us old ones a chance once in a while,
And so it would go — one version or another, but at bottom the same old story.
It was simply that you didn't want the job and if there was any way to squeeze out of it.
you'd find it. There was a reason for it, too, the best one in the world.
The purpose had gone from the life — the war was over, and you'd seen the enemy
go back over the hills from whence he came. In your own little sphere you'd done your
best and done your bit, cheerfully and manfully. That chapter was ended. Duty, once
done so thoroughly and without complaint, had become the veriest drudgery. You had
written "Finis" at the bottom of your page, and no one could censure you.
MAIL ORDERLY is a man who used to be a soldier, bul he
saw something that looked good and. like Marc Antony, he
fell. At times, when he is reminded of the soft job he has, he
turns sadly away and his face hears the look of a child who has
just discovered there is no Santa Claus; of the youth who finds
that babies are not the result of holding hands. No matter
how fresh his outlook lias been, lie becomes a cynic; the veil
of illusion has been torn from his eyes and the world stands
before him as it is. He knows about the mail.
There are two classes of mail, first and second class; there-
fore there are two questions to answer: "Are there any first class?" and "Is there any
second class?" But unfortunately, there is only one class of damn fool to ask, and the
questions arc never answered.
First class mail is of several kinds. There is the straight stuff, in which class we find
the letters from mother, father, and sister. These are snatched, read hurriedly, and then
the mail orderly is supposed to seat himself and listen to some complacent ass tell him
that "Mother just wrote that the 26th Division is coming home," that "Father has
a new cane," and that "Uncle George and Grandpa have just passed away with the Hit."
There is the secret stuff, usually ugly addressed, which is another class in a feminine hand.
Sometimes the recipient sees the letter and takes it as though it were a lot of Ming Por-
celain, and goes with his precious burden to some quiet place, there to dream alone like
so many other imbeciles before him. But the hold livers, the Bill Harts, shout loudly,
"Ah, a letter from the girl," and, with a gusto, to tear it open and read the most precious
parts where the great, big, duty, he-man is called "Pear dewdrop." These letters always
bear many kisses and a photograph which is shown the mail orderly. "She's the most
beautiful girl in the world" murmers the fatuous, very softly, and then looks at the man
who holds the picture. "She is," murmurs the mail orderly, "she sure is," as he regards
the snub-nosed, straggly-haired phantoms pictured. And then is launched a tale of
love that is stopped only when the mail orderly walks slowly away.
Then there arc the camouflaged, concealed weapon letters. They contain gum or
chocolate or a pair of socks, a pair of pink wristlets or a silk handkerchief or any other
useful article which will fit into an envelope. The recipient opens these letters, shows
the M. 0. the gum or chocolate, and says "Now, isn't that damned clever? No one
would think of that but Aunt Harriet." The M. O. says "No," and adds to himself
"no, no one but the aunts and cousins and sisters of the other 200,000 in the A. E. F."
And does he get some of the gum or chocolate? He does not. No, to him fall the wrist-
lets, and he is so offended if he doesn't get a single kiss after the presentation.
Then there are many letters when many dollars are planted in the M. O.'s face with
an air of "Well, you poor guys depend on your pay, but me — Well — ." The M. O.
is then invited to the nearest cafe or Y. M. C. A.(?) Not. If he is to participate in the
proceeds, it is only after a long night's work and many pleadings with Little Joe and Big
Dick. If a little American money comes from "Sister, she's always so thoughtful," or
the M. O. sees fit to recall a little matter of a "few dollars I let you take the second day
at Boxford," the owner of the bill turns away with "When I get a little French money
I'll fix this up, but this American money ."
There is the shock letter, the blow beneath the belt, the stab in the dark. These
letters, which became more and more frequent as the war progressed, contain the news
that "and so Lieutenant I. Waite, of the Ordnance Department and I have just been
married, and we are so happy, and, anyway, you'll find lots of others better than poor me,
and you just ought to see him in his uniform, etc. The recipient snatches it hastily, and,
if he is a wise bird and has had premonitions of the impending blow, carries it away to
get behind some barn as quietly as possible. But the unsuspecting one, the fellow who
can't imagine he's falling for anybody else, has been known to open his in public. He
has read it through once. Then he asks some friend of his if it is written in English or
Russian. He reads it again. He wonders. It sinks in. Then he curses softly, looks
about until his eyes strike a "Vin" sign. Later that night three or four struggling com-
rades carry home a limp form from whose lips came the strain of "Someone else may
be there while I'm gone." And somehow it's M. O. gets blamed. As though he were
a home-wrecker who was doing business on a large scale.
And the officers' mail. Officers, by reason of their superiority, expect more mail
than privates, and they don't get it. The only way some of them could get letters would
be by writing to themselves, and then probably they wouldn't know enough to address
them properly. And they are privileged to demand it in a beastly way. Other soulful
C. O.'s have been known to fire a mail orderly because they didn't get a letter from a
friend or wife, who, he discovered later, has eloped with a travelling man from Toledo.
And when they do get letters they don't thank one for them. No, they turn away and
ask to be let alone in their own atmosphere, undisturbed. But, thank God, they don't
read their letters aloud to the M. O.
Second class mail is of three classes. "Ah, more magazines," and "Fine, that pack-
age," and "Damned old Newspapers."
Magazines are gladly received, but were
we to ask to borrow a magazine — well.
that's an insult.
Packages are received greedily and
then tucked under the arm. "My.
there's only a pound of fudge, a hun-
dred Rameses and fifty Romeo and
Juliets in this one." Then the owner,
with an air of disappointment, and "Oh,
I wouldn't insult you by offering you
this cheap stuff," goes quietly to his
bunk to consume the dainties.
Packages from England are always the source of much amusement. They contain
one can of spaghetti, one can of dry biscuits, some gum which is plainly marked to chew
(Harding Christmas Packages
(otherwise, the man might use it to mend a leaky boot), several nuts in the nude, and
some English honey which tastes like sandy beeswax. And the cheerful though 1 is that
these cost the folks at home onlj $20
Continent. d mail is of \arious kinds. There is the letter from a friend who is a
member of the Bordeaux Fire 1 )epartment, \\ ho says "We haven't had a fire yet . bul feel
that we are doing our l>it to help you Up there. Cod. how I wish I could get Up there!
Last night we only had pie and ice cream, but the mess sergeant was fired this morning,
and the mess'll be better next week." There's the letter from the girl whom someone
met in a certain city in France. This is tat her written in English com me ca, "I glad you
is were happy me," or in French, when the sad-faced recipient will insist that the M. < >.
translate it. There is the letter from some bankers' firm in Paris, which informs one
merely that by employing two or three attorneys, writing a dozen letters and making
iwo trips to Bar-le-Duc, one may gel the It) francs which Uncle Joe sent -even
There are main questions which the guileless can ask. The most important and
commonest, "Is there any mail in today?" This is asked at any time, and in any
place, by every man, at least five times a day. The chosen time is when the Battery is
miles from the post office, has had no communication with the outside world for several
days, and hasn't even had rations. Then some open-faced soldier, who classed X2 in
the mentality tests, sidles up and asks hopefully, "Any mail today?" When the neg-
ative comes back to him somewhat sharply, he waddles away grieved because the clerk
hasn't written some letters himself to lie passed around. Men who haven't a friend in
the world Imt a fond mother who has often entertained doubts as to her wisdom in letting
it live, men who wouldn't get let ters unless they wrote to themselves, and then probably
would get the address wrong, ask, "Is there any mail today?"
Hut the most pleasant time is when the M. ( ). is staggering under a load ot two or
three bags of letters. Then the question "Is there any mail today?" elicits such a
bright and clever answer from the happy M. < >. as "No, this is just a few old letters
I'm taking out for a walk."
Another point is, "Is there any letters lor me?" The poor M. ( >. has probably sorted
several thousand letters that day, but he is supposed to remember whether there is mail
lor everyone in the Battery. The asker is usually one of those who rate in popularity
and would be the last man one would notice in a crowd oi a thousand.
Another is, "Will there be any mail in this week?" — thus implying that the M. ().
is some new prophet just come to greatness. "Why didn't 1 gel a letter today?" usually
implies lh.it the M. O. is a scoundrel and thief who takes a delight in seizing upon letters
and hiding them to read them at some midnight revelry and then to throw them away.
The questions are always the same, as the bright minds which originate them must
forevei resl alter the colossal work.
The first duty of the M. O. when the Battery moves to another place i> to put up a
mail box. This is always placed in a conspicuous place but is seldom used. No, it
is much better to pass the letter to the M. ( >. than to put it in a box whose sole purpose
is to receive mail. Thus the M. (). is weighted down with many letters, and the only
time he ever feels guilty is whin he puts his hand in his coal pocket and rinds the torn
fragments of a seven-months-old letter which has never been mailed.
Letters once received are taken to an officer who proceeds t<> hide them awaj and
forgel them. Supposedly they are censored, bul often they are laid carefully away and
never returned. However, there are officers who lake genuine delight in reading the
choicer bits aloud to confreres who laugh loudly, especially those whose cars are built
too (lose in the top nl i heir heads and who write letters home only with the aid ol a friend
who has had i hi' advantage <>l a common school education. One kind officer was even
careful enough to punctuate the letters, and in the balmj days when censorship was in
forci' Inn enough has been said ol the asininity ol the censorship. Ii need not be
The mail is then given to the M . O. [f he has asked the officers to keep the flaps free,
he finds them all carefullj tucked in. But wire he to ask thai they be lucked in, he will
be sure to find them all neatly left out. After he lias got the letters in shape he lakes
them to the Regimental Posl Office, from whence ilicy are despatched somehow during
It's a gay life, and when the M. 0. gladly lays down the cares of office to walk once
more in the open, in face his fellows fearlessly, he lias become a blighted being, a i \ nit
whose outlook in life has become forever darkened.
Billets-doux from Jane
le lei January, 1919
Well deard William, I [ere is the first day by the year is me seem sorrowful
because you are far by mi.
I hope that you have found one dictionary and that you have written ci mi.
I should like you see
I should very happy for the time me seem long. I hope what you will
have one permission before you to sel on Amerique and what I should the
large pleasure by you see
in hope by receive so on by your news deard William
I you send me best kiss
le 19 December, 1918
Well deard William I have received your letter and i am ver happy
I believe that you had forgel mi and had much by sorrow for i you love
with whole my heart
I should like you see it me seem there is very a time that i you ci sight.
I have been ci Tan's Saturday 14 december see the President Wilson it y
had much by Soldal american and i have much thoughl ci you i should
have been very happy thai you be with mi.
1 hope that this will be soon and that you will remain with mi always.
1 will that you writing often ci mi.
You say ci mi upon your near letter when is hoisey est ce in France
cher William je you send mes most sweet thought and me best kiss
Your small betrothal
The Discovery and Development of the Y-Line
THK Y-liiK' is a line thai runs through every battery position. It is laid there by
the executive officer, and the guns are laid beside it. It bears the same relation to
artillery that the skirmish line bear-, to the infantry. A battery position without
a Y-line is powerless.
In tlie olden days when Battery A was campaigning in the Wilderness and was knock-
iiii; 'em dead from Atlanta to the Sea, a Y-line was unheard of. But in those days it was not
needed. That was before the days of trirk firing, before the days of "Right two, elevation
the same." In those days Betsy and her sisters were lined up with the infantry, and as
the grey-coated rebels advanced across the field of battle, the only command was "Give
'em grape," and the gunners proceeded to roll a cast-iron ball down the muzzle, strike
a match, ignite the fuse and help the venerable doughboys who were draped over and
around the gun to pick off as main- of the enemy as possible.
But with the advent of modern warfare, it became necessary to change the method
of fighting. Artillery is now required to hide itself from view behind some hill where
it can blast away at some cemetery or cross roads. Its mission is no longer to kill the
enemy, but to destroy buildings, churn up the landscape, and to muss up things in general.
With these targets obscured from the view of the gunners, new methods had to be devised
— hence the Y-line.
As far as can be determined, the discovery of the Y-line was made by a member of
Battery A. This information was ascertained from captured German documents which
accredit the discovery to Ira Laxton. The facts of the case are not given in the documents,
but the incident to which it refers happened during the early days at Coetquidan. The
discovery was quite accidental. The battery was on the range, ready to fire, but there
was a hitch somewhere. O'Connor was squinting through the aiming circle when some-
one stepped into his line of vision. "Hey. you ham, get off the Y-line," politely yelled
O'Connor. "What'sthatwhat'sthatw hat'sthat ?" replied helpful Ira, "You say you
want a Y-line, I'll get one for you."
Thus was achieved the hitherto unachievable. It marked the turning point of the
war. Within one year to a day, the Central Empires had been driven to the wall and the
German envoys had affixed their signatures to the armistice terms, thus bringing to a
close the bloodiest war in the world's history. The discovery of the Y-line, and its sub-
sequent development, sounded the death knell for militarism.
The whole world honors the two — Ira, the discoverer; "Oky," the developer. Bel-
gium is now avenged, the invader has been driven from the sacred soil of France, and the
world is now a better place in which to live.
Down at the Stables at Coky
Lieutenant Cox: "What's your name?"
Houle: "Houle, sir."
Lieutenant Cox: "You. What's your name.-'"
Houle: "Houle, sir."
Lieutenant Cox: "Don't ask me who again. What's your name?'
Houle : "Houle, H-0-U-L-E — Houle, sir."
Glossforcls Trench Yloifott
JnJ (ildiioj tilttjjadign foi IhevSprinq
o| i;/i/. Luckij the uxar ended!
2W hi bat Idith hhmr-
oTOCICTC D€ MOPdty
Mop£ Mc Gowan
CUARDMrt orike Fl-Trt-
.SERIOUS OLP SEXTON
FOre.ESTE.rc. C7£ NUIT
FAT I (v-| /a, —
LE MAIRE DC BftR-LE- DUC
Mop* Pitt Mt»flPt*y
CUSTOtMAM of SEAWEED
Mope Mf Wew/VA
Or/aniW in Trance by Ike firrt troops of the A .E.F..tha seeds of our peaceful, non-combatant
alwaus huntfru and sleepy order were sawn in Batten) A as soon as we set foot on the
land of sweet wine and Talcum powder. The petite seeds soon germinated m the Batten,
until the most active and highest honored chapter in the fl.E.F. was formed and under the
leadership of our worthu President has continued as such to the present da i). The. ho
conferred upon our chapter of le Societe de Moprey are self expressive of their sionificaucc.
and better exemplified by the fact that not one of our brother Mopes should he stay awake lono
— uoh. to read Ws epitaph, could control hLS passion and restrain the saltu tears from his
ot kis pa
uken he'^'es upon tha Moprey Ckev
ca'nl or? Itself. And Ike seaweed u/kick'is Testooned upon it and camaujla^s our tt
3uist.de sue . We are a harmless unconsci
and protects our lUlle debased friend from the ou 1 .
Lot of inhuman being's bound together and to each other bu a trance
which e^cr keeps us mulled ^ in the arms of slumber and
Overheard at Vicq
MacMillan (just returned from hospital): "I see Captain Houghteling wears
two service stripes."
Hill: "Yep — one for each day on the front."
Mac: So? Tell me, Bunker, how long since you have been wearing your second
Corporal Saacke (vainly trying to mobilize his gas guard): "Where is Roger
Downey: "Between Elmwood and Broad, why?"
Sergeant Adams (in the cave at Banc Pierre): "Come on, roll out, you bums, and
unload this wagon."
Peltee: "The first hundred thousand never'll die in action; they'll all be hounded
Kid Harvey — Philosopher
"The Army," said the Kid one day to Sergeant Weeden, "is a funny thing, isn't it?"
"Yes," replied the Sergeant, "I suppose that in spite of its many manifestations of
sad inefficiency, it might, in some respects, be considered funny, or at least, incongruous."
"Well, what I mean," explained the Kid, "is this: If we were in civil life I wouldn't
work for you, and you wouldn't hire me, would you?"
"That," admitted the Sergeant, "is so."
"And yet," continued the Kid, "we're here in the Army, and I've got to keep on
working for you, and you can't fire me!"
A Coetquidan Drama in One Act
Scene : The mess shack. Jack Rhoads has just horned into the mess line of seconds
for another full mess-kit of Sam Phillips' daily stew. K. P.'s and cooks are busy about
their various duties under the watchful eye of Sam. Suddenly Corporal Crum dashes
madly up to the kitchen.
Corporal Crum (in tone of authority): "Save fhess for two men and a corporal."
Cook Wood (repeating the call to a private nearer the stew): "Save mess for three
Corporal Crum: "No! Two men and a corporal."
Whereupon the K. P.'s saluted Corporal Crum and proceeded about their duties.
Art. Frey (at Coky) : Mademoiselle — Havez-vous de jam?
Mile.: Ah, oui, M'sieu! — and proceeded to show the jambes.
Pete, the Greek (to American Sailor in Paris): "Hey, Buddy, what outfit?"
Eye am going to make these woods safe for artillery. — Harrinc.tox.
I have met the enemy, and he is mine. — Jones, St. Mihiel.
If they want war, let them commence now. — Tarbell, Bordeaux, August, 1918.
Win) in hell will 1 line myself on?- -Marshall, Boxford.
"I hear ]li><>/i> has got Bright's disease."
"What's Bright's disease?"
"Cold leei and bad teeth."
Captain Barker: "Well, Sweet, why do you wish a transfer to G. H. Q.?"
The Mad Hatter: "They wear clean clothes and get paid on the 10th <>t the month."
Clerk: "What is your occupation in eivil life?''
Schwall: "Night watchman."
Clerk: "Have you any other occupation?"
Schwall: "Sure, day watchman."
Clerk: "What is your occupation in civilian lite?"
.V. Ainsworth: "Never did a stroke of work in my life."
Otto von Hindenburg (at Vicq — time, 4 A. M.) : "Hannaway — get up."
Harold Hangover: "What for?"
0. von II.: "You are on detail at the railhead. Roll your three blankets and get
up to Regimental H. Q., tout de suite."
H. II.: "God, Sergeant Soban, I can't go on that detail."
0. von II.: "Well, why not?"
//. //.: "Haven't got three blankets, only got two."
II. P. P. Church (to Hicks): "What is your street address?"
Hicks i.Y. A. Replacement): "Ain't got none; live on a farm."
.4/ Walker (to John Henry Richardson): "Do they shoot crap in Maine?"
/. 77. R.: "No, they kill 'em with clubs."
Scott (to 3rd Section, on the plains at Combres): "Turn that gun in and draw
West: "What in hell could we put to eat in a mess-kit down here?"
Lieutenant Shriver : "Monsieur, attendez une moment, ecoutez bien. Est-ce-que
vous me disez le route au Banc de Pierre?"
Soldat Francais: "Sure, take your right beyond the ammunition dump, then go
straight ahead. Is that all?"
Lieutenant Shriver: "Oui, m'sieur, merci m'sieur, au revoir, m'sieur."
Operator at Jones I: "Call for Lt. Frost."
Lieutenant Frost: "On the way."
Voice from within: "It's a dud."
Some of the Men of the 103rd Regiment at Officers' School, Saumur, France
The Original Floating Gun-crew
1KM M-.l I KIN
July J.i. I'M 7 - D. tail of 5 officers ami 32 in n leave Mounted Commands Armory and hike ovei road
with horses and material, to Quonset, to pitch camp.
July 24, 1'M7 Birthdaj "I our firsl rumor. "The battery will hike in Juarez for battalion
July 2S, 1917 — Battery A declares war, and parades.
Julj -'(i. 1917 — And trolleys to Quonsel Point. "Gene" Hayden already licked. "Damn thi- war
.iii\ waj ," lie saj s.
J ul\ J 7, I'M 7 Mothei Mason gives special quarters to a lew . >i the boys in the pretty white tent
at the end nl the street.
July 28, 1917 — Cleaned guns in the a. m. No drills in p. m. Tin per cent, get 24-hour passes to
July 29, 1917 —Jack McGee flies down in ramp and is immediately swallowed up in the 5,000 ndd
fathers, mothers, and loving relatives who an- visiting the husky warriors.
Julj 50, 1917 — Physical examination in afternoon. Five nun disqualified lor Federal Service
July 31, 1017 — 100 degrees in the shade. Too lun to swim.
August 1, 1917 — Gun drill and equitation in morning. Dismounted drill in aftern i. Swimming
August 2, 1>)17 — Initial muster of all troops at Camp Beeckman completed by Major Roberts.
Vugust 3, 1917 — Drivers take horses to water. Horses take drivers ba< k.
August 4, I'll 7 — Musician Siegel dim I is a I op a horse to sec what -on of a \ tew lie can gel.
Vugust 5, 1917 — National Guard of ('. S. drafted into Federal Service. "Ducky" Marshall returns
from Washington, D. C.
August (i. 1917 —Second week sturis with regular drill schedule,
August 7, 1017 — First siring gun squads announced.
August 8, 1917 - Shower baths completed.
August 9, 1917 — First instruction on the rolling barrage for the cannoneers.
August 10, 1917 — Heavy rain in morning causes flood in battery street. Cake, which Laffej had
hidden under hunk till I In- gang is asleep, ruined. Battery sits for | icturc in p. m.
August 11. 1917 — It pays to advertise. A pair of spurs and a white collar put Mara on the map.
lie is sped on his waj to Pawtucket with full military honors.
Vugust 1 J, l l M 7 — Third Sunday brings no decrease in throng of visitors. The dead I \ big 3* batteries
again explained to the fair sex.
Vugust 13, I'M 7 — Drivers forsake the babj can iages for the real thing.
August 14,1017 - Border Veterans inoculated foi paratyphoid.
August 15, 1917 — Del Papa and 1 nderwood discharged from service for physical disability. Four-
da) hike for service firing at Matunuck announced.
August Id, 1017 Sergeants Cantwell, Braman, and Dodworth leave lor Plattsburg. "Tom" Ryan
August 17, 1917 — "Thunderfoot" Parsons and "Jim Coyle" Howard enlist in battery and are issued
some snappy uniforms. Horses and ordnance loaded on train at Davisville.
August IS, 1<>17 First call at 4:30. Broke camp and entrained at Davisville at 1 :00 p. m., arriving
n Boxford at 8:45. Worked nearly all night unloading trains and pitching camp.
August 19, 1917 — After two hours' skip, we go to work pitching camp.
August 20, 1917 — Inspection of equipment by camp commander. Battery street embellished with
trick decorations for the crowds of visitors who are expected.
\ugust 21, 1017 — Battery A, R. I. F. A., made Battery A. 103rd F. A. Harness inspected by Colonel
Starbird. Medical officer- look over rating lot intellectual zeros at (amp Headquarters.
Augusl 22, 1917 Troop M pulls in during the earl) morning hours. Regular drill schedule effei tive.
Gunners' exams, announced.
August 23, 1917 — Examination for heart and lung disorders .u 1 leadquarters. Second paratyphoid
inoculation lor old men. Extra cots drawn. Five per cent. "I battery now sleeping ofl the ground.
Augusl 24, I'M 7— Thirty-five nun take gunners' exams, in a. m. Harold 1 langover enlists in battery.
August 25, I'M 7 — Woolen uniforms and third blanket issued. Packing ol ordnance started.
August 2(>, 1<M7 — Balch, Livesey and M.ir.i tear themselves away from batterj and go to Brigade
Headquarters and are replaced by 63 K. I. Coast nun.
August 27, 1917 — Coast Artillerymen assigned to sections as drivers. Haversacks and canteens
August 28, l'M7 — ('oast Artillerymen take horses to water once. Coast Artillerymen transfer to
August 29, 1917 - < 'orporal Rhoads starts building third incinerator. Thirteen private horses accepted
bj ' io\ it nment .
August 30, 1917 — General Edwards reviews 51st F. A. Brigade.
August 31, 1917 — Ramage and Siegel appointed buglers, and Babcock commissioned Mechanic.
Battery mustered by Major Hamilton. Thirty-seven private horses returned to Providence.
September 1 , 1917 — Regular Saturday a. m. inspection. First (lass Privates Coyle and Little from
duty to sick in quarters. Payroll signed. McElroy goes on pass to Providence to enlist a barber.
September 2, 1917 — Ten per cent, of bat tery goes home, and the remaining ninety per cent . entertains
parents in camp. Corporal Rhoads gets furlough to take examinations for air service. Barber shops closed
(Sunday); no luck for McElroy.
September 3, 1917 — Labor Day. Bather shops closed; no luck for McElroy. Johnnie Astor shot
by vet. because of broken leg. Swimming in pond prohibited on account of glanders. New drill schedule
effect i\ e.
September 4, 1917 — Nine R. 1. C. A. non-coms return to forts to hold grades. Review of Rhode
Island troops bj Governor Beeckman. Sain Phillips appointed Mess Sergeant. Tuesday. Barbershops
i losed. McElroy has no luck, but is still hopeful.
September 5, 1917 — McElroy continues search. Miniature whirlwind teats up a few tents.
September 6, 1917 — Battery bathed in old mudhole.
September 7, 1917 — Aspinwall hobbles in from I'awl ticket to report for duty. Appointment ol
N. C. O.'sand Privates 1st Class announced. That 'sthefirsl step upward. Ellis T., keep up your couragi !
Friday. McElroy returns to camp without a barber, llilst pulls out.
September 8, 1917 — Guns and caissons loaded on train and shipped to Yaphank. McElroj gets
September 9, 1917 — Private Packer killed at East Providence while on pass.
September 10, 1917 — Battery reorganized from nine to ten sections to conform to new tables ol
September 11, 1917 — Woolen uniforms issued. Work on embarkation rosters started.
September 12, 1917 — Major Hamilton takes the battalion lor a hike, and get s lost .
September 13, 1917 — Advance guard of peerless Somerville contingent. Cohan and Axel enlist in
battery. Pay day.
September 14, 1917 — Bilideau, Vance, Healy, and Lavimoniere transferred to Battery B, Isl Maim
Heavy Field Artillery.
September 15, 1917 — Cohen and Axel say it is all right — so "Fat" Parks came in. Bob and Chauncey
start one week's K. P. at 4:30 a. m., and for seven mornings their argument with Knapp makes sleep im-
possible at head of street .
September 16, 1917 — Fully four men spend Sunday in camp. Runx, Weeden and Sweet out all
September 17, 1917 — Metal identification tags issued. Mufflers, helmets, and wristers issued bj
September 18, 1917 — Rain in morning affords opportunity for a few radical changes in finani ial i on-
dition of several officers and men, who sought shelter in the Top's tent.
September 19, 1917 — The man who made 185 famous, enlists in battery.
September 20, 1917 — Batteries C and 1) file silently out of camp for unknown destination. Sh!
September 21, I'M 7 — 102nd leaves. Russ Sisson leaves the Battery for first line trenches in ( )rdnance
Department, Washington 1». C. Bob and Chauncej complete week's K. P. Skipper catches up on sleep.
September 22, 1917 — Regular Saturday inspection by Major Hamilton and Colonel Smith. Eight
men from National Army Cantonment, Ayer, Mass., assigned to battery. The little white tent at the end
,■1 the street now pretty well filled.
September 23, l'M7 — Chaunccy Langdon realizes ambitions, lie transfers t<> Ordnance and «■«>
on those chevrons he has been carrying around for the last two years.
September 21, 1917 — Two men and Tarbell appointed Corporals. Issue of rifles. Rolling kitchen.
September 25, 1917 — Billy Wood signs long-term contract with Sam Phillips. Captain Beagle visits
camp. Barracks bags packed and verified.
September 26, 1917 — Football practice starts with squad of over forty men. Inspection in full
marching order. Ten drafted men arrive.
September 27, 1917 — Ducky Marshall utters the immortal words and tells three colonels and two
majors how it happened.
September 28, 1917 — Bishop Perry holds services for 103rd Regiment, on hillside near Camp Head-
quarters, in morning. Monty Wade breaks collar bone in football practice.
September 29, 1917 — Karl Moore decides to do all his investigating of gas shells in Washington,
rather than Mandrcs, so he transfers.
September 30, 1917 — Battery mustered by Major Hamilton, hirst Sergeant Ryan commissioned
October 1, 1917 — Sergeant Adams appointed Top. Ten more men from Devens assigned to battery,
bringing it to required strength.
October 2, 1917 — No more passes allowed in regiment, due to embarkation orders. Major Twa< ht-
man talks on dugouts.
October 3, 1917 — Lieutenant Ryan "borrows" Bill Murphy's Stetson for a few days.
October 4, 1917 — Eight more men from Devens assigned to battery. Inspection under full pack
by battery officers. Kittredge carried "missing in action" at Lawrence.
October 5, 1917 — Kittredge relieves Handy on incinerator.
October 6, 1917 — Final embarkation rosters made out. Battery X and the Turkish barber assigned
to battery for transportation to France.
October 7, 1917 — Barracks bags carried to station and loaded on train. No passes granted, but
visitors are many. Our last night in the U. S. A.
October 8, 1917 — Broke camp at 11 a. m. Sweepie loses hat at 11:01, 11:31, 12:30, 12:31. Left
grounds at 1:50 p. m. Entrained at 2:10. Still no hat for Sweepie at 2:11.
October 9, 1917 — Arrived Harlem, via Lowell, Springfield, New Haven, at 3:40 a. m. Boarded
steamer "Grand Republic." Arrive Pier 6:00 a. m., and embark White Star Liner "Baltic." Sailed 12:23
p. m. Men below- decks until at sea. " 'Eads up, lads, 'ot stuff."
October 10, 1917 — At Sea. After consulting the compass, Hoar discovers we are bound for South
Carolina. Tarbellism in morning. Assignment to lifeboats in afternoon.
October 11, 1917 — Land sighted 7:00 a. m. Drop anchor outer basin of Halifax harbor at 11:00 a. m.
No shore leaves.
October 12, 1917 — Calisthenics, 9:00 a. m. Gambling, 10:00 a. m.
October 13, 1917 — Last letters mailed from America.
October 14, 1917 — Under way 3:20 p. m., as flagship of convoy of nine vessels. Converted liner
only armed protection.
October 15, 1917 — Boxing in p. m. Convoy adopts zigzag course.
October 16, 1917 — As the "Baltic" passes over the grave of the "Titanic," Sweet Waltei Herbert
loses another hat.
October 17, 1917 — Battery furnishes ship's guard.
October 18, 1917 — Siegel smokes in his sleep, 11:00 p. m.
October 19, 1917 — Convoy reaches danger zone. Sleeping on deck becomes suddenly popular.
October 20, 1917 — Warning of German raider forces convoy to change course.
October 21, 1917 — Heavy sea this morning. Destroyers pick up convoy at 3:00 p. m.
October 22, 1917 — Lighthouse on Scotch coast sighted 8:30 p. m.
October 23, 1917 — Entered mouth of Mersey River 4:00 p. m. Anchored 7:00 p. m. in Liver] 1
harbor. Harvey enlists and salvages uniform.
October 24, 1917 — First call 4:30 a. in. Disembarked at Riverside station at 10:30. Hot coffee at
Birmingham. Arrived in Southampton 8:30, and hiked to rest camp on common.
October 25, 1917 — Short rations, thin bankrolls, large appetites, and busy pawnshops. Red Brown
develops a thirst.
October 26, 1917 — Gibson, Gil Brown, Lake, Pettee, and Sweepie visit the Southampton jail.
October 27, 1917 — Orders to leave camp given and rescinded.
October 28, 1917 — See October 27th.
October 29, 1917 — We roll our rolls again in morning and finally, at 2:00, battery leaves rest camp,
arriving at dock at 4:00 p. m. On board S. S. Viper at 6:00 p. m. No gambling that night.
October 30, 1917 — Reveille 6:00 a. m. — yesterday. After hearty breakfast, battery disembarks
at LeHavre and totters to rest camp. One franc given to every man, by Major Hamilton.
October 31, 1917 — No reveille. Mustered by Battalion Commander at 9.30 a. m. Travel rations
issued. Left camp at 4:00 p. m. Entrained 7:00 p. m., 40 Homines, 8 Chevaux.
November 1, 1917 — En route. Stopped at Laval for coffee. Arrived in Guer at 11:30 p. m., and
carried to Camp de Coetquidan in trucks.
November 2, 1917 — Beds and mattresses issued. First mail received. Started on soup diet.
November 3, 1917 — Day spent in thorough cleanup from trip. Tetreault lines up with German
prisoners at mess, to get a square meal.
November 4, 1917 — First instruction given to N. C. O.'s on new guns. Details sent to telephone and
radio schools. Border veterans celebrate in evening.
November 5, 1917 — First gun drill. Very snappy lecture, in evening, by Major Rushford of 102nd,
illustrated. Horrible example on screen proves too much for Caruolo, who faints.
November 6, 1917 — Donovan takes out license for parlors.
November 7, 1917 — The early bird eats the worm and collects five francs.
November 8, 1917 — Commenced service fire at 1:00 p. m. First battery of National Guard to fire
155 mm. howitzer.
November 9, 1917 — Plympton, Veilush and Perry play cards late, and are discovered by Sergeant
Adams violating the 96th Article of War against the barracks.
November 10, 1917 — Epidemic of laryngitis breaks out.
November 11, 1917 — The Rainbow Artillery begins to arrive. The first American artillery to reach
France, after us. Day spent in moving beds and equipment to new quarters.
November 12, 1917 — General Summerall assumes command of camp and our beds.
November 13, 1917 — Service firing.
November 14, 1917 — Captain Barker straightens out several matters concerning food, pay, equipment,
etc. Metcalf misses his eggs.
November 15, 1917 — Service firing. Tetreault now eating with battery again.
November 16, 1917 — Signed payroll. But — what of it?
November 17, 1917 — Runx scratches up some chicken feed for our next 100 breakfasts.
November 18, 1917 — Danny Byrom from duty to lead. Inspection 8.00 a. m. The wealths see
Rennes. Tobacco issue from the "New York Sun."
November 19, 1917 — Moved gun and caisson, by hand, to new- position on range.
November 20, 1917 — All pistols turned in to Supply Sergeant.
November 21, 1917 — Captain Barker leaves for Staff College at Langres, Haute Manic.
November 22, 1917 — Private Whipple hibernates to Camp Hospital.
November 23, 1917 — One hundred and forty-one horses arrive; branded, and assigned to battery.
November 24, 1917 — Water Call, 7:00 a. m. Attendance, 180.
Sick Call, 7:15 a. in. Attendance, 4.
November 25, 1917 — Water Call, 7:00 a. m. Attendance, 4.
Sick Call, 7:15 a. m. Attendance, 180.
November 26, 1917 — First hitch tries to move guns, but the only reliable call, "Cannoneers on the
wheels," is still to be heard.
November 27, 1917 — Battery fires from position beyond Beignon.
November 28, 1917 — Sergeants Damon and MacDonald go to Saumur.
November 29, 1917 — Thanksgiving. First square meal in France.
November 30, 1917 — Special detail leaves at night for Beignon. "Little Eric," mounted on "Teeth."
breaks up officers' call at gun park.
— Embarking at Brest
— Arriving at Boston
December 1, 1917 — Gun squads up at 4:45, and go to Beignon by truck at 6:00 for service firing.
December 2, 1917 — Governor and Mrs. Beeckman visit us, and announce gift of hut. If it 's all tin-
same, Governor, in the next war, give us the money outright.
December 3, 1917 — Service firing in the morning. Equitation in the p. m.
December 4, 1917 — Carl Wright in letter home states, "I have had a sore foot, but it's all right now.
I am not worrying about drill yet."
December 5, 1917 — Lieutenants Babcock and Hartwell leave for Valalone. Machine gun squad
organized. McGowan started nine months' furlough.
December 6, 1917 — Carl Wright still not worrying about drill. He's too busy assisting Cottuly with
the tamper and mop. No, Carlos, you don't seal your letters in France; there arc Lieutenants who arc
paid for that.
December 7, 1917 — Service firing.
December 8, 1917 — C Battery arrives in camp. Inspection twice by Colonel Smith. Battery
receives September and October pay, and on the next morning
December 9, 1917 — Corporal Burton from duty to sick.
December 10, 1917 — Hard-boiled Stetsons issued.
December 11, 1917 — Sections rearranged.
December 12, 1917 — Barney Metcalf visits the 11 1th Regiment after Taps, and drops 400 francs.
December 13, 1917 — Lieutenant Flood attached to battery for instruction.
December 14, 1917 — Inspection by General Lassiter.
December 15, 1917 — Competitive gun drill with B.
December 16, 1917 — FVench Red Cross opens bazaar in camp Y. M. C. A.
December 17, 1917 — Battery hikes over road to St. Malo and back.
December 18, 1917 — Service fire all day. Mess served on range.
December 19, 1917 — Cannoneers chase pieces around parade ground all morning.
December 20, 1917 — Camp quarantined for spinal meningitis.
December 21, 1917 — Service firing all day on range. General Summerall given send-off by the 67th
December 22, 1917 — Buffalo Bill comes to town.
December 23, 1917 — Sunday. Regular Saturday morning inspection by Mickey Smith.
December 24, 1917 — No drills. Day spent in cleaning and decorating barracks for Christmas.
December 25, 1917 — Our Day.
December 26, 1917 — The Government's Day. First of Christmas packages begin to arrive. Adams
and Cleaveland overeat and are sick all night.
December 27, 1917 — Gil Brown and eight others stage a round-up between St. Xazaire and Colay.
December 28, 1917 — Cold snap. Mud frozen up.
December 29, 1917 — "Bud" Harrington, who has thrown himself into gap caused by transfer of
Inf. Sgt. Major, decides time is ripe to issue rubber boots. "Bad eye" interferes with work, but finally,
everyone except those who need them is supplied, Griffcn drawing a pair of 6's and Eric Monroe, 12's.
December 30, 1917 — Corporal Saacke ordered to report with four-horse hitch at Brigade Headquarters
at 9:00 o'clock. He reports at 11 :50, and gives two reasons for being late: Lead driver, Harvey; wheel
December 31, 1917 — Shrapnel used on range for first time. Brown men gel together in Hotel de
l'Universe in evening, where more shrapnel is used at 15 francs per guest.
January 1, 1918 — Private Jenkins killed in evening.
January 2, 1918 — Five brand-new graduates of Plattsburg and Saumur issued to battery.
January 3, 1918 — Real, honest -to-God drill now. Shriver on equitation. Clifford on tin guns,
Stone and Cox with the pistol, and Scott on shelter tents. The Battery enjoys first real laugh since Mara
got his pass to Providence. F"uneral of Private Charles B. Jenkins.
January 4, 1918 — More Christmas packages arrive. Adams and Cleaveland sick again.
January 5, 1918 — Mounted inspection in the morning, by < leneral Lassiier. Even Sam Phillips and
the K. P.'s attend.
January 6, 1918 — More passes to 19 and 47.
January 7, 1918 — Marcel bucking for mail orderly, judging from inquiring visitors .it his place of
January 8, 1918 -Snow prevents firing. Promotions and reductions announced at retreat. Milliard
draws the Supply Department, and Hud Harrington now turns his attention to laundry.
January 9, 1918 — Hike started, but called off on account ol ic<
January 10, 1918 - Regimental hike all day; including firing. Battery A completes problem and has
lunch before rest of regiment arrive at positions.
January 11, 1918 — Lots of mud; price of rubber boots increases at (>7th F. A. Brigade.
January 12, 1918 — Brigade Machine Gun test of 103rd arriving. Corporals McGowan, Plympton
and Robinson on Regimental squad. Major Chaffee arrives from U. S. and takes command of 1st Battalion.
fanuary 13, 1918 — Lieutenant Cox reads the Articles ol War at retreat — with illustrations.
[anuary 14, 1918 — Inspect or-General Brewster looks over the barrai ks.
January 15, 1918 — Hike, under Major Chaffee — all day.
January 16, 1918 — U. S. R.'s instructed to supervise cleaning of barracks.
[anuary 17, 1918 — Lieutenants Babcock and Hartwell return from school.
January 18, 1918 — First call — 4:00 a. m. Brigade problem. A fires 16(1 shots before the other half
ol tin battalion appears on scene.
January 19, 1918 — First check bath.
January 20, 1918 — The "Gold Dust Twins," (rum and Harrington, start their laundry.
January 21, 1918 — All-day hike to north of camp. Clifford has more darn fun. Cannoneers fire in
gas masks, kidding chiefs of sections 'n everything.
January 22, 1918 — Colonel Smith orders laundry to move. Major Chaffee orders it to stay where it
i>. It stays where it is!
January 23, 1918 — Pay day 9:00 p. m. Too late in the evening to be of any importance.
January 24, 191S — But to-night is another night! Ask Fleming or Harvey, if you don't remember.
January 25, 1918 — Six months' field service completed at 8:00 a. m.
January 26, 1918 — The 51st F. A. Brigade takes a check bath.
January 27, 1918 — Christmas packages now arriving in quantity. Poor Rex! Poor Carroll!
January 28, 1918 — Battery fired with aeroplane in morning. Sergeant Adams fired with something
stronger, and invites 103rd Band to give concert in barracks in the evening.
January 29, 1918 — Judge Tarbell closes his branch Y. M. C. A. and on
January 30, 1918 — Sends home 2000 francs.
January 31, 1918 — Mounted inspection and muster in afternoon. Drill pay to June 30th, 1917,
February 1, 1918 — English gas masks issued. Barracks bags turned in.
February 2, 1918 — Gas masks tested in chamber. Another check bath. Soban starts rustling horses.
F'ebruary 3, 1918 — Our last night at Coty. We bend the merry elbow.
February 4, 1918 — Left Coetquidan at 1:45 p. m. fcmtrained and pulled out from Guer at 9:00 p. nt.
February 5, 1918 — En route through L'Aigle, Evreux, Nantes and Creil to Mercin and Pommiers,
where we detrain at 9:0(1 p. m.
February (>, 1918 — Column on road at 12:15 a. m. Started hike at 2:30, via Soissons to Bucy le
Long, where we park and cork at 6:00. 6.01, Ramage gets first souvenir. Reveille at noon. Establish
battalion echelon. French rifle bullets, steel helmets and other priceless souvenirs obtained.
February 7, 1918 — Work around echelon on incinerator, abri, etc.
February 8, 1918 — Gas masks tested in gas chamber at Bucy le Long.
February 9, 1918 — Officers leave to reconnoiter position at 10:00 a. m. Battery leaves echelon at
2:00 p. m., and moves into position at 9:00 at Banc de Pierre, north of Soissons, near Coucy le Chateau.
Battery sleeps in cave on road and on
February 10, 1918 — This morning everyone gives first reading of shirts. Donovan loses no time in
procuring license lor parlors.
February 11, 1918 — The first piece fires first into enemy lines .n 2:34. Over thirty men obtain and
send home the first primer.
February 12, 1918 — The Boche down a French balloon for the amusement of the Battery.
February 13, 1918 — Almost a casualty at Banc de Pierre; Joe Tinker goes from in under the camou-
flage without his steel hat and two gas masks.
February 14, 1918 — French infantry digs trenches in front of position.
February- 15, 1918 — Enemy attempts air-raid on Paris, but are turned back at Soissons, and dump
their load on Bucy and way stations.
February 16, 1918 — Corporal Crum, border veteran, leaves for the hospital, to become a sergeant.
Flags at half-mast throughout the division.
February 17, 1918 — German plane downed near St. Marguerite. Camouflage over first piece takes
February 18, 1918 — Practically the entire German plane mailed to the U. S. by the 103rd Field Artil-
February 19, 1918 — German barrage at 10:30 p. m. Battery responded and did work that earned
first citation. Baldy Damon and Jerry Walker get something besides a citation.
February 20, 1918 — Harold P. P. Church accepts flattering offer with John M. Dean at Bucy le Long.
February 21, 1918 — Drivers growing flabby, and are ordered to take long hike.
February 22, 1918 — Washington's Birthday. Battery fires salute of 21 guns at noon, and spills the
beans in a German kitchen. Cannoneers hear first incoming shell — four duds on the road near cave.
February 23, 1918 — Detail from echelon goes to Missy for lumber, and carries it to position.
February 24, 1918 — George Randolph Chester speaks at Bucy.
February 25, 1918 — An early Spring gives the cannoneer his first taste of the real "Sunny France."
Delightfully warm days have set in; mud all dried; fields are green.
February 26, 1918 — Rubber boots, overshoes, jerkins and winter caps issued, to say nothing of those
blue gloves. Turkey dinner at position.
February 27, 1918 — First and only whale oil issued.
February 28, 1918 — Heavy firing on sector in evening. Stand to, but do not fire. Battery stands
last muster of year.
March 1, 1918 — Billy Wood now putting 'em over in top form at Banc de Pierre.
March 2, 1918 — Serial numbers issued to battery.
March 3, 1918 — Knapp goes to French cooking-school.
March 4, 1918 — Quoit league in full sway at echelon.
March 5, 1918 — Gun crews stand to at 1:30 a. m., but do not fire. Colonel Cruikshank inspects
March 6, 1918 — One room in dugout completed, and bunks installed. Fire in P. C. Shriver cleaned
out. Battery suffers first casualty when Jerry Walker is burned.
March 7, 1918 — Micky Smith inspects the echelon. Views McCarthy roughing it up with the che-
veaux. Gives him a week's fatigue. Ah, Eddie, he's a better man than you are.
March 8, 1918 — Runx, in despair, announces new list of calls. First Call — Intermediate Call —
Last Call — Reveille.
March 9, 1918 — Clocks set ahead one hour at midnight, to conform with Summer time schedule.
March 10, 1918 — Hanlon does the Leander act across the Aisne to the little girl on the other side.
March 11, 1918 — Someone takes the pea from Runx's whistle, but "it's Reveille just the same."
March 12, 1918 — Jerry Walker says he is going to raise a mustache.
March 13, 1918 — The weather takes a turn for the bad. Snow, cold rains and bleak winds make
heavy clothing again necessary.
March 14, 1918 — Rubber boots, leather jerkins, and winter caps turned in to Supply Sergeant.
March 15, 1918 — Sergeant Grimes leaves Banc de Pierre for dental work, but stops at Soissons for
March 16, 1918 — Ball game in rear of battery. First section, 17; fourth section, 3. Enemy drop over
few shells around the echelon.
March 17, 1918 — Donovan's license expires, so the Battery moves. Guns pulled out an hour after
sunset, during an air raid, and hauled to Bucy.
March 18, 1918 — Leave echelon, fourth section in tow, at 1:30; proceed via Coucy and Soissons to
Mercin Pommiers and entrain at 11:00 p. m.
March 19, 1918 — En route via Chalons-sur-Marne and Epernay to Brienne-le-Chateau, where we
detrain at 4:30; hike to. . . .
March 20, 1918 — Chaumesnil: One of the best little villages in France. We were the first Ameri-
can troops in town. The villagers make us right at home, and here we feast for three days on the best the
March 21, 1918 — Mr. Cleveland scours the country, with the result that A Battery has plenty of
March 22, 1918 — Major Chaffee inspects horses, harness, guns, caissons, wagons, and men- Tells
the Battery at retreat that he is highly pleased with its appearance.
March !3, 1918 — We leave Chaumesnil at 10:00 o'clock, joining regiment on the mad; through
I a i haise, Soulanes, Tremilly to Thil, where we police the billet.
March 24, 19 IS — Palm Sunday. Town policed morning and afternoon. Everyone attends service
at the village church. Check bath, in afternoon.
March 25, 1918 —On road, again, at 8:00. Through Blumerey, Yilliers-aux-Chens, Doulevant, and
Amencourt, to Cirey-sur-Blaise, where we spend the night in puptents. General Edwards reviews the
column at Doulevant .
March 2ft, 1918 -On road at 6:30, through Buzancourt, Blaise, Niarbeville, La Geneviose, Vignery,
in t ioncourt, where we park at 2:30. Retreat held at 4:00. Everyone but Springer cleans up and shaves,
but h^ face is too sore.
March 27, 1918 — "Let's go back to the front again," says the Battery as it arises again at 4:00 and
starts the daily hike at 6:00, through Brieucourt and Chantraines to Blancheville, where we meet Spud and
Allah, and the crowd that took furloughs in England.
March 28, 1918 — Day spent in auditing contents of barracks bags, and drilling for divisional
March 2°, 1918 - Heavy mail arrives. "Hi" Sweet goes on guard, but doesn't catch cold posting
any relief-.. Police of town.
March 30, 1918 — Off to the front again. On road at 6:30, via Andelot, Rimaucourt, St. Blin and
Prez-sur-la-Fauche to Liffol-le-Petit. Our reserve rations opened to provide mess.
March 31, 1918 — Easter. First Call at 5:00. Stand in heavy rain till 10:30, waiting for C Battery,
mired in gun park. Via Liffol-le-Grand, Neuf-Chateau and Soulosse to St. llo. Officers and telephone
men leave column at Neui and proceed to Mandres by truck.
April 1, 1918 — On road at 8:30, Lieutenant Cox commanding. Via Martigny, Vauxrot, Centreville,
Colombey to Bagneux. No supper.
April 2, 1918 — On road at 8:30. Via Allain-au-Boeuf, Cirquelley and Totil to Lucy. Entire regi-
ment billets in town.
April 3, 1918 — The second platoon leaves Lucy at 8:30 a. m. and proceeds to Rangeval. Pack guns.
Leave for front in pare wagons at 7:30. A rough passage for Grimmy. Relieve D Battery at Jones I,
at 11:00 p. m.
April 4, 1918 — Remainder of battery goes to Rangeval. Echelon established on grounds of old
monastery, first platoon leaves for front at 8:30, going to Jones II. Third section withdraws to Jones
II during day, leaving fourth at Jones I. Details sent to .95's and tanks.
April 5, 1918 — Jones I shelled, Jones II gassed. We realize that old Banc de Pierre wasn't such a bad
dump at that.
April 6, 1918 — Lieutenant Cox returns to U. S. Downey injured on D. M. curve. Battery D, 5th
I . A., leaves Rangeval with our old guns. They are given a snappy sendoff by our tough drivers.
April 7, 1918 — Gilbert, Harrington, and Tsavos are wounded at Jones I, to say nothing of Luther's
April 8, 1918 — Hamonville shelled. Several of our highly trained cooks and mechanics stage a
April 9, 1918 — M. P. at Menil-le-Tour says they were going strong at midnight.
April 10, 1918 — First section relieves fourth at Jones I. Lieutenant Luther goes to Jones II.
April 11, 1918 — The .95 Battery completes its twenty-first consecutive meal of canned corned beef,
hardtack and coffee. The supply company this day learns of the existence of the new Battery, and sends
up rations consisting of canned corned beef, hardtack and coffee.
April 12, 1918 — During the day, the Germans shell nine towns on sector. Upon request of Mr. Luther,
Mr. Church and he exchange beds — Harold coming above the ground, and Earl going below.
April 13, 1918 — We haven't got the date, but wasn't it about here that Sergeant Adams and Hanlon
staged their little act in the rear of the barracks at Jones II?
April 14, 1918 — This ought to be official. Carl Wright got it straight from Ballou — "The 26th is
to take Mont Sec, hold it 24 hours, lie relieved, and return to the I'. S."
April 15, 1918 — "Al" Walker firings the pare wagon to Jones I and leaves it there, bottom side up.
Man el dug out from in under, and his "tool" rescued.
April 1ft, 1918 — Heavy firing by guns, in the early morning.
April 17, 1918 - Second section relieves first at Junes I. Warned in evening to be ready for German
attack Irom opposite sector.
April 18, 1918 — Another warning in evening.
April 19, 191S — Day and night crews organized.
April 20, 1918 — Attack on Seicheprey opened at 3:15 a. m. Both positions fire until ammunition is
exhausted. Sergeant Broadhead killed in action with .95 Battery early in morning.
April 21, 1918 — Drivers haul ammunition to guns all night. Cuns continue firing throughout day.
Ramage wounded at Jones I, and Palmer at O. T. 12. O. T. 12 and .95 position abandoned.
April 22, 1918 — News of Seicheprey reaches home. Navy recruiting offices experience busiest wick
on record. V. M. C. A. shelled out at Hamonville.
April 23, 1918 — Things begin to quiet down. Colonel Smith inspects J. I. That proves it conclusively
April 24, 1918 — Third section relieves second at J. I. Carroll Adams and Charlie Balchin leave for
Saumur. Damn glad, yet damn sorry, to see you go, boys! Horses moved to stable at Rangeval.
April 25, 1918 — Everything running smooth again at front. Very little firing. Practically no fire
received. Men return to barracks at J. 1. A two months' spell of wonderful weather starts.
April 26, 1918 — Jerry Walker still claims he's raising that mustache, although there is no visible
April 27, 1918 — The First Battalion — Batteries A and B and the .95's — are cited in regimental orders
for their conduct during the attack on Seicheprey.
April 28, 1918 — George Chandler, now Top, goes to echelon to enforce a little iron discipline.
April 29, 1918 — Reveille pretty well attended.
April 30, 1918 — Battery receives March pay.
May 1, 1918 — Runx Wccden is this day appointed Sergeant de Cuisine. The .95 Battery leaves
Rangeval to construct a new position at Mandres.
May 2, 1918 — Rex becomes a mounted intellect, Munroe i-. made clerk; and Church, official tester of
May 3, 1918 — Horses given sulphur bath. Even the poor cheveaux had 'em. Larrabee wounded
at Jones I.
May 4, 1918 — George Chandler goes to N. C. O.'s school at < iondrec ourt.
May 5, 1918 — Lieutenant Wright joins Battery A.
May 6, 1918 — Colonel Smith inspects echelon. Things must be brightening up at the front.
May 7, 1918 — Otto von Soban is made a sergeant.
May 8, 1918 — Gil Brown leaves Battery and goes to Coetquidan as Sergeant Instructor. Lieutenant
Van Ostrand finally breaks loose from Paris and joins Batters'.
May 9, 1918 — Road through fields from Jones II to Hamonville completed.
May 10, 1918 — More Christmas mail arrives, and
May 11, 1918 — Church is sick all day. You should have broken in easy, Harold.
May 12, 1918 — Mothers' Day.
May 13, 1918 — Band concert at echelon.
May 14, 1918 — Brigadier-General Aultman inspects positions. .95 Battery gets guns from repair
shop at Toul, and installs them in new position. Louis Raemakers, Belgian cartoonist, visits echelon.
May 15, 1918 — Julius Saacke, phosgene chaser of repute, leaves for gas school at Gondrecourt.
May 16, 1918 — Mr. Cleveland, Y. M. C. A., leaves Rangeval to spend a week with the gang at Jones
I. First replacements assigned.
May 17, 1918 — Major Chaffee inspects Jones II, finds "Two Bells" cooking while improperly clothed
and sends him to echelon. By God, Major, that's awful tough punishment. If he does it again, send
May 18, 1918 — Jones I "beans the beetle" as the Yictrola plays.
May 19, 1918 — Inspection at echelon by Brigadier-General Aultman. Inspection at Jones I by-
Major Chaffee. Inspection at O. T. 17, by Lieutenant Frost. German plane downed near Mandres.
May 20, 1918 — Lieutenant Luther goes to echelon. Most of us will celebrate Nov. 11 as our last
day at the front.
May 21, 1918 — The Herring sisters entertain at the Hamonville Y. M. C. A.
May 22, 1918 — Joe McLaughlin, with ax and shovel, inters an even dozen horses.
May 23, 1918 — Harvey Dunn, official illustrator with the A. E. F., visits O. T. 17, and sketches
May 24, 1918 — Elsie Janis visits the echelon.
Maj 25, 1918 Saacke gives speech on "Gas" and horrifies boys at Jones I. Corporal McKenna
promoted to sergeant .
May 26, 1918 — Y. M. C. A. girls from Divisional Headquarters stop at Jones I, while on their way to
May 27, 1918 — Private Green dies at Jones II. Floating gun crew, under Sergeant Burton, formed.
May 28, 1918 — The fourth section goes to echelon for three days, causing Donovan to change license.
< .a- nia-ks of all men at front tested in gas chamber at Mandres.
May 2<>, 1918 — April pay received.
May 30, 1918 — Memorial Day. Salvation Army holds services in American cemetery at Mandres in
afternoon. Baseball at echelon. A Battery wins over (' Battery, 7-3 game and 2000 francs.
May 31, 1918 — Richecourt-Lahayville raid by 101st Infantry. The million-dollar barrage. Horses
inoculated for glanders.
June 1, 1918 — Work on new dugout started at Jones I. Rumors of moving.
June 2, 1918 — Chaplain Danelser, 104th Infantry, holds services at echelon Twenty horses received.
The cootie machine comes to Mandres.
June 3, 1918 — Barney Metcalf goes to N. C. O. school at Gondrecourt.
June 4, 1918 — General Aultman inspects Jones II.
June 5, 1918 — Drivers' gas masks tested in gas chamber at Cornieville.
June 6, 1918 — Instruction with grenades at Battery positions.
June 7, 1918 — Lieutenant Davis, Father Farrell, and Sergeant Broadhead cited in May orders of
General Passaga, Commanding 32nd Army Corps (French), and awarded the Croix de Guerre.
June 8, 1918 — Echelon moved from Rangeval to Lagney.
June 9, 1918 — First Lieutenant Davis commissioned Captain, and assigned to command of Battery F.
June 10, 1918 — Dentist, as usual, not working overtime.
June 11, 1918 — Jones II inspected by Colonel Smith, Lieutenant-Colonel Chaffee and Lieutenant-
Colonel Cruikshank of Divisional Staff.
June 12, 1918 — Echelon well settled at Lagney. Drivers take life easy.
June 13, 1918 — "Spud" Murphy goes to Forestry Department to get five of our horses. Returns
with one. - — Murphy says: "Damn fools don't know how to care for horses!"
June 14, 1918 — Saddler Hicks, of regular army fame, threatens to leave Battery. Great rush among
drivers to land his soft job.
June 15, 1918 — Lieutenant-Colonel Glassford assigned to command of Regiment.
June 16, 1918 — The battle of Boucq. Xivray raid repulsed, with severe losses to the enemy.
June 17, 1918 — Guns, caissons and wagons painted olive drab.
June 18, 1918 — The three-day "flu" hitting Battery hard.
June 19, 1918 — Colonel Smith leaves regiment. Americans launch heavy cloud gas attack near
Jury Wood at 2:3(1 a. m. Jones I severely bombarded with large caliber shells all afternoon. Mechanic
Dugal and seven other- killed. Lieutenant Van Ostrand, Privates D. Battista and William Kelley
June 20, 1918 — The 328th Infantry arrives in Lagney and keeps drivers up late, telling them about
what desperate fighters their instructors tell them they are. First section goes to Jones I.
June 21, 1918 — Jerry Walker's mustache (see March 12th) begins to show. "No, no, March 12th,
June 22, 1918 — Lieutenant-Colonel Chaffee inspects echelon. Awards prize of 50 francs to third
section for best hitch.
June 23, 1918 — Baseball at Lagney.
101st Ammunition Train, 1 A Battery,
June 24, 1918 — Hicks, Flemming, and Corporal Babcock leave the regiment to "Treat 'em Rough."
June 25, 1918- — Preparation to move. Full pack inspection at echelon. All spare hands sent back
June 26, 1918 — Betsy pulled out from Jones I, and position evacuated. Relieving artillery does not
see fit to take it over.
June 27, 1918 — Jones II and the .95's relieved by French Artillery. Proceed to Lagney in evening.
June 28, 1918 — Mounted inspection in afternoon. On road for hike to Gye at 5:30 p. m.
June 29, 1918 — Arrive via Toul at Gye at 2:00 a. m. Reveille at 9:00 a. in. Mail in afternoon.
Sanitary Detachment very busy in evening. McGarvey introduces himself to Battery at evening mess.
Jerry Walker and Marcel go a-haying in the afternoon. Maloy and Lieutenant Van Ostrand visit Toul.
Maloy gets back all right, however.
June 30, 1918 — Clear Gye at 6:00 p. m. Entrain at 9:00 p. m. Partis at midnight.
July 1, 1918 — En route via Troyes, Romilly and Longueville to Noisy-le-Sec. "We're on our way
to parade in Paris on the 4th," say the dopesters. The hell we are! We detrained at
July 2, 1918 — Jouarre at 2:30 a. m. Guns parked and picket lines established in poplar grove, on
either side of roadway. Breakfast at 5:00. Taps at 6:00. Reveille, 11:30 a. m. Baseball in afternoon.
A Battery 28 B Battery 3
July 3, 1918 — Harness and materiel cleaned. Drivers win over cannoneers at baseball in afternoon.
July 4, 1918 — 4th Division Infantry receives subtle compliments, as it marches through gun park.
We're hard-boiled veterans, you know. Sixth section wins intersection track meet and 100 francs. Battery
leaves for front at 8:30 p. m.
July 5, 1918 — Arrive Citry, 3:00 a. m. Entire regiment parks on chateau grounds. To bed at 4:00
a. m. Up again at 8:00. Officers leave for reconnoissance at 11:00, returning at 4:00. Band concert in
p m. New Bandmaster shows he's good. Receive orders to return to Jouarre at 10:00 p. m.
July 6, 1918 — On road at 12:45 a. m. Arrive old park in Jouarre at 6:30. Breakfast, 7:00. To bed
at 8:00, and sleep till 3:00 p. m. Supper at 5:00. Firing Battery leaves for front at 10:00 p. m.
July 7, 1918 — F. B. goes into reserve position at left of Paris-Metz highway. Echelon leaves Jouarre,
one wagon at a time, and joins F. B. in p. m. First platoon goes forward at 10:00 p. m., to relieve "B,"
17th F. A., near Paris Farm.
July 8, 1918 — First platoon registers. Captain Barker observing from tree-top at left of position:
Second platoon repeats operation of First, on preceding night.
July 9, 1918 — Advanced picket line established near Montreuil-aux-Lions.
July 10, 1918 — Rear echelon withdraws to Courcelles, two kilometers from La Ferte and across Marne.
Is that far enough back, Mr. Luther?
July 11, 1918 — Spud seeks action and gets it. Goes next day to Paris Farm, as No. 4, 4th piece.
July 12, 1918 — The Sergeant Major wounded internally, but the Battery carries on without him.
Fourth piece advanced one kilometer, to position behind Marigny-Paris farm road. Two spies visit position,
dressed as French soldiers.
July 13, 1918 — Enemy concentrate in a wood. The .75's put box barrage around it', and the 103rd
July 14, 1918 — Bastille Day. Track meet and ball game at rear of echelon. We win both.
July 15, 1918 — Fourth big German push of year starts at our right. "German prisoners on 13th
characterize our artillery fire of last few days as unbearable," says Headquarters. "Rex" Cleveland and
Sam Mulland itch to go to hospital at Vichy. Station at La Ferte destroyed by German air-bomb.
July 16, 1918 — All pieces but Third out of order during day. Walter Ball, of Providence Journal,
July 17, 1918 — Bud Harrington completes work on the folding trees around the guns at 5:30. At
5:35 the folding trees blow down.
July 18, 1918 — Second Battle of Marne starts. Gun crews stand at 3:30 a. m. Big barrage starts
at 4:30 and continues through the morning. In the evening, F. B. advances about three kilometers to Bois
de Belleau. Meanwhile, rear echelon moves to advance picket line at Montreuil-aux-Lions, arriving at
9:45 a. m.
July 19, 1918 — F. B. reach new position at 3:00 a. m., camouflage guns, and go to bed. Enemy scatter
early morning greetings through the wood, and men are ordered to withdraw one kilometer. A better
position is found in front part of woods, and Battery occupies it in the evening.
July 20, 1918 — Torcy taken in the afternoon battle, by infantry. Battery expends entire allotment of
shells. Rear echelon moves, in the evening, to Villiers-sur-Marne. Corporal Jackson returns to U. S.
July 21, 1918 — Move forward in afternoon, via Lucy-le-Bocage, Torcy, Belleau. March continues
through the night. Rear echelon goes to Essomes.
July 22, 1918 — Arrive Sacerie Woods, near Bezu-le-Fevre, at 4:00 a. m., and with B Battery establish
position and picket lines. At 11:30 p. m., with neither camouflage nor defilade, battalion fires. First
platoon moves to "sand bank" position at 4:00 p. m. Shelled on road. Gassed in evening. Caissons leave
rear echelon to join F. B. Mechanic Aspinwall slightly wounded in afternoon.
July 21, 1918 — Second platoon joins First at "Sand bank" at 2:00 a. m. Harvey and Parsons rudely
and shamefully awakened by the gnat. Battery receives May pay. Great place to spend it. Thanks!
Three Meals To-Day.
July 24, 1918 — Two-hour barrage in early morning precedes the taking of Epieds by Infantry. Mom
forward at 10:00 a. m. Cross Chateau-Thierry-Soissons road and go via Bezu St. Germaine to Epieds,
and take up position east of town. Occupy old German position. Whitney's Circus moves to pontoon
bridge, mar Mt. St. Pere, where it is bombed.
July 25, 1918 — 26th Division Infantry relieved bj 28th.
JuK 26, 1918 — Position severely shelled all morning. First section dues work that earns citation from
Divisional Commander. Curtin and French wounded. Lieutenant Andrews, wounded during Seicheprey
attack, returns from hospital. First meal in two days for gun crews.
July 27, 1918 — Firing Battery moves forward in evening, via Beauvardes to Le Fouraverre, where
battalion establishes position in apple orchard.
July 2^, 1918 — Advanced echelon moves from Epieds via Courpoil and Beauvardes to woods in front
of position. Roads through position choked with the advancing army. American Infantry and Artillery,
Field Cavalry, and British armored cars present a wonderful pageant. Position severely -helled and shot
up by German planes. Corporal Boswell wounded. 42nd Division relieves 28th Infantry, and their artil-
lery joins us.
July 29, 19 1 S — 4th Division pulls into sector. Sergy changes hands seven times during day, finally
remaining in hands of Americans.
July 30, 1918 — Captain Davis, with Battery E, killed in afternoon. Buried in cemetery at Epieds in
July 31, 1918 — Infantry experiences difficulty in taking Machine Cun nest. The First battalion, with
Second and Third, fires a two-round salvo. Upon second attempt, infantry finds that 2\ tons of steel and
H. E. have left no Machine Gun nest to take.
August 1, 1918 — No firing during day. Tim Gibson made Top Cutter. Barney Metcalf goes to
August 2, 1918 — Rumors of relief. We are relieved all right; moving forward at 3:45 in afternoon, via
Villiers sur Fere to position on left bank of Ourcq, near Sergy. Advanced echelon stays at Beauvardes.
August 3, 1918 — Advanced echelon moves forward in morning to Villiers sur Fere. In afternoon,
P~ Battery and echelon advance through Sergy, Nesle and Mareuil to our last position between Chery and
August 4, 1918 — Ordered to evacuate position at midnight. Ready to move at 1 :00 p. m. Six months'
active service in advanced fighting zone completed.
August 5, 1918 — Starting at midnight, we marched through Mareuil and F"ere-en-Tardenois to Beau-
vardes, arriving at 8:00 a. m. Sleep from 10:30 to 3:00. Rear echelon unites with Battery. Supper sen ed
at 5:00, but Captain Hanley says no, so we wait till six. Regiment moves at 7:30 on all-night march via
Epieds and Chateau-Thierry.
August 6, 1918 — Arrive at Aulnois at 3:30 in the mornisg. Major Hamilton visits the bat t. diem.
Billets are good. Runx salvages French "nightie," his own showing signs of wear and tear.
August 7, 1918 — Hike down valley of River Marne to old rear echelon at Courcelles.
August 8, 1918 — The La Ferte leave area opens with a bang. Points of interest in Meaux, La Ferte
and Jouarre visited. Colonel Glassford celebrates birthday by partj to men.
August 9, 1918 — Paris passes start, and others start for Paris.
August 10, 1918 — No horses groomed today.
August 11, 1918 — Cootie machine delouses regiment. Jack Rhoads starts for U. S., gets as far .is
La Ferte, and order rescinded.
August 12, 1918 — Battery reunion in Paris. Over 200 attend.
August 13, 1918 — Entrain at La Ferte sous Jouarre at 2:15 p. m. Pull out at 5:45 via Chateau-Thierry
and Dounons to Epernay, where we are bombed at 11:00 o'clock. Tarbell's fighting days are over. He
leaves for Bordeaux to teach the newly arrived how he did it.
August 14, 1918 — Detrain at Latrecey at 10:00 a. m. Hit road for Leuglay, arriving at 5:30 in the
August 15, 1918 — Clean harness and carriages all day. Plumb, Sheldon, Gorham and the Camel
Groomer return from Gay Paree.
August 16, 1918 — A day of rest. No calls except Vincent. He calls Knapp and proves he's right.
August 17, 1918 — Sergeant Rhoads returns to States. Edge Hill (Pa.) Debating Society is now going
to get the facts straight.
August 18, 1918 — Passes to Chatillon very coolly received. Is boys that have been to Paris, you
know, can't bother with these small towns. A Battery beats B Battery. Score, 11-4.
August 19, 1918 — Days of rest are over. New drill schedule effective — very effective.
August 20, 1918 — Third and Fourth pieces sent to mobile repair shop. Rifle and pistol target practice
starts on range near town.
August 21, 1918 — June pay received. God knows we need it. Paris left us pretty flat, and then
there's Minetta's place.
August 22, 1918 — Marcil and Reio return from almost seeing Paris.
August 23, 1918 — Roger Williams writes home, telling them he is now in France and feeling fine.
August 2-t, 1918 — Jake Eaton joins the Battery.
August 25, 1918 — Ellis T. Gurry stars in ball game for Headquarters. Score, 6-5 in favor of Battery
A. General Edwards visits regiment in evening, and tells us a lot of things we like to hear.
August 26, 1918 — Boxing and entertainment by French musician at Voulaines in the evening.
August 27, 1918 — The much advertised divisional show comes to town, and the Battery leaves town.
We are off for another fight! Leave Leuglay at 4:30. Park in Beaudreville over night.
August 28, 1918 — Leave Beaudreville at 8:00, and arrive Latrecey at 10:00 a. m. Private Benson
killed. Loaded and pulled out at 6:15 p. m.
August 29, 1918 — Detrained at Longueville at 2:30 a. m., and camped in woods east of town at 6:00.
Slept during day. Pulled out at 8:30 via Bar-le-Duc, for all-night hike. "Bud" Harrington looks over
possible sites for echelons.
August 30, 1918 — Arrived in woods near Coiule .it 2:30. Sleep during morning. On road at 8:30
in the evening for all-night hike.
August 31, 1918 — Arrived at road between St. Andre and Hieppes at 6:00 a. m. Reveille at 12:00.
Packed carriages, harnessed and hitched, but did not pull.
September 1, 1918 — Packed carriages, harnessed, etc. Lieutenants Scott and Clifford make sure that
there are no lights. Four on and four off.
September 2, 1918 — Inspection by Colonel Glassford. The rear rank gets leave preference — what-
ever that is. The front rank are paying yet for what they lost. Packed, etc. Rex returns from \ i> In
September 3, 1918 — Packed, etc. Easterbrooks injured in motorcycle accident.
September 4, 1918 — Regimental athletk meet. A wins. Harrington gets other eye working on fourth
lap, and cops the 880. Packed, etc.
September 5, 1918 — Joe McLaughlin, 6; Archie McLaughlin. 5; 12 innings. C Battery bets as much
as 40 francs on themselves. Packed carriages, harnessed and hitched, and pulled out at 7:30.
September 6, 1918 — Cross Meuse and canals and go into echelon at Ravine Vois de Dierie near
September 7, 1918 — Officers go forward to reconnoiter positions. Ammunition detail sent to 101st
September 8, 1918 — Firing Battery leaves Hungry Valley at 8:00, and goes into position north of
Ranzieres at Fontaine au Cerf. Forward picket line established at right of position. Donovan's license
September 9, 1918 — Last of Christmas packages arrive. Echelon hounds at Hungry Valley spend
all day making houses comfortable; brave cannoneers spend day bailing out puptents.
September 10, 1918 — Lieutenants Ring and Richmond arrive at front. Let the drive commence.
September 11, 1918 — Battery receives July pay.
September 12, 1918 — Opening of St. Mihiel drive. Battery fires from 1:00 a. m. to noon. Captain
Barker leaves in evening, so Handy does the honors on Fighting Bob's roll.
September 13, 1918 — The first day of reign of terror. But he's commanding A Battery, so he's happy.
Jones takes a prisoner and all he owns.
September 14, 1918 — Jones leaves for hospital to sell his souvenirs. Firing Battery moves lorward
via Mouilly to position near Grande Tranchee du Colline at 9:30. Cannoneers follow at ten-minute inter-
vals, with equipment and half the German Quartermaster Department.
September 15, 1918 — Mechanical Hickey learns German watch-case contains, not a watch, but a set
of false teeth. Another example of Teuton treachery.
September 16, 1918 — Battery looks pleasant for the Signal Corps camera man.
September IV, 1918 — The rear echelon puis sheets over the Morris chairs, pulls down the shades,
and gels into the war again, rejoining the Battery at position. The Third piece cunningly concealed by
our nonpareil camoufleur.
September 18, 1918 — Work all day on improvement of position.
September 19, 1918 — Scott takes the Second platoon, and Julius takes Scott's bed-roll to Combres,
Clifford takes first platoon to crest position behind Herbeuville at midnight.
September 20, 1918 — Clifford reaches objective, but Scott and Julius do not. Clifford lays guns on
echelon; Scot t lays cannoneers on wheels, and Saacke calmly lays on the bed-roll. Tangle finally straightened
out, and second platoon reaches position at 11:00 p. m.
September 21, 1918 — Enemy stirs things up around Combres at night.
September 22, 1918 — Woods shelled at rear position in the morning. Hoar takes up new position
and holds it throughout entire shelling, getting up for mess at noon.
September 23, 1918 — P. C. at Combres moved into old pig-sty.
September 24, 1918 — Infantry kitchen blown up and cooks killed. Everyone eats doughnuts.
September 25, 1918 — Lieutenant Wright receives an unexpected visit from the Lieutenant-Colonel
of the M. P.'s.
September 26, 1918 — Marcheville Raid. All guns fire. Barrage started at 6:30 a. m. Fired all day
with frequent change of target. Fighting Bob again gives proof of what a real officer is, with his cool firing
commands. "Hurry! Hurry !" all day long.
September 27, 1918 — Sergeant Gibson and Sergeant Scammon leave for Saumur. Sergeant Soban
appointed Top. Sergeant Frey takes 3rd section; Sergeant McKenna in charge of ammunition.
September 28, 1918 — 1st and 2nd gun crews relieve 3rd and 4th on plain. 2nd Section brings 4th
Section gun to rear position.
September 29, 1918 — Construction of new dugout on plains started.
September 30, 1918 — Colonel Glassford breaks up a little game at the echelon and orders dinner
October 1, 1918 — Echelon moves to new position in woods near German cemetery. More replace-
October 2, 1918 — 101st Infantry advances about 300 yards, following big barrage.
October 3, 1918 — Sam'l Mullard returns from unofficial inspection of Mont Sec.
October 4, 1918 — Second section relieves First at Combres position. Bill Murphy, feeling better,
relieves Yeilish as gunner of First section. New dugout completed on plain.
October 5, 1918 — Springer departs for parts unknown.
October 6, 1918 — John Yeilish is this day bestowed with the inalienable right to horn in at front end
of mess line.
October 7, 1918 — News of Yeilish's promotion reaches Potsdam, and Kaiser sues for peace.
October 8, 1918 — Clocks set back one hour to conform to winter schedule. Officers from 115th Field
Artillery come to position to arrange relief.
October 9, 1918 — Second section leaves Combres at 9:00 in evening, and brings gun to Herbeuville,
where it is ditched. Lieutenant Clifford wins race to hilltop. Lieutenant Ring, Taylor, Mott, Patterson,
Douglas, Vincent, and Flint breathe deeply of mustard gas throughout night.
October 10, 1918 — Third section and detail of engineers labor long over ditched gun, and, finally, at
dusk, "Sergeant McKenna, it's out."
October 11, 1918 — First section relieved by Battery A, 115th Field Artillery', at 3:30 p. m. and go to
echelon. Remainder of Battery relieved at 8:00 p. m. Hike all night via Mouilly and Rupt to
October 12, 1918 — Woods near Genicourt — arriving at 2:00 a. m. Regimental crap game entire day.
Pack and on the road at 5:30 a. m. for all-night march. Bender and Nield toil not for twenty days.
October 13, 1918 — The Lost Battalion of the Argonne put into background by 103rd Field Artillery.
Whole regiment lost during hike. Fourteen kilometers up the Couney road for a grand tally of forty -nine
kilometers for the night. Little Eric sits on the anxious scat for a day or two. Reach echelon in woods
near Belicourt at 8:00 a. m.
October 14, 1918 — Divisional shows finally put it across for the First Battalion. Bolshevism rampant
during the evening. Clifford learns what his Battery thinks of him.
October 15, 1918 — Labels for Santa's 5 x 4 x 3's passed out as the boys file by Lieutenant Hascall.
October 16, 1918 — First platoon pulls cut 4:30 p. m. for the front.
October 17, 1918 — First platoon takes over position in Death Valley at 2:00 A. M., relieving French
battery. Second platoon and pare wagon dig their way out of Baleycourt at 5:00 p. m. Cannoneers throw
away six helmets and carry remaining six on packs. Everybody salvages a can of bacon.
October 18, 1918 — Second platoon goes into position with First at 2:00 a. m. Echelon established at
Charny. First piece fires all night. Rain and mud.
October 19, 1918 — Mess line freely sprinkled with 77's. Shrapnel and sneeze throughout the evening.
Mud and rain.
October 20, 1918 — Machine gun nest 3500 meters away was our target in early a. m. Rain and mud.
October 21, 1918 — Heavy gas. Heavy rains.
October 22, 1918 — The Bolshevik songsters, Keech and Parks, sign up with the doughboys.
October 23, 1918 — At 5:30 a. m., Americans advance three kilometers and hold gains in face of heavy
counter-attacks during day. Powder dump in position blown up. Battery fires gas at 3:00 a. m. and
receives acknowledgment in kind.
October 24, 1918 — George Reio dies of pneumonia, in hospital. H. E. and mustard all day long.
Y. M. C. A. issues one peach apiece to the men; brings total of the year to One.
October 25, 1918 — Signed payroll. Decanville track laid to position by working gang.
October 26, 1918 — Murphy and Laffey transferred to Headquarters Co. C Battery gun crew wiped
out farther down the valley. Dud in front of third piece makes Joe West think of his old Seekonk home-
October 27, 1918 — American attack at 11:00 a. m. From 10:00 a. m. to 3:00 p. m., Battery fires 150
rounds per piece. Battalion fire at night. Volley fire.
October 28, 1918 — American attack at 6:00 a. m. Battery celebrates with aerial observation. First
piece limber destroyed by shell fire. Charlie Plumb goes to hospital with gas.
October 29, 1918 — More Battalion volley fire. Siegel and Trainer slightly wounded, but not evac-
uated. American plane downed near position by German Anti-Aircraft.
October 30, 1918 — Seven replacements assigned to Firing Battery. Rations short.
October 31, 1918 — First section dugout burned. Heaviest shelling of entire time in Valley.
November 1, 1918 — Detail of fourteen men leave for Motor School.
November 2. 1918 — First platoon goes forward at 5:00 p. m., and new position near Bras taken at
9:30. Paul Francis signs an armistice and leaves for hospital. Carl Gould wounded.
November 3, 1918 — Taken all in all — a full day. Improvement of position; K. of C. man drops
around with chocolate. Beard wounded. Harvey and Hanlon get too much gas. Bender and Creep re-
turn, and Turkey quits.
November 4, 1918 — Overcoats issued. Frey and Dugan wounded. V. D.'s begin to blossom forth
on the greasy shoulders.
November 5, 1918 — Austria calls it a day. Captain Houghteling assigned to Battery. Fourth section
gets a three-day rest.
November 6, 1918 — Third piece silenced by shell splinter piercing recuperator cylinder.
November 7, 1918 — Clifford gassed.
November 8, 1918 — Battery uses first powder of United States manufacture. Echelon moves to
Bras. Battery assigned new sector, so guns are relaid. Third relieves Fourth at echelon.
November 9, 1918 — Father Tucker visits position to meet the boys. He brings dice and cards. Cap-
tain Houghteling takes charge of things.
November 10, 1918 — Four batterymen receive furloughs to Grenoble area, one year, three months
and 16 days after entering field service.
November 11, 1918 — Le Jour de l'Armistice. Last shot fired at 10:59:30 a. m. Two hundred and
twenty stomachs start pining for seasickness.
November 12, 1918 — Celebrated all day.
November 13, 1918 — Position evacuated. F Battery withdraws to echelon.
November 14, 1918 — Hike from Thierville to Nubecourt and billet.
November 15, 1918 — Leave Nubecourt at 10:00 a. m., and hike 35 kilometers to Levoncourt. Rumors
November 16, 1918 — More rumors of embarking.
November 17, 1918 — Inspection of rifles. Battery mustered by Major Spencer.
November 18, 1918 — Colonel Twachtman says, "Home in six weeks." "That's O. K., but the boys
November 1", 1918 — Guns hauled to Tronville and parked. Chevaux turned over to 36th Division
November .'(), 1918 — Hiked in Mancois-le-Petit; arrived al 2:00 a. m.
November 21, 1918 — Entire regiment is marched to gun park to clean and oil guns, while the band
pl.i\ - ( loot ie inspection.
November 22, 1918 — Doughboy drill in a. in. Easy in p. in.
November 23, 1918 — Baby play.
November 24, 1918 — More baby play; calisthenics and games.
November 25, 1918 — The weather man takes a hand and spoils morning play.
November 2<>, 1918 —Weather man still with the boys. Too rainy to drill. Eight-kilometer road
hike in p. m.
November 27, 1918 — Mackie, Trainer and Co. put on a little show that proves a little too strong for
I laptain H.
November 28. 1918 — Thanksgiving.
Mashed Potatoes Creamed Onions
Can Jam Squash Pie
Bottle of Beer Cigars
The Battery fund expires in a blaze of glory.
November 29, 1918 — A little road hiking in a. m., and another gang goes on furlough.
November 30, 1918 — Regiment moves from Nancois to Loisey, 10 kilometers away. Brigade Head-
December 1, 1918 — 101st Field Artillery gets guns from Tronville, and we hear rumors of service
firing. Crape hangers in the ascendancy.
December 2, 1918 — Such war-winning maneuvers as a lay down inspection and guard-mount indulged
in, just for practice, outside town.
December 3, 1918 — General Glassford arrests ten soldats for wearing leather puttees and in p. in.
issues an order prohibiting the wearing of them.
December 4, 1918 — Benny Rundell, the breaker of a million feminine hearts, enlists in Battery.
Battalion review before Colonel Twachtman, with band and colors.
December 5, 1918 — Same old drill and foggy weather. Burton and P. O. return from furlough.
December 6, 1918 — A Battery host for twenty-four hours at the guard-house. Carl Wright, with a
four-day beard, cops orderly to the Colonel.
December 7, 1918 — Regular Saturday a. m. inspection of billets and equipment by Regiment Com-
mander. Hull, Grant and Phinney return from Saumur.
December 8, 1918 — Battalion review- by General Glassford.
December 9, 1918 — Brigade passes in review before Major-General McWain. Lieutenant Wright
becomes a doughboy. Four pieces hauled from Tronville for a little needed gun drill.
December 10, 1918 — First Christmas package arrives, and Gaffney donates. Gun drill in mud. Men
taught to fire the 155 howitzer. Clement neglects to show General Glassford how good a soldier he is.
December 11, 1918 — More rumors. More gun drill. More rain.
December 12, 1918 — Soccer — 103rd plays 102nd — 4-4 tie.
December 13, 1918 — Second contingent from furloughs.
December 14, 1918 — October pay received. Ten replacements issued to Battery. Camp Hunt put
on the map.
December 15, 1918 — Services for Regiment in village church. General Glassford speaks.
December 16, 1918 — Ramage pinched.
December 17, 1918 — Soccer— 103rd, 1; 102nd, 0.
December 18, 1918 — Trainer writes song entitled "There's No Rest in Battery A."
December 19, 1918 — Detail to Marseilles for tractors.
December 20, 1918 — Left Loisey 1:00 p. m., and hiked to Ligny. After three-hour wait for train,
loaded at 9:30 and pulled out at 1 1 :00, riding for first time on an American train, with seventy men packed
in a car.
December 21, 1918 — Rode via Neufchateau and Langre to La Ferte; detrained at 11:00 a. m. and hiked
at 12:30, leaving guns at station. Hiked twenty-five kilometers to Vicq, arriving at 5:00 p. m. In spite of
stiff legs, great rush for beds followed.
December 22, 1918 — Cootie hunt starts. No calls. Mail.
December 23, 1918 — Ernest H. Munroe dies in hospital. Announcement made that Pershing will
inspect First Battalion in Vicq on Christmas Day.
December 24, 1918 — Recreation room decorated with mistletoe for Christmas.
December 25, 1918 — Christmas. President Wilson and General Pershing do not appear. Enter-
tainment in p. m., Bishop Perry speaks, and "Bud" Harrington gives one of his charming and thrilling
"chalk talks." Donovan impersonates Gertrude Hoffman.
December 26, 1918 — Lieutenant Wright returns from Infantry. Gil Brown and Tim Gibson back.
December 27, 1918 — Harness cleaned and packed.
December 28, 1918 — No calls till New Year. Saturday inspection. Checking equipment.
December 29, 1918 — Sunday — Beer arrives and is consumed.
December 30, 1918 — Water polo.
December 31, 1918 — Fourth beats Third, 2 to 1. Eighth beats Seventh, 1 to 0. Big night for the
January 1, 1919 — Fourth beats Sixth, 2 to 0. Band parades at midnight. Concert in P. M. Kisses.
January 2, 1919 — Ten-kilometer hike in a. m. Vincent and Scott leave for White automobiles, Kelley
et al., to Bordeaux. 1st, 5; 7th, 0; 2nd, 5; 8th, 0.
January 3, 1919 — Hike with full pack to ball ground. 2nd, 3; 4th, 1.
January 4, 1919 — New tractors arrive.
January 5, 1919 — New tractors worked out.
January 6, 1919 — Chauncey Langdon transfers to Battery.
January 7, 1919 — Colonel announces that embarkation orders have been received.
January 8, 1919 — Chastity Guard established at the little house on the hill.
January 9, 1919 — Moprey club in full action in "Bucket of Blood."
January 10, 1919 — Sheldon and Little return from Marseilles.
January 11, 1919 — Major McLeod musters Battery. Soccer — 1st Battalion, 1 ; 2nd, 0. Football — 0-0.
January 12, 1919 — Barracks bags received.
January 13, 1919 — Finley, Mulcahey, Allah and Nigger go to St. Nazaire. Eight-kilometer hike in
a. m. Soccer in p. m. Infantry N. C. O.'s instruct in close-order drill.
January 14, 1919 — Road hike with rifle, and aiming practice with instructors.
January 15, 1919 — Billy Wood to hospital. Pack inspection. Surplus material taken to La Ferte.
January 16, 1919 — General Glassford inspects Battery in street. Then billets.
January 17, 1919 — Barracks bags tagged.
January 18, 1919 — Another pack inspection by Major McLeod. Dissatisfied again.
January 19, 1919 — Hike in a. m. December pay received.
January 20, 1919 — Bud Harrington starts another laundry.
January 21, 1919 — Regimental review by General Glassford at Vicq. Houghteling gums things up.
Varennes. Hike with band. 101st, 14; 103rd, 0.
January 22, 1919 — Wagons hired. Prepare to move.
January 23, 1919 — First call at 1:30. Entrained at noon. Pulled at 4:00 p. m., via Dijon.
Thirty-four to a car. Langdon to Peace Conference.
January 24, 1919 — Bourges and Vierzon.
January 25, 1919 — Arrive at Mayet at 11:00 a. m. Detrain and hike to Pontvallain. Whole regi-
ment billeted by 12:30. Scrap over officers' billets.
January 26, 1919 — Reveille, 7: 30. No drill. Rearrangement of billets. Looked town over.
January 27, 1919 — Twelve-kilometer hike through Mausigne. Fifth beats Fourth, 1 to 0, and gets
beer. Captain Houghteling becomes Adjutant of First Battalion. Captain C. Gordon McLeod takes
command of Battery A. Saacke changes billets.
January 28, 1919 — Captain McLeod takes command at reveille. Cheered. Battery track team
trials. Saacke changes billets.
January 29, 1919 — Twelve-kilometer hike — Scott McLeod. Spirit better — singing. More track
try-outs in p. m.
January 30, 1919 — Fourteen-kilometer hike — Marquis de Maillet chateau. Saacke changes billets.
January 31, 1919 — Practice review for Brigade review. Saacke gives up and sleeps with section.
February 1, 1919 — Snow. Reveille 5.00. Pack and shaved for 6:45 line-up. Major-General Hale
reviews at Mayet. Speaks to C. O.'S.
February 2, 1919 — Sunday — nice day. Walk-..
February 3, 1919 — Mope- establish headquarters in nunnery.
February 4, 1919 — 5.00 a. m. reveille for 2nd Battalion. Farewell review for < ieneral < ilassford at
February 5, 1919 — Venereal lecture !>y Hum all. Divisional show at Y. M. in evening.
February 6, 1919 — Competition squad drill with B. Last appearance. 2nd. 2; 5th, 0. Another
keg of beer.
February 7, 1919 — Eight-kilometer hike in rain. Rifle inspection .it retreat. Providence Mothers'
Day parade picture- at Y. M. Shepard's clock looks good. Home guard.
February 8, 1919 — Inspection by Major McLeod — full pack.
Februarv 9, 1919 — Passes start on 9th. McLeod back. Football — 102nd, 18; 103rd, 0.
Soccer— 103rd, 1; 101st, 0.
February 10, 1919 — The boys start going "over the top" at Lyon.
February 11, 1919 — Lucky 11th. Work on Battery A book starts.
February 12, 1919 — Editors and artists excused from drill.
February 13, 1919 — Editors and artists dragged out to drill.
February 14, 1919 — Y. D. and three Rainbows. 14, Rue Neuf, Lyon.
February 15, 1919 — "Luke" Brennen slips one over on the old batterymen and cops a furlough.
February 16, 1919 — The Moprey Club scrambles for school teachers' jobs.
February 17, 1919 — Two young ladies entertain at Y. M. C. A. in evening.
February 18, 1919 — Afternoon off. Everybody polishes up for
February 19, 1919 — Review by Commander in Chief.
February 20, 1919 — Holdiday given by Commander in Chief. M. P. recruiting officer makes vain
attempt to enlist batterymen for prolonged foreign service.
February 21, 1919 — Soban on furlough. Baldwin tries out as Top.
February 22, 1919 — Washington's Birthday. Holiday. First cootie inspection.
February 23, 1919 — April sailing announced.
February 24, 1919 — Monday — bath day. Guard for A Battery.
February 25, 1919 — Tsavos changes his mind and enlists for M. P. duty.
February 26, 1919 — Twelve-kilometer hike. Sulphur room for blankets obtained.
February 27, 1919 — Four real American girls and two fellows on at K. of C. School detachment leaves.
Abbott, Tinker, Tarbell, and Larrabee to college.
February 28, 1919 — Twenty-kilometer hike in a. m.
March 1, 1919 — Inspection by regimental officers of layout on bunk. General Sherburne inspects
March 2, 1919 — Reveille one hour earlier.
March 3, 1919 — Wash day again.
March 4, 1919 — Movies at Y. M. Men express their thoughts freely about the picture.
March 5, 1919 — Officers express their thoughts about the men.
March 6, 1919 — Boar hunt — bayonets and clubs. Six kilometers — in woods, two kilometers.
Blackmar nailed one rabbit.
March 7, 1919 — Cootie inspection. Damon is the last man to leave there.
March 8, 1919 — Colonel Twachtman inspects billets. Pay day. Private Eugene K. St. Amour
died in hospital.
March 9, 1919 — Sunday. Bunk fatigue all day.
March 10, 1919 — Divisional athletic meet at Ecomoy. Chief Mechanic Lake dies in hospital.
March 1 1, 1919 — Road hike — twelve kilometers to Requeil. Movies in a. m.
Man h 12, 1919 — Eight-kilometer hike in a. m. Powerhouse sick — no lights.
March 13, 1919 — Rumor that we are to leave Tuesday. First to move. Cooties transferred out of
March 14, 1919 — Cootie inspection. 100% clean.
March 15, 1919 — Saturday morning inspection. Basketball— 103rd, 15; 101st F. A., 2.
March 16, 1919 — Practice lay-out. Boxing. Clobey wins over Lajoie.
March 17, 1919 — Big inspection at 2nd Battalion drill field. Move to Brest between 23rd and 28th
— latest rumor.
March 18, 1919 — Mail. Fifteen girls at Y. M. dance.
March 19, 1919 — Guard.
March 20, 1919 — Basketball — 103rd, 24; 101st, 6.
March 21, 1919 — Rain. Retreat with blouses and rifles.
March 22, 1919 — Clear day. Retreat with slickers, no rifles.
March 23, 1919 — "Tim" Gibson goes on pass again.
March 24, 1919 — C Battery's musical comedy, "When do We Eat?" pleases the regiment.
March 25, 1919 — Repacked and turned in barracks bags.
March 26, 1919 — Policed the village.
March 27, 1919 — Leave Pontvallain and entrain at Mayel at 5:30.
March 28, 1919 — Cylinder head blows out of engine 30 kilometers from Rennes. Arrived in Brest
late in the evening, and hiked seven kilos to rest camp.
March 29, 1919 — Battery quartered in tents with cots.
March 30, 1919 — Final inspection for cooties, extra shoelaces and dubbins by embarkation officers.
March 31, 1919 — Day of days. Battery lines up for hike to pier. No one reported absent. Boarded
lighter and sailed to our transport, the Mongolia.
April 1, 1919 — Loaded to the gunwales with dubbin and shoelaces. H. Jacques Eaton's stand of
terrible four-hour guard in which time the clock is twice set back.
April 2, 1919 — Passed corner where Harvey enlisted. Captain Houghteling in charge of mess line.
April 3, 1919 — Horrors! Our Top Sergeant is sailing 3rd class with the ordinary enlisted men. Tough
April 4, 1919 — H. Sheldon mentioned in orders. Eight on and four off in the gentlemen's rest room.
April 5, 1919 — Shower baths become popular. Fruit issue. Canteen opened; Monej scarce.
April 6, 1919 — Regimental insignia pasted on tin helmets. Movies in evening.
April 7, 1919 — Lifeboat drill. All men on deck except 1,000.
April 8, 1919 — Telegram of welcome from General Edwards read to men.
April 9, 1919 — No sleep tonight.
April 10, 1919 — The year 1 starts today. Land in Boston early in the morning. Wonderful welcome.
Barrage of candy, cigarettes, and oranges. Exciting train ride to Camp Devens.
April 11, 1919 — Cootie cure — 10% get passes to God's country.
April 12, 1919 — 90% take passes. Hanley's pale substitutes Eau de vie.
April 13, 1919 — Battery lines up for reveille at corner Westminster and Dorrance Streets.
April 14, 1919 — Retreat at Rhodes in evening.
April 15, 1919 — Soban checks up Battery at call to quarters in Crown Hotel billet.
April 16, 1919 — Kectaros takes retreat at Devens.
April 17, 1919 — Battery present or accounted for — somewhere in "Little Rhody."
April 18, 1919 — Burton finds his old drinking clothes fit, and sets up at Rathskeller.
April 19, 1919 — Fruit and candy from Battery A of Rhode Island Welfare League received.
April 20, 1919 — Matinees in Boston well attended by Batterymen.
April 21, 1919 — Batterymen still enjoying Boston's hospitality.
April 22, 1919 — Easter Sunday. Devens deserted.
April 2i, 1919 — Divisional Review by General Edwards at Camp Devens.
April 24, 1919 — Men urged by Government official to reenlist in the army and see the world. He was
a good speaker, a fine fellow, and all that — but the boys couldn't see it.
April 25, 1919 — 26th Division parades in Boston.
April 26, 1919 — Battery returns from Boston and rests.
April 27, 1919 — Equipment turned in to Supply Sergeant.
April 28, 1919 — Physical inspection.
April 29, 1919 — Battery A mustered out of the army after 644 days of service.
May 5, 1919 — Rhode Island units of the Yankee Division parade before enthusiastic crowds in Provi-
dence. Dance in Cranston Street Armory in evening.
May 19, 1919 — Welcome home dinner and dance given to Y. D. men in Infantry Hall by Battery A
of Rhode Island Welfare League.
May 25, 1919 — Dance at Rhodes given to 103rd Field Artillery and 104th Ambulance Companv by
Junior Welfare League.
May 30, 1919 — Memorial services held in Benefit Street Arsenal by the Providence Marine Corps
of Artillery in honor of the Rhode Island members of the 103rd Regiment who were killed in action or who
died while in the Service. Rev. W. J. Farrell, chaplain of the regiment, officiated.