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Full text of "History of the 316th Regiment of Infantry in the World War, 1918"

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HISTORY 



OF THE 



3 1 6^ Regiment of Infantrj) 




IN THE 



WORLD WAR 
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Table of Contents 



PAGE 

Citation of Regiment by the Commanding General 4 

Preface 7 

I. — The Formation of the Regiment at Camp 

Meade 9 

II. — The Voyage Overseas 20 

III. — Training in France 24 

IV. — Staging for the Front 27 

V. — Montfaucon and Beyond 35 

VI. — The Troyon Sector 45 

VII.— Hill 378 53 

VIII.— ''FiNiE LA Guerre" 85 

IX. — Holding the Front 88 

X.— In '' Vin-Blank" Land 95 

XI. — Out of the War Zone 99 

XII.— Home 105 

Awards for Heroism 107 

Notice to Members of the Regiment 109 



Citation of Regiment 

Headquarters 79th Division 
Am. E. F., France. 

27 November, 1918. 
From: Commanding General. 
To: C.O. 316th Infantry, through C.G. 158th Infantry 

Brigade. 
Subject: Commendation of Regiment. 

1. In the final offensive on the heights East of the Meuse 
and North of Verdun the task of breaking the enemy's 
resistance at the Borne de Cornouiller (Hill 378) devolved 
upon the 316th Regiment of Infantry. Stubbornly defended 
by the enemy, this tactically strong point presented an 
obstacle of the most serious character. In spite of all 
difficulties the Regiment succeeded after three days heavy- 
fighting, November 4th to 6th, in capturing and finally 
holding the Borne de Cornouiller, in breaking the enemy's 
resistance and contributing materially to driving the enemy 
from the heights East of the Meuse a few days later. 

2. Numerous authenticated instances of gallantry, tena- 
city and endurance have come to the Comimanding General's 
notice, proving beyond question that the Regiment acquitted 
itself with the greatest credit and in a manner worthy of the 
best American traditions. 

3. The Conomanding General takes great pride in the 
achievements of the Regiment and directs that you bring 
this letter to the attention of your command. 

Joseph E. Kuhn, 

Major General, U.S.A. 
JEK-ep 

1ST IND. 

Hq. 158th Infantry Brig., American E.F., 28 November, 
1918. To: Commanding Officer, 316th Infantry. 
1. Transmitted. It is with pleasure that the Brigade Com- 
mander transmits this well-deserved letter of commendation 
from the Division Commander. Now that the immediate 
fighting would appear to be over, it should be an incentive 

4 



to every officer and soldier of the 316th Infantry to maintain 
under existing conditions, by its appearance, training and 
discipHne, the high standard gained on the field of battle. 

Evan M. Johnson, 
Brigadier General, Commanding. 



2D IND. 

Headquarters 316th Infantry, A.E.F., 29 November, 1918. 

To all Battahon Commanders and Commanding Officers 

of Headquarters Co., Machine Gun Co., Supply Co., and 

Sanitary Detachment. 

1. The present Commanding Officer of the 316th Infantry 
takes pleasure in transmitting this letter of commendation 
from the Commanding General, together with the indorse- 
ment of commendation added by the Brigade Commander, 
to the members of the command. He congratulates Colonel 
George Wilhams and Lieutenant-Colonel George E. Haedicke, 
who successively commanded the Regiment at the Borne de 
CornouiUer, and all the officers and men who participated in 
the combat of November 4th to 6th, on the excellent work 
they performed at that time, and on the splendid name they 
won for the Regiment. The high standard set in combat 
will be the standard aimed at in training for combat. 

Garrison McCaskey, 
Colonel, 316th Infantry. 



Preface 

On the shell-torn slopes of the Borne de Cornouiller — 
amid the ghostly ruins of the Bois de Beuge beyond towering 
Montfaucon — in the toilsome marches of weary nights 
through the black wreckage of a devastated France — there 
is written the real history of the 316th Infantry Regiment. 
The Meuse and the Argonne spell its glory. 

The roll of its dead and maimed proclaims the measure of 
its sacrifice. The ordeals of their living comrades attest its 
devotion. The sum of their efforts is inscribed in the annals 
of victory — a page in the immortal book of the American 
Expeditionary Forces. 

No thought of self-emulation inspires the record here set 
forth. It is a plain narrative of one American regiment — 
its trials and triumphs. 



TKe H 



onor 



Roll 



Meuse-Argonne Offensive (Montfaucon) 

Killed Wounded Missing Prisoners Total 

Officers.. 10 27 37 

Men 126 711 125 962 



Officers. 
Men . . . 



Troyon Sector 

Killed Wounded Missing Prisoners Total 

10 1 

5 106 111 



Grande Montagne Offensive (Hill 378) 



Officers. . 


Killed 

7 


Wound* 

15 


id Missing 




Prisoners 

3 


Total 

25 


Men 


151 


491 


108 
Total 


50 


800 


Officers. . 


KUled 

17 


Wounded Missing 

43 


Prisoners 

3 


Total 

63 


Men 


282 


1,308 


233 


50 


1,873 








Grand Total, 


1,936 



I 

The Formation of the Regiment at Camp Meade 

On a sultry day in early September, 1917, a wanderer on 
the flatlands that stretch away into tangled woods near a 
cluster of houses marked Admiral, Md., on very elaborate 
maps only might have noted a curious sight, and if he had 
listened very attentively, heard sounds still more curious. 

A group of perspiring men appeared to be going through 
military evolutions, but on their shoulders seemed to be 
insignia generally associated with officers of the United 
States Army. Yet, here they were going through the vulgar 
maneuvers generally believed to be reserved for buck privates 
and '' candidates." And as they columned and turned, under 
their breaths they muttered imprecations addressed to 
strange deities and fearsome prayers to a smiling heaven. 

Officers all! Brand new officers, hot from the frying pan 
of the first R. 0. T. C, at Fort Niagara, New York, marking 
time until that day when the villages and farms and cities 
should spill into the lap of Mars the human material that 
was to crush an empire. ''Marking time " is strictly accurate, 
for, obeying War Department Orders, they had, on August 
29, 1917, reported at this then desolate spot, and were now 
by command of Colonel Oscar J. Charles, commanding 
officer of the 316th Infantry, National Army, engaged in 
practicing those things which they were soon to inffict on 
unsuspecting thousands. 

Forgive them the imprecations and the prayers! A 
Maryland sun beat down on a Maryland sand lot, and they 
were tired, very tired from the fifteen days exhaustive 
dancing in the celebrated cabarets of awakened Philadel- 
phia — and long nights of last farewells to the ''finest girl in 
the world." 

So they drilled — right face, left face, squads right, squads 
left — for an interminable fortnight while about them sprang 
up a magic city, much as towns used to arise overnight in 
the gold rush of '49. When they arrived at this wilderness, 
called Camp Meade, only a handful of buildings bared their 
roofs to the bhstering sun. Other officers — hundreds of 



them — arrived at the same time, and they were crowded for 
sleeping purposes, head to head, and side by side, in a 
barracks designated as 35-A, away over on that site where 
later the colored troops were established. Rations were 
meager and they ate sparingly what a horde of angry flies 
agreed to leave them. Nights were long, but the W. B. & A. 
did not run into camp then and it was a long, tiresome walk 
to Admiral, so they spent the nights studying their Uttle 
I. D. R. — as all good officers should — and waiting for the 
dread task ahead of them. They had wedded a new pro- 
fession and felt just about as forlorn as the proverbial 
bridegroom. 

On August 30, General Orders No. 2, Headquarters 316th 
Infantry, had informed them of their future companies, 
then non-existent, just as General Orders No. 2, Head- 
quarters 79th Division, had assigned them to the Regiment. 
It was not until September 19 that the first contingent of 
men arrived — about sixty to a company — from the central 
and southeastern portions of Pennsylvania. Farmers, miners, 
steel-workers, mechanics, clerks, village cut-ups and ministers* 
sons, teachers, and laborers unsullied by contact with the 
alphabet — all sorts and conditions of men, all somewhat 
dazed by this sudden change in the current of their even 
lives, but all stirred by a vague something that told them 
they were part and parcel of the greatest epoch in history. 

How good that material was, later developments showed 
to an amazed world. Now it needed shaping and tempering 
and forging in the stern school of the army that was to make 
soldiers out of civilians. Came then the casting away of 
"cits" — many of them destined for destitute Belgium, and 
the donning of "O.D." Presto! change! At 9 a. m. Civihan 
Jim — at 9.15, Private Jones. 

The officers earned their pay those days — drilling, march- 
ing, teaching; organizing a company out of a mob; training 
a shipping clerk to know the difference between a service- 
record and an invoice; raising an iron-moulder to be a supply 
sergeant; and turning a star pugilist into a mess-sergeant. 
Busy days, but gradually order out of chaos. The military 
**sir" began to replace *'yeah," and saluting became a 
habit, much to the salute's own surprise. 

Aladdin kept rubbing the lamp, and the wonders city 
kept growing so that by the time the fourth or fifth contingent 
arrived — there was a new one about every two weeks — a 
good sized town stood where once a desert lay. Each incre- 

10 



ment meant a vast amount of paper work and hours spent in 
equipping and reorganization. Chevrons flourished — an 
army of non-commissioned officers was created ahnost over 
night, and most of them made good, a great number eventu- 
ally winning commissions. 

On December 15 a flock of new officers, graduates of the 
second training camps, arrived, and for a few weeks or 
longer, many companies had as high as double their quota 
of officers. The new arrivals were welcomed to Meade in 
three notable addresses by Colonel Charles, the then Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Knowles, and Brigadier-General Hatch. The 
first convinced them that the knowledge of a second camp 
graduate was extremely, oh very extremely, limited and his 
place in life mighty humble; the second showed them that 
their first impressions were too lenient to themselves, and the 
third completed their disillusionment. 

Among later arrivals were officers from southern and other 
cantonments, including Lieutenant Francis D. Johnson who 
had started as a private in the engineers, although long past 
draft age, and who was destined to win a captain's bars 
before his heroic death at 378. *' Alaska" Johnson he was 
called by his friends, and he was one of the best loved officers 
in the Regiment. 

Christmas, 1917, was a right }oyiu\ holidaj^ with thousands 
of Meade men on leave, fully aware that it might be their 
last Christmas in the States, and getting every ounce of 
enjojonent out of it possible. A few companies were held in 
quarantine, but with the aid of company funds managed to 
feast well, if not hilariously. New Year's Day passed in 
much the same manner with the W. B. & A. again taxed 
beyond its capacity, and the streets of Baltimore, Phila- 
delphia, and a score of smaller towns swarming with khaki. 

And now, even with the winter snows upon the ground, 
came the first vague whispers of sailing. Rumor is a hardy 
bird and waits not for balmy days to spread its wings. The 
79th, it seemed according to Lieutenant Laytreen, was to 
depart some time in February — or was it May? Strangely 
enough, commanding officers seemed to place no credence in 
this report, for drilling, schools, fatigue, assault course 
building, gas training, and all those things that make a 
camp a regular rest resort, kept on with unabated fervor, 
despite howling winds and swirling snow, and a winter that 
old Uncle Josh Odenton himself admitted not having seen 
the like of for many a year. 

11 



The stamina that was to stand men in such good stead in 
later days amid other scenes was now developed by work on 
an elaborate trench system with all modern conveniences, 
including open plumbing. This trench system was a marvel 
to behold. The Kriemheld Stellung was a dingy ditch beside 
it. It was a masterpiece, a work of art, and, of course, 
nobody thought of profaning it by using it. So there it lay 
in lonesome grandeur in those Meade woods and plains, the 
apple of the engineer's eye, too sacred for a vulgar doughboy 
to desecrate, except when it needed fixin'. Classes in field 
fortification, under Captain Dorrance Reynolds (later a 
major on the General Staff) used to go out and view it in 
silent awe. Not so grand and vast, but sweeter and neater, 
a thing to catch a maiden's eye of a Sunday afternoon, was 
the assault course, planned, executed and execrated, tenderly 
nursed and violently cursed, tended like a fairy garden by 
the 316th, all by itself, just beyond the Sahara Desert. 
Across a nice convenient swamp lay this course, with its 
nursery and trick-balancing runs, its Chinese walls and 
terraced lawns, its murally decorated butts — and every- 
thing. Through many a bitter winter day the 316th labored 
on this masterpiece, matching log for log, with an eye to 
color effect that would have delighted an artist; transplanting 
sod to hide the rude earth; massaging away unsightly creases, 
cutting down a forest to get limbs guaranteed to tickle a 
Sunday promenader's fancy, scrupulously cutting an inch 
from that trench and a millimeter from this to make 'em 
even, until, as gentle spring waned and glorious summer 
burst into bloom, this thing of beauty and joy forever bloomed 
into rapturous being. A proud, glorious Sunday that, when 
the 316th led its best girl to the entrancing scene and said 
"Voila, mademoiselle" — or words to that effect. 

Followed many days of tight-rope walking, wall scaling, 
vaulting of strange obstacles, and a specially patented brand 
of shooting, trademark registered, in which your rifle was 
held in a vise and all you had to do was pull the trigger — 
and up went the red flag. Meanwhile, daily guard mount, 
impressive proceedings, usually carried out in fear and 
trembling, for reasons good and suflicient. Followed also 
exciting games of ''hide and seek" and "I spy" between the 
man on No. 1 Post and the Commanding Officer, and much 
shouting of "Turn out the guard" with the consequent 
bustle in the guard house, then the inevitable "Never mind 
the guard." Lung-developing days those, in which the 

12 



most shrinking private learned to bawl "Halt, who's there" 
as stentoriously as GabrieFs horn — especially if the sentry 
happened to be stationed near officers' barracks at two in 
the morning. 

And those never-to-be-forgotten bayonet drills in which 
the proper, gentlemanly, sportsmanlike way to stick a Boche 
was impressed with unending and elaborate detail. With 
what emotions of chagrin and distress one received the 
knowledge that pushing the gleaming blade into the Boche' s 
innards and jerking it out — presto! — like that — was all 
wrong, all wrong! Hand up, recite a verse from Evangeline 
— look fierce — now — one, two, and ''on guard." Simple, 
but marvellous. Technique, that was the magic password in 
those days and under Lieutenants Bliss and McKeen and 
Hoffman a system of bayonetting was evolved guaranteed to 
muss up with expedition and despatch any Boche who came 
near enough. The ungrateful Boche later spoiled this scheme 
by ''Kamarading" when you got within a hundred yards 
of him — but the system was great, just like a successful 
operation in which the patient dies. Whether it killed Boches 
or not, it developed, or was supposed to, that blood-lust 
which the bayonet manual says lies latent in everybody, and 
the meat ration had to be increased and cornwillie and 
goldfish began to taste vapid and insipid. The will to kill — 
br-r-r — it sets your teeth on edge to say it — sure did flourish 
then. Saturday and Sunday foimd 'em as loving as she 
pleased — but weekdays it was eat-em-alive — r-r-r! Oh, boy! 

Flourished likewise a chain of schools — divisional, regi- 
mental, company — teaching every conceivable thing that 
anyone thought a soldier should know, from the sum of 
sine plus cosine to the specific gravity of diethylsulphide — 
whatever that is. Non-com schools, officers' schools, field 
officers' schools, geometry, chemistry, engineering, close 
order; reading, writing, arithmetic, close order; geography, 
geology, close order; I. D. R., F. S. R., M. C. M., A. W., M. 
F. F. 0. S. U., science, history, religion, ethics, and close 
order!; Englishmen, Scotchmen, Frenchmen, Canadians, 
even Americans, for teachers. Enough text-books to pave a 
road from Baltimore to Aix-les-Bains! 

The business of soldiering, it seemed, was a complicated 
proposition. To kill or get killed, that sounded simple 
enough; but it gradually sank into the 316th's consciousness 
that before you get a Boche or he got you, one had to be a 
professor, clairvoyant, pugilist and magician rolled together. 

13 



So they studied and worked, studied and drilled with growing 
appetites and muscles, and out of the mob that arrived in 
September, and later in May and June, gradually evolved an 
army efficient, snappy and wise — oh, very wise. A lot of 
this knowledge was later salvaged with the barracks bags, 
but there*s enough right now to keep the U. S. A. going for 
years and years. 

Never was lost sight of the axiom that "All work and no 
play makes Jack a dull boy, " and there were baseball, basket- 
ball, football, volleyball teams, boxing bouts, wrestling bouts 
galore — also a curious game played with two ivory squares 
called "Baby needs a new pair of shoes.'' At Peuvillers and 
Heippes and Orquevaux, "L.," "M.," Headquarters — and 
maybe others — were still intent on seeing that this particu- 
larly beloved infant didn't go barefoot. Who does that 
child belong to, anyhow? 

Company funds were growing steadily, despite steady 
inroads for extras, ice-cream and cake and so on (there are 
such things), and Captain Van Dyke spent part of bis ration 
fund for a piano, much to the surprise of a finicky inspector 
who hadn't known up to that time that pianos were edible. 
The Regimental Exchange, under Lieutenant Dyer, did a 
land office business in candy and cakes and boots and bevo 
and queer-beer, and silk pillow tops and enough other things 
to stock a general store in Lake Forest, Iowa. 

Amidst all his multifarious duties, the Commanding 
Officer managed to keep a fatherly eye on the band, and to 
its leader gave suggestions and helpful hints not dreamed of 
in that young man's musical philosophy. It was this paternal 
solicitude which led the Commanding Officer to point out 
the crude way in which the trombone players handled their 
instruments — no cadence to their push and pull at all, at all, 
make it one, two, three, four; one, two, three, four. It 
was the same beautiful motive which led to the condemnation 
of that system which allowed a little man to play a big bass 
drum and a big man a tiny fife. So, expertly guided, the 
band, like the rest of the Regiment, equaHzed, expedited, and 
went ahead in earnest and with a mission. 

Constantly the complexion of the Regiment changed, for 
as early as October 15, great drafts of men were transferred 
to southern divisions and special units throughout the 
ijnited States. This constant flux continued until as late as 
Jime, approximately 80,000 men being trained in the 79th, 
of whom only about 28,000 were retained. 

U 



While at first the 316th was ahnost exclusively mid- 
Pennsylvanian in makeup, by the time it sailed, New York, 
Ohio, Connecticut, and Philadelphia had contributed a large 
share to its composition. In its career overseas its com- 
plexion changed to an even greater degree, forty-three states 
being represented on the rolls when the outfit sailed for 
home, a situation which pleased company clerks immensely — 
ask 'em. 

If there was one more beloved feature of life at Camp 
Meade than another it surely was that mysterious rite 
known as being ''inoculated." You couldn't belong to the 
lodge without it. Immediately on arrival, every enlisted 
man and officer was led gently but firmly to the regimental 
infirmary where, with Major Cornwell or Lieutenant Bourque 
or Lieutenant Gibbons murmuring an outlandish incantation 
to a strange deity, each novitiate had his arm punctured 
and injected with a serum guaranteed to fend off typhoid, 
malaria, hives, flat feet, that tired feeling on Monday morn- 
ing, coughs, colds, irritation of the mucous membrane, 
tonsihtis, and all the ills which, up to this time, Mrs. Pinkham 
was generally supposed to have the only cure for. 

Later, as the learned medical profession discovered new 
diseases, there were more inoculations. Life became one 
damned inoculation after another. If there had been 
wound stripes issued for inoculations, many men would have 
needed four-sleeved blouses. 

One year after America entered the war the Division had 
been so depleted by constant drafts that it was far from the 
imposing mass that sailed abroad, but the remnant paraded 
the streets of Baltimore on April 6. As the review by General 
Pershing may be considered the climax of the 79th's career 
in France, so the review by President Wilson may be con- 
sidered the chmax of its fife in the States. The hike to and 
from Baltimore was the first real test of endurance the 
Division experienced, and the men stood it like veterans. 
None more so than the 316th, the only Regiment to make the 
return trip imder full packs. 

The great adventure was still ahead, the haze of glory hung 
undimmed by contact with war's horrors, and it was a swing- 
ing, unwearied column that marched, bayonets fixed, through 
the crowded streets, with their cheering thousands. No sign 
in that martial gait of the weary kilometers tramped the 
day before. The 79th was the first division to be reviewed 
by the President. It was the first time the pubhc had a 

15 



real look at the National Army in war array, and the tre- 
mendous ovation, the unsparing encomiums, the high praise 
of the President, and his party, gave emphatic evidence that 
the Division *' looked good," looked like the fighters they 
later proved to be. Baltimore said "They'll do." There 
was widespread comment, tinged with justified amazement, 
at the wondrous change that had been wrought in the men 
taken a few months before from all walks of civilian life. 

One of the hardest ordeals of that march, by the way, was 
the constant barrage of remarks from the sidelines. By 
April 6 there wasn't a girl in Baltimore not deformed who 
didn't have at least one caller from Meade to make hfe less 
gloomy. And they were all out for the parade. Solomon 
was not arrayed as one of these, but they were there to be 
heard as well as be seen. It was a test of discipline, a cruel 
test, to run the gauntlet of remarks — *'0h, you Fred!" **0h! 
doesn't Jim look grand!" ''Why, there's that fat lieutenant 
who danced with me!" "Hello, John, don't forget tonight!" — 
to run that gauntlet and keep faces straight, eyes to the front, 
heads erect, never a smile or wink. But they did it; every 
man in the 316th looked at the back of the neck of the man 
in front of him and snapped to eyes right as the lines swept 
by the President. 

Now that parade seems Uke a minor event in the history 
of the Regiment against the background of the Bois de 
Beuge and 378, but then it was a great happening, a red- 
letter day. The sun beat down that day with a June intensity, 
the pavements underneath were hard and jarring, marching 
at attention for four or five hours is no jest under the easiest 
conditions, but the high morale that prevailed was indicated 
that evening in a grand scramble for " passes " and an hilarious 
night in Baltimore. The dance halls showed doughboys who 
looked fatigued not at all, and Jim learned from her own 
fair lips just how grand he did look. Happy days. 

The Regiment camped in a city park and all the gayety 
wasn't downtown, for there was an avalanche of visitors, all 
loud in their admiration. That garden-like camp, with its 
geometric rows of pup-tents and spotless company streets 
was somewhat different from Camp de Normandie — or Rupt 
— or Hannonville — or Malancourt. The Regiment slept on 
the ground that night, and some there were who thought 
this was hardship. Later on they were to realize what a 
luxury a pup-tent can be. 

And the next day the hike back — twenty-three miles or so 

16 



of straight tramping under an unsparing sun over sandy- 
roads that choked the lungs and made eyes smart and feet 
burn and ache. Even in the midst of the hardest days of 
the campaign in France, that was still voted to have been 
''some hike." Few, very few, fell by the wayside, a remark- 
able record under the circumstances, and one that spoke 
volumes for the hardy condition of the troops. 

The following weeks found the Regiment busy on the 
rifle range, a long mile from the camp. Keen interest was 
displayed. Orders from G. H. Q. across the seas had warned 
American commanders to allow nothing to overshadow the 
importance of the rifle as the infantryman's main rehance 
in combat. Many men had never fired a rifle before, but 
an excellent average was maintained, and, as the Philadel- 
phia Ledger remarked, commenting on the 316th's showing, 
it was again demonstrated that the Yank is the best natural 
shot in the world. The McNab system, which was later to 
play so large a part in range work, had not then appeared, 
but both in rapid and slow fire, at 100, 200, 300, 500 and 600, 
marks worthy of a regular army organization were made. 
The so-called Enfield got a real try out and made good, 
particularly at the shorter ranges. 

Again rumors and more changes. Hundreds of men were 
transferred to other cantonments, many to sail almost 
immediately for France. In May that feeling which indi- 
cates a long, long journey, as the fortune tellers say, was 
strong. Other National Army divisions had gone or were 
about to go. The 79th was known to be highly thought of 
at Washington, and the sailing date, everybody thought, 
was only a matter of weeks. Replacements began coming 
in by the thousands — first from Philadelphia, then Ohio, 
New York, Connecticut, and lastly from the divisional 
artillery, so that by July the Regiment, receiving its pro-rata 
share, was brought to almost war strength on the new basis 
of 250 men and six officers to a company. Long before this 
most of the second camp officers had been transferred 
elsewhere, so that it was for the most part officers who had 
been with the outfit from its organization who prepared it 
for sailing and took it across. 

June witnessed a riot of rumors, an orgy of ''I heards.'' 
It was an absolute fact— oh, absolutely beyond peradventure 
of a doubt, that the 79th was going to Italy. Smiles in the 
Italian contingent — well represented in the 316th — and 
scowls among those who thought France meant Paris. Then 

17 



the destination was switched to Russia, with a wealth of 
minute detail that forbade any doubt. Happiness in the 
Slav contingent — horror among the boys accustomed to 
steam heated flats in Williamsburg or South Philadelphia. 

The advance party, Major Atwood, Major Dodge, Captain 
Loane, and a score of others from the 316th, sailed, and rumor 
halted. It was France, and the Western Front. Followed 
then a frenzy of preparations, day and night. A war depart- 
ment expert solemnly informed the assembled officers that 
unless every service record had every i dotted and every t 
crossed; every qualification record, medical record, pay 
card, range record, Form 88, 170, 95 and so forth and so 
on, arranged exactly like this, and not like that, in a pine 
box cut from a tree grown by a one-legged farmer on a tax- 
free and unencumbered plot in Hill Valley, Arizona — and 
unless this box was precisely five feet 8.2836 inches long, 
one foot 6.7985 inches wide and two feet 4.5329 inches high — 
why the 79th might as well think of getting on a transport at 
Hoboken as of flying across the Atlantic. It just couldn't 
be done. And then about the records, gentlemen, those 
papers must be exact, minute, precise! — and here General 
Kuhn interrupted to observe that paper work was all right 
but if it kept on at the present rate, who in the dickens was 
going to do the fighting? Only, of course, the General didn't 
use those very words. Well, the expert was sure it was all 
very, very simple, and anyhow, once in France, no more 
paper work. (Baron Munchausen here turned over in his 
grave). 

Bustle — all day long and many nights. Marking of all 
equipment, this was absolutely essential. It gives distinction 
to a salvage pile to have things marked. You know whose 
stuff you're getting then. Inspections, all kinds and varieties, 
until that last, final one when everything was laid out for 
the inspectors who counted it and checked it and re-checked 
it and counted it, and then used their records to start a fire 
with — which they did very well indeed. But before that, 
requisitions, extra everything, especially shoe laces, without 
which, beheve the inspector, the Kaiser could positively not 
be hcked. More requisitions until everybody was decorated 
like a Christmas tree and rarin' to go. 

And all this, of course, strictly on the Q. T. The Boche 
had long ears in those days and everybody was solemnly 
warned that he had 'em open for news of the 79th. Every- 
thing was done in strict secrecy. Of course, a miUion or so 

18 



home folks saw everything packed that last Sunday ; "to-rent" 
signs on the barracks, and the trains waiting on the sidings. 
A million more saw the convoy glide out of Hoboken after 
other thousands in Baltimore and Philadelphia had cheered 
the departing heroes — but aside from those few exceptions 
it was very, very secret. 

And so, on Simday, July 7, 1918, good bye to Meade. 
The sun was sinking behind deserted barracks when the 
first trains, regular passenger cars, pulled out. An all night 
trip, much singing and cheering, and Jersey City in the gray 
dawn. Then by ferry to Hoboken, and France suddenly 
loomed on the horizon. It was a sobered crowd that, with 
delicious Red Cross buns under their belts, filed aboard 
the waiting liners at the Hamburg-American piers, past an 
inspector who asked few questions and gave barely a glance 
at service records or boxes or equipment or inoculation 
records. That was a bitter blow — all that work and all those 
inoculations — and not a look. Such is life. 

A night then aboard ship, M and Supply Companies on 
La France^ the rest of the Regiment on the Agamemnon ^ 
formerly the Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Mount Vernon, 
America and Orizaba, all in weird camouflage, made up the 
remainder of the convoy. The Leviathan, giant of all trans- 
ports, had sailed the day previous with the 315th Infantry. 
Colonel Charles was in command of the Brigade and troop 
conomander aboard the Agamemnon. 

The subway was filling with its evening rush crowd, the 
commuter was jamming the ferries to Jersey; the lights of 
Manhattan were barely awakening into radiance; the 
thoughts of some millions of busy humans were turning 
once more to home in tenement or flat or mansion as the 
Agamemnon, with a hoarse blast of its siren, left its dock and 
floated down the river, past the crowded ferries, past the 
figure of Liberty, out into the wide Atlantic. 

Behind lay the imposing sky-line of New York, a mass of 
majestic ghosts in the twihght — ahead, France, and the 
Western battle front. 



10 



II 

The Voyage Overseas 

La France had left a few hours earUer with Colonel 
Jervey as troop commander, engineers being in the pre- 
ponderance. The following morning saw the convoy united 
and well out on the Atlantic. The armed escort dropped 
away as the first ''danger zone" — for the U-boats had 
invaded the western Atlantic — was left behind. For the 
majority of men it was the first ocean trip, and it took them 
some hours to get their sea-legs and learn the difference 
between stern and bow, starboard and port. A big liner is 
a mirror maze to the average landlubber, and there were 
many laughable instances of being lost for hours trying to 
find one's way about the intricate passageways. All things 
considered, there was comparatively little seasickness. 

From the beginning a rigid discipline was instituted. Life 
belts were worn at all times, and ''Abandon ship" drills 
were held regularly. Submarine audacity was at its height at 
that time, and matter-of-fact as things might appear on the 
surface, out somewhere on the horizon lurked possible death. 
No one was inclined to shirk drills, and it took no urging to 
make men quit their bunks promptly and line up along the 
rail. A constant, if suppressed, feeling of danger kept the 
trip from getting monotonous. Sleeping aboard the Aga- 
memvon had to be done in shifts because of the limited 
conditions, but otherwise the vessel, as far as convenience 
for the men went, was far superior to La France which was 
making its first trip as a transport. For, on the Agamemnon, 
the food was plentiful and substantial, a bounteous canteen 
supplied extras of all kinds, but on La France some one had 
miscalculated, and the first few days meals were irregular 
and scanty and not of the best, even in limited quantities. 
It was their first contact with French ways and customs, and 
to tell the truth it wasn't a favorable introduction. La 
France was French controlled and manned, and preparations 
were apparently not all they should have been, although a 
valiant efifort was made to remedy the situation. At first 

20 



carrying parties in queues that crowded the hatches had to 
wait for hours so that breakfast sometimes became lunch 
and lunch supper, but finally a system was evolved. The men 
on La France got the jump on the rest of the Regiment in one 
respect, for here they made their first acquaintance with 
**vin blanc" at a dollar (no francs those days) a bottle, a 
lead by the way which in later days both M and Supply 
Companies had a hard time keeping. 

For the first few days the trip was uneventful — drills, 
setting-up exercises, sleep — and a bit of that uneasy feeling 
which a rolling ship will develop in the most hardened of 
stomachs — not seasickness, oh dear no! Then, as mid- 
Atlantic was passed appeared one day far off on the horizon 
a tiny speck dead ahead — another on the port side — another 
way over there to starboard — specks which took on shape 
and substance with astonishing rapidity — and there they 
were — Uncle Sam's own — grim destroyers in their war 
paint, the Nemesis of the U-boat — the guardian angel of the 
troop laden transport. That was the first real thrill of the 
trip and many a man slept slightly better that night. 

The convoy under this armed escort sailed on with new 
confidence, first one ship ahead, then another. La France 
usually in the rear and the clumsy Orizaba struggling to 
keep up with the procession. The event of the voyage is 
still shrouded in mystery, for those were the days of rigid 
censorship, but on a dark night the America cut an English 
chpper square in two and just missed a collision with La 
France. That much was soon general knowledge, but to 
most just how many men were lost and how many saved 
remained a closed book. And a day later came the first real 
submarine scare, after days of fruitless watching over endless 
seas and constant straining of eyes. There was a deal of 
libeling inoffensive dolphins, and even a harmless flying 
fish was now and then taken for a bloodthirsty agent of the 
Kaiser, but until this real scare, the natty little guns on each 
liner's deck had kept silent. Finally they spoke, for out 
1,000 yards to port the skipper of La France had seen a 
bobbing periscope. A shouting of French commands, a 
bustle of movement, a sudden crowding to the rails — the 
neat little cannon barked angrily — and, if you believe the 
skipper, one German submarine went where it belonged, 
another souvenir for Davy Jones. And to make that twice 
assured a destroyer circled about, dropped a depth bomb 
or two, and sped on. Everybody cheered — first glimpse of 

21 



war. A deck is a much nicer place to watch a war from than 
a shell-hole, when all's said and done. 

Of course there were other submarine scares. Lieutenant 
Renshawe saw a whole fleet of 'em and he had a lot of com- 
petition. Field glasses were mighty popular. 

Customary scene: 

A bright cloudless day. An intent lieutenant gazing 
earnestly through a pair of double E's. Naught but dancing 
waves. Suddenly: 

" I see one, by Jiminy. Look, Shorty.'' 

Shorty takes the glasses, stares a long moment and hands 
them back in disgust. 

''Thunder," he says, scornfully, ''another one of them 
fool dolphins." 

Follows a heated argument until the spouter comes into 
plainer view, and an "I told you so" ends the incident. 

With the exception of one day when a choppy sea and a 
sudden storm made things a bit uncomfortable, the weather 
throughout the trip was as nearly ideal as could be desired, 
and when the convoy, minus armed escort, sighted Brest, 
the sun shone brilliantly overhead and the great American- 
ized port presented a surpassingly beautiful scene — sunny 
France indeed! 

On July 18 the Regiment debarked, and then began a 
weary, toilsome march through the backyard of Brest, over 
laborious hills, between scampering gamins who shouted a 
strange word of welcome that sounded Uke "cigaret" and 
another that resembled "chocolat." Later, marches like 
that became a thing to smile at, but with their land legs not 
recovered, and packs encumbered with all manner of useless 
articles, this comparatively short hike was a real ordeal for 
most of the men. The "rest camp" — a volume could be 
written about that — was finally reached, and in a pouring 
rain, camp was pitched. It rains 300 days out of the 365 
in Brest, and the time the 316th spent there was not part 
of the 65. The American organization was just about in the 
midst of its tremendous task in those days, and there were a 
lot of rough edges on Brest that hadn't been polished. The 
"rest camp" was one, and a biUion million flies didn't help 
matters any. 

Here also came the first experience with French trades- 
men — or rather, tradeswomen. In their quaint Breton 
costmnes, the peasant women, who soon flocked to the camp, 
as a bee flies to honey, looked demure and unsophisticated. 

22 



But beneath that simple exterior lay a sharp sense of oppor- 
tunity — golden opportunity. Figs, twenty cents for two, 
or was it three? dates, a quarter for a half dozen; cake, a 
piece as big as your forefinger for a dime; mangy oranges, a 
dime apiece — no matter what the price, rations were a bit 
slim, and what good's money, anyhow, when you're going to 
war. So the men bought recklessly and prices rose steadily, 
as they always will, in the good old U. S. A. just as well as in 
France. 

In the yards at Brest, piled high with three million unsorted 
trunks, bedding rolls, barrack bags, ice-making plants, 
rolling kitchens, and all the paraphernalia of a nation at 
war, special details worked valiantly to recover the Regi- 
ment's freight and baggage. And for the most part it was 
obtained — although a great many barrack bags and some 
freight went to unhonored graves or some salvage pile. 

More packing, more hiking, and on July 21, trains bearing 
the queer inscription: "Hommes 40 Chevaux 8" — (oh, to 
be a chevaux!) — were boarded, with the 12th Training Area 
as the destination. American railroad service got a big 
boost then and there. After riding on a French cattle car, 
trying to sleep with Jim on one leg, Jack on the other, and 
Tom leaning up against his back. Private Doughboy decided 
that never again would he say a word against the B. & 0. 
or even the W. B. & A. The trip across France lasted three 
nights and four days — and when they weren't too tired to 
look, even the men from the garden spot of Pennsylvania 
admitted it was ''some beautiful coimtry." Right through 
the heart of France, St. Brieue, Rennes, Laval, Angers, 
Tours, with a glimpse of the lovely valley of the Loire- 
Nevers and its Red Cross nurses and hot coffee, Dijon and 
Is-sur-Tille, another symbol of America awake, where a 
halt of several hours was made for a canteen meal and a 
wash. 

The journey was an eye-opener, a liberal education. It 
revealed to these thousands of Americans the great part 
their country was playing and the enormous organization 
needed to play that part effectively; it was their first intro- 
duction to their brothefs in arms — Poilus and Yanks — of 
whom there were thousands along the route, and it gave 
them a better sense of true proportions to realize how small 
a factor even a division was in all this immensity. 



28 



Ill 

Training in France 

At the last moment the 316th's destination was changed, 
the 10th instead of the 12th Training Area being assigned 
to the 79th, and on July 24th the Regiment reached the 
Prauthoy Area, in the Department of Haute Marne, detrain- 
ing at Vaux-sous-Aubigny, and the various organizations 
took up the march for their several destinations. 

Choilley was chosen for Regimental Headquarters, but 
Chassigny, assigned to the Third Battalion and the Machine 
Gim Company, was probably the most conamodious village 
in the entire district. The First Battalion occupied Percey- 
le-Grand and Percey-le-Petit; the Second BattaHon, Cusey, 
Isome, and Dardenay; the Supply Company, Dommarien — 
all very much alike with red-roofed, ancient gabled houses 
and the ever-present church keeping watchful guard over a 
contented flock. Old-fashioned places, these, but pictiu*- 
esque with a charm all their own. It didn't take many days 
for the men to make themselves at home; to call Therese 
and Madelon by their first names, and wheedle Madame 
into preparing heaping dishes of "French fried" and omelets 
and other dishes that these folks do know how to prepare, 
whatever the doughboy may think they lack in other respects. 

Like most of France, this section of the Haute Marne 
bears many marks of past wars. The history of the age- 
long struggle to stem the invader is written large in crumbling 
Roman ruins, once the outposts of Caesar's legions. At 
Cusey stands a castle which popular report said was con- 
nected by subterranean passageways with a fortress at 
Montsaugeon, three miles away. No one ever verified this, 
just as no one ever verified Captain Feuardent's continual 
discoveries of new ruins. Every fence that turned back an 
inoffensive cow or made a maneuvering doughboy swear 
was, if you believed the Captain, a rampart behind which the 
Gaul had sought to halt Imperial Rome's advance. The 
skepticism with which some of these discoveries were received 
by i^evefe^t Yauks pained the good Captain greatly. 



The Regiment had barely arrived in its training area when 
the j&rst tragedy tinged its career in France. At Percy-le- 
Petit, Sergeant Ray C. Berner, of D Company, seeking 
to rid himself in the canal nearby of the dust of travel, was 
drowned before the eyes of his comrades, who tried frantically, 
but in vain, to save him as he cried for aid and sank from 
view. Three other deaths from drowning followed in rapid 
succession, and then the maintenance of a constant guard 
and rigid regulations governing swimming in the canals 
averted further fatalities. Swimming became then one of 
the joys of life. The canal thereabouts is not exactly a limpid 
stream, but no Atlantic City beach was ever more appre- 
ciated after a hard morning's drill. 

Billets were soon cleaned up and converted into quite 
comfortable houses, much to the surprise of the cows and 
chickens, and within a few days the Regiment was hard at 
work under an intensive drill schedule that called for reveille 
at 5.15, and laid out a program of work that made the days 
at Meade look like a picnic. But with the real thing soon to 
come, there was genuine zest in the drilling, and rapid prog- 
ress in the new formations was made. That little red book 
called ''Offensive of Small Units" came into prominent use, 
and new deployments, grenade throwing, the tactical use of 
the Browning automatic, the use of cover, and the advantage 
of wide intervals — all the lessons which allied experience 
had learned — were impressed and digested with a fervor that 
augured well for future performance. The 79th was the 
first division to be equipped with the Browning, and it was a 
case of love at first sight. French veterans. Captain Feuard- 
ent and Lieutenant Castel, gave valuable advice and super- 
vision in the maneuvers and repeatedly expressed satis- 
faction with the rapid assimilation of the "new" tactics. 
Company M gave a demonstration of the new formations 
before General Kuhn and division officers, and was com- 
phmented on its efficiency. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Knowles was assigned to command of 
the 315th Regiment, and Major Meador was promoted to 
take his place. Major Dodge was transferred to the post of 
making the boys behave in London, and Captain Parkin was 
soon wearing the gold leaf. Colonel Charles remaining in 
command of the Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Meador headed 
the Regiment. On August 14, Brigadier-General Robert 
H. Noble took over the Brigade, and Colonel Charles returned 
to the Regifljent. 

26 



The greenback began vanishing into the mysterious realm 
of nowhere, and in no time at all men were talking of francs 
as though they had never heard of the dollar — but as for 
the sou and centime, in the financial lexicon of the dough- 
boy, there never was "any such animile.'' The "Y" was 
soon selling candy and cigarettes and other odds and ends, 
and occasionally an entertainment with the ever-present 
Slim Kellum, once a 316th man, helped relieve the tedium of 
the evenings. The French civilians enjoyed these shows as 
much as the men in khaki, even if they couldn't understand 
the jargon, just as Private Buck seemed to have no difficulty 
establishing the entente cordiale, though the only French 
word he knew was *'Bon jour." It was some time before he 
acquired *' Promenade avec moi,'^ and still later before he 
mastered "Voulez-vous donner moi une baisser" — but then, 
conversation never was essential in that game — neither in 
Chassigny, nor Marietta, nor Timbuctoo. 

The contingent of officers and non-coms in the "advance 
party" sent ahead from the States had been detailed to 
school, and in August returned with a mass of valuable 
knowledge — the lessons of the Chdteau Thierry Battle 
and the methods that stopped the Germans at the Marne. 
In the same month a second detail of officers and non-coms 
was sent to the Second Corps School at Chatillon, and 
when they returned the Regiment had moved forward into 
the battle area. 



26 



IV 

Staging for the Front 

Rumors of a move to the front had been multipljdng 
during the first week in September, and the Supply Officer 
and the Regimental Surgeon, by their accmnulation of 
suppHes brought indisputable evidence that something was 
in the wind. Meantime, training continued under high 
pressure, and an elaborate maneuver, distant over a day's 
march, was planned. The whole Regiment hiked one fine 
Sunday toward Champlitte and bivouacked in the open 
fields near the village of Piemont, preparatory to Monday's 
maneuver, and several officers were sent ahead to reconnoiter 
the ground. When they returned at dusk to the scene of the 
bivouac not a pup-tent was to be seen. The Regiment had 
received sudden orders to return to billets, no reason given. 
The next day. Labor Day, the routine schedule continued, 
and suddenly, the following Saturday afternoon, September 
7, the march orders were received. Within two hours the 
Third BattaHon, under Major John B. Atwood, marched out 
of Chassigny in a pouring rain and inky black, bivouacking 
at midnight. 

Sunday is ''moving-day'' for the 316th, however, and the 
remainder of the Regiment marched early on the Sabbath, 
September 8, tramping a long road through Coublanc, 
Grenant, Saulles, and Belmont to Genevrieres, where the 
Headquarters and Supply Companies and the Second Bat- 
talion bivouacked for the night, in a driving rain and high 
wind which blew down the pup-tents over the men's heads. 
The First Battalion pushed straight through to Pierrefaites 
and Monterson to the entraining point at La Ferte-sur- 
Amance, where they bivouacked in the mud beside the 
Third Battalion. This first real night of roughing it made a 
great impression on the men, especially when the rainy 
morning showed their heap of rations, only half-covered by 
stingy paulins, soaked through. All that day other organ- 
izations were entraining, and, meantime, the remainder of 
the Regiment arrived, footsore and weary. On the night of 

27 



the 9th and early morning of the 10th the Regiment entrained 
in three separate trains, after distributing rations and board- 
ing horses and freight in the downpour and darkness. 

The route was northward on the Paris-Belfort Line, and 
there was considerable speculation as to the destination; 
no one knew exactly. Finally the Marne Valley was reached, 
a beautiful, grassy country, where cattle grazed in peaceful 
meadows, but the mere sound of the word *' Marne" brought 
curious sensations to the soldiers. Near Chaumont the city 
where General Pershing had Great Headquarters, a train of 
troops from the front was passed. They were loaded on 
flat-cars, and their knocked-up wagons and battered tanks 
and, most of all, their superior air and bantering remarks, 
gave the tenderfoot additional food for thought. Finally, 
in the afternoon, the Regiment arrived in the raihoad yards 
of Revigny, in the Department of the Meuse, north of St. 
Dizier and a trifle northwest of Bar-le-Duc. Revigny had 
been entered by the Germans for a short while, and the 
buildings showed the marks of bombardment. There was 
little time for sight-seeing, however, for, despite rain, mud, 
and approaching darkness, the hike commenced at once for 
billets. Long after nightfall, while the troops were trudging 
along silently, an Italian division *' coming out'' was passed 
on the road. ''Hello, John," was the greeting from the 
American column, and many a surprising answer was 
returned, like, "John yom-self, old fellow; I'm from Brook- 
lyn; what burg are you from? " 

Late in the night the Regiment reached its area, in the 
neighborhood of Robert Espagne, in the towns of Tremont, 
where Regimental Headquarters was located, and Lisle-en- 
Rigault, BriUon and Combles. The morning of the 11th 
brought a little sunshine, and the view of a richer and more 
citified region than the tiny farmland villages of the Haute 
Marne, and the soldiers had visions of a few weeks of this 
staging game. On that evening, however, a great fleet of 
allied aeroplanes passed overhead, flying eastward, probably 
a bombing party, and visions of war displaced thoughts of 
vin rouge. It took two days to thaw out the chill and 
stiffness of the recent heavy hikes and nights of sleep on the 
sodden earth, and on the evening of the 13th orders came to 
be prepared to ''go in." Barrack bags filled with surplusage 
had been stored in the training area, but this departure 
saw a new sloughing of equipment thought necessary before 
those days of hiking, and before dusk the Regiment was 

28 



ready. A long column of outlandish camions drew into the 
towns, driven by Chinese from the French Asiatic possessions. 
The motor trucks were quite large, holding twenty-two men, 
by pinching, but their structure looked light compared with 
the great American trucks; and the French blue war color 
and the fur-coated Chinese, drooping on their seats from 
lack of sleep, surely made a scene from Mars for the saucer- 
eyed doughboy. 

On the road to Bar-le-Duc, after dark, the whole train 
assembled, over four hundred camions, and snaked along 
through the darkness. Not a light was allowed, not even a 
cigarette, and this latter discomfort gave the first taste of 
the harshness of war. The city of Bar-le-Duc was shrouded 
in darkness, being a target for enemy bombing expeditions, 
and few of the soldiers even knew they were passing through 
the home of gooseberry jam. From Bar-le-Duc the long 
convoy took the main Verdun highway through Issoncourt 
and Heippes, villages which they later learned to know so 
well. Many a one will long remember the chilly night ride, 
bumping around from one side of the truck to the other, 
while the Chinese drivers droned their continual sing-song 
on the seat ahead. Several trucks were ditched that night, 
but fortunately there were no casualties. The supply 
trains took a road practically paralleling to the west the 
main highway, and Captain Christensen led his train and 
the one-pounders via Vavincourt, Ippecourt, Marats-la- 
Grande, Chaumont-sur-Aire, St. Andre and Brabant-en- 
Argonne. The troop column branched off the main highway 
north of Souilly, turning westward through Nixeville to 
Bier court, on the Paris-Metz Highroad. 

This highway, which in this section runs west from 
Verdun into the Argonne Forest, was the main lateral 
communication behind the lines which the Division was to 
take over. The name, Blercourt, had been whispered about 
the day before as the destination of the train, but no one 
then knew that Blercourt lay only twelve kilometers south- 
west of Verdun. The Argonne, to the west, was a strange 
word to the Regiment, and the Meuse, running northwesterly 
through Verdun, was only a geographical name. Hill 304 
and Le Mort Homme, which lay in the sector the 79th 
Division was to take over, were well known to every Amer- 
ican, but perhaps it was well on that chilly morning of 
September 14 that no one knew of these historic places ahead. 

The desolation which the dawn brought to view was 

29 



sufficient shock for one day. As soon as light broke in the 
gray skies, the train stopped, the men were tumbled out 
into the main road, and the long train stole away, before the 
enemy aeroplanes could learn that thousands of troops were 
concentrating between the Meuse and the Argonne. All 
about was devastation and ruin, and not a sign of the culti- 
vation which had been so lovely in the Haute Marne. 
Muddy paths ran in every direction through the open fields, 
always into the woods, where the troops had to conceal 
themselves from aerial observation. With scarcely time to 
get their bearings, the men were marched to cover, the 
Second Battalion to the hillside northeast of Blercourt and 
the First Battalion into Brocourt Wood, south of Dombasle. 
The Third Battalion, which did not arrive until the following 
day, was placed in the Camp de Sivry in the woods north of 
Blercourt. Headquarters and separate units moved on the 
first morning from Blercourt to Dombasle several kilometers 
west, and then northward into a valley camp in the woods. 
The column hastened to reach cover before it was discovered. 
In these woodland camps the Regiment had its first 
experience of "life at the front." The huts and shacks, 
half underground, built of tar paper on boards or corrugated 
iron, may have been vacated only a day before by the 
French, but they had the deserted appearance of a year of 
abandonment, bare, cheerless shelters. On the path leading 
to one of the camps was a French military cemetery, with its 
blue-painted crosses and white, blue and red tin rosettes. 
The supply train had not yet arrived, and the men had only 
their reserve of corned-beef and hard bread to eat. No 
water near at hand, no place to sit down, no bunks — it was 
all new and cold and strange. Captain Feuardent and 
Lieutenant Castel, the French officers attached to the 
Regiment, and Interpreter Berkowitz, however, felt at 
home, and the men were not slow in learning from them. 
First of all came a scurry and scramble through the huts for 
a pan, a stove, a piece of pipe, a bucket, anything, and then 
came the search for water. "It is necessary to make one's 
self comfortable, '' remarked Captain Feuardent, lugging a 
small wooden table into the luxurious 6 by 8 quarters of 
Colonel Charles. The next experience was watching aero- 
planes, which were very active over this front. Troops were 
not allowed on the roads at all by day. As soon as an 
enemy plane appeared, the anti-aircraft guns opened on 
them, flecking the sky with puffs of smoke. 

30 



During the ensuing days several changes in location of 
battalions were made, in order to bring the Regiment into 
more advantageous positions. Regimental Headquarters 
was established at Dombasle-en-Argonne, near the head- 
quarters of the 158th Infantry Brigade, and the First Bat- 
taUon, which had been bombed on the first night in Brocourt 
Wood, was moved north of Dombasle to Camp de Normandie. 
The Second Battalion was moved close by into Le Deffoy 
Wood, and the Third Battalion was marched on the night of 
the 14th, the day of its arrival, into the Bois de Dombasle, 
near the Supply Company. On the 18th, Regimental Head- 
quarters was also moved into that wood, into a French 
camp called du Fer a Cheval. Finally, on September 20, with 
the Second Battalion still in Camp Deffoy, the Regiment 
concentrated in Camp de Normandie, about six kilometers 
behind the front lines. This was a most noisome place, 
on account of its proximity to the front, and especially 
because of the continual rains. There were a number of 
deep gallery shelters or dugouts, each holding several hundred 
men, but they were so foul and chilly and damp, dripping 
with water and overrun with rats, that the men preferred to 
pitch pup-tents in the wet grass of the woods. In these 
nights of waiting, and in the daytime too, the Regiment had 
its first experience with bombing and shell-fire, although 
there were no casualties. Several night gas-alarms were 
given, perhaps passed along from the front lines or neigh- 
boring sectors by the night sound of a gong or Klaxon. 
Interpreter Berkowitz became very angry after the first 
rude awakening: ''Gas! Eet is im-poss-se-bil; there was no 
burst of shell." 

The interpreter was not the only one who finally decided 
that it was ''im-poss-se-bil." The very first night had 
demonstrated that all is not gas that growls. An anxious 
lieutenant, seeking the cause of the alarm and all the 
wild alarum, came across three M. P. sentries grinding 
their Klaxons like mad. The lieutenant, of course, had his 
gas-mask on, but not so the M. P.'s. They were having the 
time of their lives. The "loot," chagrin mixed with annoy- 
ance, pulled his mask off and asked where in the the 

gas was and what the dickens was all the noise about. 

"Oh," said the M. P.'s calmly, "we aint smelt no gas, but 
orders is to pass on the alarm and we're doin' it." 

After that many a man, as he heard the raucous call, 
simply turned over in his hole and said drowsily to his 

31 



equally indifferent buddie, "Bill, if there's really gas wake 
me up, but darn them Klaxons." 

However, more cautious brothers slept all night in gas- 
masks, and some few learned to like it. 

Between Camp de Normandie and the American lines 
stretched many a winding boyau through the thick woods, 
reminiscent of the mighty days of Verdun. In there many 
units snatched a bit of hasty training and got something of 
the ''feel" of the trenches — which, no matter how apparently 
simple they look on a map, are always a strange and inextri- 
cable maze to the novice. Through these woods also ran 
miles and miles of wire and some hurried experience in cutting 
lanes and tracing their puzzling course was obtained. There 
was little realization then that the Regiment was to go into 
a great drive without a turn in the trenches, but oppor- 
tunities at hand to "get acquainted" were not wasted. 

Those first trips were eye-openers. Camp de Normandie, 
with its thick foliage and sturdy trees, gave a sense of security 
to green troops — ostrich-like as that feeling may have been. 
But as one emerged from the forest into the rocky, rugged 
boyau to the front lines — the trenches ahead and No Man's 
Land beyond lay bare and exposed under the summer sun. 
No Man's Land — grim phrase — menacing and sinister it 
looked to the unaccustomed eyes of officers and non-coms 
sent forward to familiarize themselves with the sector held 
by the 315th. This sector was officially called the "Hill 304 
Sector," but to the Americans it was known as the "Avo- 
court-Malancourt Sector" because the lines stretched 
between those towns. Avocourt lay within the American 
lines — Malancourt within the German. Hill 304, held at 
such frightful cost by the French, was on the right and within 
the Divisional Sector. The 315th Infantry, with head- 
quarters at Cote 309, had taken over the lines of the 157th 
French Division. 

Around the railhead at Dombasle and Blercourt vast 
stores of military material had been observed, but suspicion 
that a great drive was impending did not crystallize until 
after the Regiment reached Camp de Normandie, in the 
neighborhood of which, heavy cannon and naval guns were 
being emplaced. The Regiment fully expected after a few 
weeks to relieve the 315th Infantry and take a turn in the 
Hill 304 Sector for purposes of trench training. The expected 
relief was commenced on the night of September 24-25, 
when the First Battalion and the Machine Gun Company 

32 



of the 316th relieved corresponding units of the''315th in the 
trenches west of the village of Esnes and of Hill 304. Major 
Harry D. Parkin, commanding the First Battalion, had his 
headquarters in a small trench dugout called *'P. C. 
Copinard." 

That very first night suspicion became pretty certain that 
a drive was about to take place; for large details were sent 
out into the front lines to cut wide gaps in the barbed wire 
entanglements in front of the trenches. On the following 
day, the 25th of September, the certainty of a great drive 
was increased; for captive balloons were moved forward 
close behind the trenches. Tanks rumbled all day up the 
road from Dombasle, past Camp de Normandie, and heavy 
guns mounted on tractors were moved into position. On 
that afternoon Colonel Charles assembled the battalion 
conamanders at the headquarters of the 315th Infantry 
which had now become the headquarters of the 158th 
Brigade, under Brigadier-General Robert E. Noble, and in 
that place a conference of all the field officers of the Brigade 
was held, outlining the plans for the drive of September 26. 

Even at the meeting of the field officers of the Brigade on \ 
the afternoon of September 25, the day and hour of the 
attack were not announced. The orders were merely to | 
attack at "H hour on D day.^* The scheme for the move- , 
ment, however, was carefully elaborated. The 145th \ 
Regiment of the 37th Division was to attack on the left, and j 
the 4th Division was to attack on the right. For the 79th 
Division, lying between, the 157th Infantry Brigade with 
the 313th Infantry on the left and the 314th Infantrj'^ on 
the right, were to lead the advance, followed at 1,000 meters 
by the 316th and the 315th Regiments. The assault was to I 
be preceded by an unprecedented artillery preparation, there 
being at the disposal of the 79th Division alone 23 batteries 
of light field artillery, 12 batteries of heavy artillery, and 12 
heavy trench mortars. The 316th Infantry was to be 
disposed with the Third Battalion under Major John B. 
Atwood on the right and with the First Battalion under 
Major Parkin on the left. The Second Battalion, under 
Captain Alan W. Lukens, was assigned to Brigade Reserve, 
and was to follow the advance until called upon. The 
Regimental Machine Gun Company, under Captain Laur- 
iston E. Knowlton, and Company C, 312th Machine Gun 
Battalion, were attached to the assaulting battalions, together 
with the three one-pounder guns from the Headquarters 

33 



Company under Lieutenant Herbert V. Lindsay. E Com- 
pany was designated to act as a combat contact patrol with 
the 37th Division on the left, and A and I Companies were 
named as Regimental Reserve, the latter being split up to 
furnish pioneer and carrying details. Five platoons of F 
Company were separated to be moppers-up behind the 
advancing battalions. The battahons were to be ''echeloned 
in depth" in approach formation. The 343d Tank Company 
of the 15th French Battalion, with two wireless tanks, 
was to be attached to the Regiment for duty. Lieutenant 
Robert B. Miller and Lieutenant Howard G. Nichols were 
sent to the 37th Division as liaison officers and Lieutenant 
Michael D. Clofine, Lieutenant William S. Hager, and 
Lieutenant George E. Geiser, Jr., were sent to the two Bri- 
gade Headquarters to maintain liaison with the Regiment. 

At dusk the troops commenced moving from Camp de 
Normandie toward the front, the Second Battahon dropping 
off in the Bois de Chattancourt, near Division Headquarters, 
as brigade reserve. The Third Battalion advanced, follow- 
ing their guides through the Bois d'Esnes, which was scarcely 
more than a scanty patch of underbrush after the inter- 
mittent shelling of several years, up to a position behind the 
First Battalion. Meantime, Regimental Headquarters was 
estabhshed in P. C. Copinard, the First Battalion forming 
itself in the trenches ready for the jump-off. 



34 



V 

Montfaucon and Beyond 

The Meuse-Argonne offensive, to commence on the 
morning of September 26, is of tremendous historical impor- 
tance. The German Hnes, from Switzerland to the North Sea, 
were still practically intact, and in the great allied drive 
which ended the war, the hinge of the whole operation was 
assigned to America, to break the main enemy communi- 
cations through Montmedy and Sedan, and thus imperil the 
whole German army. On the right of the movement, running 
south through Verdun, was the Meuse River, and on the 
left, the Argonne Forest, whose ravines, hills, and elaborate 
defenses concealed by dense thickets had been considered 
impregnable. In the American lines, the 79th Division held 
a place of honor, facing the formidable citadel of Montfaucon. 

Throughout the memorable night of September 25-26, 
P. C. Copinard had been a bee-hive, crowded with battalion 
and company commanders who assembled to receive copies 
of the Field Orders and to have maps, which had just been 
distributed, marked with sector lines for the advance. It 
was only at that time that it was learned that the formidable 
stronghold of Montfaucon, the famous hill citadel, was 
inamediately in the sector of the Regiment. From the front 
line trenches, Montfaucon lay distant over six kilometers 
beyond the wild tangle of No Man's Land, the impregnable 
system of German wire entanglements and trenches, and a 
series of easily defended hills and patches of woods. As the 
ofl&cers studied their maps it seemed like an impossible 
objective. 

At 11 H, while the officers worked in the dugout, digesting 
maps and orders, the brooding silence outside was suddenly 
shattered. On the right, on the left, from far behind the 
line, the American heavy artillery had opened — a steady 
fire that smashed what remnants of Malancourt may still 
have remained; that shattered strongholds on Montfaucon 
Hill, and poured pitiless destruction into a hundred strategic 
enemy points located by the diligent work of French and 
American intelligence staffs. 

35 



It was not until 2 H 30 in the morning, however, that the 
real bombardment began. Then all the guns in the greatest 
concentration of artillery the world had ever known up to 
that time, joined in a monstrous chorus of destruction. The 
316th was on the roads by that time, groping its way forward, 
still but faintly conscious of the immensity of the struggle 
about to open. Like a hundred rending volcanoes, the 
American and French 75's right behind them, tore away the 
black veil of night in thunderclaps of flame. It was the first 
time these men had been in front of the fire of their own guns. 
For a dazed moment there was a gasp of something like panic 
— scores dropped into the gutters beside the road — and then 
the true nature of all that cataclysm dawned on them, and 
somewhat sheepishly they rose to view in awe the spectacle 
imfolded. A thousand gorgeous sunsets — extinguished in a 
second, recreated in a moment — unceasing rolls of thunder, 
a night indelibly written in memory. 

And meantime, without interruption, the company com- 
manders were busily at work placing their men for the 
jump-off, the Third Battalion moving into position on a line 
with the right of the First, the men shoulder to shoulder in 
the trenches. 
\ Promptly at 5 H 30 the American fire lifted and became a 
I rolling barrage, and the 313th Infantry went over the top 
' into No Man's Land. Zero hour had arrived — the American 
doughboy for miles to east and west was opening the Meuse- 
Argonne Drive and lifting the curtain on the last act of 
history's greatest drama. The German giins, which up to 
that moment had remained ominously silent, now burst 
forth on the American hues. The 316th in support, kept its 
eyes on the advancing lines, waiting for the 313th to gain the 
slated 1,000 meters. The sharp tac-tac-tac of machine guns 
cut through even that frightful din. A colunm of small 
tanks, hke ugly ducklings, waddled its way through the 
waiting lines, clumsily but efficiently crossing shell-hole 
craters and trenches. The assaulting column moved on. 
: At 6 H 00 the required 1,000 yards had been gained, and 
the 316th stepped out into its first real baptism of fire. 
No Man's Land was everywhere torn and gashed with great 
shell-holes, 15 to 20 feet deep, many of them tangles of 
briar. No roads — no paths of any kind — were here to serve 
as landmarks, and maintaining contact became at once a 
trying problem. The compass was the only guide, and the 

36 



line advanced slowly, with company commanders striving 
constantly to keep liaison. 

'^Boyau 6" winds through the Bois de Malancourt, and 
part of the Regiment struggled forward over its rocky bottom 
as the 313th, now well out in front, moved on. At a turn in » 
the boyau, as the head of the column approached, there lay 
a group of grotesquely huddled figures in American O. D. 
The man in the lead putting his hand to the shoulder of one 
of these figures drew it away sharply in swift enlightenment — 
murmured a barely audible, ''Dead!" and stumbled on. 
The column followed. It was the 316th's first sight of 
grim horror. War had all at once taken on a new meaning. 

In No Man's Land for a goodly distance the Regiment 
moved on without loss — undisturbed save by artillery 
shelling, usually wide of its mark. As the Boche part of the 
Bois de Malancourt was neared, there was a queer bzz-zz-zz 
overhead, an instant's puzzled speculation as to what the 
devil that might be — and then that much taught lesson in 
the little red book on the importance of "keeping down" 
was being graphically illustrated. 

The assaulting regiment, moving steadily ahead, had 
unsuspectingly passed by a nimiber of concealed machine- 
gun nests, and the Boche gunners were now demonstrating 
to the 316th that being in support meant nothing — just less 
than nothing in the way of immunity. Followed a speedy 
issuing of orders to platoon commanders, cautious flank 
movements, and the Regiment was sending back its first 
prisoners, casting a hasty glimpse at its first war trophies, 
and leaving behind, sprawled under a torrid sun now high in 
the heavens, its first dead and wounded. It was this char- 
acter of fighting which marked the entire Meuse-Argonne 
action. Concealed machine gunners, allowing the first lines 
to pass on, opened up on the second, and either bravely 
fought to an inevitable finish or shouted ''Kamarad" in time 
to save their lives. 

The Regimental Headquarters was established by noon in 
the Tranch^e de Cuisine, the French name for the German 
front line. Nearby, at the entrance to a dugout, lay a 
number of dead Germans, surprised at their posts by the 
sudden American bombardment. At this P. C, Captain 
Feuardent entered the dugout with an empty pistol on an 
excursion of curiosity, and brought up three Germans, 
piteously crying "Kamarad." By mid-afternoon the Regi- 
ment had left the Bois de Malancourt, crossing Golfe de 

37 



Malancourt, an open space heavily wired and entrenched 
around a strong redoubt, and had entered the Bois de Cuisy, 
where they had overcome some machine gun and sniper 
resistance. In these woods Captain Frederick A. Van Dyke 
was wounded by a sniper bullet, which put a hole through 
his identification tag and tucked it away, underneath his 
collar bone. 

In the late afternoon a reorganization of the line was 
effected in this old German line of main resistance about the 
Golfe de Malancourt, and the Regiment spent the night with 
the First Battalion around the Regimental Headquarters on 
the southeastern edge of the Bois de Cuisy and the Third 
Battalion in German trenches west of Malancourt. The 
Second Battalion, still in Brigade Reserve, was nearby in 
the Bois de Cuisy. Detachments of the Third Battalion 
followed the 313th Infantry until 18 H 35 toward Mont- 
faucon, running into various minor engagements. That 
night was very cool and a light rain commenced to fall, 
chilling the men to the bone. All the canteens were empty, 
the American fire had broken the elaborate system of German 
water pipes, and no water was to be found. 

At 6 H 45 on September 27 the advance was resumed, the 
Regiment still in support of the 313th. Two hours later 
notice was received at Regimental Headquarters that the 
313th and 316th Regiments now composed the 157th Infantry 
Brigade, the 316th being thereby shifted from the 158th 
Brigade in a provisional reorganization of brigades. 

With dawn of the 27th the men had explored the German 
trenches and found a number of dugouts with peeled potatoes 
in kettles on the stoves, ready for boiling, pots of acorn 
coffee, already brewed, cheese, and small bags of musty, 
tasteless biscuit. There were many valuables left behind 
by men who had fled in a hurry, but the men knew the weight 
of a pack, and had not yet acquired the souvenir habit. For 
water the men had to collect rain in their mess kits. 

At 9 H 08 Major Parkin reported that the 313th Infantry 
was attacking Montfaucon. Emerging from the Bois de 
Cuisy, the town of Montfaucon, a kilometer and a half to 
the north, dominates the skyline. It crowned the crest of a 
hill commanding the whole countryside, and had long held 
the name of being an impregnable stronghold. The ground 
lay entirely open and exposed from the woods up to the town, 
and any advance would have to descend an open slope, cross 
a valley, and then ascend the wired and entrenched citadel. 

38 



Observation from the town was perfect. Most of the houses 
in the town had been leveled by American artillery fire, but 
the church, later completely ruined, on September 27 still 
reared a proud silhouette against the sky. 

The 313th Infantry fought its way through this strong- 
hold, with the First Battalion of the 316th in close support, 
the Third Battalion holding the right of the sector and follow- 
ing up to the east between Fayel Farm and the eastern edge 
of the town. At 12 H 50 Colonel Sweezey, commanding the 
313th, despatched a message asking for a battalion of the 
316th to protect his Regiment from counter-attack while he 
reorganized. The First Battalion was immediately closed up 
in the town, and Companies G and H of the Brigade Reserve 
sent to join it. Major Atwood reported at 13 H 00 that the 
First and Third Battalions were following the 313th, which 
had passed beyond Montf aucon, and that the lines were under 
heavy artillery fire. The First Battalion reported at 14 H 37 
that it was organizing defensive positions in shell-holes 
along the northern base of the town, with the 313th fighting 
in the open groimd immediately north of them. Captain 
Fatzinger and Captain Hewit, with two platoons from C and 
F Companies, went forward with the 313th in the attack 
against the Bois de Beuge on that afternoon. 

The advance was halted in the open fields north of Mont- 
faucon by the Germans, who were strongly organized with 
machine guns and mortars in the Bois de Beuge, lying ahead, 
and who had responsive artillery support. The American 
lines on that night lay in the open ground between Mont- 
faucon and the Bois de Beuge, the outposts moving up to the 
embankment of a railroad skirting the woods on the south. 
The 316th Infantry lay in the immediate rear of the 313th 
at the northern base of Montf aucon, along the road to 
Cierges, the road to Nantillois and back of Bois de Bigors. 
The Regimental P. C. remained in a German dugout a 
thousand meters south of Montf aucon. 

At 2 H 30 on the morning of September 28, the Intelligence 
Officer of the 313th came from Brigade Headquarters with 
verbal orders for the 316th to relieve the 313th at Mont- 
f aucon and to attack at 7 H 00 on September 28. Colonel 
Charles with his staff immediately went forward to the top 
of the hill, and at the church in Montfaucon gave personal 
instructions to his battalion commanders for the attack on 
that date. At 4 H 00 Regimental Headquarters was estab- 
lished with the headquarters of the 313th in the graveyard just 

39 



below the church on the eastern slope of the hill. At 5 H 00 
the German artillery fell heavily on the American hnes, and 
headquarters was driven to the eastern base of the hiU 
where it was located at the beginning of the attack. Mont- 
faucon had fallen, but ahead to the north lay in succession 
three wood-crowned hills, Bois de Beuge, Bois 268 and Bois 
250. To approach all these it was necessary to cross open 
valleys with no shelter whatever, and then ascend the slope 
to the woods, subject to sweeping machine-gun fire. The 
ground lent itself easily to observation by the enemy of any 
movement that might be attempted. 

At 7 H 00 the attack was launched, the troops immedi- 
ately falling under heavy artillery fire. As soon as the 
advancing lines came within range of machine-gun fire from 
the edge of Bois de Beuge, a terrific rain of bullets descended 
upon them. The lines dropped, automatics opened a 
sputtering reply, here and there a group rushed, dropped and 
crawled cautiously; the lines crept on — forward; delayed, 
harassed, terribly punished — but on, their dead behind them, 
their tortured wounded moaning to the winds that most 
heartbreaking cry of the battlefield: "First aid, this way; 
first aid, this way." German artillery, some of it from 
beyond the distant Meuse, dropped a hail of shrapnel and 
high explosives; machine guns spewed the ground with a 
deadly shower — the Regiment crawled on. 

At 8 H 51 Major Atwood sent the following message: 
''Our troops now entering southern edge of Bois de Beuge." 
Nine minutes later he was killed. 

The advance into this woods had cost the Regiment 
heavily. It had stripped many companies almost completely 
of their officers and in the ranks had taken a ghastly toll. 
The morning of September 28 gave the 316th full reali- 
zation of war in its grimmest reality. In the inevitable 
confusion many units were almost entirely isolated, despite 
the imflagging efforts of runners to re-establish contact. 

L Company thus for a time found itself virtually alone, and, 
like other units, struggled on beyond the general line into 
withering flanking fire. Its leader. Captain Charles E. 
Loane, Jr., was wounded, and among its platoon leaders. 
Lieutenant Albert C. Wunderlich was killed and Lieutenant 
Clarence W. Renshawe incapacitated by shell shock. Among 
the Regiment's killed that morning were Major Atwood, 
Captain Percy F. Burrage, Lieutenant John H. Fox; among 
the wounded. Captain Robert C. Fatzinger, Lieutenant 

40 



Burrlie M. Odom, Lieutenant Norman L. Botsford, Lieu- 
tenant Earle P. Burdick, Lieutenant Daniel J. Dougherty, 
Lieutenant John J. Sheridan, Lieutenant Charles M. Sincell, 
Lieutenant Robert P. Stout, Lieutenant Arlington B. Evans, 
Lieutenant Charles E. McKillips, Lieutenant Phillipus 
Miller, Lieutenant Eastman M. Sanborn, Lieutenant James 
M. Hamilton, Lieutenant Thomas M. Rikeman, Lieutenant 
Hank Welling and Lieutenant Charles J. Hurley, Jr. 

The Bois de Beuge was very dense with underbrush, being 
almost impenetrable, excepting by several narrow paths, 
through which the troops pushed. On the northern edge 
was a great German P. C. covered with heavy steel plates, 
but there was no time to explore. In spite of unabated 
artillery fire over the whole front, and in spite of another 
open approach to wood-crowned '*268", the advance con- 
tinued. At 13 H 42 Captain John McI. Somers, commanding 
the Third Battalion after the death of Major Atwood, 
reported, ^' We are at 10.2-8L8, on assigned sector, with right 
on the Nantillois-Cunel Road." This line was on the crest 
running through Bois 268, the second wood beyond Mont- 
faucon to be captured that morning. One platoon of G 
Company under Lieutenant Chambers succeeded in crossing 
the next open space over the crest, reaching the tip of the 
next woods, near Madeleine Farm. 

The First Battalion was in Woods 268 on the left half of 
the sector, and the Second Battalion lay in the valley immedi- 
ately south of it. In the afternoon the Regiment was 
reorganized in these woods, the Regimental P. C. being 
established on the southeastern tip. The French Tank 
Company, which had followed the troops in the attack 
through Bois de Beuge, maneuvered west of Nantillois and 
then retired to Montfaucon. 

All day the German artillery violently shelled the entire 
area, including Montfaucon and the road south of it. It was 
here while with the Regimental Supply Train that Lieutenant 
Romaine Shepard was mortally wounded. 

The reconnaissance of the ground ahead of 268 showed 
another open space of about 500 meters and then a wedge- 
shaped wood called *'250." To the east of this wood, just 
off the regimental sector and along the Nantillois-Cunel 
Road, in an open space of the Bois des Ogons, lay Madeleine 
Farm, marked with a great Red Cross. To the west of 
*'250" lay an open draw studded with a few patches of 

41 



brush concealing machine-gun nests, and behind them lay 
Cote 250 and then the town of Romagne. 

At dark Lieutenant Chambers' platoon was drawn out of 
Woods 250, and the Regiment spent the night on the northern 
tip of Bois 268 in a heavy rain, being harassed by machine- 
gun fire and occasional shelling. 

On Sunday morning, September 29, the fourth day of the 
drive, the 316th was ordered to attack from Bois 268. As 
the troops debouched from the woods they were met on the 
brow of the slope by terrific machine-gun fire from the 
woods ahead and crossfire from the flanks, the bushes in the 
open valley to the northwest, and from Madeleine Farm, 
with its red-cross flag. Captain Benjamin H. Hewit, Lieu- 
tenant Daniel S. Keller, Adjutant of the First Battalion, and 
Lieutenant Fitzharris, Third Battalion Intelhgence Officer, 
were killed a few hundred yards ahead of "268." Lieutenant 
Ivan L. Lautenbacher was mortally wounded, and Lieutenant 
Richard Y. Naill, Intelligence Officer of the First Battalion, 
Lieutenant John J. Pickard, and Lieutenant Charles M. 
Hoffman were wounded. The lines were greatly depleted by 
severe losses, and the advance on the left, exposed to fire 
from front and flank was checked 300 meters north of *'268." 
On the right, however, a number of men dashed into the edge 
of the woods, about fifty in number, under Captain Somers, 
Lieutenants Murdock, Home and Bliss. This heroic group 
fought ahead through the woods, struggling hand to hand 
with machine gunners, and established a scattered defensive 
line just inside the northern edge of Woods 250, holding this 
position all day. Meantime, orders arrived from the 157th 
Brigade for a reorganization and a second attack in the 
afternoon with the reorganized 313th Infantry in the advance 
and the 316th Infantry, consolidated as one battalion under 
command of Major Parkin, following at 600 meters. The 
attack was launched at 14 H 00, and again through the 
enemy barrage the troops advanced across the open into the 
thick underbrush of Woods 250. The 313th Infantry had 
received orders to withdraw, and Major Parkin's men, alone, 
pushed ahead into the woods, joining the small band that had 
been in the northern edge since morning. The woods were 
swept by heavy enemy artillery fire which killed a great 
many of the men. It was in these woods that Captain Alan 
W. Lukens met his death. 

The artillery barrage of the enemy also inflicted heavy- 
casualties in the vicinity of Regimental Headquarters on the 

42 



edge of 268. Shortly after the attack commenced, a bursting 
high explosive killed Regimental Sergeant-Major Harold 
H. Bair, and Colonel Charles, who was dictating a message 
to him at the time, was wounded in the thigh. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Robert L. Meador was given temporary command of 
the Regiment. 

At 15 H 50 a message was received from Brigade Head- 
quarters to reorganize and establish a defensive line on the 
northern edge of the Bois de Beuge. At various intervals 
messages were sent forward into the woods to the First 
Battalion, but the runners never lived to deliver their 
messages. The First Battalion remained in the woods, 
penetrating them against snipers and machine guns, to the 
very tip of the Bois de Cunel, where the dead bodies of 
members of the Regiment were found later by the Graves 
Registration Service. The regiments on the right and left 
had faUed to reach the line of the woods, and there the 
battalion remained, without support. At dusk, Lieutenant 
Goetz, who had been in the woods with Major Parkin, 
returned to the Regimental P. C. with the news that the 
unit was still in the woods, never having received orders to 
withdraw. An officer was sent to the artillery to postpone 
fire which might be directed upon the woods, and Lieutenant 
Goetz returned to Major Parkin with orders to withdraw 
after dark, finding his way across the battlefield to the lone 
battalion. At 21 H 00, Major Parkin started back from the 
woods with 160 men, and a few minutes later, shells from the 
American artillery commenced dropping in the woods behind 
them. That night a defensive line was thrown out in shell- 
holes several hundred yards in front of the Bois de Beuge, 
with the 145th Infantry on the left and the 315th on the 
right. 

All day Monday the Regiment held this position in the 
Bois de Beuge, the companies reorganizing to permit more 
effective defense. The enemy harassed the woods with shell 
fire. 

Meanwhile relief had become imperative, not only on 
account of constantly mounting losses, but because of the 
impossibility of getting food and water to the men. The 
road to the supply dumps was choked and jammed to a dead 
standstill, holding up ammunition and supplies of every 
description, and tying up many ambulances with their 
loads of wounded. At 16 H 00 the veteran Third Division 
appeared behind the hill of Montfaucon and, in unwavering 

43 



lines of section columns, advanced through heavy fire and 
effected the relief. 

The Regiment was then led back under a fire of high explo- 
sive, shrapnel and gas, which inflicted several casualties, 
including the wounding of Captain James P. Montgomery. 
South of Montfaucon the column was reorganized, and the 
Regiment marched as a unit into Malancourt, reaching that 
devastated village after dark. The whole Division was 
concentrated in the vicinity, and the troops spent the night 
in the open, without blankets, in shell-holes amid the barbed 
wire entanglements southwest of the ruined town. The 
enemy kept dropping heavy shells into Malancourt all night. 

The following morning, October 1, the cold, weary men, 
who had not seen more than a few cans of corned beef with 
a little hard bread since September 25, commenced the 
march back to Camp de Normandie. The road, built 
immediately after the advance across No Man's Land by the 
Engineers, from Malancourt to Avocourt, was followed, the 
infantry worming their way through the congestion of trucks, 
ambulances and artillery, which plowed hub deep through 
the mud. In nmnerous places the roadway had been blown 
up by mines left by the retreating enemy. In the middle of 
the afternoon the men dragged themselves into their old 
camp of the week before. Without waiting for hot food to 
be prepared, they gulped their bread, molasses, and coffee 
and went to sleep under the sky with minds far from the 
din and roar of battle. They little gloried that they had 
participated in the greatest drive of the war, and that 
although inexperienced and untried, they had forged ahead 
thirteen kilometers to the very tip of the Bois de Cunel, 
broken a line of trenches thought impregnable, assisted in the 
downfall of Montfaucon, the great prize of the 79th Division, 
and captured and consolidated the Bois de Beuge, making 
safe the conquered citadel. 



44 



VI 

The Troyon Sector 

The Regiment remained in Camp de Normandie and 
Camp Deffoy, to the south of it, until the evening of 
October 3, when a march to the south was ordered. Visions 
of billets and "Repos," about which they had read, entered 
the soldiers' minds as they trudged silently through the 
darkness. The march proceeded via Banth^ville, Sivry la 
Perche, and then across the Blercourt Road via Nixeville 
and the Bois de Nixeville, which was reached at 2 H 00 on 
the following morning. After marching through the roads, 
knee deep in mud from recent rains, the troops bivouacked 
in the sodden woods. On the afternoon of that day, October 
4, the Regiment, depleted to 1,858 men and worn out from 
the Montfaucon operation, marched via Lempire, Dugny, 
Ancemont, where it crossed the Meuse, and proceeded via 
Dieue and Genicourt to Rupt-en-Woevre, arriving there 
after a most wearisome hike at midnight. Utterly exhausted, 
the men crept into any billet whatever, and slept like logs 
on the floors or in rude bunks without straw. The comfort of 
a roof was blessing enough. 

On October 5 the Regiment rested, and washed, and 
exercised itself only to the extent of fighting for the few 
sticks of firewood in the village, which had been badly dam- 
aged by enemy fire. That night the enemy planes whirred 
overhead, feeling with their bombs for the railhead at 
Rattentout, a few kilometers distant, and the doughboys 
decided that, after all, *'Repos'' is not quite the same as 
advertised. This conviction grew the next morning, when 
two hours of *' Squads Right" were ordered, and the happy- 
go-lucky soldier took great pleasure when a formation in the 
streets was broken up by the appearance of an enemy plane 
in the heavens, and everyone scurried for cover. When the 
first sergeants tried to find their companies they found them 
all "under cover," where they remained the rest of the day. 
While here Colonel Oscar J. Charles, who had been wounded 
north of Montfaucon, was relieved of command, which 
passed to Lieutenant-Colonel Robert L. Meador. 



The general pleasures of "Repos" were abruptly ended on 
the evening of October 6, when the Regiment was concen- 
trated after dark for a hike to the front, through the rain. 
With the recollection of Montfaucon fresh in mind, the 
soldier plodded through the pitch black up a slippery hill 
road, through Mouilly to the Grand Tranch^e de Calonne 
Road, which ran several kilometers behind the lines roughly 
parallel to the new front, which had been but recently won 
in the St. Mihiel drive. The whole Regiment bivouacked 
again that night in Le Chanot Bois, near Dommartin la 
Montague. 

^' Muddy Monday," October 7, was spent in Le Chanot 
Bois, waiting to effect a relief that night of units of the 26th 
Division. The wood occupied had been recently taken from 
the enemy in the St, Mihiel drive, and the men, skirmishing 
through its paths, found great stores of anununition left by 
the Germans in their hasty retreat. The concrete dugouts 
were a marvel to behold. During the day details of officers 
were sent forward to reconnoiter the new front, the Troy on 
Sector, so named from the town to the rear on the Meuse 
River, which was the seat of Division Headquarters. The 
sector lay on the northwestern part of the St. Mihiel advance, 
and Colonel McCaskey, who was later to join the Regiment, 
had, with the 104th Infantry, driven the Germans out of this 
very front. As Montfaucon lay about twenty kilometers 
to the northwest of Verdun, the Troyon Sector lay a bit over 
twenty kilometers to the southeast of Verdun, on the pro- 
longation of a line from Montfaucon through Verdun. 

The line of main resistance ran from northwest to south- 
east along a remarkable line of wooded cliffs, the Cotes de 
Meuse, which ran fingers out into the plains of the Woevre. 
These hills dropped precipitously over one hundred and 
fifty feet to the open plains below, and observation was 
perfect. Consequently, to overcome the disadvantage 
against them the Germans held their lines about six kilo- 
meters away from the base of the hills, and the American 
outpost line had to lie in the flats about five kilometers 
ahead of the line of main resistance. It was a peculiar 
situation, but at the time, the policy on this front was purely 
defensive, and the distant outposts, far from food and 
assistance, simply had to bear their lot. 

A nmnber of villages nestled at the base of the cUffs, 
Herbeuville, Hannonville, and Thillot lying in the regi- 
mental sector, with Saulx and Wadonville out in the plains 

46 



in the line of outposts. Just beyond lay the German defense 
in Marcheville, St. Hilaire, Butgn^ville, and Harville, which 
were strongly wired and entrenched. East of Wadonville 
were the Bois de Warville, occupied by the enemy. Some 
thirty-five kilometers away in Lorraine, slightly north of 
east, lay Metz. 

On the night of October 8, again in the rain, the Regiment 
moved into this front, relieving the 101st and 102d Infantry 
Regiments of the 26th Division, the sector of each regiment 
being taken over by one battahon, the First, under Major 
Parkin, on the left, with P. C. at Herbeuville, and the 
Second, under Captain Paul D. Strong, with P. C. in a 
German concrete shelter on the hUlside above Hannonville. 
The Third Battalion, under Captain John McI. Somers, 
remained in Le Chanot Bois in reserve. To the left of the 
Regiment was the 313th Infantry, the 314th and 315th 
Infantry Regiments being in Divisional Reserve in billets 
west of the Meuse. Regimental Headquarters was first 
established in the woods about two kilometers south of 
Dommartin, along la Grande Tranch^e de Calonne Road. 
Inmiediately across the road was Brigade Headquarters and 
**P. C. Cox,'' the headquarters of the 115th Artillery, which 
supported the Regiment on this front. 

This, then, was the scene of the expected rest, a "quiet 
sector," in which by "tacit understanding" there would be 
no fighting. The first proof of this dream came in the shape 
of enemy shells, which constantly harassed the whole area, 
morning, noon and night. Then came a drenching of Hannon- 
ville with mustard gas, putting Lieutenant Dwight C. Cook 
and eighty-five men out of action in one night. Observation 
posts were established on the cliffs, O. P. Fitzharris, O. P. 
Oberlin, and O. P. Hart, and the observers here recorded any 
evidence of movement in the enemy lines, and counted the 
shells landing in the vicinity, a common report for one night 
being "1,200 H. E. and gas shells in Hannonville, 77's and 
150's; OCK) gas shells in Herbeuville," and so on throughout 
the sector. 

Little movement, however, could be observed in the enemy 
lines because of haze in the valley, and because almost all 
movement on both sides was done at night. The Germans, 
however, kept up observation balloons off in the distance in 
all clear minutes, and any indiscreet exposure of troops on 
the roads or the cliff was promptly followed by a shower of 
shells. The restfulness of this sector was also shown in the 

47 



pleasure of "carrying parties" to the outpost troops. The 
railhead was almost ten kilometers to the rear by roundabout 
road from the cliff road, the Supply Company being unable 
to haul rations and supplies over the miry deeps of the 
direct road through the valley of Longeau Farm. Every 
night the wagons made this long haul, traveling separately 
to avoid unnecessary casualties, and every night carrying 
details took great burdens by hand from the top of the 
cliffs, down the steep and winding paths to the plains, and 
then made the long and perilous trip out over the plains, over 
the shelled roads, on through the soft, marshy lowlands. 
Awkward marmites of coffee and slum were slung on poles, 
and carried by two men, stumbling about in the darkness. 
The men in the lines had the glorious work, however, lying 
in the mud flats with scarcely any protection at all, under 
clumps of willow bushes, seeking concealment on the open 
ground. 

Enemy aeroplanes might encircle overhead at any odd 
moment, trying to ascertain the exact locations of the front 
Unes. Another interesting featiu-e of this sector developed 
when the artillery produced its calculations for the barrage 
line of defense. Of course, there were barrages to be laid 
in front of Saulx or Wadonville, to be called for in case of 
attack by star signals shot from the front line, but the normal 
barrage in case of enemy attack in force was laid just along 
the base of the hills, meaning that the troops in the outpost, 
several kilometers out in the plains, would have to fight for 
their own salvation. However, this defensive scheme was 
necessary owing to the peculiar terrain confronted. 

On several occasions there were alarms of expected attack 
issued from Division Headquarters, and the outposts were 
drawn back during the night, a distance of one kilometer, 
and kept at the alert all night to receive any attacks that 
might develop. 

The main work of the sector was patrolling, which was 
carried out night after night into No Man^s Land and the 
enemy lines to keep him worried and to obtain information 
concerning his front. In this patrol work Lieutenant Harry 
S. Gabriel, who, immediately upon joining the Regiment 
in this sector, was made Intelligence Officer of the First 
Battalion, and Lieutenant Mowry E. Goetz, Regimental 
InteUigence Officer, figured most actively. Night after 
night they went out, crossing No Man's Land from Saulx 
or Wadonville with a small select group of men and prowled 

48 



about the enemy outpost, bringing back in the morning, 
dog tired from the night of long distances covered and tense 
night activity, information of the enemy outpost positions 
about Marcheville or St. Hilaire. 

On one evening a combat patrol was sent out under Lieu- 
tenant Goetz with a supporting machine gun under Lieu- 
tenant Ira E. Lady, but the enemy had been tampered with 
too much by this constant night harassing and met the 
troops stealing up in the darkness with a sudden fusillade of 
machine guns. The patrol had accomplished its mission, 
and returned with the definite information of the location of 
the enemy front between Marcheville and St. Hilaire. This 
night patrolling, which requires more real courage and 
backbone than any other phase of modern warfare, was 
carried to the Nth degree in the Troyon Sector. No Man's 
Land truly became Yankee Land, due to the untiring 
heroism of the men of the Regiment especially selected for 
this work; and when the Regiment was drawn away from 
the sector it had sufficient information concerning the 
enemy, his location, strength and outpost dispositions to 
plan raids on a large scale. 

Many thrilling tales of those black nights are handed down 
in the Regiment, and also many amusing incidents. Color 
Sergeant Edward C. Hohm, who was invariably selected for 
these missions, swears to this day that he heard ducks 
quacking beyond Wadonville at 3 H 00 in the morning. 

On the night of October 17-18, the front already wide, 
was extended to a length of about seven kilometers, a regi- 
ment of French Chasseurs-a-pied moving out of the ThiJlot 
sector to the right of the Regiment, and the Third Battalion, 
under command of Captain Somers, was moved in, with 
headquarters at Avillers, a company at St. Maurice, which 
lay at the base of the hills in back of Avillers, and a company 
in the outpost around the village of Doncourt. This widen- 
ing of the front increased the diflSculties of liaison and supply 
and led to some curious happenings. Captain Strong figured 
out, mathematically, that with the number of men avail- 
able for outpost duty there could be only two men for every 
150 meters, leaving a perfect sieve for enemy patrols. One 
morning the artillery regiment had a good laugh at the 
expense of the infantry, for, although several kilometers 
behind the front lines, they picked up three deserters who 
had wandered through the thin outpost unchallenged. 

The Germans in the hurried "retreat" from the St. Mihiel 

49 



front had been forced to abandon untold stores of ammu- 
nition, guns, supplies, and comforts of every description — 
but, worst of all, the greatest, healthiest and most active 
army of cooties up to that time in captivity. These cooties, 
well trained in the ways of Prussian *'Kultur," turned on 
the American victors with a demoniac ferocity worthy of 
their Boche sires. Mountain climbers with a skill equal to 
a Colorado goat; underground workers surpassing the 
well-known mole, they invaded shell-hole and hill-side 
dugout, making life for the 316th a nightmare of frenzied 
scratching. This was the Regiment's first real experience 
with German cooties, and it was admitted that Prussian 
efficiency had evolved a species which made all others pale- 
blooded weaklings by contrast. 

However, there were compensating features. The Germans 
had considered that section of France part of the Vaterland 
forever, and no end of comforts for the troops — baths, hot, 
cold and medium; billiard rooms; dance halls; schools; 
recreation huts; vegetable gardens; real culinary outfits, 
and all manner of delicacies in such quantities that even the 
thrifty Yanks of the 26th Division hadn't been able to get 
away with it all, and the 316th profited accordingly. 

The outpost towns were a constant target for the Boche's 
heavy artillery, but in Saulx, the left flank, the men felt 
perfectly secure during the day, the shelters in that village, 
thanks to German ingenuity and tirelessness, being abso- 
lutely shell proof. By some freak of fortune, the doors in 
these shelters faced the rear and not the front, as usual. 
With only a handful of men on guard, it was a welcome 
sensation to be in a comfortable bunk, of which there were 
plenty, and listen to the whine and crash of shells overhead 
and know they were harmless. Night, however, it was a 
different story — then it was a case of lying on your belly in 
the mud with not the slightest shelter and not even a shell- 
hole to afford protection against shrapnel. It had been 
decided to make this line a line of men only, with no mark 
to distinguish it when vacated in the daytime and to fire 
only in case of absolute necessity As a result of rigid adher- 
ence to this scheme the line before Saulx was never located, 
and barrages directed against it fell short or far behind. 
D Company, under Lieutenant Fouraker, and later under 
Lieutenant Clofine, suffered not a single casualty; B Com- 
pany, under Captain Knack, and A Company, under Lieu- 
tenant Dyer, being almost equally fortunate. 

50 



Outpost duty in the Saulx sector was in many respects 
easier than duty in the support, for on the hills behind 
Herbeuville there was not sufficient shelter for all, and one 
company at least was compelled to be in mud always a foot 
high, with little protection against rain — roughing it at its 
maximimi. 

On the night of October 21 the Regimental Headquarters 
was moved nearer to the line of cHffs, into a French P. C, 
called P. C. Thillot, one and one-half kilometers west of St. 
Maurice. 

At this time desertions from the enemy into the American 
lines became quite frequent, principally from Austro-Hun- 
garian regiments sandwiched between German troops, but 
also from among the German troops themselves. Most of 
the German deserters in this particular front happened to 
be Prussians. A number of the deserters had in their pockets 
copies of ''Wilson's Answer" or the General Orders concern- 
ing American treatment of prisoners, which, printed in 
German, had been dropped over the enemy lines by allied 
planes. The Austro-Hungarian troops were very filthy and 
ill fed and gave conclusive evidence of morale which had 
reached the breaking point. They had been kept in the lines 
for several months without relief, and were no longer allowed 
leaves, perhaps on account of the low man power of the 
enemy, but, as they themselves said, to prevent opportunity 
for men given leave to remain at home. Practically all of 
the deserters when questioned gave extensive and accurate 
information concerning machine-gun and artillery emplace- 
ments within their lines and location of outposts. 

In this sector there was one very eventful night, October 
23, when a full company of Austro-Hungarian troops of the 
51st Regiment, 35th Division, made a raid on the outpost at 
Wadonville. The raid was preceded by a heavy barrage on 
the village, followed by a sudden rush, lasting about five 
minutes. 

Because of an intense barrage laid by the Germans with 
surprising accuracy directly on the outpost positions, the 
line had been withdrawn that night and the men placed in 
dugouts. 

Suddenly above the din of shelling a voice was heard 
yelling : 

** Everybody out — Germans in the village — everybody 
out." 

A dugout door was opened and in a moment there was 

51 



pandemonium. For an Austrian had done the shouting, 
and as the door opened, grenades were hurled into the 
crowded room, wounding thirteen men. The survivors 
rushed for the door in a frenzy of blood-lust, scattered the 
raiders like a cyclone and the Austrians fled, leaving behind 
prisoners and dead. Others were, undoubtedly, wounded. 

On that same night, Company I was to be relieved from a 
week of outpost duty around Doncourt, but suspecting that 
an enemy patrol might try to enter the lines by gaps cut in 
barbed wire on a previous night, left an ambush patrol 
ahead of the town. The enemy actually came over, opening 
an assault with grenades on our lines, but Lieutenant Bliss' 
ambush was prepared for them and drove them off by a 
fusillade from automatic rifles, killing four, and wounding 
others who managed to escape in the dark. 

This eventful night also brought a few more deserters into 
the line. 

Finally, on the night of October 24, when the Regiment 
had accustomed itself to the ''quief pastimes of the Troyon 
sector, a relief was effected by the 33d Division. 



VII 

Hill 378 

Tired out from watchful days and nights in the mud flats 
of the Woevre, lean from the irregular and meager meals 
carried out to the lines by carrying details, and with nerves 
frayed by the enemy gas and high explosives, the Regiment 
felt great relief when news came that the 132d Infantry (33rd 
Division) was to take over the hnes. The relief was accom- 
plished during the night of October 24, and the Regiment 
marched by battalions to a concentration point north of 
Rupt, where a hot meal was served at noon from the rolling 
kitchens. The march was resumed, bringing the Regiment 
at dusk to Les Monthairons on the east banks of the Meuse. 
The First Battalion was billeted in Genicourt, and part of 
the Third Battalion marched into Les Petits Monthairons. 

Although the village was bare, with not a stick of wood 
for a fire, with scarcely a door or window, yet the men saw 
a few women and children, recently returned to their old 
homes, and felt that here again was civilization. Everyone 
expected a rest of at least several weeks, and scurried around 
to find comfortable bunks and to salvage water pails. A 
small '^epicerie" was found, selling fresh butter, Httle round 
tins of sardines and minced meat, and, best of all, thin turkish 
towels. It was bought out in half an hour by a line of 
soldiers who fought for places for the mere pleasure of buying. 
Just at dark about five hundred replacements, fully equipped 
and fresh, joined the Regiment. The new men had strange 
feelings at becoming part of a '^ combat outfit," just come 
from the trenches and shell-fire. 

Everyone thought that these new troops were the first 
sign of a complete reorganization of the Regiment, but the 
long expected rest did not materialize. On the afternoon of 
the 26th, orders came to move into Verdun. Colonel George 
Williams, commanding the 158th Infantry Brigade, and 
also assigned to the Regiment since October 20, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Robert L. Meador being in temporary command, 
called at Les Monthairons in the afternoon. At 17 H 00 
the march commenced, the Regiment concentrating on the 

53 



Dieue-Faubourg Pav^ Road. Major Parkin brought the 
First Battalion up the eastern bank of the Meuse from 
Genicourt, and then took command of the column, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Meador having been transferred from the 
Regiment that afternoon. 

Darkness fell quickly, and the men tramped along the 
road in pitch black. Trucks without lights rumbled by 
ceaselessly, and artillery was encountered on the way. There 
had been no opportunity to reconnoiter the roads ahead, 
and the billeting parties were just a few hours in front of the 
column, and without transportation. At Faubourg Pave, 
just across the Meuse from Verdun, the column halted in the 
darkness, disengaging the Second Battalion and the Machine 
Gun Company which were to billet there for the night. The 
rest of the Regiment pushed in through the ancient walled 
gates of Verdun to the citadel. 

There are two outstanding names in the Great War — 
Marne and Verdun — and around the latter is centered the 
316th's history. It is difficult to realize, with the memory 
of seemingly endless miles of marching still keen, that this 
citadel of French hopes was never more than a few hours — 
by Cadillac — from the scene of the Regiment's activities. 
The Bois de Beuge lies a scant 25 kilometers northwest; 
the Troyon front some 28 kilometers to the southeast, and 
Hill 378 is only 20 kilometers to the northeast. 

History is not measured in kilometers. A meter here may 
be more vital than a kilometer there. To one who has fought 
through the deadly tangles of the Grande Montague, step 
by step, it is inconceivable that from crumbled Consenvoye 
to that group of bare crosses on the Borne de Corneuiller is 
not as far as from Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, to Willow 
Grove Park. You may show all the maps you please to 
veterans of the Argonne, but never will they be convinced 
that a mile in the States is a mile in France. They are right, 
too — as right as the child who knows, despite what cynical 
elders may say, that there is more than visible stuffing in a 
rag doll. 

So, too, there are cities — and there is Verdun. The silent, 
ominous walls that loomed spectre-like before the creeping 
battalions of the 316th on the night of October 26 held a 
significance not missed by the dullest in that trudging column. 
This was the heart of France, whose blood poured out in 
heroic prodigality, restored the waning faith of a world. 
War — actual conflict — deadens the emotions. Fine frenzies 

54 



are all very well for the crowd before a bulletin board. The 
front begets callousness — nights of marching dull the keenest 
enthusiasm. But few there were whose spirit was not 
quickened in this Holy of Holies, and something of uncon- 
scious reverence marked the hushed entry into the Sacred 

Hushed — save for the clattering of hobnails on ringing 
cobbles, the boom of a vagrant cannon, the crash of an 
occasional shell, and the solemn striking of the hour in the 
battered cathedral, invisible in the dark. Slowly the column 
wound its way between gaping houses, and all the usual 
grimness of a ruined city, past the still upright Hotel de Ville, 
and on into the massive citadel whose sheltered galleries and 
sturdy walls gave an unaccustomed sense of security to men 
inured to shell-holes and deceptive dugouts. Once within, 
Verdun was no longer a Holy of Holies, but a place to stretch 
out and sleep. It was only in later months that the Regi- 
ment came fully into the proud feeling of having had shelter 
in the very heart of the military defense of France. 

Regimental Headquarters was established in Casemate D, 
Gallery E, and there Colonel Williams spent the night with 
the Regiment, although still in command of the 158th 
Brigade. 

On the morning of the 27th the men strolled through the 
ruined streets of Verdun, truly curious American sight-seers, 
despite the march of the night before, and the occasional 
shrapnel which burst overhead. On that afternoon a staff 
reconnaissance was made of the western side of the Meuse 
to the Bois de Forges, which was to be the destination of the 
next stage of the march. Thierville, with its cold barracks, 
kept somewhat intact despite the continual shelling of 
Verdun, was soon passed, and then came that most desolate 
of all regions, the hills about Fort de Marre, Marre, Chattan- 
court, Cumieres, and Forges. An American battery had 
placed a sign at the cross-roads in the latter place, "This was 
Forges," and that truly described the ruined village. There 
remained not a single stone standing, merely a leveled bed 
of crumbled sand. The hills about were almost bare of 
vegetation, the few trees still standing looking like scare- 
crows. In this area, now secure from the enemy, the 
captive balloons were sent up, and numerous French batteries 
were emplaced, heavy artillery, bivouacked on the open 
hillsides. The map was difficult to follow because the original 
roads were not to be found among the shell craters, and the 

56 



woods were ghosts. A French battery commander helped 
out with poHshed English, saying, "Yes, ahead lies the Bois 
de Forges." The automobile reconnoitering pushed ahead 
through axle-deep mud, over logs and stones heaped into 
the holes in the road as the Americans had pushed the 
enemy out of the woods several weeks before. 

That night there w^as delay in receiving the march orders. 
The Regiment concentrated at 19 H 00, according to warning 
notice, and was then dismissed, while the men unrolled packs 
for an extra snatch of sleep. At 23 H 00 the march com- 
menced, Captain Knack leading the column, with Captain 
Goetz as guide. The Second Battalion and Machine Gun 
Company in Faubourg Pav^ remained there for the night, 
it being decided that they could not reach the cover of the 
woods by daybreak. With Major Parkin in command, the 
column felt its way along in pitch darkness, creeping through 
mud and shell-holes, and half by guess and half by luck, the 
way was followed, and at dawn the Regiment was in the Bois 
de Forges. There were a few German "elephant shelters" 
and a few filthy dugouts, but practically all the men merely 
moved off the road into the bushes, rolled up in blankets and 
slept. It had been a frightful march, the third night of it. 
The trees had been so cut up by artillery fire that there 
remained no leafage to protect the men from aeroplane 
observation. When German planes hovered overhead the 
men just had to huddle in the underbrush and keep their 
faces down. Without doubt, the presence of the Regiment in 
the woods was discovered by the enemy; for in the after- 
noon they began shelling the area, and killed several engineers 
in the vicinity. One happy recollection, however, of the Bois 
de Forges, is a meal of bacon, coffee, bread, and jam, truly a 
treat. 

In the afternoon a reconnaissance of the sector to be taken 
over was made by several officers, and they returned to the 
Regiment with jaws set. The roar of artillery fire had been 
heard all afternoon, and American heavy artillery was near 
Gercourt and Drillancourt, just north of the woods. Again 
the 316th was to participate in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, 
fighting east of the Meuse to Armistice Day, the end, even 
as it had fought in the Argonne commencing September 26, 
the beginning. 

In the few moments of an afternoon such as this, when a 
man is not sleeping, or carrying water, or thinking of his 
f e^t, he may possibly indulge in a few tdioughts as to what is 

56 



next. As a matter of fact, there is very little speculation at 
such times as to the future. It is food, feet, and work to be 
done, and the night will come soon enough. 

From the crest of the hill, just north of the woods, one 
could see the spire of the Chapel of Saint Pantaleon, north 
of Bois de Consenvoye, but little could one realize what 
that sector was going to bring to the Regiment. After 
dark the column started moving, north to Gercourt, then 
eastward to the Meuse, and back to Consenvoye, where a 
long wooden bridge crosses the marshy flat of the river. 
The Germans continually felt for that bridge with their high 
explosives. In the ruins of Consenvoye the guides from the 
115th Infantry (29th Division) were found, and they led 
the way up the hill into the Bois de Consenvoye to effect 
the relief. Perhaps the enemy knew of the relief, and per- 
haps it was chance, but hell cut loose as the Regiment 
stretched out over the road to Molleville Farm. The sharp 
bark of our own 75's, a terrifying sound when one is nearby, 
was most welcome to the ear as the Regiment marched up 
through our supporting artillery — faithful friends indeed. 
The stench of dead horses filled the air, and then the enemy 
put over gas. Already blinded with sweat, the men cursed 
their gas-masks, one of the many "best-friends" that the 
soldier has, and stumbled on through the darkness, God 
knows where. It was a pleasant reception for troops looking 
for rest. 

At the top of the hill northeast of Consenvoye was a patch 
of woods, the Bois de Consenvoye. The Consenvoye Road 
and a cleared guUey, at the bottom of which lay Molleville 
Farm, were the dividing line from the Bois de la Grande 
Montague. The latter wood gave the official name to the 
ensuing operations, the Battle of Grande Montague, and 
that name is written in the service records of the men in the 
Regiment, and is graven on the silver band of the regimental 
colors. The lines of the 26th and 29th Divisions stretched 
through the woods from west to east, then bent to the south- 
east, enclosing Molleville Farm. 

The 316th took over the hnes of the 115th and 116th 
Regiments (29th Division), a front of about 1,800 meters. 
The French were in the woods to the left, behind St. Panta- 
leon Chapel, and the 315th Infantry was on the right, to the 
northeast of Molleville Farm. This sector was cut in half 
by a road almost north and south which runs from Brabant- 
sur-Meuse up over Hill 378. Several hundred yards behind 

67 



the front lines at right angle, this road is cut by the Consen- 
voye-Etraye Road, a crossroad to the east of which was 
the P. C. of the battalion on the right, the Third. Several 
hundred meters to the east of the crossroads, in the woods, 
in an old German dugout, was the P. C. of the left battalion, 
the First. The lines were merely small holes scooped in the 
ground, sheltered from observation by brush and leaves. 
The men not actually on duty found shelter in a line of old 
deep German dugouts with their tunneled entrance directly 
open to enemy fire. 

Regimental Headquarters was established in an old Ger- 
man P. C. about 500 meters south of the crossroad, and 
about 100 meters east of the road, just across from the 
cleared valley sloping down to Molleville Farm. A duck- 
board path led past several elephant-iron shelters, half 
underground, and covered with rock and sand, back to an 
attractive little hut with scroll woodwork along the edge of 
the roof. The Germans believed in comfort at tl:e front, 
but, evidently when their lines were pushed back from 
Verdun, they had piled trees and long steel rails against the 
side of the hut facing the allied lines, and most luckily, 
they had dug a deep dugout nearby, steep stairway and 
several narrow galleries, which became ''Invent P. C.", the 
code name for Regimental Headquarters. 

On the night of October 28, Major Parkin, P. C. command- 
ing the Regiment, relieved the Commanding Officer of the 
115th Infantry. The P. C. dugout was crowded with runners 
and signalmen and officers, and the party of Major Parkin 
could scarcely press into the crowded gallery, to take over 
the maps and learn as much as possible about the sector 
in the few hours before dawn when the 115th Headquarters 
should leave. The talk centered on a hill lying just ahead of 
the lines. Hill 378, which several attacks had failed to take. 
The officers and men of the 115th were gaunt and haggard 
and eye-weary from days and nights of incessant labor, and 
the sector promised bitter business. A short way north of the 
P. C. was a commodious concrete dugout built by the 
Germans along the road, and here the Headquarters staff 
and runners snatched a few hours sleep until the 315th 
Infantry took the place over for its headquarters. 

The 29th of October was a beautiful autumn day, but it 
showed to the Regiment only a scene of desolation and 
carnage. The great trees of the woods were shattered and 
torn, and the ground was gashed everywhere by ghell-fire. 

58 



The open land across the road, sloping into the ravine of 
Molleville Farm, was pock-marked with enemy fire, and 
the farm at the bottom was a crumbled heap of stone. On 
the far side of the ravine, both to the east and the north, the 
Germans held the woods, and had the P. C. and the road 
leading northward to the crossroad under perfect obser- 
vation. This death-dealing road was lined with broken 
water carts, dead horses, ammunition boxes, empty marmite 
cans, and every description of equipment left by men killed 
while carrying supplies up to the lines. 

The night firing had died down, and the Operations Officer 
of the 115th served breakfast in the chalet at the top of the 
dugout, hot corned beef, bread, and syrup from the can. 
He pointed at the hole in the roof, a direct hit, gave friendly 
advice as to the favorite enemy hours for firing, and alto- 
gether, it was a most delightfully nervous breakfast. He 
then conducted several of the Headquarters officers on a 
reconnaissance of the line, up to the crossroad, down the 
German narrow-gauge line, past the row of dugouts used by 
the First Battalion, out to the Battalion P. C. 

The woods roundabout had numerous crow-nest obser- 
vation posts in the trees, left by the Germans. They knew 
the land well, knew where their old dugouts were that the 
Regiment was occupying, and knew the lay of all the paths 
through the woods. As the Operations Officer led the 
reconnaissance back toward the Regimental P. C., the 
Germans opened their morning shelling in the path just 
ahead of the party. Hit after hit landed on the path and all 
about, and splinters whistled through the air. He started 
running for a nearby dugout, and when all were in it, 
remarked, ''Don't stand on pride in this sector; when they 
open up, hunt shelter and rest a bit so that you can make 
speed during the lulls." 

The lines on the left lay on the slopes of a deep, thickly 
wooded hollow, the Ravine de Moyemont. On the far side 
of the ravine, one could see through the trees the bald 
rounded top of Hill 378, perfectly bare of trees or brush. 
There was the German stronghold, and it was the trenches 
and machine-gun nests on this hill that had broken up the 
previous American attacks. From hidden observation 
posts on the hill they could see any movement made along 
the paths on the front, or any advance down the single, 
narrow, muddy path of the ravine, which had to be used to 
approach the base of the hill. 

59 



This, then, was the setting — lines through thick woods 
under constant shell-fire, and ahead a forbidding stronghold 
which dominated the thoughts of everyone. At the time, 
however, it was not realized that this hill was the main 
center of German observation for the Meuse Valley to the 
west and northwest, and that the advance of the allied arms 
could not proceed eastward until this point was taken. It 
guarded the valley roads leading eastward to the plains 
through valleys stretching eastward like fingers into Etraye, 
Reville, and Ecurey which were great German camps, 
harboring divisions of troops, railheads for supplies, and 
vast stores and ''materiel." 

From October 29 to November 3 the Regiment held its 
ground, strengthening a defensive organization, and feeling 
out the enemy at night by small patrols into the woods. 
The first and second day the men dug holes in the ground in 
the woods along the front, as some slight protection against 
shell-fire, and then began work on a genuine defensive 
scheme of strong points surrounded by barbed-wire entangle- 
ments. On November 2, the First Battalion was stretched 
over the whole front, the Third Battalion remaining in the 
immediate rear in close support. No attempt was made at 
digging a continuous line of trenches. The Regiment is 
rather proud of the American habit of not staying long enough 
in any one place to dig a trench or a dugout. 

Major Parkin of the First Battalion commanded the Regi- 
ment until the arrival of Colonel George Williams on October 
31. Captain Louis C. Knack of B Company, commanded 
temporarily the First Battalion, and Captain Somers com- 
manded the Third. The Second Battalion under Captain 
Strong, in Regimental Reserve, lay in the woods immediately 
south of Regimental Headquarters, in the vicinity of the 
kitchens; and the Supply Company was located at Brabant, 
on the main Meuse road to the south. The Machine Gun 
Company had its guns emplaced in the woods just north of 
the P. C, overlooking the valley of Molleville Farm. 

All work and all communications had to be made under 
the constant menace of shell-fire, which would break out 
unexpectedly, sprinkling sensitive places for several hours 
at a time. Every man who went down the ravine to Molle- 
ville Farm to fill his canteen; every man who went to the 
rolling kitchens for a cup of coffee and some "cornwillie"; 
every runner who took the winding path through the woods 
to the First Battalion, or the main road to the Third Bat- 

60 



talion P. C. ; and every signalman who went out along the 
wires to repair the many breaks, was in constant danger of 
death. Some men would start running when the shelh'ng 
started; others would plod along at the same gait, philo- 
sophic dare-devils. But if a plate of beans outweighed to 
a hungry man the danger of a chance shell at the kitchens, 
so much more did duty operate to keep the men at their 
work — the faithful cooks at the rolling kitchens, whose 
location was undoubtedly known to the enemy from the 
smoke by day and fire by night, despite all efforts to conceal 
the spot; the runner-chain to Brigade Headquarters, sta- 
tioned every several hundred yards along the road, which 
was constantly shelled; and, above all, the men on duty in 
the front lines, who seldom are thought of when danger is 
mentioned, but who lie for hours in open shell-holes, exposed 
to fire. Visitors to the front since the armistice have 
remarked, ''How did you men ever come out of that place 
alive?" and now the doughboys themselves are beginning 
to wonder the same thing. 

A story is handed down of a certain beloved commander 
on that front who saw a big truck standing in the open cross- 
road below the Third Battalion P. C. He became very 
angry and demanded of the driver what he was doing up 
there. 

" Reconnoitering for brigade" came the answer. 

Whereupon the irate commander repHed, ''You had 
better reconnoiter yourself out of here." The shells com- 
menced dropping in the road a minute later. 

On account of this incessant shelling it was an order never 
to travel alone in the sector, and all the runners went in 
pairs. A few days after entering the sector a guard was 
escorting four German prisoners back from the Third Battal- 
ion, and all were close together. A shell landed in their midst, 
killed the guard and three prisoners and wounded the fourth. 
On the 29th, the first day in the sector, several of the staff 
found a beautiful German dugout across the road from the 
crowded hole in the ground, and it was decided to move the 
P. C. It was only half underground, and was open to the 
enemy, but had three large rooms and a roof five feet thick, 
layers of concrete covered with iron rails, great logs, heavy 
stone and earth. Four of the staff were in an end room 
working on maps, and two, who had been lying in the middle 
room resting from a dose of gas, had just gone out for fresh 
air when a "250" landed a square hit, clove through rock 

61 



and logs, split the rails, and dropped the roof in the middle 
room. The officers in the end room were trapped and had to 
dig out through a little aperture. The P. C. was not changed 
after all, but the other end room became the colonel's mess, 
and was the scene of subsequent quick lunches. 

One afternoon a runner was wandering about head- 
quarters looking for his ''elephant shelter"; it had been 
utterly demolished during his absence. The rolling kitchens, 
too, witnessed a horrible toll of casualties. Several were 
''put out of action" completely, and after a shell scattered 
a load of rations over a hundred yards, the bread and corned- 
beef were dumped and kept in several separate piles. 

Private Steckel, of the Supply Company, must not be 
forgotten. For over a week he stayed continually on the 
ammunition dump as guard and distributor. Color Sergeant 
Spellman slept under the Headquarters wagon at Brabant 
night after night, and faithful drivers stayed out in the 
open, watching the picket line where horse after horse was 
killed. On the afternoon of November 5, when Lieutenant- 
Colonel Haedicke was returning from the front lines to take 
command of the Regiment, his runner, ten paces in front of 
him, caught a full explosion of shrapnel and had his head 
blown off. A group of officers who slept in a thin-roofed 
elephant shelter recall the nights when shelling would open 
up in their neighborhood. After the first burst, Lieutenant 
Henri Castel, of the Alpine Chasseurs, attached to the 
Regiment, would be heard sliding his helment across the 
floor in the darkness to put it on. Castel had been fighting 
for four years from Italy to Belgium, and the other officers 
soon learned to follow his example. 

In this sector gas too played a large part. The woods 
were soaked all the time with a light concentration, and 
everyone was breathing it. It was only when a gas-shell 
burst near at hand, spreading heavy concentration, that 
gas-masks were used, however, for one cannot work all the 
time in a gas-mask. It was the gas at night that was the 
most wicked — to be wakened out of a deep sleep, or even a 
half-doze by a muffled cry of "Gas" from one's comrade 
who was already struggling into his mask. A hundred 
incidents of this sort might be told. 

Nevertheless, in spite of casualties from gas and high 
explosive, the routine work of the sector went on, the con- 
solidation of the front, and the arduous task of bringing up 
ammunition, supplies, water and food. The carrying 

62 



parties, that carried heavy and bulky boxes of ''Cahbre 
.30" and great marmite cans of coffee or slum from the 
kitchens to the front lines, falling into shell-holes in the 
darkness, stumbling over logs and slipping in the mud of 
the narrow paths of the woods, performed heroic labors. 

On November 3, Captain Lauriston E. Knowlton, com- 
manding the Machine Gun Company, was wounded, and on 
the following day, Lieutenant Brunk of the Dental Corps, 
who had been doing a surgeon's work for days, had his leg 
broken by a shell fragment. 

Various incidents of importance also took place showing 
the active presence of the enemy. On the night of October 
29-30, the second night in the lines, the Germans sent a 
silent patrol through the woods against the right, which 
dropped a grenade on a post, killing one man of Company L 
and capturing his comrade. Another patrol sent by the 
enemy to reconnoiter its new opponents furnished the first 
prisoners. Company C drove off a patrol on the left in the 
Ravine de Moyemont, at the base of Hill 378, and captured 
two of them. These men, of the 228th Division, 48th 
Regiment, stated that the 207th Regiment was also on the 
front, with the 35th in reserve, and that the companies were 
only about thirty men strong, but that each company had 
three machine guns. 

On the night of October 30-31, Lieutenant Gabriel took out 
a patrol into the Ravine de Moyemont, feeling out the enemy 
front. The following night the French Second Colonial 
Corps Regiment on the left of the 316th effected a relief, 
and no patrols were sent out on the left, but the Third 
Battahon sent out patrols on the night of October 31-Novem- 
ber 1, and also on the following night, the latter patrol 
encountering an enemy party, killing at least one man. 
The operations report of the patrol reads as follows: 

''One patrol of two officers and twelve men left our 
right company outpost and proceeded due east until a 
noise was located at 25.85-82.2. When at 25.75-82.33, 
an enemy party of four was discovered at 3 H 40 and allowed 
to walk up on the patrol. Two men of the patrol fired 
prematurely when a grenade was thrown, and others fired. 
One enemy screamed, others shouted, several fell, one 
ran. Fire of light machine guns opened up on our patrol 
from 25.8-82.65 and 25.92-82.25. Flares went up con- 
tinuously for half an hour from 25.85-82.17, and a signal 

63 



I'ocket of 8-10 .stars, which was followed almost immedi- 
ately by a barrage on our lines. The patrol was forced by 
heavy machine-gun fire to withdraw. Patrol reports 
sounds of wiring and a new single wire fence on enemy side 
of cleared space where skirmish took place. Report work 
along 25.8-82.65; 25.8-82.33; 25.8-82.64." 

During this time, Colonel George Williams commanded 
the 158th Infantry Brigade, and Major Parkin directed the 
Regiment from his P. C. with the First Battalion. Captain 
William Sinkler Manning, Adjutant, was made major 
October 29, but remained at Regimental Headquarters until 
October 31, when Colonel Williams joined the Regiment. 
On that day Major Manning was assigned in command of 
the Third Battalion, and inomediately went up to take com- 
mand. From that day the Third Battalion P. C. was called 
"P. C. Manning," a code name naturally given it by the 
telephone operators. 

Of Major Manning it may be said that never was there a 
man more completely enwrapped in the cause he had 
espoused. From the moment that front line work was at 
last his allotted task, he was supremely content. The fre- 
quently routine character of an adjutant's work had doubtless 
fretted him, although he gave it his scrupulous attention 
and, of course, never uttered a word of his innermost desires. 
But when finally he was made a troop commander, a burden 
seemed to fall from his shoulders — the order was wine to 
his soul. Out in front lay his duty — all else was petty and 
immaterial. This feeling of elation and liberation he expressed 
in verse, printed later, after his death, in ''The Stars and 
Stripes." And never was man more sincere. 

The same day that marked Major Manning's assignment 
to battalion command. Captain Carl E. Clock was made 
Adjutant, Captain Mowry E. Goetz, Operations Officer and 
Lieutenant Harry S. Gabriel, Intelligence Officer. 

Finally, on the morning of November 3, real business 
began, an "offensive reconnaissance." Orders emanating 
from the XVII Corps, French, came through Division and 
Brigade Headquarters to send out reconnaissance detach- 
ments in the direction of Borne de Cornouiller "to develop 
the enemy's strength and consolidate the objective reached." 
The 15th Colonial Division on the left was to effect a similar 
reconnaissance. Three groups of two platoons each were 
ordered, a section of machine guns attached to each, and the 

64 



attack, preceded by a heavy artillery preparation, was to 
commence at 6 H 00. During the night, while the platoons 
were concentrating at the Third Battalion P. C, near the 
crossroads, the enemy commenced a terrific fire on the whole 
area. At 2 H 10 the following message was received at 
R,egimental Headquarters : 

"Lady, Co. E. P. C— November 3, 1918. 2 H 10— To 

C. O. 316th Inf., By Runner. 

Caught in box barrage by H. E. and phosgene at corner 
of trail to Headquarters from 1st Bn. P. C. and public 
roads. Half men gassed. Am waiting orders. Thirty 
men from E Company gassed. Two wounded. Mr. 
McCoy gassed. Lady." 

It was almost 3 H 00 when this message was received and 
Colonel Williams immediately dispatched an officer from 
Regimental Headquarters to gather together the remnant 
of the group and lead it to P. C. Manning. They were found 
at the Second Battalion, and led through the muddy paths 
of the woods, in single file, to the point of concentration. 
Shells burst all about in the darkness; the air was filled with 
gas, and several men were hit during the march. At P. C. 
Manning the other groups were gathered, and in the black of 
the night there was considerable confusion. Ammunition 
had to be issued, automatic rifle magazines distributed more 
equally, and the three groups separated and moved to their 
respective points of jumping-off. Luckily, not a shell fell 
immediately in the crowd of men stretched along the narrow- 
gauge track between the dugouts and woods by P. C. Man- 
ning. 

At 5 H 30 our own artillery opened up, and the whistle of 
our 75's and 155's overhead mingled with the terrific shell- 
bursts of the enemy shells. At 6 H 00 three groups jumped- 
off, the left group under Captain Francis D. Johnson and 
Lieutenant Ira E. Lady aiming straight for Hill 378, called 
Borne de Cornouiller by the French; the center group under 
Lieutenant Harry S. Gabriel and Lieutenant Rudolph E. 
Peterson, moving into the thick woods to the east of the Hill 
378 Road, heading for Cote 320 and the ridge beyond it; 
and the third group under Lieutenant Frank A. Stevens, 
moving northeasterly through dense woods to a point north 
of the lines of the 315th Infantry. Captain Strong directed 
the whole movement from P. C. Strong, a tiny shelter just 
east of the Hill 378 Road and north of P. C. Manning. 

05 



Intelligence reports of November 3 gave evidence of enemy 
retirement, but the infantry gave no credence to them. In 
the neighborhood of one of our machine-gun batteries the 
enemy dropped 1,200 shells, and over the whole front the fire 
was in the same intensity. The left group was met by terrific 
machine-gun fire from nests in trenches on Hill 378 when it 
emerged from the woods part way up the hill. Lieutenant 
Lady was wounded and Captain Johnson killed, heroically 
leading their men to the capture of the nests of concealed 
machine guns and snipers. Lieutenant AUston of the 312th 
Machine Gun Battalion, who commanded the machine-gun 
section of the left group, took command, and fought inces- 
santly until noon, capturing a batch of prisoners and cleaning 
out several machine-gim nests. 

At 10 H 00 a message came back from the center group: 

"Second Objective. Advanced 1,200 meters. Ran into 
strong machine-gun opposition which bends on a semi- 
circle back from our lines. Have cleaned out six machine- 
gun nests. Opposition very strong; heavy casualties. 

Gabriel." 

Lieutenant Gabriel then drew back to reorganize, the 
few men he had left being scattered through the woods, and 
he moved forward again on the middle objective. Cote 370. 
After noon the following message was sent by him to Captain 
Strong. 

"From Lt. Gabriel, 3 Nov. ^18—13 H 15. At 25.1-83.4. 
To Captain Strong. 

Advanced thru woods east of road 300 yards. We 
skirted several machine guns, but they bunched and tried 
to surround us. After losing 3 men, 5 wounded, I returned 
to road. Machine Gun Lieutenant asked me to help him 
and I have moved up to top of Hill 370. Gabriel. '^ 

And at 14 H 25 Captain Strong sent in the following report: 
"One Company 1st Bn. reported in position 14 H. 

Present Disposition of Troops. 
Co. B, 1st Bn. French on left connecting with right of 
our line at 24.7-83.3. Troops of 1st objective and 2d 
objective under comjnand of Lt. Gabriel, 24.7-83.3; 
25.0-83.2; 25.0-82.8. 

Hill 370 is covered with wood and heavy undergrowth. 
It is at present strongly held by German machine guns 
who have come up since withdrawal of our troops. It 
will require a barrage to clear these woods out. Strong/' 

06 



In the dense woods, with heavy losses, it was impossible 
to keep the men together, and as soon as the small attacking 
groups moved ahead, the enemy penetrated back into the 
vacated ground. They knew the paths perfectly. Accord- 
ingly in the afternoon. Lieutenant Gabriel moved the remnant 
of his heroic group to the west of the road to the assistance 
of Lieutenant Allston, and consolidated a position in the 
captured German trenches on the southeastern shoulder of 
Hill 378. In the early afternoon. Captain Knack was sent 
forward with B Company to reinforce the combat recon- 
naissance and emerged from the left front on the south- 
eastern shoulder of the hill. The following messages were 
received from him: 

'^From Capt. Knack. At Top of Hill. 3 Nov. '18. 13 H 30; 

to Major Parkin. By runner. 

Arrived at top of big hill under heavy machine-gun j5re 
from our left front. Am short distance from trench and 
church. Am out of reach of machine-gun captain and do 
not have co-ordinates. Knack." 

^' From C&pt. Knack. At 83.24-24.0. 3 Nov. '18. 17 H 

00; to Major Parkin. By runner. 

Am in touch with French on our left. I have no support 
company. All on line. Knack." 

Captain Knack's timely support assisted greatly in main- 
taining the foothold on Hill 378 gained by the dogged 
persistence of the earlier attacks. 

The third group, off on the right, encountered an almost 
impenetrable tangle of underbrush on the steep hillside and 
was not able to make any progress. 

On the whole, the offensive reconnaissance entirely accom- 
plished its mission, for it developed the enemy strength and 
the nature of his defense, showing that the woods east of the 
road were infested with machine guns, with paths radiating 
in all directions down which they fired, that the activity of 
the guns was very mobile, the enemy very frequently chang- 
ing position and moving back into ground unoccupied. On 
Hill 378 the fight uncovered a strong system of machine- 
gun defense in trenches on the north slope, which covered 
any attempt at issuing from the woods at the base, from the 
Ravine de Moyemont. Moreover, it was learned that the 
enemy had a perfect system of observation and liaison with 
their artillery, and could bring down a barrage in a moment 
on any spot. Besides this information, some eleven machine 

67 



guns were captured and the crews killed or taken prisoner, at 
least nine having been sent to the rear. The cost was fright- 
ful, but a real foothold was obtained on Hill 378, the lines 
now lying along the edge of the woods at the base of the hill, 
from Magenta Farm, joining the French, over through the 
southern edge of the German trench system, into the woods 
east of the road behind Cote 370, and then bending south- 
eastward to the old line of the 315th Infantry. 

Throughout the afternoon the ground taken was held and 
consolidated. Consolidation on this front meant that the 
men lay where they were, finding a shell-hole if possible, 
enlarging it a bit with a German shovel from a convenient 
corpse or with an empty ''cornwillie" tin. Bayonets do 
not make very good shovels, but they too were used. 

At Regimental Headquarters, late that afternoon, Novem- 
ber 3, arrived Lieutenant-Colonel George E. Haedicke, 
just assigned to the Regiment. He came up the shelled 
road from Brigade Headquarters alone, and one minute 
after his arrival, before taking off his trench-coat, he was at 
work on the maps of the unknown front. And the very night 
of his arrival the momentous orders came to attack Hill 378. 

Field Orders No. 12, Headquarters 158th Brigade, dated 
3 November, 1918, 26 H, reached Regimental Headquarters 
about 1 H on November 4, and part of paragraph 3 reads as 
follows: 

''The 158th Infantry Brigade, Brigadier-General John- 
son commanding, will capture and occupy the Borne de 
Cornouiller, maintaining close combat liaison with the 
15th French Colonial Division." 

The 316th Infantry was chosen to accomplish the mission. 
Major Parkin and Major Manning were immediately sum- 
moned to "P. C. Invent" (the code name for Regimental 
Headquarters) for a conference. Both wires to the battalions 
''were out," having been broken by shell-fire, and runners 
had to carry the messages. In the small hours of the morning 
Colonel Williams worked over the plans with the battalion 
commanders, who then returned to the front. At five 
a. m., November 4, artillery opened fire on the hill and the 
woods on the east, intermittent concentration from 5 H 00 
to 6 H 00; then a rolling barrage for several hundred meters, 
followed by a harassing barrage until 8 H 00. A heavy 
machine-gun barrage was also thrown on the hill. The left 
battaUon under Major Parkin jumped off from the line of 

68 



the day before, his sector being west of the Hill 378 Road 
directly behind the hill. The right battaUon under Major 
Manning, moved into the woods to the east of the road, the 
region of Cote 370, explored the previous day by the offensive 
reconnaissance, the eastern shoulder of Hill 378. 

On the right the attack went well. At 7 H 13 the following 
telephone message was relayed back from Major Manning: 

''From Major Manning. At 7 H 13, 4 Nov. '18. Over 
'phone. 

Everything going well. We have captured 7 machine 
guns and 39 prisoners. Left of center company of regi- 
mental line (Co. I) at 25.0-83.5. Right of right com- 
pany's line at (26.0-82.8). Exact position of center of 
line not known, but line is practically straight. 

Manning." 

And at 7 H 35, the following, from "P. C. Strong" : 

"From P. C. Strong. Repeated by 'phone by Inventing 

11, 4 Nov. '18. 7 H 35. 

"Things are going along as reported before. Ten more 
prisoners, one machine gun. Enemy artillery has not 
increased in its fire. Hill 370 practically in our hands as 
far as the 365 contour. Manning." 

A heavy fog shrouded the woods that morning, and with 
enemy shells bursting about them, and American shells and 
machine-gun bullets whistling above them, the skirmish 
line and combat groups crashed through the dense under- 
brush, shouting to one another to maintain contact. The 
troops walked out of the fog upon the enemy outposts and 
machine-gun nests at less than fifty yards, and took them on 
a rush at the point of the bayonet, bringing in a fine toll of 
prisoners and captured guns. The enemy killed in those 
woods are not recorded. Soon the skirmish line got as far 
as the American barrage and had to wait for it to lift, mean- 
time trying to connect up with troops on the right and left. 
Company I, under Lieutenant Bliss, commanding, and 
Lieutenant Bostick, held the advance outpost, stretching 
along the road just back of the east crest of Hill 378, through 
the woods to Cote 370. The line was then continued by K 
and M companies under Lieutenant Ferris — Captain Somers 
and Lieutenant Sayres having been wounded — and Company 
L under Lieutenant Erickson, and Sergeant Miller after 
Lieutenant Erickson was wounded, back to 26.0-82.8, near 

d9 



the Etraye Road. In this attack Captain Claude C. Cun- 
ningham received a fatal wound. 

The left battalion under Major Parkin had the Borne de 
Cornouiller (Hill 378) directly in its front. The concen- 
tration for the jump-off had to be effected through dense 
woods and the steep slope of the Ravine de Moyemont and 
the Vaux de Mille Mais. The companies had to advance from 
the line of resistance by a single file down a narrow path, 
deep and sticky with mud. Just before the advance a 
message came from Major Parkin — ''Heavy machine-gun 
fire sweeping my front. Came through heavy shelling." 
The bottom of the ravine has an elevation of 240 meters, 
and then comes the slope, wooded at first, to the bare top 
of Hill 378. The Germans were intrenched in a hastily dug, 
but complete, system of trenches the whole length of the 
southern slope of the hill, and could fire point-blank on 
troops emerging from the woods. The fog was thick, how- 
ever, and the attack started. The machine guns opened up 
from the trenches, and then the troops clashed in the fog and 
mist. It was hand to hand work, and soon a few prisoners 
were sent to the rear, bringing the toll for the day up to some 
seventy, but many of the enemy died at their machine guns. 
At 7 H 55 the following message was sent : 

''From Major Parkin, 4 Nov. '18. 7 H 55. By Runner. 

To C. 0. 316th Inf. 

"My right is on the objective. My left approaching 
under machine-gun fire. Am protected by heavy fog. 
Expect to be shelled if fog lifts. Line crosses Hill 378 
and extends to right and left. Am in touch with 3d En. 
on my right. Have patrol on left to keep in touch with 
French but cannot see whether I am in touch. Would 
ask for counter-battery if fog lifts. Parkin." 

This was the last definite message to be received from the 
First Battalion. Major Parkin, who had been commended 
for his brilliant leadership north of Montfaucon by the 
Commanding General, had driven the enemy over the crest 
of 378, the German strategic stronghold east of the Meuse, 
and was even then engaging them on the summit in terrific 
battle. Brigade Headquarters, however, received some little 
information from the French on the left: 

"FromFrenchUnit on Left. To C. 0. 316 Inf. Received 

by 'phone from Italy at 9 H 20, 4 Nov. '18. 

"The Americans have progressed on our right and have 

70 



taken 10 machine guns and 40 prisoners. The battalion 
Gillet will progress in liaison with the 316th Infantry from 
9 o'clock on. No artillery fire will be made on Hill 378. 
There will be nothing but machine-gun fire on sight. The 
movements of the battalion wiU, therefore, be done by the 
right. It is very important to take a foothold on the crest 
of Le Haut Chene so as to encircle Villeneuve Farm." 

At 10 H 30 a message of congratulation was sent to the 
two battalion commanders: 

"From C, O. 316th Inf. At P. C, 4 Nov. '18. 10 H 30. 
By runners. To Major Parkin and Major Manning. 
''Brigade commander congratulates you on the work 
you have done, to which I add mine. As soon as you 
have reached your objectives, consolidate and hold. Send 
nothing forward stronger than patrols of line shown to you 
last night. Get information to me whenever possible. 

Williams." 

Meantime, however, no additional messages came from 
the battahon on Hill 378, and the feehng at Regimental 
Headquarters grew tense. The frightful bursts of enemy 
shells on the hill could be heard, interspersed with the 
constant crackling of rifles and machine guns. In the mists 
shrouding the hill a lone battle was raging, but no runner 
succeeded in coming out of it. Even the wires up to First 
Battalion P. C, which had been used during the attack to 
relay runner messages to the rear, were broken by the bom- 
bardment. No men, no news. At noon the Commanding 
Officer ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Haedicke, just arrived 
the previous night, to gather together the First Battalion 
Reserve, D Company, under Lieutenant Maxwell McKeen, 
and to take it forward to reinforce the front, taking command 
of the lines in person. Lieutenant McKeen had just rejoined 
the Regiment the day before from the hospital. 

Another hour, and still no news — and at 13 H 30 Captain 
Clock was sent forward with two machine guns, going toward 
the hill by way of the First Battalion to comb in every 
available man for reinforcement. At 13 H 43 a message 
came over the repaired wires from the First Battalion P. C. 
Major Parkin had sent a runner at 12 H 10 from the top of 
the hill with a verbal message. ''Am being outflanked" 
was all the runner could remember. He thought it was 
from both flanks, but he was nearly dead from excitement 
and exhaustion, and could tell nothing further. 

71 



From Regimental Headquarters Lieutenant-Colonel Hae- 
dicke set off to assemble the sixty men of D Company, and 
then advanced along the Hill Road on the edge of the woods. 
It was during the advance that Lieutenant McKeen received 
a mortal wound from a sniper's bullet. The first report from 
this group along the road reads as follows: 

''From 1 Bn. Comdr. At 24.85-83.80. 4 Nov. '18. 15 H 40. 

By Captain Bothwell (also by 'phone) to CO. 316th 

Inf. 

Company C had to fall back to position 24.80-83.90 to 
24.70-83.70, consisting of shell-holes and shallow trenches 
which they are holding. Four machine guns in support of 
C Company. Total strength Company C, 25 men. Lieut. 
Symington shot thru leg by M. G. bullet. Co. B entirely 
lost sight of. Was last seen at 11 H 30 on crest of Hill 
378 on left of C Company. Co. I position extreme left 
24.80-83.90. Heavy artillery barrage from edge of woods 
at 24.80-83.90 to along crest of hill in westerly direction 
from 3.20 p. m. to present time. Contact entirely lost on 
our left flank. There is a gap of about 1,000 meters. Crest 
of Hill 378 left half occupied by enemy. Company D (65 
men) is used to hold present line. Need reinforcement 
immediately. Need ammunition for machine guns. At 
3.30 p. m. heavy enemj^ M. G. fire in sector held by 
Company I. Haedicke. 

Captain Clock and Lieutenant Foight, who had gathered 
together about sixty men, went forward following the line of 
Major Parkin's advance in the morning through the Ravine de 
Moyemont. Enemy aeroplanes sighted the small groups of re- 
inforcements, and laid down a barrage both on the road and the 
ravine. The group in the hollow, as it filed through the narrow 
path in the tangle, lost seven men from this shell-fire within a 
few minutes. As the men crept up the lower slopes of the hill 
an enemy plane swooped close over their heads, opening its 
machine gun on them. After a brief concealment in a patch 
of underbrush, they resumed their slow advance, and in the 
trenches on the hill found the dead left by the morning 
attack. But there remained not a living soul, not one man 
of the battalion that had swept up the hill in the morning. 
Creeping from shell-hole to shell-hole, the men filtered up 
the hill into the gap in the lines, and at dusk joined up with 
the northern outpost of I Company's thin line, which stretched 
southward into the woods from the southeastern shoulder of 

72 



378 toward Cote 370. There were not enough men in the 
reinforcement to fill the whole gap between I Company and 
the French far to the left, and the line merely zigzagged east 
and west in shell-hole groups of two and three just back of 
the open crest of the hill, ignorant of the fate of the First 
Battalion that morning, and awaiting into the night the 
fortunes of war. 

It was not until later that the story of the morning attack 
was learned. Major Parkin's battalion had forged through 
the Ravine de Moyemont in spite of the gas and high-explo- 
sive barrage, breasted the sweep of machine-gun fire which 
met it as it emerged onto the lower slopes of 378, and then 
clashed hand to hand with the enemy in his hillside trenches. 
A short delay, the trenches mopped-up, and the small 
battalion fought the enemy back over the brow of the hill. 
Then the Germans grazed a murderous band of machine- 
gun fire over the crest, and Major Parkin halted his men in 
shell-holes behind the crest to reorganize. In the fog, still 
dense, it was impossible to see more than fifty yards. The 
flank patrol on the left, sent to maintain liaison with the 
French, who were likewise attacking, sent one message that 
it had not yet been able to find them, and then it was heard 
of no more. Scouts on the flank, however, reported seeing 
in the valley to the west, around Villeneuve Farm, soldiers 
in blue or gray uniform. About this time Major Parkin was 
very seriously wounded, and the next in command. Captain 
Louis C. Knack, was killed. The fog commenced lifting, 
and German aeroplanes came out and hovered overhead, 
gaining perfect information of the small numbers opposing 
them. They flew northward, and in a few minutes the enemy 
fire suddenly ceased. From the valley to the left, from in 
front of the French, several companies of German infantry 
swarmed out of the mist and surrounded the remnant of the 
battalion on the crown of the hill. They had concentrated 
in the fog, moved through the valley back of Villeneuve 
Farm, and when the planes stopped the German fire, rushed 
the hill with grenades. The little group fought desperately, 
until, surrounded five to one, the few left living were rushed 
northward into the German lines. 

The account of the French attack on the left, which had 
been unable to advance its lines at all that day, is contained 
in their own report sent to the Regiment on November 5: 

"Bulletin of Liaison with 316th Infantry — Received 

73 



from French Unit — Translated by Lieutenant Castel: 

"November 4 — 9 H — The First Battahon reached the 
Ridge Chapelle Pantaleon-Ferme Magenta. The enemy 
who had instructions to resist at all costs (this information 
received from prisoners) made a strong resistance. 

"17 H — Our covering patrols reached outskirts of Ville- 
neuve Ferme where they now are in face of short range 
fire of enemy machine guns. This patrol was flanked by 
machine-gun fire from Hill 378 and troops were obliged to 
draw back of a line marked by ridge from Chapelle Panta- 
leon-Magenta Ferme. 

"18 H — A dark night stopped all infantry operations. 
The First Battalion takes position in the outpost line on a 
line indicated by a bush, which is the point of liaison with 
the 316th Infantry. During the night the enemy tried 
counter-attacks aided by violent artillery fire to repulse 
our advanced elements. These counter-attacks were 
repulsed." 

To resume the narrative of operations, the situation 
presented on the night of November 4 was a thin shell-hole 
defense across Hill 378, and extending back on the right 
to Cote 370, occupying the conquest of that morning. Soon 
after dark the enemy became very active over the whole 
front, dropping rifle-grenade and minenwerfer shells, and 
opening up sudden and alarming bursts with machine guns, 
keeping up this fire intermittently all night. At about 
20 H 00 a large combat patrol of over fifty men came up 
along the Hill Road from the German "lager" on the northern 
slope, but Lieutenant Foight's two machine guns in the 
woods at the edge of the road covered the approach perfectly, 
and drove them off with a steady fusillade at short range. 
An hour later a silent patrol dropped a "potato masher" 
upon one of these machine guns, killing the gunner, wounding 
one, and putting the gun out of action. The gun was replaced 
by a German machine gun found in the vicinity. The bare 
hilltop was alive with patrols, and the men could not refrain 
from premature fire. One daring German patrol, however, 
got within fifty feet of the outposts before it was fired on, 
and four of the party were killed, including a lieutenant of 
the 48th Infantry. One of the outposts also picked up a 
prisoner from the 92d Regiment who had become lost from 
a food-carrying party. He reported two fresh German 
battalions just north of the hill. The enemy sent up flares 

74 



constantly from the northwest shoulder of the hill, lighting 
up the skyline, and causing the loss of the one patrol. 

After midnight Lieutenant Harry S. Gabriel was sent up 
to assist Lieutenant-Colonel Haedicke, whose headquarters 
was a shell-hole north of P. C. Strong, and the Gas Officer, 
Lieutenant Robert M. Laird, and the Liaison Officer, Lieu- 
tenant James M. Guiher, were sent up to Captain Glock, 
bringing the news that Major Manning was to attack the 
following morning, and that the troops on the hill were to 
join the assaulting columns as they pushed over the hill. 
While waiting for morning and the attack, the troops on the 
hill had several brushes with the enemy, holding up and 
forcing the surrender of four Germans in the woods near the 
German lager. 

November 3 marks the offensive reconnaissances, Novem- 
ber 4 marks the sweeping of the hill by Major Parkin, and 
November 5 marks the attack of Major Manning. At 
8 H 30 the American artillery opened up a beautiful barrage, 
which fell just 200 meters over the crest of the hill. The 
men waiting on the hill could feel the swish of the passing 
shells just over their heads. Shortly before 9 H Major 
Manning's Provisional Battalion, consisting of L Company, 
a group from mixed companies, and K Company, 315th 
Infantry, under Captain Carroll, was seen advancing up 
the hill. The group waiting behind the crest then drew 
over to the right in order to be abreast of the battalion as 
it jumped off over the brow. During the concentration of 
the battalion at the base of the hill, and during the advance 
up the slope it was met by terrific artillery fire. The casual- 
ties were severe, and the depleted lines wavered. Major 
Manning strode in front of his line, cane in hand, and by 
his words of exhortation and by his brave example and 
leadership, drew the men after him. They reached the 
crest, disposing of a group of enemy on the northwest 
shoulder, and there, in the very forefront of his battalion. 
Major Manning was struck by a bullet and instantly killed. 
His heroic deed was rewarded posthumously by a D. S. C. 
A few minutes after his death Lieutenant Lawrence Ayers 
was mortally wounded. 

The fragments of the command, now joined on the right 
by the men who had spent the night on the hill, filtered over 
the crest and down the bare northern slope. From the left, 
at Sillon Fontaine Farm, from the nests along the Sivry- 
Reville Road, at the very base of the slope, from Solferino 

75 



Farm, a cluster of stone houses on the opposite slope of the 
valley, and from the woods to the east, the Bois de la 
Grande Montagne, a hail of machine-gun fire broke out. 
From the Bois d'Ecurey and the Reville Valley the enemy 
poured high explosive upon the scattered troops, who were 
gradually dwindling to nothing. German aeroplanes were 
now overhead, observing the effect of the German fire. 
Soon there would be no one left to protect the right flank 
beyond I Company against attack from the woods. The 
French had made no progress on the left, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Haedicke, who was on the road at the top of the 
hill, directing the movement in person, ordered the few 
score remaining troops to assemble and consolidate in the 
woods on the east shoulder of the hill, and again to swing 
a shell-hole defense along the crest of the hill. Captain 
Strong, who had led the Second Battalion in support of the 
Provisional Battalion, and who had rallied the troops on 
the crest of the hill, was directed to form his lines back of 
the crest in support. Company K of the 315th Infantry, 
and Company L, under Lieutenant Erickson, were on the 
left of the front line. The fragments of Captain Clock's 
Provisional Battalion, with Lieutenants Laird, Gabriel, 
Dreher and Foight, were on the right of the hill, joining with 
I Company in the woods. 

In this position the lines remained, the men in shell-holes 
in small groups, awaiting further orders. The enemy kept 
dropping shells on the hill all afternoon and all that night. 
Lieutenant Erickson was wounded, and also Lieutenant 
Guiher, the Liaison Officer, who had joined K Company 
under Lieutenant Ferris. While reconnoitering the flank 
with Lieutenant Clofine, a sniper's bullet had wounded 
Lieutenant Guiher severely. Lieutenant Botsford, who had 
just rejoined the Regiment from the hospital, where his 
Montfaucon wound had sent him, resumed duty with the 
battalion on the hill. 

The men had had no food for two days, and no water except 
that collected in shell-holes, and no men could be sent to 
the rear as carrying parties. Effort to bring supplies from 
the rear was not successful, except that reinforcements for 
K Company, where a counter-attack was greatly feared, 
brought along a good supply of rations for that part of the 
line. 

Meantime, Colonel Williams, suffering from gas and the 
ceaseless labors of day and night, became ill. He had moved 

76 



his Regimental Headquarters up to P. C. Manning at 
7 H 00 that morning, and when he heard of Major Manning's 
death, and from the French of a threatened counter-attack 
by the Germans, he tried to go up himself to the front lines. 
At the entrance to the P. C. he fell and had to be carried to 
a bunk. The Regimental Surgeon and Battalion Sergeant- 
Major Davitt were alone at P. C. Manning, and they tele- 
phoned to General Johnson. Captain Lindsay of the Head- 
quarters Company, who came in later, was put in command 
temporarily until Lieutenant-Colonel Haedicke was brought 
from the lines. Captain Lindsay had been working night 
and day as the Commanding Officer's personal representative 
on the lines, and was well acquainted with conditions at 
the front. 

Just before Colonel Williams' collapse, occurred one of 
those incidents that the directors of war movies revel in. 
Wires were cut in all directions; the Advance P. C. was 
virtually isolated, when the message came in by runner 
announcing the death of Major Manning, and adding that 
a counter-attack was forming, concluding with a request 
for a barrage at once. Shelling in the area about the P. C. 
was at this moment intense, making it impossible for runners 
to get through alive. It was absolutely essential that word 
get back to the artillery to lay on the German lines and 
quickly. But with no wires, and runners blocked, it looked 
as if the message would not get back at all, when Sergeant- 
Ma j or Davitt bethought himself of a lone pigeon still avail- 
able. Colonel Williams hurriedly wrote the message, it was 
tied to the pigeon's leg — and, unmindful of shelling, the bird 
was off and away to the cote at Division Headquarters in 
Vacherauville. Within a remarkably short time a deadly 
barrage was curtaining the Americans from German attack. 

In compliance with brigade orders, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Haedicke, who had reached P. C. Manning at about 18 H 00, 
went back to the old P. C. in the dugout above Molleville 
Farm to confer with the commanders of the Second Battalion 
of the 313th Infantry and the Third Battalion of the 315th 
Infantry, who were to attack on November 6, 1918, and 
relieve the 316th Infantry. 

Field Orders No. 15, Headquarters 158th Brigade, states 
in paragraph 3, "The detachment will step off from the 
line on Hill 378 now occupied by our troops, at 8 H 30, 
6 November, 1918." Upon the passage of lines on the hill 
crest, on line 24.0-84.0 to 25.0-84.0, the Commanding Officer 

77 



of the 316th was to give orders to have the troops on the 
hill withdrawn for reorganization, excepting Companies I, 
K and a portion of L, which were to remain holding their 
position in the woods. 

Meantime the troops on the hill held their ground. The 
words of the Commanding Officer, ''Hold the hill at all 
cost," took a new significance for these men who had lain 
in shell-holes under constant fire, many of them having had 
nothing to eat since the morning of the fourth. All that 
night they watched, listening to the moan of heavies, destined, 
perhaps for Verdun, and the next morning they waited for the 
advancing troops to pass through their lines. 

But early in the morning the enemy artillery came down 
on the hill and the woods to the rear, and the troops were 
not to be seen. At 10 H 55 a platoon of E Company of the 
313th Infantry came up the hill just to the west of the 
road in perfect platoon column, despite the bursting shells. 
A sergeant was in command, and upon inquiry, said he had 
lost contact with his right and left, but had kept going. His 
platoon was joined to the front lines on the crest of the hill 
to await his company. The day wore on, and the enemy 
planes came out, hovering over the hill with their black 
crosses showing plainly, the pilot peering down at the 
shell-holes and shooting his machine gun from an elevation 
of 200 yards. 

At about noon a small enemy patrol emerged from the 
woods on the northwestern slope and was driven back in a 
lively little skirmish. Meantime, runners had located the 
relieving battalions in the woods about a kilometer back of 
the hill and led the commander of the leading battalion up 
to "P. C. Glock." He explained that the terrific enemy fire 
had shaken his lines and he planned to go over at 14 H 00. 
A message requesting a barrage sent to Regimental Head- 
quarters at 12 H 35 was received at P. C. Manning at 
13 H 10, and the artillery brought down a barrage on the 
advance slopes of Hill 378. It was a splendid piece of work. 
Again, however, the enemy planes circled overhead and 
brought down heavy fire, breaking up any attempt at an 
advance. 

In the middle of the afternoon a strong combat patrol was 
discovered moving through the woods from the northwest 
upon the outposts. Perhaps this was part of a general 
counter-attack which later intelligence reports mention as 
having been broken up by artillery fire. The combat group 

78 



opened fire on the outposts with automatic rifles, and the 
affair looked serious, but they were driven off by automatics, 
and the German machine guns which had been set up by 
the extreme outpost. In the shelling which the enemy put 
down at this time, Lieutenant Dreher, who had been in the 
fray from the beginning, and Lieutenant Botsford, the latter 
having come to the lines from the hospital only the night 
before, were wounded and evacuated. 

The lines held their ground on top of the hill, however, 
and at 17 H 00 a relief was commenced by the Second 
Battalion of the 313th Infantry, behind which the Third 
Battalion of the 315th Infantry moved in support. The 
relief was completed after dark, the hill troops reaching P. C. 
Manning at 18 H 45. During the relief the enemy kept 
firing flares from the valley north of the hill, but there was 
very Httle firing, his activity having died down considerably 
in the late afternoon. The companies in the woods to the 
east of the road, I under Lieutenants Bliss and Bostick, 
K under Lieutenant Clofine, and L, now under Lieutenant 
Ferris, held their ground under orders, and the cdnmiand of 
the Third Battalion was tm-ned over to Captain J. Edgar 
Murdock. 

Major H. Harrison Smith had reported to Lieutenant- 
Colonel Haedicke at 16 H 15, and was inomediately sent 
forward to make a survey and report on the situation, and 
again that night he and Captain Lindsay were sent forward 
to carry orders for the attack of the next day to the battalion 
commanders on the hill. The plans for this attack were 
the same as for the previous day, except that the lines were 
to step-off at 8 H 10. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Burt of the 315th Infantry had been 
sent forward on November 6 to get in touch with the situa- 
tion and to assist Lieutenant-Colonel Haedicke. At 8 H 15 
on the morning of the 7th, when the two battalions of the 
313th and 315th moved forward, the command of the 
advance passed to Lieutenant-Colonel Burt. The 316th 
Infantry, however, turned over its non-commissioned staff 
to the provisional organization and maintained the complete 
system of liaison from the top of the hill back to P. C. 
Manning with its headquarters runners and with a telephone 
line under Sergeant Walter S. Fisher of the signal platoon 
which ran forward to *'P. C. Clock.*' 

The advance was preceded by a barrage and at 11 H 00 
report was received that the first objective had been taken, 

79 



the railroad line in the valley north of Hill 378. Company 
E of the 313th Infantry reported, "Company E has taken 
objective; no resistance," and Company F reported, 
''Have reached objective with 20 men — No casualties 
reported." The American artillery was helping magnifi- 
cently, weakening the enemy machine-gun fire, and by mid- 
afternoon a reorganization was effected to proceed against 
the second objective, the Tranch^e des Clairs Chines, a 
thousand meters ahead of the first objective. At 15 H 00 
the second movement was launched, and at 18 H 30 word 
came that the lines were at the Tranch^e des Clairs Chenes. 

During the day of the 7th the Regiment rested. Captain 
Goetz being placed in provisional command of the First 
Battalion and Captain Murdock in provisional command of 
the Third. 

The night of the 7-8 November, the companies of the Third 
Battalion remained on the line in the woods which they had 
held since November 3. The non-commissioned staff and 
liaison system were still at the disposal of the Provisional 
Regiment under Lieutenant-Colonel Burt. Lieutenant Col- 
onel Haedicke took vigorous measures to get food to the 
men in the lines, and those resting in the dugouts, and 
Lieutenant Detwiler of the Supply Company started hot 
food in the rolling kitchens, with orders to have ''chow" 
ready, hot and steaming, at all hours of the day and night. 

Company F, under Lieutenant Harris, carried food, water 
and ammunition to the companies still in the woods, the 
carriers exchanging their filled canteens of water for the 
empty ones of the men in the line. Lieutenant Furey, the 
Liaison Officer from the 315th Infantry, who had been fighting 
with the 316th since November 4, and who had sustained a 
wound, took companies C and D to carry food to Lieutenant- 
Colonel Burt's men. 

Major Corn well, the Regimental Surgeon, scoured the 
woods for any wounded and Chaplain Wright and Chaplain 
McNary continued their work of burying the dead. Also, 
the heroic labors of Lieutenants Bourque and Harding in 
caring for the wounded will never be forgotten. 

Hill 378 — Cornwilly Hill, as the doughboys dubbed it, 
distorting the French Cornouiller, and aptly expressing his 
dislike of the place, had been won. To the 316th Infantry, 
as General Kuhn in his tribute later wrote, had fallen the 
task of removing an "obstacle of the most serious character, 
breaking the enemy's resistance and contributing materially 

80 



to driving the enemy from the heights east of the Meuse a 
few days later." The task had been accompHshed, the 
Regiment had written an immortal page in history, acquitting 
itself, as the Commanding General noted, ''with the greatest 
credit and in a manner worthy of the best American tradi- 
tions." The whole backbone of German resistance on this 
front had been smashed. The soldier's creed is that victory 
is worth the cost. The 316th knows how great was the 
price paid, for not in mere total of dead and womided, 
appalling as that was, is its loss to be reckoned. On 378 lie 
buried a devoted band — among the bravest and the best. 

Meantime the orders issued from Brigade Headquarters for 
the attack of November 8. The line of attack was now to 
swing eastward toward Etraye, Reville and Ecm*ey. The 
315th Infantry on the right was to execute a passage of the 
lines of the Third Battalion, 316th Infantry, in the woods to 
the east of the Hill 378 road, whereupon they were to stand 
relieved. The Machine Gun Company of the 316th was 
attached to the 315th for the movement. On the left 
Lieutenant-Colonel Burt's provisional detachment was to 
move upon Reville. Even now the work of the 316th was 
not ended, for Captain Strong, with a provisional battalion, 
composed of Companies E and G, and of A and B Companies, 
under Lieutenant Gabriel, was sent into the woods just back 
of Hill 378 in the early morning hours of November 8 as 
Brigade Reserve for the movement of November 9. 

Throughout that day the part of the Regiment not engaged 
worked at burying its dead and reorganizing its companies. 
The heavy losses of the preceding days of fighting and the 
exhaustion of battle had to be overcome in order to pursue 
the enemy. About noon the lines of the 315th passed through 
Company I in the woods, southeast of Hill 378, and at 15 
H 00 they passed through L Company and at 15 H 15 
through Company K. For five days these Third Battalion 
troops had held this strip of woods along the east of the 
road, and with scarcely any food or water, suffering a gradual 
extermination from enemy patrols and enemy fire, they 
protected this exposed flank facing the wooded stronghold 
of the Bois de la Grande Montagne, while the rest of the 
Regiment took and occupied Hill 378. 

The relieved companies moved into the old First liattalion 
dugouts for the night. Captain Strong moved his battalion 
for the night as Brigade Reserve north of Hill 378 into the 
Reville Valley. At Regimental Headquarters Major Elliott 

81 



with a battalion of the 313th and a machine gun company 
moved into the Bois de Consenvoye in the evening and had 
a piping-hot meal from Lieutenant Detwiler's kitchens. 
Also, that night, the Regiment received one hundred and 
fifty replacements, all new men, who were promptly appor- 
tioned out to the depleted companies. 

In the small hours of November 9, orders came for the 
Regiment to march at 6 H 00 down the Etraye Valley. 
Captain Strong's battalion was to rejoin the Regiment, 
which was to move as Brigade Reserve, following the advance 
of the 315th. The Machine Gun Company, which had oper- 
ated with the advance battalion of the 313th on the 6th, 
was attached on the morning of the 9th to the support 
battalion of the 315th, which had spent the night in the woods 
northwest of Etraye. For the march down the Etraye 
Valley the 316th had attached Companies A and C of the 
312th Machine Gun Battalion. 

The march down the Etraye Valley will never be forgotten. 
The Regiment concentrated at the crossroads by P. C. 
Manning just after dawn. A light rain was falling and the 
road was ankle deep with mud. There was not a sound of 
artillery fire and the men kept bunching up, despite the 
constant efforts of the few officers to keep them separated 
against possible shell-fire. The march commenced at 6 H 00, 
and first passed through the old German lines, their dead 
lying in the gutter by the road. Part way down the wooded 
valley a great "lager, " or camp, was passed, long clusters of 
buildings with bath houses and amusement halls. The paths 
through the woods were carefully covered with camouflage, 
and where they opened into the road had gates with rustic 
arches. The havoc wrought by the shell-fire of the American 
guns on this "lager" and the whole valley below to Etraye, 
brought cheer to the hearts of the infantry, and remains with 
them as a memorial to the excellence of the American 
artillery. 

Near the "lager" the Germans, in their retirement, had 
felled a large tree across the road, and pioneers worked franti- 
cally sawing it up while the infantry passed around it. As 
the column emerged from the ravine before reaching Etraye, 
the enemy artillery opened upon the road, several hundred 
meters ahead. The men stopped munching the round loaves 
of bread which were suspended around their necks by shoe 
strings through the middle, but, seeing that the shells were 
not creeping up the road, plodded along. 

82 



The head of the column reached Etraye at 9 H 45, but 
immediately the Regiment, less Major Strong's battalion, 
was disposed in double lines on the hill south and southeast 
of Etraye. Orders were to follow the attack at 2,000 meters 
as Brigade Reserve, and the Regiment was disposed in readi- 
ness to follow when the advancing elements gained their 
distance. At 10 H 30 the 315th Infantry called upon the 
316th for a battalion to serve as a reserve to the First 
Battalion of the 315th, which was to attack from Etraye. 
The Third Battalion, under Captain Murdock, was placed 
at their command, and Captain Murdock reported to Major 
Pierson for orders. Shortly after Major Pierson issued orders 
to hold the troops in readiness where they were, he was killed, 
and Captain Murdock maintained his position, awaiting the 
call to use his reserve. 

Captain Strong's battalion was attached to the 315th 
Infantry, and went ahead in support of the attacking troops, 
which had Romagne sous les Cotes as their objective. This 
town was protected by four hills rising out of the plains, 
heavily wired and intrenched and fortified with a machine- 
gun defense. The advance was checked and at 16 H 30 
Major Strong established a P. C. in Wavrille, with his men 
disposed along the railroad and road running from Damvillers 
to Crepion. After more than a week of fighting it is not 
surprising that he wrote the following message: 

''From Captain Strong— Nov. 9, '18. At Wavrille— 16 

H 30. To Invent 1. By runner — 

"P. C. at Wavrille. Am himgry, thirsty and in need 
of candles. Strong." 

This appealing message was answered by a detail of men 
from the Regimental Band which, under Lieutenant Gabriel, 
felt its way in the darkness over unknown ground, laden 
down with hard bread, salmon and corned beef. 

The Machine Gun Company of the 316th also participated 
in the action of November 9, stopping for the night to dig 
in along the railroad running from Damvillers to Crepion. 

On the morning of November 10, Colonel George Williams 
reported back to the Regiment from the hospital and again 
took command. 

For one more day Captain Strong's battalion and the 
Machine Gun Company of the 316th were employed under 
the 315th Infantry. On November 10, the rest of the 
Regiment being in reserve, including an attached battalion 

83 



of the 315th under Major H. Harrison Smith, he attacked 
from the railroad at 7 H 30, and advanced through the fog 
toward Gibercy and the valley between Cote 319 and Cote 
de Morimont. The enemy laid down an artillery barrage, 
but could not use his machine guns to great advantage. At 
this time Lieutenant Spencer S. Large, commanding B Com- 
pany, was wounded. La Thinte Ruisseau, a small but deep 
stream running north and south, was crossed by means of 
litters, no logs being available. When the fog lifted, the 
battalion, advanced almost a kilometer east of Gibercy to 
a crossroad at the base of Cote 328, found itself flanked by 
the hills, with advance or retirement cut off by the enemy 
machine guns concealed on the hillsides. They dug in where 
they were; and the Machine Gun Company, following along 
in the rear, withdrew in the night to the railroad embank- 
ment from where it could fire upon the formidable hills. 
At 4 H 00 on the morning of the 11th, the Machine Gun 
Company was relieved and Captain Orr reported back to 
the Regiment. The battalion under Captain Strong was 
relieved at about 7 H 30 on the morning of the 11th and 
returned to German dugouts on the hillside above Etraye. 



84 



VIII 

" Finie la Guerre '* 

Through the haze of battle rumors, ghostly intangible 
rumors, had been floating about the lines of an impending 
German collapse, of the flight of the Kaiser, the assassination 
of the Crown Prince, the proclamation of a German republic, 
the request for an armistice — oh, a hundred and one reports 
which the battle-tired men of the 316th discussed with that 
skepticism born of many disappointments. Reports of peace 
amid the angry buzz of machine gun bullets, the constant 
roar of artillery, seemed like fantastic, wild dreams. Few 
credited them. News from the outside world in those tre- 
mendous days was a crazy patchwork of fact and fancy. 
The collapse of Turkey, the conquest of Bulgaria, the down- 
fall of Austria — generally known to have been accomplished — 
seemed to make Germany's defeat certain, but that that 
defeat was a matter of hours few dared to believe. The 
attempt to conceive that stupendous conflict at an end, all 
those belching guns hushed, was too staggering for the 
average man's imagination. He gave it up without trying, 
busying himself instead in getting what rest he could in the 
shell-holes about Etraye. Rest to the 316th on November 
1 1 was synonymous with heaven, for the Regiment was dog 
tired. Its spirit was far from gone, but it ached in every 
muscle and grabbed with avid enjoyment the opportunity 
to relax. Tomorrow it might be — and was expected to be — 
"forward" — today it was suflicient to burrow into the wiet 
earth and stretch under a slicker, perchance to sleep. 

Out beyond DamviUers the guns thundered, and from 
behind, the American cannon growled their reply — a constant, 
uninterrupted fire. The 316th lay in its holes virtually 
undisturbed, for few of the shells fell in its immediate area. 
To be out of the zone of heavy shelling was blessing enough 
for a day. 

At 10 H 00 on November 11 the shelling steadily increased 
to a frenzied crescendo of violence. A doughboy in L Com- 
pany turned to his bunkie. "Armistice," he said with deep 
disgust, "Armistice, hell. Listen to that." 

85 



And then at a few minutes before 11 H 00 the great news 
came m the form of an official message through Regimental 
Headquarters to Battalion Headquarters and then to Com- 
pany Commanders: 

"From Invent 1— At P. C. Date: 11 Nov. '18— Hour: 
10 H 15— How Sent: Runner— To Bn. Cmdrs. 
*'The following has just been received from Brigade Head- 
quarters. You will see that these instructions are strictly- 
complied with. The runner bringing this will give you the 
correct time. Quote — From Itasca 1 (Through Italy 1) 
Date: 11 Nov. '18— Hour 9 H 00— How Sent: Telephone 
— To Italy 1: Hostilities on the whole front after 11 H 00 
will cease today, French time. Until that hour the opera- 
tions previously ordered will be pressed with vigor. At 
11 H 00 our line will halt in place, and no man will move 
one step backward or forward. All men will cease firing 
and dig in. In case the enemy does not likewise suspend 
firing, firing will be resumed, but no further advance per- 
mitted. No fraternization will be allowed. Brigade and 
other Commanders concerned with the importance of 
transmitting these orders to the troops and securing their 
strict enforcement. Rockets and other signals may be 
used to notify the front line of the arrival of the eleventh 
hour. Itasca 1 — Quote. Continued from Italy 1 — Quote. 
In order to carry out at once the foregoing, notify your 
Battalion Commanders and through them all, troops of 
your Regiment. The Battalion at front has been ordered 
back. Place it in position well forward of crest of hill just 
in rear of Wavrille — Johnson, Brigadier-General, Com- 
manding Quote. Williams, Colonel." 
Per C. E. Clock, Capt. 316th Inf. Adjt. 

Company commanders lost no time giving the news to 
their men. Most of them contented themselves with the 
brief announcement, "Firing ceases at 11 H 00. Hold your 
positions and dig in," and most of the men received the news 
with a wan smile which expanded into wide-eyed amazement 
as suddenly all the clamor of those thousand guns ceased 
and a vast, almost unearthly quiet ensued. It was uncanny, 
eerie, as of another world, that quiet, and for a long moment 
the stunned infantry waited breathless for they knew not 
what. 

And then it began to dawn on them, the war was really, 
actually 'fini/' and a smile the length of the Regiment — the 

86 



length of the battle line for that matter — the smile of a tired 
child — displaced that first expression of total amazement. 

A smile— that's all. As far as the 316th is concerned there 
was no cheering, no shouting, no overflowing of spirits. In 
the valley below, the artillerymen set up a giant shout of 
exultation and floated Old Glory to the winds. But on the 
hills of Etraye quiet reigned. 

Followed a vast lassitude as of a spent runner who has 
made his goal. The Regiment rested. Gradually it emerged 
from its holes. Slowly it realized there was no need longer 
to hve like the mole, and methodically it set about getting 
comfortable for the night, taking over what elephant huts 
and sheds were available. For the first time, that night 
cigarettes glowed in the dark without a growl from the 
''top," and camp fires shed a cheerful warmth over shell- 
hole and shelter half. That was the extent of the 316th's 
celebration, and that was enough. But not so thought the 
Germans, and the night of the eleventh saw the Boche Hne 
aflame with all the accumulated pyrotechnics of a campaign. 
A thousand Fourth of July's reeled into one — that display. 
It lighted the leaden heavens in a dazzle of radiant color, 
and drew from the Yanks unbegrudged admiration. Gradu- 
ally the American and French fronts followed suit until for 
miles a constant ascension of starshells and rockets of every 
description followed. A fitting finish to the greatest day in 
history. The 316th slept that night. 

The next day the Regiment passed under command of 
Colonel Garrison McCaskey who was to inject into it new 
life, new vim, new "pep" and make it look like a victorious 
army should, but, alas, rarely does. 



87 



IX 

Holding tKe Front 

The shell-hole period was over. Outwardly the same 
muddy, tired, strained, but still sturdy, doughboys of Hill 
378 — inwardly a quiet, vast content — overhead a smiling 
sun — the 316th, now 1,600 men strong and reinforced by new 
increments of officers, moved forward on November 13 
under the invigorating leadership of Colonel McCaskey to 
hold its part of the post-armistice front. It was the same 
France as two days before, but many a man brushed his 
eyes in something like amazement as the battaUons marched 
out in column of squads. The hills about Romagne rose 
serene and imposing in the distance, the woods glistened 
with a new radiance, the valleys lay under a bcjeweled 
blanket of dew — and everywhere that still, extraordinary 
quiet broken now by only the singing of a myriad of birds. 
Nature was celebrating the arrival of peace, but the unpoetic 
man in the ranks attributed all this sunshine and fragrance 
to the ending of the artillery fire. 

The Division Orders were that the 158th Brigade would 
take over 'Hhe sector now occupied by the 13th Colonial 
French Division" and the relief was carried out with war 
time precision and promptness. The relief order bore Uttle 
of the breath of peace in its words. The enemy was out there 
somewhere in front. He had given his word to ''get out" 
and that quickly, but precaution was still the watchword. 
Machine guns and artillery were deposed with a careful eye 
to the tactical requirements, and while the larger part of 
the command was arranged with a view to improving the 
physical condition of the men and perfecting supply and 
equipment, all were held in instant readiness for an advance, 
obeying General Kuhn's strict instructions. 

The Third Battahon, under Captain Charles E. Loane, Jr., 
who had been wounded in the Bois de Beuge, but who had 
since returned from the hospital, was placed in the outpost 
line, reheving units of the 32d Division, for, the Frenchmen, 
supposed to be there, had quickly ''parteed" to other 
parts. The battaiion occupied a bundle of huts that looked 

88 



like palaces just then, east of the Damvillers-Peuvillers 
Road. Outposts were quickly established by Company M, 
liaison maintained with the 315th Infantry on the right and 
the 128th on the left, and "watchful waiting" inaugurated. 
In rear the rest of the Regiment disposed itself about R^ville, 
and proceeded to make itself "comfortable" — a word which 
had suddenly taken on new meaning. Mechanics' tools were 
resurrected, the woods beyond the Damvillers-Peuvillers 
Road proved a vast storehouse of cots and stoves, lumber 
and fuel. The woods, as Lieutenant-Colonel Haedicke 
observed, were full of 'em. Those Boches certainly did 
believe in comfort for themselves — and a period of reconstruc- 
tion and clean-up began. 

The First Battalion under Major Smith was located in 
what had apparently been a German prison-camp — a vile, 
indescribably filthy pen. But the 316th's reputation at 
Meade as the cleanest regiment in the division, had not 
been idly earned, and the place was soon transformed into a 
quite habitable spot. The Second Battalion under Captain 
Strong emulated the mountain goat in the "cliffs" about 
the Regimental P. C, and rapidly got into form for that 
notable day when, at Issoncourt, they were declared to be 
the neatest, tidiest, prettiest outfit on the Rue Nationale — 
or words to that effect. 

While keenly "watching" it was not all "waiting" out 
in front. Headquarters decided to make assurance doubly 
sure, and a patrolling system was instituted on November 
17. Daily for the next few days one platoon under an officer 
went out into the former enemy territory, through Romagne, 
Mangienne, Merle, and the intervening woods in search of 
Boches and straying ex-prisoners of war and other things. 
These "other things" were not mentioned in the lieutenant's 
report to headquarters but they burdened the mails later, 
for right there certain platoons got a running start in the 
great sport of souvenir hunting which saw its palmiest days 
in the weeks that followed "finie la guerre." Aside from 
directing prisoners and weary civilians, the patrols had Kttle 
to do except hike — and hunt — on these thirty kilometer 
missions. Not a sign of a hving Boche an3rwhere — but 
everywhere indications of the indefinite stay he had expected 
to make in those parts. Cots — stoves — lumber — fuel — in 
vast quantities throughout the Bois de Damvillers and the 
woods and towns all about. Streams of repatriat€d prisoners 
came trudgjcg^ back and were eecorted to headquarters by 

89 



Third Battalion details. Slowly civilians crept into the 
ruined towns, backs bent under huge burdens, a deal of woe 
in their eyes as they viewed for the first time the wreck 
wrought by the Prussians, but that indomitable courage in 
their hearts which won the everlasting respect of any who 
saw its manifestation. 

A typical report of one of the patrols was that sent by 
Lieutenant Richard Ferries. It read: ''Three French 
prisoners found and six American souvenir hunters turned 
over to proper authorities." These souvenir hunters, not 
being members of the 79th, were probably, or should have 
been, shot at sunrise. This neck of the woods was "closed" 
territory and sacred to the victors of Hill 378. No compe- 
tition allowed — but there was lots of it just the same, and 
they learned to be mighty wary of patrols and such. Thus, 
one report by Lieutenant George Bliss candidly admits: 
"Saw three Americans, but they dodged into the woods and 
we were unable to find them." 

In the meantime, drill and cleaning up were keeping the 
men busy, and visions of home began to loom large. The 
Germans having plainly decided not to stage a come-back, 
the American forces turned their attention to that stiU 
peskier foe — the cootie — and from then on until the Regi- 
ment sailed for home it was war to the death, with disastrous 
results for the cooties, although a few snipers held out until 
the very end. Regular bathing was instituted and rigid 
inspections — the joy of the private's heart — became the 
order of the day. The famous Gold-Dust Twins had nothing 
on the Old Dutch Cleansers in the 316th, and it was a well- 
nigh spotless outfit that lined up for battalion, regimental, 
division and C, in C. "once-overs" ever so often, and some- 
times oftener. 

The progress made in a few weeks was well demonstrated 
in the R^ville area at a review before the Brigade Com- 
mander. New brooms sweep clean, and it was plainly 
manifest that under Colonel McCaskey and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Haedicke the Regiment had set itself new standards 
and was proceeding to attain them. There was an unwonted 
briskness as the battalions marched by General Johnson in 
column of companies and a smartness of appearance at the 
inspection that showed the fatigue of battle was fast vanishing. 

From that day on it was a case of steady progress. Colonel 
McCaskey^s idea was that each day's goal must be surpassed 
on the morrow. This spirit prevented any relaxation and 

90 



kept the Regiment's standard of efficiency always at top- 
notch. 

Whatever monotony might have been in that period was 
reheved by the avalanche of rmnors that suddenly descended 
out of nowhere and multiplied Hke a healthy cootie. The 
Division was to go home in December, January, February, 
March, April, May, — any month you pleased, according to 
whether you believed in the judgment of Major Corn well or 
Captain Christensen or Lieutenant Cole, or the Colonel's 
orderly who told it to Private Whatshisname who repeated 
it — and so on. Then it was scheduled for Siberia, Poland, 
Czecho-Slavia, Japan, Mexico, the Phihppines, etc., etc., 
according to whether you hked your rumor hot or cold, 
sunny side up or "turned-over." These were busy days for 
old Mrs, Rumor — the busiest since those June days at 
Meade. The fever attacked privates and officers alike, and 
from Damvillers to Reville one could, in a day's walk, gather 
enough news to stock a dozen extras for a yellow journal. 

Wounded officers, who now began returning in a steady 
stream, added to the supply. Lieutenant Rikeman had been 
told by a Red Cross nurse who knew a '*Y" girl who knew 
the driver for a Ueutenant in the Medical Department who 
had operated on an S. O. S. general's orderly for an enlarged 
tonsil — well, anyhow, he had it straight that the Division 
was slated to sail January 17 as escort to Mrs. Wilson. 
The great day came and passed — but Mrs. Rumor kept 
at her old trade unabashed, now ably assisted by men return- 
ing from the leave areas. For it was while on this "front" 
that the first leaves were granted, and the 316th began to 
realize there were other things in France besides mud and 
ruins and misery. The first contingent had an unlucky 
start — in a pouring rain at 1 H 00, and a twenty-kilometer 
hike to Verdun — but they came back with wonderful tales 
of Aix-les-Bains, where it appeared there was "bow-koo" 
this and that — especially that. Leave contingents became 
a regularity after that, and "combien" became one of the 
best known words in the doughboy's dictionary. Fortu- 
nately, it is pronounced the same in Nice and Paris as in 
Aix-les-Bains. 

This plague of rumors came to a grand climax in mid- 
December with the announcement that the 79th was to 
start "toot sweet" for Germany to join the actual Army of 
Occupation. A terrific bustle of preparation started at 
once. Everybody began brushing up on how to say "vin 

91 



blank'' or *'biere, encore" in Boche, and looking up maps 
to see where Schmeerkaese von Limburger am Rhine was 
located — for, of course, it took just no time for rumor to 
have the exact spot the Regiment was to occupy fixed. The 
boys from Pennsylvania started to polish the Dutch out of 
their German pretzels, and great big steins with the old 
familiar foam atop of 'em started to appear in dreams; 
*'Nein" and "Yah" began to be commonplaces of conversa- 
tion; Headquarters Company and a few other outfits actu- 
ally packed up, rarin' to go — and then, blooie; old Mrs. 
Rumor laughed a loud, boisterous horse laugh and the move 
was over before it began. 

Christmas, 1918, found the 316th Infantry comfortably 
settled, spick and span and in high morale, despite that 
homesick feehng which wouldn't down. Orders to move had 
arrived — the direction was south — one step nearer home, or 
so it seemed in everyone's mind — and the thought helped 
make the holiday more cheerful. Two months before, that 
Christmas would have seemed a wild dream. True, there 
was no turkey, there were no cranberries or pumpkin pie — 
but the ''Y" and company funds had provided heapfuls of 
tasty substitutes and that same reverent feeling of gratitude 
which pervaded Thanksgiving Day was again present 
beneath the surface of things. None realized better than 
the men who had been in the thick of the fighting the wonder- 
ful fortune that was theirs; and under the boisterous exterior 
was a spirit devout and humble. That spirit filled the church 
at Peuvillers when Chaplain Goodwin held services Christmas 
morning and echoed in the carols of a doughboy choir. 

There is a stone outside the church of Peuvillers inscribed 
in German characters. The subscription caught the eye of 
General Evan M. Johnson, Brigade Commander, as he was 
leaving the church, and in a somewhat amazed tone he read 
it aloud: 

''To friends and foe, who died for their country, this stone 
is dedicated. May they be united in death," and under it 
the name of a German regiment. 

"A sentiment worthy of any true fighting man," said the 
General. 

Christmas brought a cheering message from the Division 
Commander and a promise of "home soon." This message 
was conveyed in a neatly printed folder which will be a prized 
souvenir years from now as a memento of a memorable 
holiday. It showed the Division Ck>mmandBr not unmindful 

92 



of the fact that home was once again in the minds of all. 
General Kuhn wrote: 

"To the Officers and Men of the 79th Division: 

"This, the second Christmas in the life of the 79th Division 
finds you far from home and friends in a foreign land. Your 
thoughts are with those near and dear to you across the water 
as their thoughts are with you. This Christmas setting is 
indeed a strange and unusual one for many of you who for 
the first time in your lives are not celebrating the holiday 
season with your families. 

"Your presence here is in a just and righteous cause and 
the sacrifices you have made and are still making are for the 
benefit of all civilization and future generations. The Dawn 
of Peace has come and with it the time of your return to 
your country and home draws near. 

"In wishing you one and all a Merry Christmas and a 
Happy New Year your Division Commander desires to 
express his appreciation for your gallant conduct in battle 
and for your faithful services, both at home and abroad. 

"Your conduct has been excellent, even under trying 
conditions, and your Division Commander trusts that one 
and all will strive to maintain the high reputation justly 
earned by the 79th Division." 

Two days later found the command on the move — away 
from the front and its searing memories — toward billets and 
vin shops and mayhap "oofs." Whenever in the distant 
years the 316th Infantry thinks of battle and sudden death 
its thoughts will turn first to Montfaucon and 378, and then 
to that road of desolation stretching from DamvUlers to the 
hills of Verdun. That road runs through a land bathed 
in French and American blood — a section that tourists wiU 
view with much the same feeling as Americans view Gettys- 
burg. "On ne passe pas" is written in valley and hill — the 
landscape for miles around bears witness in a myriad shell- 
holes, in slaughtered forests and macerated villages, to the 
unconquerable spirit that stemmed the hordes of the Crown 
Prince and tumbled autocracy to its ruin. The struggles of 
over four years are written there as plainly as the characters 
in a child's spelling book. Innumerable graves on both sides 
of the road; bare remnants of once contented villages — 
Vacherauville, where Division Headquarters was located, 
with its collection of German guns, testifying to American 
victories, and now a huddle of crushed stones with naught 

93 



but a crudely painted sign to tell that here a town once 
flourished; Samogneux, a dreary rock-strewn blank of 
misery, as if a giant chemist had ground it to powder and 
strewn it to the four winds; Bras, eloquent in every ruin of 
French heroism and devotion; and finally Verdun and the 
Jardin Fontaine barracks in Thierville, whose halls still echoed 
the tramp of thousands of France's bravest. That march 
will not soon be forgotten. Along its route was epitomized 
all of war. There is a sign along that same road which 
pointing to the front says, ''Glorieux'' and to the rear, 
*' Regret." It indicates two towns, but to American soldiers 
marching by, it seemed significant of the whole soul of the 
allied cause — ''Glory, ahead; regret, behind." 

After a night in the Jardin Fontaine barracks the march 
was resumed the next morning. It's an axiom that when 
the 316th hikes it rains, and it did that day — a cold, pitiless, 
driving torrent that mocked at slickers and field shoes. It 
was a wet and weary lot that tumbled into the Souilly area 
billets (midway between Verdun and Bar-le-Duc) but it was 
a step nearer home, and that thought kept morale high. 
The front was at last definitely put behind, and with genial 
Miss Vin Blanc to help, the command again started to make 
itself comfortable. If some day, back in Reading or Colum- 
bia, you get tired of life and want to make a speedy exit to 
the next world, step up behind a couple of ex-doughboys and 
say in a loud voice (just like a lieutenant): "Fall out on 
the right of the road and make yourself comfortable" — but 
that's another story. 



94 



X 

In **Vin-Blank" Land 

From Peuvillers and R^ville to Heippes was a transition 
from Boche barracks to French. The front — our front — was 
put behind, but there were fleeting signs in the Souilly area 
that said as plainly as the shell-holes at Verdun, "Here once 
passed the Boche." For it was in this area that the German 
pincers in 1914 failed to close and the plan to cut off Verdun 
frustrated. Crosses mark the hillsides all about Souilly and 
Heippes and Rambluzin. The old lady from whom one 
seeks ''quelque chose a manger" remembers quite vividly 
those few days when Prussians were her unwelcome guests, 
and here and there a house lies in solitary ruin. 

So the end of the year found the Regiment once more 
maldng spotless towns — this time out of Heippes, Rambluzin, 
Issoncourt, Seraucourt, Rignaucourt and Deuxnouds. Build- 
ing, rebuilding, scouring, cleaning — rapidly the Regiment 
took on new vigor and snap, while a veritable flood of 
theatricals and unprecedented "Y" activity sent morale 
soaring. Company K, which under Lieutenant Sheridan's 
guidance had started the theatrical ball a-roUing at Peu- 
villers, soon had emulators in Headquarters Company, the 
First Battalion and Second Battalion troupes. And of 
outside shows there were no end, artillery, machine gun, 
engineer and pioneer outfits supplying entertainments that 
rivaled in vivacity and *'pep" the best on Broadway, or, at 
any rate, seemed to. It looked as if the A. E. F. was plumb 
full of actorines in those days, and a lot of them were good, 
judged even by professional standards. Mrs. Maude Balling- 
ton Booth and her daughter brought messages to the men 
from the women of America, and captured for themselves a 
place in the hearts of the Regiment. 

Drilling and cleaning up and theatricals did not interfere 
with the relentless war on the cootie, a particularly vicious 
species being found in the barracks and billets that once 
had been occupied by Soldats Fran^ais. An ordinary hot 
bath, and an immersion of equipment in torrid water, seemed 
merely to mildly amuse the cooties of Heippes, and hardly 

95 



annoy his brother at Issoncourt. Rules of international 
warfare were discarded, and against gasoline attacks and 
anti-cootie tanks the cootie army finally began to waver 
so that by the time the next move was made the keenest of 
Major Corn well's sleuths were unable to find a single one 
on American territory. This victory — one of the most no- 
table in the war — gave great satisfaction to Lieutenant- 
Colonel Haedicke. It demonstrated that his insistence on 
range work, shooting morning, noon and afternoon (including 
one mournful Saturday) had so developed the eyes and accu- 
racy of the 316th that not even a cootie could escape them. 

As to range-work, the Regiment went to it with a vim 
under the guidance and constant encouragement of Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Haedicke who was now in command, Colonel 
McCaskey taking the brigade. Ranges were constructed 
by each battalion, and target practice was carried out with 
an earnestness that converted many a hitherto poor shot 
into an expert. The good results obtained were early indi- 
cated in the fact that on the Divisional Team the 316th 
had far more than pro-rata representation. 

About this time also the salute began to figure in memo- 
randa and bulletins, and occasionally in orders. Elbows that 
had grown a little bit rusty at the front and hadn't quite 
recovered were given an extra dose of oil and polish and 
soon were in fine working order, so that even First Army 
inspectors passing through in March were impressed by the 
snap and precision and unfailing regularity with which 
officers and men of the 316th Infantry — and other 79th 
Division units — rendered the military salute. 

It may have been the approach of spring, which in civil 
life turns a young man's fancy to thoughts of love, or visions 
of home, but whatever it was, the Regiment, with the passing 
of winter assumed a brisker, snappier appearance than ever 
before. In January the six months gold stripe made its 
appearance, joining in many instances a more exclusive 
brother on the right. The homesick feeling had no outward 
effect on morale which was higher than ever. Athletic events 
proved the high spirit prevailing, the Regiment winning the 
divisional meet by a half point — half a point being as good 
as a mile. No New England housewife could have done a 
more thorough job than Captain Christensen performed with 
the Regiment's transportation. Under the Supply Company's 
ministrations, vehicles were changed from old to new over 
night, and kept that way by daily baths and massages, just 

96 



like a theatrical queen. Horses, that when turned over to 
the Regiment looked as if they would die on the morrow, 
blossomed out in sleek and shiny coats with the latest thing 
in haircuts. Equipment was cleaned like the front steps 
of a Philadelphia house, and in the horse shows and trans- 
portation shows that followed, the 316th won high commenda- 
tion. In the brigade motor show the Regiment won almost 
every first, and by this time the Regiment's reputation for 
being *'some outfit" was well estabhshed. There was a 
snappy alertness, a vigorous on-the-job-ness about the entire 
Regiment that spoke volumes for the methods introduced 
by Colonel McCaskey and ably emulated by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Haedicke. 

All the while, of course, the ordinary routine of the soldiers' 
life was not neglected. Maneuvers and terrain exercises were 
numerous, and umpires noted, with something like surprise, 
the interest displayed and the expert manner in which they 
were carried out. There was mighty little of the naturally 
expected ** peace time" lassitude. Hill 321 near Heippes was 
taken with as much vim as though Boche had held it, and 
the woods round about were cleaned up as if a German 
lurked behind every tree. Experience — the greatest of 
teachers — had impressed his lesson well. The sharp, sinister 
tat-tat-tat of the machine gun was simulated by the raucous 
rattler, but there was no simulation about the advance of 
the 316th battalions. They were the real thing — as officers 
would have liked to see them performed under fire and as 
the men now realized they should have been. 

Maneuvers finally, to a great extent, gave way before a 
veritable epidemic of schools that began to rage all through 
the A. E. F. and did not spare the 316th. Knowledge — all 
kinds — how to build a sewer and how to write a poem about 
your best girl's eyes — how to say *'I love you" in French, 
and the difference between cents and centimes — how to 
raise grapefruit on Third Avenue, Manhattan, or genuine 
Cuban tobacco in Lancaster — knowledge, wisdom, learning, 
all kinds and degrees, how it did flourish those spring months 
in battalion schools, regimental schools, divisional schools, 
A. E. F. schools, French and Enghsh universities, etc., etc. 
Also the school of the soldier and the squad, for about this 
time the New I. D. R. made its appearance, and the Yanks 
learned with sorrow and surprise that hereafter the "top" 
stood six paces in front of the company instead of three, 
and other vital changes like that. 

97 

o 



The Regiment on March 1 numbered 2,647 men and 109 
oflScers — many of these representing returns from hospitals. 
A good percentage of this 2,647 attended the specialty schools, 
and a large number was usually on leave. Three-day per- 
mits to the French capital were available, and the waiting 
list was always as long as the week before pay day. It was 
about this time Paw and Maw over in the States began to 
wonder how they were going "to keep him down on the farm 
after he had seen Paris" — some problem, what? The trips 
to Paris — and to Nice for that matter — were part of the 
A. E. F/s educational course, although it didn't say so on 
the program. This particular education came high, but 
officers, non-coms, and bucks, all agreed it was worth it. 

Schools, entertainments, athletics, leaves — none of them 
interfered with details — road, stone, water, kitchen, etc., etc. 
The period the 316th spent in the Souilly area will in future 
French history be known as the time of the Great Scourge — 
when the God of Cleanliness vented his wrath on the vener- 
ated accimiulations of ages. Major Corn well was the prophet 
of this deity and Major Strong of the First Battalion, Major 
Gwynn of the Second, and Major Macrorie of the Third, 
able disciples. By some mysterious and sacred system the 
standing of each organization was announced weekly, and 
competition was keen, with honors about even. Manicures 
in the U. S. A. will do a flourishing business with the K. P.'s 
and mess sergeants, if the lessons of the medical inspectors 
are remembered. 

The approach of the end of March saw the Regiment once 
again packing up for another lap on the road toward home 
and mother. Some 100 kilometers of strenuous hiking 
loomed ahead, but it was a cheerful, singing, spick and span 
aggregation that pulled out on the morning of March 28 for 
the Andelot area— for the gently rolling stretches of beauty 
in the northern Haute Marne, as the ''Lorraine Cross" 
remarked, optimistically saying naught of the mud that 
lay between these vistas of loveliness. 



XI 

Out of the War Zone 



There could have been no better demonstration given of 
the vast strides in fitness and morale which the Regiment 
had made under Colonel McCaskey and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Haedicke than that march to the Andelot Area, near Chau- 
mont and ''G. H. Q." It was a veteran, high stepping outfit 
that knew its worth and looked it, which left the Souilly 
Area, and five days of exhausting marching in rain and 
sleet failed to dampen its ardor or crush its spirit. Through 
that string of towns, 104 kilometers long from Heippes to 
Orquevaux, they marched as became a victorious army 
going home, gaining the commendation of the Division and 
Brigade Commanders and critical army inspectors who 
reported with unreserved admiration on the splendid march 
discipline and the constant evidence of high morale. They 
left along that winding trail through Rembercourt, Vavin- 
court, Naives, Stainville, Bure, and a score of other villages, 
a famine in ''oofs" and "pom freet" and ''vin blank," but 
a last impression that will leave a picture in the minds of all 
French who saw it not unworthy of American traditions. 
That one of the principal lessons of battle experience — the 
importance of liaison — had been well learned was shown in 
the prompt reports of arrivals and departures made to 
higher headquarters by the Regimental Commander. This 
attention to detail gained special praise from Brigade and 
Division. There was during that march an indefinaible 
something present which made a jest of sleet and snow and 
mud — that elated spirit which every able commander strives 
to instil into his troops and which the 316th possessed to an 
extraordinary degree. 

The entire division won praise for this truly remarkable 
march, and the Brigade Commander, Colonel McCaskey, 
expressed special commendation for the 316th in the following 
letter : . 

99 



"Headquarters 158th Infantry Brigade, A. E. F. 

4 April, 1919. 
From Commanding Officer, 158th Infantry Brigade. 
To Lt.-Col. George Haedicke, Commanding 316th Infantry. 
Subject — March to new area. 

1. The Brigade Commander desires to express his apprecia- 
tion of the splendid showing made by your command in its 
recently completed march from the Souilly Area to the 
Andelot Area. At all times when the troops of your command 
were under his observation, all standing orders were being 
compHed with, resulting in excellent march discipline, and 
the high morale existing among both officers and men in 
spite of adverse weather conditions is splendid evidence of 
the esprit of the Regiment. 

Very truly yours, 

Garrison McCaskey, 

Colonel, Infantry, U. S. A." 

That hike was a vivid contrast to the march from Dam- 
villers, for as the column drew away from Bar-le-Duc the 
imprints of war seemed gradually to roll back like a receding 
wave, and when on April 1 camp was established in the 
Andelot Area, it was in a district free from the scars of 
Mars. Orquevaux, Regimental Headquarters, nestles like 
a fairy village amidst majestically clad hills, with princely 
chateaux overlooking green valleys through which run as 
limpid streams as ever dazzled a fisherman's eye. All about 
this gem of a village the land lies serene and calm as though 
the breath of four years of war had touched it as little as the 
smiling valleys of Lebanon. For the first time since those 
days in the woods beside historic Verdun, the 316th looked 
not on decaying signs of war. Trampot, Chambroncourt, 
Leurville, and Busson all had comfortable barracks. 

But as brilliant a spectacle of war as any ardent painter 
might desire was staged in this domain of peace within the 
next few days; for on April 17 came the review of the 
Division by General Pershing — the climax of the 79th's 
sojourn in France. There has been much wailing and 
gnashing of teeth by popular writers over the vanishing of 
the picturesque in modern war, but it took a jaded spirit 
indeed to view without a thrill that march-by of the hosts 
under General Kuhn, bayonets flashing and bands blaring. 
Every private, every officer had made frantic preparations 
to meet the high standards known to be set by the American 

100 



Commander-in-chief. Every bayonet blade gleamed like a 
flash of subdued flame unquenchable in the rain, helmets 
gleamed spotless as a careful housewife's pans; uniforms 
showed little of the wear and tear of campaign days. 

Of course, it rained. But it would have taken more than 
all the torrents in all the heavens to spoil that review, and 
the downpouring rain seemed only to add to the impressive- 
ness of the scene. The Regiment was lined up in a line of 
battalions in close column, each company in a column of 
platoons. The Third Battalion under Captain van Dyke 
(Major Macrorie being at school) was on the right; then the 
Second under Captain Kirkpatrick (Major Gwynn being on 
a special mission) and the First under Major Smith (the 
former Commander, Major Strong, attending artillery school) . 
The command caught its first glimpse of their chief as a 
blare of bugles heralded his approach with his personal staff, 
all mounted. This is not the place for a eulogy of the Com- 
mander-in-chief, but it is not amiss to say that every man 
in the Division, as he later viewed that erect, gallant, striding 
figure, sensed something behind those keen eyes, and saw 
in their leader the American army personified and idealized. 
After a breakneck gallop around the entire Division, General 
Pershing started his dismounted inspection of the line 
troops, the 316th being the first infantry regiment to be 
inspected. 

As Colonel McCaskey, in command of the Brigade, 
advanced to report, the Commander-in-chief, with a demo- 
cratic ''Hello, McCaskey," stretched his hand forth for a 
hearty handclasp — as befitted a meeting of old campaigners. 
In turn Lieutenant-Colonel Haedicke and the First Battalion 
commander reported, and the inspection of the companies 
began— the platoons being in open ranks faced toward each 
other for the occasion. There was never a more auspicious 
start, for, as Lieutenant Charles M. Sincell of Company K 
fell into step, General Pershing remarked heartily, "Lieu- 
tenant, your personal appearance is a splendid example to 
your men." 

At a swift pace that made company commanders hustle to 
keep up, the inspection continued. With a swift glance of 
appraisal, General Pershing commented on this man or 
that who particularly caught his eye, paying especial atten- 
tion to men with wound chevrons and questioning many 
of them. 

101 



" In what action did you get that?" he would ask, and when 
the reply came, add, ''Be proud of it — as we all are — the 
symbol of America's sacrifices," or similar words of encour- 
agement or praise. 

Thus to the Second Battalion and to the front, every 
unit passing the inspection with flying colors and making a 
marked impression on the veteran generals who accom- 
panied the Commander. There is one man in G Company 
who won't forget that day for many years, for General 
Brewster, of the Inspector-General's Department, stopped 
before him and said so that all could hear, ''The best looking 
soldier I have seen in the American army." 

The decoration of the colors with the battle ribbons and 
the presentation of Distinguished Service Crosses followed. 
And then the march-by! Never a braver sight than those 
massed columns — 16 platoons abreast — surging with steady 
step through a sheet of mist, for the rain had lifted for a 
moment, heads erect, shoulders back, eyes straight to the 
front except as they passed the reviewing stand and came 
to a smart "eyes right," then front, and double time and 
away. A spectacle not to be forgotten and one that moved 
to admiration even the cynical camera-man, nonchalantly 
turning the crank that registered the glory of that march for 
future generations. The might of a righteous cause trium- 
phant arrayed in all its armor, a panorama to inspire a 
Walter Scott. 

General Pershing was generous in his praise of the Divi- 
sion's splendid showing in his address to the officers at the 
conclusion of the review. He conveyed the thanks of the 
A. E. F. and the nation at large, as well as his own, to the 
division for the heroic part it had played in the Meuse- 
Argonne battle, and declared that the day's demonstration 
convinced him that if called upon again the 79th would 
make an even finer record. 

"Impress upon your men," he said, "that each and every 
one who did his part no matter how humble, shares in the 
glory of the great accomplishment. Let each view the work 
of the whole and let none hereafter discount the sum of 
America's part in this war. America won the war; it was 
the arrival of you and your comrades at a time when allied 
leaders were beginning to doubt their ability to crush Ger- 
many, that turned the scales and sealed the doom of 
autocracy." 

102 



In conclusion General Pershing hoped the Division would 
soon be home to receive the acclamation of their countrymen, 
which, he added, was so well deserved. 

Three cheers for the Commander-in-chief were given with 
a will, at General Kuhn's signal, and the climactic event of 
the 79th's stay in France was at an end. 

April 13th, the day after the review, General Pershing 
sent the following letter to General Kuhn, giving credit for 
all time to the 79th Division for the capture of Montfaucon : 



''My dear General Kuhn: 

''It afforded me great satisfaction to inspect the 79th 
Division on April 12th, and on that occasion to decorate 
the standards of your regiments, and, for gallantry in action, 
to confer medals on certain officers and men. Your trans- 
portation and artillery were in splendid shape, and the 
general appearance of the Division was well up to the 
standard of the American Expeditionary Forces. Through- 
out the inspection and review the excellent morale of the 
men and their pride in the record of their organizations was 
evident. 

"In the Meuse-Argonne Offensive the Division had its 
full share of hard fighting. Entering the line for the first 
time on September 26th as the right of the center corps, 
it took part in the beginning of the great Meuse-Argonne 
Offensive. By September 27th it had captured the strong 
position of Montfaucon, and in spite of heavy artillery 
reaction, the Bois de Beuge and Nantillois were occupied. 
On September 30th it was relieved, having advanced ten 
kilometers. It again entered the battle on October 29th, 
relieving as part of the 17th French Corps, the 29th Division 
in the Grande Montague Sector to the east of the Meuse 
River. From that time until the Armistice went into effect, 
it was almost constantly in action. On November 9th, 
Crepion, Wavrille, and Gibercy were taken, and in con- 
junction with elements on the right and left, Etraye and 
Moirey were invested. On November 10th, Chaumont- 
devant-Danvillers was occupied, and on November 11th, 
ViUe-devant-Chaumont was taken, a total advance of 9H 
kilometers. 

103 



''This is a fine record for any division, and I want the 
officers and men to know this, and to realize how much 
they have contributed to the success of our arms. They 
may return home justly proud of themselves and of the 
part they have played in the American Expeditionary Forces. 

Sincerely yours, 

John J. Pershing.'* 



104 



XII 



H 



ome 



After the grand review, '* Let's go" became the regimental 
watchword, and on April 26th and 27th the Regiment bade 
farewell to its charming villages about Orquevaux, and 
marched without packs to Rimaucourt to entrain. This 
was soldiering de luxe, to step forth unburdened, and then 
to find man-size American box-cars. The Augean task of 
cleaning Rimaucourt entailed a slight delay, but even this 
was forgotten when finally the *' captured" German pianos 
of the companies were ''jazzing" aboard the box-cars. 

A two-day trip carried the Regiment through the garden- 
spot of France, the Loire-Inferieure, into the Nantes Area, 
headquarters being estabUshed in CUsson. The short time 
spent in this beautiful region was most profitably devoted 
to sprucing up for the Inspector, but also to high-living, 
^'oof " sandwiches being available for seventy-five centimes. 
Several new officers were assigned to the Regiment, and 
well-deserved promotions were made among the officers 
and men. It was here that Lieutenant John G. Kerlin, 
aid to Colonel McCaskey while he commanded the 158th 
Brigade, died of pneumonia, to the great sorrow of the 
Regiment. 

All the numerous inspections were easily passed, and on 
May 15th the Regiment entrained for the neighboring port of 
St. Nazaire, arriving the same afternoon. At Camp No. 1 
the delousing plants steamed until midnight on stowaway 
cooties, and the final rigorous physical inspection was held. 
All the inspectors were loud in their praises of the 316th, 
for appearance, efficiency and speed. On the morning of 
the 16th the men marched to the port, and that very 
afternoon boarded the U. S. S. Texan, excepting part of 
the Third BattaHon, which boarded the Kroonland, At 
dusk, while the chimes of St. Nazaire were sounding the 
Angelus over the waters, the Regiment moved out to sea. 
Homeward bound! It was really true. Behind, mud and 
rain and battle, but withal, lovely France; ahead, America, 
wonderful America, and home. 

105 



The good ship Texan fared badly at the start, making 
only ninety-six miles in a storm the third day out, but 
Colonel McCaskey, who had returned to the command of 
the Regiment, said the transport comforts were the best 
he had ever seen. The tense waiting of the voyage reached 
a climax of emotion on May 29th, when the Regiment 
sailed up the Delaware, and passing League Island Navy 
Yard, docked at 3 p. m. at Snyder Avenue Wharf in Phila- 
delphia. 

The Red Cross served an abundance of ice cream, cake, 
and coffee, the first ice cream the men had had for a year. 
Yes, it was America. At five in the afternoon the Regiment 
was aboard trains for Camp Dix, New Jersey, and at eight 
were marching into barracks. The wind-up at Camp Dix 
was far from dramatic; but it was the efficient and matter- 
of-fact conclusion of a good work well done. To the great 
joy of the men, they were allowed to see their relatives and 
friends, and even to leave the Camp. Surplus equipment 
was turned in, final delousing and inspections were undergone, 
and all discharge papers prepared. The prayers of Phila- 
delphia for a parade by the Regiment could not compete 
with the attraction of the home fires, and the parade propo- 
sition was voted down. On June 3d western contingents 
were entrained for western camps, and between June 7th and 
9th, the demobilization of the Regiment was completed. 

The 316th is dead, but nay, long live the 316th! Less 
than two years before it had come to life. Only a year 
before, with newly recruited ranks, it had gone overseas, an 
untried National Army Regiment. Followed the Argonne 
and the Meuse, and out of the furnace of battle and death 
came gold. As the Regiment had come together without 
blare of trumpet, so it separated without parade and pagean- 
try. But it is not dead. Its spirit is consecrated to Eternity 
in the fields of France, and its spirit walks abroad in the 
land in stalwart American manhood, the spirit to fight for 
America and a just cause, even unto death. 



106 



Awards for Heroism 

In any battle a hundred brave deeds go unsung to one 
that wins the acclaim which is its due. But that is in no 
sense a depreciation of those whose merit does gain attention. 
The Distinguished Service Cross and Croix de Guerre awards 
in the 316th Infantry represent honors deserved — honors 
won by lofty adherence to the highest traditions of the 
battlefield. But none know better than the winners that 
many a man lies buried in the Bois de Beuge or on Hill 
378 — or marched in the column to bid adieu to France — 
equally valorous, equally worthy of honor. They know that 
honor paid to them is honor paid to the Regiment, and 
their comrades share their just pride. The awards made in 
the 316th Infantry are as follows: 

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS 

Major William Sinkler Manning (deceased). 

Captain Benjamin H. Hewit (deceased). 

Sergeant Grover C. Sheckart, Company C, 316th Infantry. 

Sergeant Harold P. Rumberger, Company B, 316th In- 
fantry. 

Sergeant Samuel E. Phillips, Company B, 316th Infantry. 

Corporal Charles H. Kidd, Company E, 316th Infantry. 

Corporal Guy M. Habecker, Company I, 316th Infantry. 

Corporal Herman G. Paustian, Company D, 316th 
Infantry. 

Corporal John Wilkins, Machine Gun Company, 316th 
Infantry. 

Private First Class Clarence Frey, Headquarters Company, 
316th Infantry. 

Private First Class Thomas Morris, Company I, 316th 
Infantry. 

CROIX DE GUERRE 

Major Paul D. Strong, 316th Infantry. 
Captain Carl E. Clock, 316th Infantry. 
Captain Mowry E. Goetz, 316th Infantry. 

107 



First Lieutenant Harry S. Gabriel, 316th Infantry. 

Corporal Guy M. Habecker, Company I, 316th Infantry. 

Corporal Herman G. Paustian, Company D, 316th 
Infantry. 

Corporal John Wilkins, Machine Gun Company, 316th 
Infantry. 

Private First Class Clarence Frey, Headquarters Com- 
pany, 316th Infantry. 



108 



Notice to Members of the Regiment 

Many letters accompanying orders for this book speak in 
favor of some form of permanent 316th Infantry Association. 
The purpose of this association would be to facilitate the 
members of the Regiment in keeping in touch with each 
other, and to perpetuate its history and the memory of its 
honored dead. The possibility of future reunions is also 
mentioned toward the same end, and a grand initial meeting 
suggested in Philadelphia on September 26, 1925. There 
is no desire to conflict with larger associations, such as the 
American Legion, but rather a purpose to perpetuate the 
identity of the Regiment in the causes named above. 

In order to have immediately a bureau of information 
and a clearing-house for suggestions, the undersigned offers 
his services as Temporary Secretary. Numerous inquiries 
have come from parents and relatives of our dead comrades 
seeking information, and these letters deserve the most 
solicitous attention. Many men are also seeking the 
addresses of friends. Moreover, now is the time, while 
recollection is still fresh, to record interesting historical data 
of personal experiences, and to collect photographs. Accord- 
ingly the undersigned solicits letters which relate interesting 
anecdotes of marches, billets, patrols, battles, and so forth, 
for file in the Regimental Archives. So very many notices 
for this book have gone astray in the mail that the under- 
signed requests occasional notice of change of address in 
order to keep the Roster up to date. 

It was beyond the scope of the present book to collect 
herein personal experiences, however interesting they might 
be. Since there was no fund at all to finance the publication, 
it was also not feasible to include maps and photographs 
nor to print a roster of the Regiment. An enriched edition, 
however, may sometime be possible. Whether a surplus or 
a deficit will remain from the publication of this edition is 
still problematical. A surplus, if any, and any contributions 
toward an association, will be held in trust to defray expenses 
of correspondence and of occasional notices. Members 
seeking information please enclose return postage. 

109 



Extra copies (additional to one seventy-five cent copy for 
each man) may be procured until the exhaustion of the edition 
for $1.00. The book will also probably be on sale at George 
W. Jacobs and Company, 1628 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 

The undersigned desires to thank Lieutenant Michael D. 
Clofine and Battalion Sergeant-Major Charles J. Davitt for 
their invaluable collaboration in the preparation of this book. 

Yours in the 316th, 

Carl E. Glock, 
1107 De Victor Place, E. E., 
Pittsburgh, Pa. 
(Formerly Captain and Adjutant.) 



110 



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