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From the Library of 








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U. S. M. C. 





Gaeden City New York 




Copyright, 1918, 1919, by 


All rights reserved, including that of 

translation into foreign languages » 

including the Scandinavian 




Introduction , , . . . ix 



I. What Is A Marine? 3 

II. To France! ^5 

III. In the Trenches 29 

IV. Over the Top 44 

V. The Drive That Menaced Paris 61 


fighting to save PARIS 

VI. Going In 79 

VIL Carrying On 9i 

VIII. "Give 'Em Hell, Boys!" 106 

IX. In Belleau Wood and Bouresches 123 

X. Pushing Through ^3^ 

XI. "They Fought Like Fiends'* ........ 161 

XII. "Le Bois de LA Brigade de Marine" 171 

XIII. At Soissons and After 183 

soldiers of the sea 

XIV. The Story of the Marine Corps 237 

XV. Vera Cruz AND THE Outbreak of War 251 

XVI. The Making of a Marine 267 

XVII. Some Reflections on the War 293 


I. Historical Sketch 3^9 

II. The Marines' Hymn .323 

III. Major Evans's Letter 324 

IV. Cited for Valour in Action 34^ 


Belleau Wood . • • ... • . ."•• . . . Fronttspiec/ 


The Gas Alarm ". . . • 48 

Six Seconds Later 4^ 

"Out there in No Man's Land the Hun took bloody toll of our 

Marines, but he paid the price" S^ 

This section of a French war map General Catlin carried in his 

map book during the first stages of the Battle of Belleau Wood 84 

" Berry's men started through that wheat, but they met with stub- 
born resistance" IH 

"There were guns at the street corners, behind barricades, and even 

on the housetops, but the Marines kept on" 124 

There were machine gun nests everywhere" . . . . . . 128 

They picked the German gunners out of the trees like squirrels" 128 

Soldiers of the Sea 246 



This map shows the western side and southern extremity of the 
salient created by the German drive of May, 1918 ..... 69 

The territory between the two heavy lines was won back in June, 
1918 71 

Showing the line from which the French fell back and the first posi- 
tion taken up by the Marines before Belleau Wood .... 88 

Showing the second position taken by the American forces before 
Belleau Wood on the night of June 4th 102 

Showing the Allied line as advanced to the north on the morning of 
Junesth I03 

The final position ©f the line after the Battle of Belleau Wood • 178 

• • 





When the Crown Prince of Germany started his 
drive down across the Chemin des Dames in the 
latter days of May, 191 8, and penetrated as far as 
the Marne at Chateau-Thierry, Paris itself, only 
thirty-five miles away, was threatened as it had not 
been since Von Kluck was checked by JofFre in the 
first Battle of the Marne. The Allies had weakened 
their lines in this sector to stop the earher drive in 
the Somme country to the northwest and the Ger- 
mans took the weary French completely by surprise. 
With a tremendous weight of men, machine guns, 
and gas shells, they hacked their way through in a 
blunt, irresistible wedge, till the French, outnum- 
bered, spent, demoralized, and with their resisting 
power diminished to the vanishing point, were 
forced to give way before the terrific onrush of 


At the point nearest Paris the danger was acute. 
It seemed as though nothings human could prevent 
the German from attaining his objective. A cry 
for help arose. An American division was rushed 
to the front and thrown into the fray. Half of this 
division was composed of Marines, who were given 



the post of honour and danger at the centre. Most 
of them, though serving under seasoned officers, had 
seen but little of the action of battle. Could they 
stem the tide that threatened to engulf the capital 
of France? They were virtually untried, and they 
were called upon to whip the flower of the Kaiser^s 
army, flushed with victory and enjoying all the 
advantage of momentum. 

When the history of the Great War is written, it 
will be no easy task to assign to each of the titanic 
battles its proper place in the scale of importance, 
but if justice is done, the Battle of Belleau Wood 
will take its place beside that of Thermopylae and 
the other crucial battles of world history. Here a 
mere handful of determined, devoted men, as num- 
bers are reckoned to-day, turned the awful tide, and 
they were soldiers and Marines of the United States 
of America. 

We shall need the perspective of time to judge 
of these things aright, but in the light of the present 
it is not too much to say that this melee in the woods, 
this bitter struggle for a bit of ground smaller than 
Central Park, marked the turning point of this 
whole war. For if the Marines had not driven the 
Germans out of Belleau Wood it must have gone 
hard with the Allies in that sector. The Germans 
would, in all probability, have been enabled in an- 
other day or two to bring up their reserves and their 
heavier guns, and nothing but a miracle could have 
saved Paris. It was the American who held that 
Metz-to-Paris road, and no less a personage than 


Premier Clemenceau is authority for the statement 
that the United States Marines were unquestionably 
the saviours of the city. When the engagement was 
over and the Germans had been driven back, General 
Degoutte, commanding the Sixth Army of France, 
signed a special order changing the name of the Bois 
de Belleau to the Bois de la Brigade de Marine. 

The Marines were called upon to do the impos- 
sible, and because there is no such word in their 
code, they did it. They left in that w^ood some of 
the best blood of America, but, outnumbered and in- 
experienced as they were, they fought that last- 
stand fight to a finish and they stopped the Hun. 

There is a reason for all this, and the people back 
home ought to know something about it. Time was 
when the Marine was looked upon as a mere handy 
man for the Navy, a sort of web-footed policeman 
who was neither soldier nor sailor. That time has 
long since passed, but even to-day the average 
American has but a vague idea of what a Marine is. 
Something has made the U. S. Marine a name to 
conjure with in the four quarters of the globe, has 
won for him the soubriquet of Teufelhund from the 
Boche himself. Personnel, training, tradition, and 
experience have all had a part in it, and that im- 
ponderable but all-powerful quality which we call 
esprit de corps. The Marine is a trained athlete, a 
picked man, a he creature with muscles and a jaw, 
whose motto is "kill or be killed," and who believes 
with all his soul that no man on earth can lick him. 
And it comes pretty near to being so. He is own 


brother to the British Marine, of whom Kiphng 
wrote : 

"An' after I met 'im all over the world, a-doin' all kinds 

of things, 
Like landin' 'isself with a Gatlin' gun to talk to them 

'eathen kings; 
'E sleeps in an 'ammick instead of a cot, an' 'e drills with 

the deck on a slew, 
An' 'e sweats like a Jolly — 'Er Majesty's Jolly — soldier 

^an' sailor too! 
For there isn't a job on the top o' the earth the beggar 

don't knov7, nor do — 
You can leave 'im at night on a bald man's 'ead, to paddle 

'is own canoe — 

'E's a sort of a bloomin' cosmopolouse — soldier an' sailor 


General Catlin has told a graphic, eye-witness 
story of the Battle of Belleau Wood, but he has 
done much more than this. He has given us an in- 
sight into the making of a Marine, and the Amer- 
ican who can read the whole story of it without a 
soul-searching thrill of patriotic pride is no American 

at all. 

Of General Catlin himself, who, as Colonel of the 
Sixth Regiment of Marines, commanded the forces 
at Belleau Wood, I feel that something should be 
said, though it would be the worst of taste to tack 
a fulsome eulogy to the narrative of a man so thor- 
oughly straightforward and modest as he. His men 
idolize him, and perhaps that tells the whole story. 

Brif^adier General Albertus Wright Cathn is a 


Marine of the Marines. Born in Gowanda, N. Y., 
December i, 1868, he was appointed to the Naval 
Academy from Minnesota in May, 1886. He grad- 
uated from Annapolis with the Class of 1890. His 
two-years* cruise as midshipman followed. The 
Marines seemed to offer the best chance for active 
service at that time and upon his return from the 
cruise he applied for a commission in the Corps. 
On July I, 1892, he was made a Second Lieutenant 
of Marines. 

He was commissioned First Lieutenant in April, 
1893, and served with that rank during the Spanish 
War, being the officer of Marines on the battleship 
Maine when she was sunk in Havana Harbour. 

He was commissioned Captain in 1899 and Major 
in 1905. Active service followed, including the 
occupation of Vera Cruz in 1914, when he was in 
command of the Marines that were landed from the 
fleet. In 191 5 he became Lieutenant Colonel. Dur- 
ing 1 91 6 he studied at Fort Leavenworth and at the 
National War College, receiving his Colonel's com- 
mission in the same year. He graduated from the 
War College in May, 191 7. 

At the outbreak of the Great War he was placed 
in charge of the Marine training camp at Quantico, 
Va., and went to France as Colonel of the newly 
formed Sixth Regiment of. Marines. He led the 
Marines in the attack on Belleau Wood on June 6, 
191 8, and there he received the bullet wound through 
the right lung that placed him temporarily on the 
sick list. As a result of his masterly leadership in 


that stirring and critical engagement he was com- 
missioned Brigadier General in July and was deco- 
rated with the French Legion of Honour and the 
Croix de Guerre. 

General Catlin himself has something to say about 
American football and its relation to the American 
fighting spirit. I will only add that he captained 
his team at Annapolis and played left halfback 
there for three years. Later he played on the Navy 
team during his two-years* midshipman cruise and 
again with the Columbia Athletic Club in Washing- 
ton. I think I can see him ploughing through the 
Army line in those days as vividly as I see him 
leading the boys at Belleau Wood. It may be that we 
should revise the Duke of Wellington's statement 
that Waterloo was won on the cricket fields of 
Eton and Harrow; one is tempted to suggest that 
Paris was saved on the gridiron at Franklin Field. 

It was my privilege to spend some days with him 
in Hot Springs, Va., where he was recuperating. 
He is a young man of fifty, powerful of build, and 
of medium height, with iron-grey hair, an eye as 
clear and frank as a child's, and a face about as 
weak and effeminate as Plymouth Rock. It is largely 
jaw. His is the genial nature of a man who fights 
when he has to fight and at no other time. Direct- 
ness is an outstanding quality of his, and I was 
much impressed by the remarkable accuracy of his 
memory and his grasp of military situations. 

He was wearing without ostentation the silver 
star of his rank on his shoulder and the wound and 


service chevrons on his sleeves. On his breast were 
the coloured ribbon bands, two of them, indicating 
the actions in which he has taken part in various 
wars and minor expeditions. He wore the khaki 
service uniform, and in his blouse, perilously near 
the heart, were two neatly mended holes, one in 
front and one in back, where the German sniper's 
bullet had drilled him. **A sort of souvenir," said 
he, smiHng. 

One day he showed me quite casually a cablegram 
announcing that he had been awarded the French 
Croix de Guerre and the decoration of the Legion of 
Honour. I beheve he was the first American general 
officer to receive these honours for heroism in action. 
Later I obtained a copy of his citation, which was 
translated as follows: 

Colonel A. W. Catlin: Field Officer who, on June 6, 
1918, was placed in charge of a delicate operation, par- 
ticularly difficult of execution, and made an undoubted 
success of it; combines the finest military qualities with a 
noble spirit of devotion and self-sacrifice; when severely 
wounded by a bullet during the action, asked the officer 
with him, as he fell, if he had really been wounded facing 
the enemy and if his men were continuing to progress. 

The following is a copy of General Bundy's letter 
recommending Colonel Catlin's promotion: 

As former commander of the Second Division, of which 
the Marine Brigade forms a part, I recommend Colonel 
Catlin, Sixth Regiment Marines, for promotion to the 
grade of Brigadier General in the Marine Corps. Colonel 


Catlin has commanded his regiment with unceasing in- 
dustry and great abihty in all phases of open and trench 
warfare. He was wounded while gallantly leading a part 
of it against the enemy north of Chateau-Thierry. He 
is entitled to promotion in recognition of his splendid 
service on the field of battle. 

It is not necessary to dilate upon what these things 
mean, nor how they affected me. As for General 
Catlin, I believe he is prouder of the bronze insignia 
of the Marines than of all the others together. 

He saw the things he writes about; of them he 
was no inconsiderable part. He led the boys at 
Beiieau Wood, and no one man did more than he 
to save Paris. That, I think, is what makes his 
story a historical document of the first importance 
as well as a narrative of thrilling interest. For the 
rest, I need only to call attention to his pride in his 
men and his organization, and the stalwart patriotism 
of the soldier that runs through It all. 

"With the help of God and a few Marines" Is a 
phrase that has been attributed to nearly every 
naval hero from John Paul Jones to Admiral Dewey, 
and it fits. It describes a hundred instances in 
which the honour of the United States has been 
upheld beyond the seas; it somehow expresses the 
very spirit of the Corps; and It tells in a nutshell 
the story of the fight in Belleau Wood and the 
saving of Paris from the Hun. 

W. A. D. 




What Is a Marine ? 

SINCE tt appears that I am fated for an interval 
to lay aside the sword and take up the less 
congenial pen, I should prefer to begin at 
once with the thing that is uppermost in my mind — 
the story of the United States Marines in France. 
So fresh in my memory are those days in the trenches 
and the dark, moonless nights, pregnant with we 
knew not what possibilities, when the boys stole 
over the top on their first patrol duties. How 
eagerly, how anxiously we watched them, as a 
mother watches the first steps of her child, to dis- 
cover whether they would face the music and do 
the job as a Marine should. We knew they would, 
but still we watched, and when they came back 
with what they went for, we breathed deep and 
faced the next task with confidence. 

It was in those days that good American blood 
was spilt out there in No Man's Land, in the midst 
of the barbed wire and the lurking menace. We 



looked upon our dead, and had the Hun known, 
he might well have trembled then. 

I recall so vividly those busy days in camp, and 
the spirit that seemed to be loosed when the great 
call came; the long, forced ride on camions through 
the little, smiling villages, where the good French 
people lined the streets, waving American flags and 
throwing flowers at us; the tense, electrical feeling in 
the air when at last we knew that we were face to 
face^ with the victorious Prussian, and the awful, 
earnest, exultant moment when we went in to fight. 
And, waking or sleeping, I can still see before me 
the dark threat of Belleau Wood, as full of menace 
as a tiger's foot, dangerous as a live wire, poisonous 
with gas, bristling with machine guns, alive with 
snipers, scornfully beckoning us to come on and be 
slain, waiting for us like a dragon in its den. Our 
brains told us to fear it, but our wills heard but one 
command, to clean it out, and I can still see before 
my very eyes those waves in the poppy-spattered 
wheat-field as the steady lines of our Marines went in. 

Those are the things that surge to the tip of my 
pen, but I have first, I feel, another duty to perform. 
I must tell something of the men who did this glorious 
thing and of the spirit that drove them on. 

A fight is a fight, and few red-blooded men can 
resist the thrill of it, but it is not my purpose to 
glorify a fight nor to sing the Song of Hate. The 
Marine fights because fighting is the immediate and 
essential means to an end. He trusts implicitly 
the judgment of his superiors that the end justifies 


the means, not with the blind trust of the docile 
German, but from a well grounded and well under- 
stood principle. For a hundred years and more the 
Marines have been called upon when there was a 
critical need for action, and they have learned to 
take the need for granted and to act forthwith. 
They have never been deceived and they never hesi- 
tate. That is part of their creed. 

It is because they have a creed that this narrative 
is written. Perhaps it is a creed that all men might 
follow with profit; we like to think so. The Ameri- 
can Marine fights as well as any man on earth, and 
his fighting is worth writing about if any fighting 
is, but it is the thing back of his fighting that counts. 
There are significant, fundamental things that mean 
more in the philosophy of human and national life 
than even the taking of a stronghold and the block- 
ing of an advance. 

Who are these Marines? A bare thousand of 
them challenged death in Belleau Wood with the 
same spirit that drove on the Six Hundred at Bala- 
klava. What sort of man did this thing? Where 
did he come from? What made him fit to go in 
with the first and bear the brunt while the rest of 
America was getting ready to make war on Germany? 

In the first place, the Marines were ready, as no 
other group of American fighting men, with the 
exception of the Engineers, was ready. I think I 
can say this truthfully and without disparagement 
to any other branch of the service. Our problems 
were perhaps not so serious as those of the Army. 


I know something of their difficulties, for we were 
billeted close to the Ninth and 23rd Infantry in 
France during the spring of 1918. The Marines, 
though the Corps had been greatly expanded, had 
smaller numbers to handle, and we believe that 
our system of training was more highly perfected. 
^ Also, we had a certain advantage in personnel, 
both in men and new officers, as I shall show later 


At the outbreak of the war the Army organiza- 
tion underwent radical changes. Not only were 
new regiments formed, but the numbers were 
changed from i,cxx) to 3,600 men to a regiment. 
The old regiments were broken up so that the 
seasoned soldiers might serve as nuclei for the new 
ones, and they had to be spread out so thin that 
there were only about 300 of them to a regiment, 
or some 8 per cent. Moreover, it was thought best 
to hold the National Guard regiments together, so 
that the regular Army had to depend for its enlarge- 
ment upon volunteer enlistments and a forced re- 
cruiting campaign. When this did not suffice, the 
Army was compelled to fill its ranks with volunteers 
— not picked men — from the draft. This created a 
tremendous problem in the matter of training, the 
majority of the regular Army being nothing more 
than raw recruits, and it is no discredit to them 
that they did not turn at once into efficient troops. 

As will be seen later, the larger part of our expe- 
ditionary force of Marines was also composed of 
new men, but their training began at once under 


more favourable auspices. At Quantico, and later 
in France, they were drilled without let-up by ex- 
perienced officers of the Marines. Then came par- 
ticipation in trench warfare, and one year after the 
United States had declared war, every one of those 
rookies had been converted into a died-in-the-wool 
Marine, while the Army was still making soldiers. 

I make these statements in no spirit of criticism 
or invidious comparison, but simply to show, if I 
can, why the Marines were the ones chosen to go 
in first. Whatever the reason, they were ready first. 
It is part of the history of which they are so proud 
that they have nearly always been sent in first, 
because it is a fundamental part of their creed to 
be always ready. Their mottoes are ** First to 
Fight" and "Semper Fidelis." 

These are days of enormous armies and organiza- 
tion on a tremendous scale, but small numbers do 
unquestionably make possible a closer human re- 
lationship, and that, in our experience, means in- 
creased confidence, a more effective discipline, and 
esprit de corps. The Marines have always been, 
comparatively speaking, an organization of small 
numbers; those who have read of their world-wide 
achievements in the past perhaps do not realize how 
small. Previous to the Spanish War the entire 
Corps was but half the size^of a modern regiment, 
and the forces which so often brought order out of 
chaos in turbulent lands and put to rout armies of 
rapacious revolutionaries were few in numbers 
though mighty, like a squad of New York policemen 


quelling a riot. Americans have come to take it as 
a matter of course that a Marine should be able to 
do the work of ten ordinary men, and the Marines 
have come to that belief, too. 

Numbering only i,8oo at the outbreak of the 
Spanish War, the Marine Corps was steadily en- 
larged until, in 191 8, there were nearly 60,000 
Marines in the service or in training. Though still 
a small unit, as modern military figures go, it will 
be seen that the Corps has been obHged to absorb 
a large percentage of increase, most of it since the 
United States joined in the Great War, and it may 
be well to note that, as it stands to-day, the Corps 
is more than twice the size of the United States 
Army at the outbreak of the Spanish War. And 
this increase has been accompHshed without any de- 
preciation in personnel. The Marines, all through 
their forced war-time recruiting, have maintained 
their high standards and have consistently rejected 
all apphcants who were not of the first calibre. 

With these comparatively small numbers, and 
with this effort to maintain the highest standard 
in personnel, the Marines have directed every effort 
toward securing mobility, which, with us, is a syno- 
nym for readiness. The things we have to do usu- 
ally have to be done quickly if at all, and our ar- 
rangements are such that when the call comes we 
have nothing whatever to do but go ahead. Until 
we had to make special preparations for the war 
work in France, we had no regimental or company 
organizations. Every man was a member of the 


Marine Corps and of nothing else, and he was pre- 
pared to serve under any of the officers. There was 
never any delay due to the fiUing up of a company 
quota. When a job needed to be done the available 
officers were chosen and the available men assem- 
bled, and off they went as a complete unit. If 
there was trouble abroad, a naval vessel was sent, 
and on its decks were always the Marines, ready to 
land and serve as engineers, electricians, artillery, 
infantry, or even cavalry, or as Uncle Sam's police- 
men. If a call came that required the reserves, 
officers were summoned by wire to Philadelphia and 
the required number of men from Norfolk, Ports- 
mouth, Boston, New York, Washington, or wherever 
they might chance to be. Their kits were always 
ready and they arrived as quickly as the trains 
could bring them. Meanwhile, the quartermaster's 
department in Philadelphia, fully equipped for all 
emergencies, was rushing the necessary supplies 
aboard ship, and by the time the men had assem- 
bled — in twenty-four hours perhaps — the whole 
expedition was ready to start for the ends of the 
earth and it was simply up to the captain of the 

This sort of mobility and preparedness is an es- 
sential part of the very spirit and tradition of the 
Corps, bred into the Marine from the start and 
understood by him as merely a part of the day's 
work. It rather distinguishes this branch of the 
service from all others. In no others has it been 
required to quite the same degree. And does it not 


explain, in part at least, why the Marines were 
ready with the first over there in France? 

As to the individual soldier, there is more than 
one sort of preparedness, and we like to think that 
that of the Marine is the most effective kind. The 
German soldier had been prepared for years. He 
knew his number and his place in the ranks. He 
was taught what to do with the implements of war. 
But he was prepared for just one thing — the kind 
of onslaught that his overlords thought was all 
there would be to the war. He was prepared for 
the thing they had carefully figured out would hap- 
pen; they considered it not worth their while to pre- 
pare the poor tool for anything else. 

The United States Marine, on the other hand, is 
prepared, so far as it is humanly possible to prepare 
a man, for anything that may happen. He is ready 
for the unforeseen emergency. 

Discipline is no less a fundamental plank in the 
Marine platform than is preparedness. There is a 
sense in which the Marines are not the best dis- 
ciplined soldiers in the world. As mechanical, in- 
sentient automatons, moving with clock-like pre- 
cision, they must hand the palm to the Boches. 
The discipline of the Marines, however, is thorough, 
and we make no apology for it. Respect for officers 
and absolute, unquestioning obedience to orders is 
taught from the beginning, but we proceed on the 
principle that we are dealing with intelligent men. 
We believe in leaving something to their own in- 
itiative and resourcefulness, and the theory has 


panned out on a hundred occasions. When we or- 
dered the Marines to go into Belleau Wood, there 
was no question of obedience. No German could 
have responded more steadily or promptly. But we 
did not send them in blindfolded. Every man was 
told by his officers just what we were up against and 
what was expected of him as an individual, and they 
fought the better for it. As it turned out, that fight 
called for nothing so much as star individual play, 
and no machine that can work only when in perfect 
gear could have done what those Marines did in 
the Bois de Belleau. 

That is what I mean when I speak of discipline. 
It is the discipHne of the trained football team, 
which would go to pieces if the signals were not 
followed, but which would do but sluggish work if 
each man were not on his toes to snatch up the 
fumbled ball and dash around the end without 

I don't know that there is much to be said about 
the discipline of the Marines in a technical sense. 
It differs but little from the discipline of the Army 
and Navy. The regulations are practically the same. 
Yet there is one point of difference which perhaps 
explains our success with the men. With our smaller 
detachments, the officers come into closer touch with 
the men, and a better mutual understanding makes 
for a more effective discipline. Furthermore, the 
system by which the working detachments are or- 
ganized, with no previously established companies 
or platoons, brings each of the officers from time 


to time in close contact with a larger number of the 
men than is possible under the Army system. What- 
ever the cause, I know that on more than one occa- 
sion both Army and Navy officers have of their 
own accord pointed to the Marines as models for 
their own men in the matter of discipline. 

There is a special training which the Marine re- 
cruits must undergo that explains much regarding 
the quality and effectiveness of the finished product. 
Of the details of that training I will speak more at 
length in another place. They are taught to shoot 
straight and to obey commands with a snap and 
vigour that few other military organizations ever 
attain. To this system of training we owe much, 
for when the Marines went in at Belleau Wood, 
but a short year after most of them had enlisted, 
they were acknowledged to be one of the sharpest 
shooting, hardest fighting brigades in France. 

There is among the Marines, to a noteworthy 
degree, readiness and mobility, there is intensive 
training, and there is discipline. There is also the 
tradition and history of the Corps of which every 
Marine is proud. It means something to us, that 
history. We have a reputation to live up to, and 
we do not mean to lower our record or bring disgrace 
to our insignia. I shall speak in some detail of that 
history later on. It is an honourable one, and about 
it has grown up a tradition that amounts to a sort 
of faith. In so many fights, big and little, the 
Marines have come through w^th flying colours, 
with the job cleanly done, that they never expect 


to do otherwise. The Marine has learned to believe 
in his organization and in himself. He acknowledges 
no man his superior in a fight, and meeting odds is 
but the thing he is trained for. 

Since the United States of America became a 
world power, the United States Marine has been 
Uncle Sam's advance scout. He has been called 
**the can-opener of the Army." He comes as near 
to being an international policeman as any man on 

The Washington Times in an editorial once gave 
a fairly accurate description of the Corps. "Kip- 
ling," it said, "is the only man who could sing the 
song of the American Marines quite worthily. 
They are the men who have done about all the 
fighting under the American flag since the Civil 
War, save in the little conflict with Spain. Under 
all skies and climates, they are always at the point 
where they are needed; the skirmish line, the police 
patrol of our Government, the guardians of Na- 
tional dignity and American citizens wherever there 
may be threat of trouble. The young American 
with an ambition for real adventure, with wish to 
see and learn the art of war, has in recent years 
been commended to the Marines. If there is trouble, 
it means Marines to the front, first to get orders, 
first in motion, first ashore, first to fire. There is 
no finer body of fighting men in all the world, none 
more thoroughly seasoned or widely experienced." 

A Colonel of the British Army, a real student of 
military afl'airs, once made this assertion: "The 


best equipped body of its size in the world is the 
United States Marine Corps; the second best is the 
Canadian Northwest Mounted Police, and the third 
best the Pennsylvania State Constabulary/' And 
Admiral Dewey said, "No finer military organiza- 
tion exists in the world." 

Esprit de corps — that is the thing that has come 
out of all this training and tradition. It is a difficult 
thing to weigh, to describe, to analyze, for it belongs 
in the realm of the spiritual. We only know that it 
exists, that it is woven into the very warp and woof 
of our Corps, that it is an invaluable quality for the 
fighting man. 

They tell the story of some distinguished visitors 
who were passing along the cots in a military hos- 
pital in France. On one of these cots lay a man, 
quite still, with his face buried in the pillow. Some- 
thing about him caused one of the visitors to re- 
mark, "I think this must be an American soldier.'' 
From the depths of the pillow came a muffled voice 
— **Hell, no; Vm 2l Marine!" 

To France! 

WHEN the United States declared war on 
Germany, a thrill went through the Marine 
Corps, for we were fighting men all and 
we learned that Marines were to be rushed over to 
France to take their stand on the Frontier of Lib- 
erty beside the battle-scarred veterans of France 
and Great Britain. War-time recruiting began at 
once and hundreds of promising applicants thronged 
our doors. We weeded them out — sifted them down 
unmercifully, and the best of them we packed off 
to Paris Island, S. C, and Mare Island, Cal., to be 
made into Marines. An overseas training camp was 
established at Quantico, Va., and I went down to 
take charge. There we received the graduates from 
the regular training stations as fast as they could 
be turned out, and through the summer and fall of 
1917 we drilled 'em and we drilled 'em, until they 
were fit to go up against any foe on earth. We 
taught them to shoot straight and to use the bayonet, 
we had them mopping up trenches and cutting wire, 
we hardened them with hikes and we got them to 
handle machine guns like baby carriages. We filled 
them full to bursting with the spirit of the Corps 



and then we shipped them across to France to fight. 
And did they fight? You shall see. 

The Marine is traditionally proud, and I cannot 
truthfully say that we take any drastic measures 
to suppress that pride. He is proud of his record 
of being ready first and first on the job. But he 
knows his equal when he sees him, and the Marine 
is never backward with a word of praise for the 
fellow who is able to leap into the breach before 
hin? and get into the fighting first. 

The first Americans to draw the blood of the Beast 
were the Engineers, and to them we accord our 
meed of honour. We know what they are like, for 
we, too, have to turn our hands quickly to the task 
that comes uppermost and do it with the will and 
the skill of men. The world now knows what that 
little force of Engineers did, how they got to the 
front before the Kaiser and his followers fully 
reaHzed that the great western republic had come 
into the war against them, how the sight of those 
sturdy Yankees brought hope to overwrought France, 
how they buckled down to their appointed task, 
one of the most difficult in the whole military 
regime, and how, when the need arose, they threw 
down their tools and picked up arms and proceeded 
to kill Germans. I hope some day a book will be 
written about the Engineers, as this one is being 
vvritten about the Marines. 

The Engineers were the first to land on French 
soil, but the Marines were a close second. After 
General Pershing and his staff had gone to Paris, 


the first regular fighting troops from this country 
to be landed in France consisted of four regiments 
of Army regulars and one of Marines. 

Two months after war was declared the Marines 
were ready. In June, 1917, Colonel C. A. Doyen, 
in command of the Fifth Regiment of Marines, 
landed in France at St. Nazarre, near Brest, at the 
northern extremity of the Bay of Biscay. Of this 
first regiment to go to France, two battalions were 
from Philadelphia, and one was made up of our 
Quantico boys. 

One battalion of the Fifth was left at St. Nazarre 
under Major Westcott for provost duty, remaining 
there for several months. Others were sent on 
provost duty to other parts of France; one company 
remained till the end of the war. But it is important 
service, nevertheless. Until January, 191 8, the 
Marines did all the provost work for the American 
forces, for they were best equipped for just that 
sort of thing. They acted as military police in 
various places, policed the villages and cafes, had 
charge of American camps and debarkation ports, 
guarded the lines of communication and the various 
bases, and helped to keep in hand the flood of in- 
coming troops. 

Not all of the Fifth, however, was assigned to 
provost duty. Some of thern went at once to a 
training area about 150 miles east of Paris, where 
they went into regular training with French troops 
as part of the First Division. Five full companies 
were able to complete this training. 


In July we sent over a base battalion for the 
Fifth, 1,000 men under Lieutenant-Colonel Bearss. 
They went to Bordeaux for provost duty and until 
January, 1918, Bearss was Base Commander at 

In September the Sixth was ready. We sent over 
one battalion in September and I followed with the 
supply. Headquarters Company, and machine gun 
company in October. Doyen was made Brigadier 
General and took over the Fifth and Sixth as a 
brigade. Colonel Neville going over in December to 
take command of the Fifth. 

I must tell something about this Sixth Regiment 
of mine. In the first place it must be borne in 
mind that it was an aggregation as new and untried 
as any regiment of the National Army, but what 
stuiF we had in it! The officers, from captain up, 
and fifty or so of the non-commissioned officers 
were old-time Marines, but the junior officers and 
all of the privates were new men. But they were 
not hke most rookies. They were of superior qual- 
ity throughout, and they had been through the in- 
tensive training of the Marine Corps. By the time 
they were through with the training on PVench soil 
I doubt if any Army officer could have discovered 
the slightest trace of newness about them. They 
acted Uke veterans; they thought Hke veterans; and 
all because of that training and the material they 
were to start with. 

If we had had time and opportunity to pick our 
men individually from the whole of the United 


States I doubt whether we should have done much 
better. They were as fine a bunch of upstanding 
American athletes as you would care to meet, and 
they had brains as well as brawn. Sixty per cent 
of the entire regiment — mark this — sixty per cent 
of them were college men. Two-thirds of one en- 
tire company came straight from the University of 

More than that, we had the pick of the men from 
the military colleges, because we were the first to 
pick. Of our young lieutenants a large number 
were college athletes. There was Lagore of Yale; 
Bastien of Minnesota, an All-America end; Moore 
and Murphy of Princeton; Maynard of the Uni- 
versity of Washington; Overton, the Yale runner, 
who was killed in the offensive last summer, and a 
dozen others who won fame on the gridiron, track, 
and diamond while the United States was yet at 
peace. When you read of what these men did in 
Belleau Wood and Bouresches, remember who they 
were, and perhaps their exploits will seem less un- 

The Turk will fight like a fiend; the Moro's trade 
is slaying; it was Fuzzy Wuzzy who broke a British 
square; the Boche will move in mass formation into 
the face of death like a ferry-boat entering its slip; 
but when the final show-down comes, when the last 
ounce of strength and nerve is called for, when mind 
and hand must act like lightning together, I will 
take my chances with an educated man, a free-born 
American with a trained mind. Unquestionably, the 


intelligent, educated man makes, in the long run, 
the best soldier. There is no place for the mere 
brute in modern warfare. It is a contest of brains 
as well as of brawn, and the best brains win. The 
American colleges doubtless supposed that they 
were turning men into scholars; when the test came 
they found they had been training soldiers. 

We sent over one battalion of the Sixth in Sep- 
tember; most of the others went across in October 
and November. The crossing was no easy matter, 
for the transport service was still inadequate, and the 
Marines had to depend upon the over-worked and 
over-crowded naval transportation. They disem- 
barked at St. Nazarre and one battalion under Major 
John A. Hughes was left there to assist the Engi- 
neers and stevedores in the effort to bring order out 
of chaos in that swarming port. Another battalion 
was landed at Brest in November, under Major 
Sibley, and was sent on to Bordeaux, where they 
worked with the Engineers on the railroads, docks, 
etc. I arrived in October with my staff, a machine 
gun company, and the Headquarters Company, and 
proceeded to Bordeaux, where I had charge of the 
camps in that vicinity. The last battalion, under 
Major Holcomb, came in February, completing the 
Sixth Regiment of Marines. 

How the boys took to the new life in France, and 
how things looked to them over there, may be gath- 
ered in part from the following letter from a Marine 
private to his father: 


Somewhere in France. 

Dear Father: — 

Write to Quantico and tell Nelson Springer to take 
salt water soap with him when he crosses. He will ap- 
preciate the advice. That is the one thing which both- 
ered me on the trip across. I didn't worry about U-boats 
nor the fact that I had to sleep under a life-boat on the 
deck, completely dressed and burdened with a life belt 
and a canteen filled with fresh water. Nor has the fact 
annoyed me the least bit that I never took my clothes 
ofF after we started for France. But having to wash in 
salt water, and none too much at that, was the nearest 
approach to a hardship I experienced. There is nothing 
so sticky as the after effect of a salt-water face wash. 

I am still yearning for a wash like the one I had on 
the train when we pulled out of Washington. The Red 
Cross girls fed us sandwiches and coffee. Those girls 
got up in the middle of the night to feed us, and they 
looked so clean and cheerful. I haven't seen anything 
half so clean since we left them, but we have managed 
to multiply their good cheer. 

Of course, all of us didn't, for in spite of the excellent 
weather many of the men were seasick, and who could be 
cheerful then? There were a good many "abandon ship 
drills," but they were most humane about leaving us 
alone at night. The food was about what we got at 
Quantico, but we had to stand in line half the day to get 
a look in. After eating we would stand in another slowly 
moving line to wash the mess gear. I used bread to clean 
mine and found it served the purpose admirably. Lines 
of men wound all over the ship, a large part of them 
below decks. Only the fittest survived, and you may 
guess that I didn't miss a meal. 


Old women and children dressed in black seem to be 
the chief inhabitants of Paris. I was surprised to hear 
the newsies crying "New York Herald," much the same 
as our news butchers do. In fact, Paris is quite American- 
ized. We bought nuts and apples from the natives as 
we marched out of the city, eating them on the hike. 

I know where I am camping even if I cannot tell it, 
for we visited a few miles from here when we all came 
abroad. We are quarantined, for some unknown reason, 
in a field. The scenery is beautiful but it rains most of 
the*^ time, which keeps us busy making drain ditches 
around our shelter-halves or "pup tents." 

We are not allowed to give our washing to the French 
women whom we can see washing at the spring holes 
in the next field, nor can we make any purchases over the 
fence, so Fm saving a lot of money. Occasionally I try 
my French on the children who sit on the fence all day 
long and watch us. They think it very funny. They are 
great pals and make the most comical little playmates 

One of the most humorous features of our life here is 
that every one of the boys seems to think he is making 
history. Although we have had no chance to see action, 
if peace were declared to-morrow we would have enough 
to talk about the rest of our lives. It is strange how im- 
portant that phrase, "the rest of our lives," has become. 

Dad, I want to tell you that Fm mighty glad Fm in 
France. Some of the things Fve told you may sound 
like hardships, but they're not. It's all a part of the 
game. Every little detail in the life of the camp seems 
shadowed by some adventure — something new in store 
for us. The routine and the food are much the same as 
they were in America, but it all seems so different. 


My tent mate has lifted the poncho on the open end 
of the tent. The inference is that he will soon come in 
and then all my time will be taken by seeing that he 
does not touch my side of the tent roof, for if he does it 
will start leaking. In some miraculous way we manage 
to keep the four-by-six-foot spot under the tent fairly 
dry. He is taking ofF his shoes so that the mud won't 
get on the blankets. 

It is a matter of great speculation when we will be re- 
leased from our restriction to camp, but we all hope to get 
our luck back soon. 

Love to all, 


During the latter part of 1917 we had Marines 
doing provost duty all over France — at Havre, 
Tours, and a dozen other places, and even at South- 
ampton, England. On January ist the Marines 
were relieved of all provost duty by the 41st Division 
of Infantry — National Guardsmen. We were then 
assembled in a training area near Bourmont in the 
Verdun region, some fifty miles back of the lines. 
The Fifth was billeted in four little French towns 
and the Sixth in five. Here, for over two months, 
we engaged in the hardest kind of intensive train- 
ing under French tutelage, a battalion of the 
77th French Infantry being sent to us for that 

Three English-speaking French officers were at- 
tached to each regiment in an advisory capacity, to 
instruct us in the elaborate system of trench orders 
and all the other details of trench fighting as devel- 


oped in this war. They were splendid men and very 

A series of trenches was dug near the town where 
the French troops were billeted, and part of our 
training included from four to six hours' work in 
these trenches several days each week. They were 
located eight miles from the nearest American town 
and thirteen from the farthest, so that our boys had 
to march sixteen to twenty-six miles a day, with a 
full pack, including intrenching tools, in addition to 
the hard work in the trenches. And this was not 
all. Our men were subject to hurry calls at any 
time of the night or day. There were forced marches 
to the trenches, occupation and relief at night, 
patrol work, sham raids, gas and raid signals, and 
all the rest of it. They were drilled constantly in 
trench organization, signal systems, and all the 
details of trench warfare as it existed at the front. 
And all this in addition to the routine drill of the 

It was winter, cold and often stormy, but the 
weather made no difference. The training went for- 
ward every day, and manoeuvres were executed in 
snowstorms. I can't say the boys liked it. Who 
would? But they learned their lessons with sur- 
prising aptitude and became as hard as nails. 

And it was some satisfaction to learn that we 
had won official approval. While we were in the 
training area General Pershing came to inspect the 
brigade, and his comment was, **I only wish I had 
500,000 of these Marines!" 


I believe we had an easier time of it at that than 
the Army units that were billeted near us, for we 
were in rather better shape when we started in. 
All the more credit is due the Infantry, perhaps, 
because its units got into shape at all under such 

It was farming country where we were billeted, 
with little towns and villages scattered all over the 
map. In France the farmers do not live in isolated 
farmhouses as they do in this country. Their homes 
are in the villages and their farms outside. It would 
have been pretty country under some circum- 
stances, and the towns picturesque, but this was 
the dreary winter season and the villages looked a 
bit forlorn. The pinch of war was everywhere in 
evidence. The inhabitants were chiefly old people 
and children, the younger men being with the Army 
and the younger women and girls having gone away 
to work in the munition plants. I fancy our boys 
brought a bit of colour and the joy of life into some 
of those desolate lives. I know they were sorry to 
see us go. At least, we left those villages cleaner 
and more comfortable than when we went into them, 
for we had religiously policed them and cleaned the 

One thing that struck me while in this training 
area was the remarkable efficiency of the French 
Forestry Department. Our food was furnished by 
the supply service of the American Army in France, 
but our fuel we had to cut for ourselves. This was 
arranged for by the French Government, and for- 


esters and district officers were sent down to super- 
vise the work. Not a tree was cut that the foresters 
had not marked, and not a twig was allowed to be 
wasted. There was none of that slap-dash, extrava- 
gant lumbering such as we Americans have so fool- 
ishly indulged in, but a careful, scientific selection 
of such timber as might be cut without robbing the 
forests. It was merely a matter of beneficial thin- 
ning out, and when this war is over, France will 
still have intact and flourishing such of her forests 
as the shells have spared. Necessity has taught her 
this; must we in America wait for the pinch of 
necessity ? 

In spite of exposure and not infrequent exhaus- 
tion, the health of our men was remarkably good 
during this training period. And I don't think they 
were unhappy. They were too busy for that. Nor 
did we have any trouble with drink or other forms 
of vice, partly because of the lack of opportunity 
and partly because of the strict regulations. And 
I do not think there will be much trouble of this 
sort in the American armies so long as General 
Pershing is at the helm. He is a man of inflexible 
determination, is Pershing, and he made up his mind 
at the outset that his soldiers should lose none of 
their effectiveness through drink or the results of 
vice. And he is succeeding as no other commander 
has ever succeeded in the history of the world. He 
has succeeded to such an extent that even the 
British have sent over a commission to find out how 
he accomplished it. And I am convinced that the 


average American soldier will return from the in- 
sidious perils of military life a cleaner and better 
man than when he went over. Americans can hardly 
overestimate the importance of this achievement. 
It is a thing for us, as a civilized nation, to be proud 
of and to thank God for. 

During this tedious prehminary period of training 
the spirit of our Marines was, indeed, remarkable. 
It remained so all through the trench life that fol- 
lowed and through the bitter fighting that came 
after that. Cheerfulness is an outstanding quality 
of the American everywhere in France, and that 
has helped the AlHed morale materially. As testi- 
mony, let me quote Private Horace W. Grey, of 
Tecumseh, Mich., who, some months later, lay in 
the Brooklyn Naval Hospital, cheerfully contem- 
plating a stump where his left leg had been. Grey 
was hit by fragments of a high explosive shell that 
had first struck a rock, his company having just 
moved up into the battle line at Chateau-Thierry. 

"I must speak of the high morale of the Marines,** 
said he. **To me it is the most wonderful thing of 
all. There is never a gloomy moment. If some man 
should seem a little moody his companions make a 
special effort to kid him along until the sky grows 
brighter. No matter whether they were in box cars, 
the trenches, or battered Belleau Wood, they were 
always in buoyant spirits. 

"You should have seen the little trumpeters. I 
remember time and again in the trenches when one 
of these youngsters would yell out shrilly as a shell 


came near, * Shoot the other barrel, Fritz; that one 
missed. Your aim is rotten/ The Marines fight 
calmly. They take their time and keep cool." 

It was not long, indeed, before our cheerful 
leathernecks got into the fighting, and from the 
first it was fighting of a daring, brilliant order. For 
the training period came to an end ere long and our 
two regiments of Marines found themselves facing 
the Boche across No Man's Land. 

In the Trenches 

WE REMAINED in the training area until 
March 15th and were then moved up into 
the Hne. The First Division was already 
in. It was composed entirely of Regular Infantry 
and it was that division that later saw action around 

In March three more divisions were moved up — 
the 42nd, 26th, and ours. We belonged to the Sec- 
ond Division of the American Expeditionary Force, 
the 9th and 23 rd Infantry comprising the Third 
Brigade and the Fifth and Sixth Marines, together 
with the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion under Major 
Edward B. Cole, comprising the Fourth Brigade. 
The division was commanded by Major General 
Omar Bundy of the Army. 

Our officers' school at Quantico, with its one-year 
course, had not yet turned out enough officers for us 
and Army Reserve Lieutenants who had put in 
their application had been assigned to us. They 
became practically Marines in short order, some of 
them being killed or wounded in the subsequent 

We operated under a French Brigade Commander 
and all our orders were in French. All our reports 



were at first made to this French officer and we 
had nothing to do with the tactical plans. We were 
still in training under French tutelage and remained 
so until May. As I have said, we had three French 
advisory officers assigned to each regiment — one 
Captain and two Lieutenants — who acted as liaison 
officers and kept us in touch with the French troops. 
Of gallant Captain Tribot-Laspierre, who was with 
me from the first until I fell at Belleau Wood, I 
shail have something to say later on. 

We were sent to a sector on the heights of the 
Meuse southeast of Verdun. With my command I 
was placed in charge of a section of the trenches 
there. When we first went in the regiments of the 
Second Division were sandwiched in between French 
regiments, but after about a month the two regi- 
ments of Marines were brought together, side by 
side, as a brigade under General Doyen. 

We went up by train after dark, five trains to each 
regiment. The German airplanes must have ob- 
served signs of activity, for the enemy began shelling 
the railhead. They were too late, however, for most 
of the men had detrained and moved away. One 
shell, however, did ruin the Fifth Regiment band. 
None of the men were hurt but the bass drum was 
a total wreck. 

Just as we arrived at the front at midnight, a 
shell burst in the midst of a four-mule team. The 
mules were all killed and the driver was blown clean 
across the road, but he picked himself up uninjured. 
Again the human casualties were zero. 


At first one battalion of each of the two regi- 
ments of Marines went into the trenches, relieving 
two French battalions, while the rest were held in 
reserve. Soon afterward a second battalion of the 
Sixth moved up at night to take a position in line. 

The supports were located in secondary trenches 
about two miles back of the lines; the reserves lived 
in shacks and barracks above ground from three 
to five miles back. Some of the hardest and most 
dangerous work fell to the lot of the supporting 
units. They were kept digging trenches all the time, 
often under fire, and that is no child's play. Some 
of it was night work, and even so there were not 
infrequent casualties in these working parties. Our 
first blood was spilt in the supporting trenches when 
a shell killed two and wounded three men of the 
S^nd Company, Sixth Regiment. Such unhappy 
events we later became accustomed to, but I fancy 
there were some of our youths who, when the news 
of these first deaths went about, felt the sensation 
of a temporary quake inside, but it served only as 
an incentive to further effort. We knew we were in 
the war then, in deadly earnest, and our men drew 
together and faced the music with a grim determina- 
tion that boded ill for the unlucky Boches who 
might chance to appear within range of their rifles. 
You may be a perfect gentleman by inheritance 
and training, but the sight of a dead comrade's 
upturned face makes you want to kill. 

The first battalions in the trenches were relieved 
in eight days. After that the rule was twenty days 


in and twenty out. The relieved men went to the 
rear to bathe and rest and have their clothes steamed, 
but they were soon back digging trenches again. 
There was Httle respite. Digging trenches, I need 
hardly remark, is a strong man's job. It leaves the 
limbs weary and the back aching. There is about it 
none of the glamour of battle, but the men knew it 
was the way to whip the Hun. One boy wrote home 
that he had been reported for the first time for having 
a rusty rifle. ** But,'' he added, '' my pick and shovel 
were clean and bright." Very likely that same boy, 
who had been toiling hke a day labourer, caked with 
dirt and sweat, had a short year before been sitting 
languidly in a college classroom, clad in flossy flan- 
nels, bluffing his way through a course in Greek or 
Political Economy. You can make even ditch-diggers, 
and first-rate ones, out of rah-rah boys, if you can in- 
still into them the all-pervasive spirit of the Marines. 

Speaking of this trench digging, the little old mayor 
of one of the villages back of our lines was heard to 
remark that the war would have to last at least two 
years more to give the Americans a chance to finish 
their trench system. 

The front line trenches at this point ran along a 
ridge overlooking a plain and cut here and there by 
ravines. Behind us the country was wooded. Both 
before and behind the line there were numerous little 
towns and villages, or what had once been such, a 
mile or two apart. Two or three of these, located 
directly in front of our position, were used as advance 
posts for observation. 


Through our loopholes we looked out upon a for- 
lorn, desolate, uninhabited country. It had passed 
through severe fighting in 191 5, and the Germans 
were still shelling the woods and towns every day in 
the hope of getting some of our observers. The 
woods were splintered on every hand, the stone 
buildings in the villages were all knocked to pieces, and 
some of the open fields looked like freshly ploughed 
land. The whole countryside was pock-marked 
with craters. It was like a Dore vision of the end of 
the world — an abomination of desolation. Mankind 
and all his works appeared to have been destroyed 
by some devastating fire of the angry gods. It 
recalled burning words of Dante, Milton, Poe, 
Browning — ^these Hues from "Childe Roland to the 
Dark Tower Came": 

I think I never saw 

Such starved, ignoble nature. 

As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair 
In leprosy. 

Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him 
Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim 

Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils. 

Yet if one could but close one's eyes to all this 
ghastly havoc of war, it was beautiful country, with 
rolHng contours, a wide prospect, and wooded ridges. 
Spring came while we;^were there. The woods took 
on their cloak of green, and the verdant ravines, 
though deadly enough in all conscience, seemed to 


thrust themselves out into the desert plain as though 
trying to inject life into death. We witnessed there 
Nature's eternal struggle to heal her wounds. 

I realize that it is not altogether easy for the civilian 
back home to get an accurate and vivid picture of 
the trenches. We occupied what is known as a 
"sub-sector" of the trenches that had been dug by 
the French. A "sub-sector" consists of a "centre of 
resistance," which is usually occupied by a battalion, 
and is made up of "strong points" which are occu- 
pied by companies. The line itself is made up of 
"combat groups," whose strength is according to 
the character of the ground. Sometimes a "combat 
group" consists of a non-commissioned officer and 
three men; sometimes there are as many as twelve 
men. At least half of these are alert all the time. 

The trenches are not lined with men, the groups 
being posted at intervals of from 50 to 150 yards. 
At each of these posts there are men constantly on 
Watch at loopholes in the parapet. In quiet times 
there is no one in the trench between these posts, 
and no one in the ravines, where poisonous gases 
may hang. The trench is not on a straight line and 
the whole front is covered by machine guns in such 
a way that a cross-fire is possible at every point. 
The heavier guns are placed back of the line near the 
support trenches, in camouflaged positions. 

The support trench, which must not be confused 
with the position of the supporting troops farther 
back, is located perhaps 50 to 200 yards behind the 
front line and is occupied by front-line troops. It is 


connected with the front trench by zigzag connect- 
ing trenches. From it a main supply trench, some 
two miles long, runs directly back to the rear. 

We had no listening posts here, owing to the width 
of No Man's Land at this point, but we had advance 
observation posts in the two villages on our front, 
and to these ran connecting trenches or boyaux. 

The front trench where we were was merely a 
ditch with vertical sides, six feet deep and perhaps 
three feet wide or less. The main trench to the rear 
was wider, to permit of the passage of troops. At 
the best places in the front trench firing steps were 
cut in the front wall. Dugouts for the men not on 
watch were built into the earth from the rear side of 
the trench. They were of different sizes, some being 
large enough to accommodate thirty or forty men, 
while others were big enough for only three or four. 
Most of them were suppHed with two entrances, so 
as to leave a means of exit in case of a cave-in. 

Our unit had its own telephone and observation 
system and our signal corps men were on the jump 
all the time to keep it in working order. The lines 
were cut by shells sometimes fifteen or twenty times 
during the course of a day. And we had to be careful 
how we used our wires, for the Germans were able 
to steal most of our messages by means of powerful 
induction coils. Where we were only 100 yards 
from the enemy, I believe they were able to catch 
every word we sent along our wires, and our only 
safeguard was a frequent change of code. 

We were in a so-called quiet sector, but quiet was 


only a comparative term over there. The German 
artillery was active most of the time and ours re- 
plied in kind. I got my first taste of a near-by 
shell on the second day. I had gone down to the 
front trench with Captain Laspierre and we were 
returning through the woods together, when we 
heard the shrill whistle of a shell. I had already 
become somewhat accustomed to that whistle and 
then the bang of the more or less distant explosion, 
and it did not occur to me that this sound was any 
different, but the French captain's ears were in 
better tune. " Down ! " he cried, and we jumped into 
a shallow ditch and lay flat. The shell struck a bare 
fifty feet aw^ay and burst, and the fragments rained 
all around us. 

The French captain and I threw ourselves into 
the ditch five times that day while traversing half a 
mile. Some aviator must have signalled to the 
German gunners that we were there. Afterward I 
got so that I could quickly distinguish between the 
high-pitched whistle of the high velocity and the 
snarling shriek of the trench mortar shell. And after 
identifying one of the latter, one usually had between 
two and three seconds in which to seek the shelter 
of Mother Earth. Major Hughes told me that he 
didn't in the least mind the song of the big shells, 
but he did object to having tin boilers shot at him. 

Every day the Germans shelled our batteries, 
crossroads, and camps. We were supported by 
French artillery at first; later American artillery 
came into position behind us. The 75 's were placed 


about three-quarters of a mile back of the trenches 
and the 150*5 about two miles. They not only 
replied to the enemy fire but spent a good deal of 
time and ammunition at first in registering for barrage 

Boche airplanes came over nearly every day. At 
first, when the trees were bare, they could observe 
all our movements unless we executed them at night 
or under cover. Later on the foliage in the woods 
furnished us with some protection. 

These trenches had originally been dug by French 
Colonial troops. It had been a quiet sector for two 
years and the trenches had not been kept in as good 
shape as in some places. The officers' dug-outs 
were in good condition, but the trenches themselves 
were rather bad and we had plenty of work to do 
to clean them out. In some spots the mud was knee- 
deep, and the trench dug-outs were wet. This meant 
discomfort and — vermin. 

For the trenches are not inhabited by men alone. 
There were cooties and there were rats. The cootie, 
which is the soldier's name for a minute but very 
persistent member of the louse family, does not 
furnish a pleasant topic for conversation, but in the 
old trenches he is omnipresent and not at all shy 
and retiring in disposition. He attacks the just and 
the unjust, the clean and the unclean, and he is no 
respecter of persons. Hence the haste to bathe and 
get one's clothes steamed upon being relieved of 
trench duty. The cootie is as troublesome as shrap- 
nel and he loves Red Cross knitting. 


And the rats. They played over the men while 
they slept in the dug-outs. They lived and multi- 
plied and made merry throughout the length of the 
trenches. They got at the reserve rations, some- 
times gnawing clean through the men's packs. They 
were immigrants, we believed, from Germany. 

There are regiments, I understand, which keep 
terriers for the killing of rats in the trenches. We 
had no terrier, but the Fifth had a mascot that was 
nearly as good. It was an ant bear, a sort of raccoon, 
which some Marine had brought from Haiti. And 
it did murder rats. 

Dogs are used in France for various military pur- 
poses, as sentinels, couriers, ambulance assistants, 
etc. We had no trained dogs with our outfit, but our 
men were not entirely dogless. The machine gun 
company of the Sixth had a dog from Haiti, and one 
battalion owned a German shepherd dog that had 
been presented to it. One of the officers kept one 
of the rare and interesting sheepdogs of the Pyrenees. 

Since I have broached the subject of dogs, let me 
insert a good dog story, for it has become part of the 
story of the Marines in France. It appeared in this 
form in the July 4th issue of the Stars and StrtpeSy 
the daily newspaper published by the American 
Expeditionary Force in France: 

"This is the story of Verdun Belle, a trench dog who 
adopted a young leatherneck; of how she followed him to 
the edge of the battle around Chateau-Thierry, and was 
waiting for him when they carried him out. It is a true 


"Belle is a setter bitch, shabby white, with great splotch- 
es of chocolate brown in her coat. Her ears are brown and 
silken. Her ancestry is dubious. She is under size, and 
would not stand a chance among the haughtier breeds 
they show in splendour at Madison Square Garden back 
home. But the Marines think there never was a dog 
like her since the world began. 

"No one in the regiment knows whence she came, nor 
why, when she joined the outfit in a sector near Verdun, 
she singled out one of the privates as her very own and 
attached herself to him for the duration of the war. The 
young Marine would talk long and earnestly to her, and 
every one swore that Belle could 'compree' English. 

"She used to curl up at his feet when he slept, or follow 
silently to keep him company at the listening post. She 
would sit hopefully in front of him whenever he settled 
down with his laden mess-kit, which the cooks always 
heaped extra high in honour of Belle. 

"Belle was as used to war as the most weather-beaten 
poilu. The tremble of the ground did not disturb her and 
the whining whirr of the shells overhead only made her 
twitch and wrinkle her nose in her sleep. She was trench 
broken. You could have put a plate of savoury pork 
chops on the parapet and nothing would have induced 
her to go up after them. 

"She weathered many a gas attack. Her master con- 
trived a protection for her by cutting down and twisting 
a French gas mask. At first this sack over her nose irri- 
tated her tremendously, but once, when she was trying 
to claw it off with her forepaws, she got a whifF of the 
poisoned air. Then a great light dawned on Belle, and 
after that, at the first alerte, she would race for her mask. 
You could not have taken it from her until her master's 
pat on her back told her everything was all right. 


"In the middle of May, Belle presented a proud but 
not particularly astonished regiment with nine confused 
and wriggling puppies, black and white or, like their 
mother, brown and white, and possessed of incredible 
appetites. Seven of these were alive and kicking when, 
not so very many days ago, the order came for the regi- 
ment to pull up stakes and speed across France to help 
stem the German tide north of the troubled Marne. 

"In the rush and hubbub of marching orders, Belle 
and her brood were forgotten by every one but the young 
Marine. It never once entered his head to leave her or 
the pups behind. Somewhere he found a market basket 
and tumbled the litter into that. He could carry the 
pups, he explained, and the mother dog would trot at his 

"Now the amount of hardware a Marine is expected 
to carry on the march is carefully calculated to the maxi- 
mum strength of the average soldier, yet this leatherneck 
found extra muscle somewhere for his precious basket. 
If it came to the worst, he thought, he could jettison his 
pack. It was not very clear in his mind what he would 
do with his charges during a battle, but he trusted to luck 
and Verdun Belle. 

"For 40 kilometres he carried his burden along the 
parched French highway. No one wanted to kid him 
out of it nor could have if they would. When there fol- 
lowed a long advance by camion, he yielded his place to 
the basket of wriggling pups while he himself hung on 
the tail-board. 

"But then there was more hiking and the basket 
proved too much. It seemed that the battle line was 
somewhere far off. Solemnly, the young Marine killed 
four of the puppies, discarded the basket, and slipped the 
other three into his shirt. 


"Thus he trudged on his way, carrying those three, 
pouched in forest green, as a kangaroo carries its young, 
while the mother-dog trotted trustingly behind. 

''One night he found that one of the black and white 
pups was dead. The road, by this time, was black with 
hurrying troops, lumbering lorries jostling the line of ad- 
vancing ambulances, dust-grey columns of soldiers, mov- 
ing on as far ahead and as far behind as the eye could see. 
Passing silently in the other direction was the desolate 
procession of refugees from the invaded countryside. 
Now and then a herd of cows or a cluster of fugitives 
from some desolated village, trundling their most cher- 
ished possessions in wheelbarrows and baby-carts, would 
cause an eddy in the traflEc. 

" Somewhere in this congestion and confusion Belle was 
lost. In the morning there was no sign of her and the 
young Marine did not know what to do. He begged a cup 
of milk from an old Frenchwoman and with the eye- 
dropper from his kit he tried to feed the two pups. It 
did not work very well. Faintly the veering wind brought 
down the valley from far ahead the sound of the cannon. 
Soon he would be in the thick of it and there was no 
Belle to care for the pups. 

"Two ambulances of a field hospital were passing in 
the unending caravan. A lieutenant who looked human 
was in the front seat of one of them, a sergeant beside him. 
The leatherneck ran up to them, blurted out his story, 
gazed at them imploringly, and thrust the puppies into 
their hands. 1 . 

" *Take good care of them,' he said. *I don't suppose 
Fll ever see them again.' 

"And he was gone. A little later in the day that field 
hospital was pitching its tents and setting up its kitchens 
and tables in a deserted farm. Amid all the hurry of 


preparation for the big job ahead they found time to 
worry about those pups. The problem was food. Corned 
willy was tried and found wanting. 

"Finally, the first sergeant hunted up a farm-bred pri- 
vate, and the two of them spent that evening chasing four 
nervous and distrustful cows around a pasture, trying 
vainly to capture enough milk to provide subsistence for 
the new additions to the personnel. 

"Next morning the problem was still unsolved. But 
it was solved that evening. 

v"For that evening a fresh contingent of Marines 
trooped by the farm, and in their wake — tired, anxious, 
but undiscouraged — ^was Verdun Belle. Ten kilometres 
back, two days before, she had lost her master, and, until 
she could find him again, she evidently had thought that 
any Marine was better than none. 

"The troops did not halt at the farm, but Belle did. 
At the gates she stopped dead in her tracks, drew in her 
lolling tongue, sniffed inquiringly the evening air, and like 
a flash — a white streak along the drive — she raced to the 
distant tree where, on a pile of discarded dressings in the 
shade, the pups were sleeping. 

"All the corps men stopped work and stood around and 
marvelled. For the onlooker it was such a family reunion 
as warms the heart. For the worried mess sergeant it 
was a great relief. For the pups it was a mess call, clear 
and unmistakable. 

"So, with renewed faith in her heart and only one 
worry left in her mind, Verdun Belle and her puppies 
settled down to detached service with this field hospital. 
When, next day, the reach of the artillery made it ad- 
, visable that it should move down the valley to the shelter 
of a fine hillside chateau, you may be sure that room was 
made in the first ambulance for the three casuals. 


"In a grove of trees beside the house, the tents of the 
personnel were pitched and the cots of the expected pa- 
tients ranged side by side. The wounded came — came 
hour after hour In a steady stream, and the boys of the 
hospital worked on them night and day. They could not 
possibly keep track of all the cases, but there was one 
who did. Always a mistress of the art of keeping out 
from under foot, very quietly Belle hung around and 
investigated each ambulance that turned in from the 
main road and backed up with its load of pain to the door 
of the receiving room. 

"Then one evening they lifted out a young Marine, 
listless in the half stupour of shell shock. To the busy 
workers he was just Case Number Such-and-Such, but 
there was no need to tell any one who saw the wild jubi- 
lance of the dog that Belle had found her own again at 


"The first consciousness he had of his new surroundings 
was the feel of her rough, pink tongue licking the dust 
from his face. And those who passed that way on Sunday 
last found two cots shoved together in the kindly shade 
of a spreading tree. On one the mother-dog lay con- 
tented with her puppies. Fast asleep on the other, his 
arm thrown out so that the grimy hand could clutch one 
silken ear, lay the young Marine. 

" Before long they would have to ship him to the evac- 
uation hospital, on from there to the base hospital, on 
and on and on. It was not very clear to any one how 
another separation could be prevented. It was a per- 
plexing question. But they knew in their hearts they 
could safely leave the answer to some one else. They 
could leave it to Verdun Belle." 

Over the Top 

OUTSIDE of the artillery fire and repelling a 
few minor German raids, nothing very ex- 
citing happened at first. Then w^e began 
Sending patrols every night into No Man's Land, 
and the real danger and uncertainty of trench war- 
fare began for our Marines — and the longed-for 
chance for action. 

These patrols were divided into two classes — wire 
patrols, which went over the top to cut German wire 
entanglements and to look after the condition of 
ours, and reconnoitring patrols which stole out in 
search of information. Neither of these was a raid- 
ing party, though a German prisoner or two was 
always welcome. 

The reconnoitring patrols were sent out with a 
definite route to follow and a definite time schedule. 
This schedule was handed to the artillery, which was 
ready with a barrage in case an enemy raid was sig- 
nalled. Obviously, it was important for the patrol 
to stick to its route and schedule so as to be in no 
danger from our own barrage. 

The average patrol numbered not less than twenty- 
five men under a commissioned officer. The German 
patrols were usually a bit larger — about forty men. 


There was always the possibility of running upon an 
enemy patrol, and that meant quick action and a 
bloody fight. 

Perhaps it requires more nerve to steal out in the 
night in this way, creeping over the top and skulking 
along Indian fashion, with no way of knowing how 
many Germans may be in the path, than to advance 
into battle in regular formation in broad daylight. 
But our Marines took to it as though it were the 
best game ever invented, and I have no doubt it 
helped to fit them for what came later. 

Clashes with German patrols were frequent. They 
became a part of the night's work, these unearthly 
encounters in the dread dark, and our Marines 
learned to take the hazard and fight the unseen. 
Quietly they would steal over the top like boys 
embarking on some exciting game, and then compara- 
tive silence would reign in the trenches while we 
waited for the patrol to come back. It was filled 
with suspense, that waiting, for the crack of a rifle 
out there in No Man's Land, or the bursting of a 
grenade might mean the snuffing out of another 
young American life, and another Marine reported 
dead or missing. Often there was a pitched battle 
beneath the stars, and when the boys came in again 
they had a tale to tell of fleeing Germans or dead foes 
hanging on the wire. 

I remember one occasion in which a party of thirty 
men of the Fifth went over into No Man's Land in 
the dead of night on their stealthy, dangerous mission. 
One of the Army Reserve Lieutenants, a Plattsburgh 


graduate named A. L. Sundeval, attached to the 
1 8th Company, was in command of the patrol. 
Deploying as much as was safe in the darkness, they 
made their way over the shell holes and entangle- 
ments until suddenly the thirty ran head on into a 
large German patrol numbering at least a hundred 
men. But the Marine does not count his enemy's 
numbers. Without a moment's hesitation battle 
was joined there in the darkness, which was made 
even more intense by occasional flares and star shells 
in the distance. Rifles cracked and spat fire, and 
now and then a grunt told of an American bayonet 
that had found its sheath in a German body. The 
conflict ebbed and flowed out there between two 
inactive armies, with no one to watch its progress, 
but our Marines fought the Boches to a standstill, 
and when the enemy at last turned and disappeared 
in the darkness they carried with them a new respect 
for the fighting of the devil hounds and left behind 
their slain. 

When It was all over, and the boys came back. 
Lieutenant Sundeval was lying motionless on the 
ground and two men were reported missing. A gun- 
nery sergeant of the l8th Company named Winchen- 
baugh, a loyal son of Poland, picked up the dying 
Lieutenant and brought him in under fire. For 
that he received the Croix de Guerre and was recom- 
mended for the Distinguished Service Cross. 

Such were the adventures of our patrols out there 
in the wire-entangled waste of No Man's Land when 
the night was black and every man carried his life 


in his hands. Great battles and the movements of 
huge armies under illustrious generals crowd the 
reports of such deeds from the newspapers, but they 
are the deeds of brave men, fighting and dying in 
France for the great cause. And out there in No 
Man's Land the Hun took bloody toll of our Marines, 
but he paid the price. 

More spectacular than the patrol work, perhaps, 
were the raids which were made on the enemy's 
trenches for the purpose of securing prisoners and 
direct information. The Germans were also addicted 
to the habit of raiding, and we had some lively times 
repelling their raids. They were seldom successful. 
On one occasion they attempted a raid on a bat- 
talion of the Fifth during relief, and left behind them 
two prisoners and three dead. 

As the days went by and our men stiffened to their 
work, there were stirring events for the Marines. 
They became more skilful in their night patrol 
work, bolder in their raids, more stubborn in their 
resistance of the enemy's dashes. 

I have spoken of the little demolished villages in 
front of our lines which we used as advance observa- 
tion posts. The squads in these outposts were prac- 
tically isolated part of the time. Each advance post 
was reached by a single connecting trench or boyau 
which was wide open to the enemy's fire and could 
be used only under cover of darkness. The Germans 
shelled these villages every day and the men were 
obliged to make dugouts. They did most of their sleep- 
ing in the daytime and remained watchful all night. 


In one of these posts we had fifty men under one 
officer, Lieutenant Perkinson. No Man's Land at 
this point was about three quarters of a mile wide, 
but it was not a safe spot night or day. Eternal 
watchfulness was the price of life. 

One night, at 11.30, we heard the roar of the bar- 
rage and the rattle of machine guns and learned that 
a raid was being made on this post. The story of 
that raid, as it was afterward told me, was dramatic. 
The German patrols had succeeded in cutting all but 
, the last line of wire without being detected. It was 
a night of velvet blackness and our men were on the 
alert. Out of the stillness of No Man's Land — for 
there is a sort of comparative stillness there — there 
came to the ears of our listeners the sharp snap of 
wire cutters near at hand. The Germans were at 
work on the last line of barbed wire. 

The word was quickly passed along and the auto- 
matic rifles blazed out. The Germans replied with 
such vigour and volume that our men at once recog- 
nized it for a raid in force. They were clearly out- 
numbered, though it was impossible for them to tell 
just how great their peril was. They kept their 
automatics going, but the Germans refused to be 
beaten back. Help was imperatively needed. 

Lieutenant Perkinson ordered his men to signal to 
our artillery for a barrage, but the rockets had become 
damp and refused to go ofF. The situation was 
serious for that little band of Marines. Then two 
men — Privates Sleeth and Hullinger — volunteered 
to go back to the first line trench for a fresh supply 


Photograph from the Coinmittee on Public Information 


Photograph from the Committee on Public Information 

' On the whole, I am inclined to think that the gas was the worst evil we 
had to encounter, and we learned to dread the deadly smell of mustard" 


of rockets. Sleeth was a ten-second sprinter, and 
the two started back by the shell-torn road, as the 
winding boyau offered too great an impediment to 
speed and was not much safer at night. 

When our rifles spoke, the Germans knew there 
was no further need for stealth and they signalled 
back to their gunners for a barrage to prevent rein- 
forcements from being sent to our men. As our two 
runners started out on their dash up the slope, this 
barrage was being methodically laid down right across 
the boyau and the strip of ground lying between our 
front line trench and the advance post. The runners 
had to make their way directly through this curtain 
of shell fire and return the same way. 

Now an artillery barrage is a pretty effective 
check to advancing troops, but a single man may 
hope, with luck, to get through with a whole skin. 
The German shells were dropped frequently and 
accurately at a range of about 3,000 yards, falling 
to earth about twenty to thirty feet apart. This 
is too close for comfort, and a man's only hope is to 
get through in the interval between two shots from 
the same guns. 

Our runners had their wits about them and they 
made their calculations. Both of them got through 
by a miracle, though HulHnger fell exhausted when 
he reached the shelter of the trench. The sprinter 
came loping back to us with ail armful of rockets, 
beating the barrage on his return. Picture to your- 
self that wild midnight dash through a hell of burst- 
ing shells, and you will have some idea of the sort of 


deeds our new Marines were proving themselves 
capable of. 

As it turned out, those rockets were not needed, 
after all, for Lieutenant Perkinson and his men beat 
the Germans back without the aid of a barrage. It 
was the incessant argument of their rifles that per- 
suaded the Boches to retire from their ill-starred 
venture. It was pitch-dark, and the men could see 
neither their victims nor the sights on their rifles. 
But they knew how to shoot low and to fire at a 
sound or a flash, and their fire proved effective. 
The Germans evidently did not like this form of 
death in the dark, for it was not long before they had 
had enough. They threw over a volley of grenades 
and departed. The German barrage kept up for 
half an hour longer, as if for spite, and then quieted 

About daylight small patrols were sent out to in- 
vestigate. They found two dead Huns, besides 
spots of blood and other signs of numerous casualties. 
They also picked up about 500 hand grenades, fifty 
big two-handed wire cutters, and a quantity of 
tubes of liquid fire which the Germans had dropped 
in their hasty retreat. Their little undertaking had 
proved a bit costly for them, but the fight might 
easily have gone the other way, for they had suc- 
ceeded in cutting half through the last entanglement 
and were close upon our post when they were detect- 
ed. From the evidence gathered it was estimated 
that they must have outnumbered the fifty Ameri- 
cans more than two to one. 


As for the Marines in that action, not one was 
killed and only one man wounded, and he by shrapnel 
at the beginning of the German barrage. He 
received seven separate wounds, but he crawled to 
his position and stuck there throughout the engage- 
ment. Lieutenant Perkinson received the Croix de 
Guerre for that night's work, and so did the two 

There was one other little affair which had its 
heroic moments. In another of the little towns at 
the foot of the hill, where the hnes were about i,ocx> 
yards apart, we kept two platoons — 100 men. One 
night a combination patrol started out from this 
post, consisting of equal numbers of French and 
Americans, the latter under Lieutenant Burr. Again 
it was midnight and dark as a pocket. They had 
got about 200 yards outside the Hnes when they ran 
headlong into a party of Germans who were evidently 
planning a raid on the advance post. The Germans, 
not knowing just what they were up against, turned 
and fled. 

In about two minutes a signal went up and a 
German barrage was laid down between the Allied 
patrol and the town. Eight batteries of four guns 
each poured in a perfect torrent of explosive shells 
and the retreat of our men was effectively cut off. 
As the barrage crept nearer they scuttled for shell 
holes and ditches and lay there waiting for the storm 
to subside. 

Next morning four dead Germans were found near 
the town, killed by their own barrage. One Marine 


was killed that night — Corporal Toth. They found 
him the following day, sitting in a ditch with a 
machine gun bullet in his head. 

And so we left our dead in No Man's Land, and we 
loved the Hun no more for that. 

On the whole, I am inclined to think that the gas 
was the worst evil we had to encounter, and we 
learned to dread the deadly smell of mustard. One 
whole company of the Sixth got it once and got it 
bad. It was the 74th, under Captain Miller, which 
was in reserve, living in barracks in a ravine back 
of the lines. One morning an intense bombardment 
of this camp broke loose, and between 4 and 6 a. m. 
over 2,ocx) gas shells fell. Thirty-nine of our men 
were killed during that bombardment or died from 
the effects of it, and others were seriously gassed. 
They were caught before reveille, as they supposed in 
a safe retreat, and the damage was done before a 
warning could be given and the masks adjusted. 
One of the first shells went through the roof of a hut 
where sixty men were sleeping, and most of the 
thirty-nine killed were in that platoon. 

On the same dav the Germans bombarded another 
camp with gas and inflicted casualties. The Boche 
must certainly be given credit for knowing how to 
use gas and for his cleverness in getting it over with- 
out warning. Later gas was mixed with explosives 
and you couldn't tell a gas shell from any other by 
the sound or look of it. 

During those days and nights in the trenches the 
Ouartermaster's outfit had as hard a time of it as 


any of us. Hard work and little glory was their lot, 
but they stood to their task like men and the boys 
in front were fed. The supply company was located 
three miles in the rear and every twenty-four hours 
the commissary detachments had to get adequate 
supplies to the battalion dumps at the front whether 
the roads were shelled or not. It all had to be done 
at night and the weather had no place in the calcu- 
lations. Food was taken to the front line every 
night by the battalion Quartermaster and his men 
on mule carts, pack mules, etc., as well as timber, 
wire, camouflage, and all the other material and 
paraphernalia of trench warfare. The Germans had 
the roads registered and dropped shells on them at 
intervals during the night. The time schedule of 
the supply trains was changed frequently, but even 
so the shells not infrequently got them, and the 
casualties steadily increased. But night after night 
they had to keep going through the peril of it, and 
there is none of the excitement and uplift of battle 
in driving mules at night. 

We remained in this sub-sector one month and 
then traded positions with a French regiment. This 
placed the Sixth next to the Fifth and brought our 
brigade of Marines together in the region of Les 
Eparges. At this new position of the Sixth the woods 
jutted farther out upon the plain, and at one point 
the opposing trenches were only 150 yards apart. 
Here we had listening posts in the old French trench 
just outside our first line of wire. 

I had been living more or less comfortably in an 


old dugout back of our former line. Now I moved 
my Post of Command to a point near a high hill 
overlooking the new lines. This hill was the site of 
an ancient Roman camp of which the earthworks 
were still visible. A grass-grown mound ten feet 
high ran across the hill, telling of military under- 
takings of a by-gone day. My new post was con- 
sequently named P. C. Rome. 

It was here that I experienced my second personal 
encounter with Boche shells. About ten o'clock one 
nfiorning, soon after I had taken up my post there, 
the Germans began bombarding the camp of the 
headquarters company near at hand, killing three 
men and wounding two. Rafales of twenty shells 
were fired into the camp at intervals of twenty 
minutes all day, but fortunately for me none of them 
struck the Post of Command. 

During the month that we remained in this posi- 
tion, the Sixth had no actual contact with the Ger- 
mans, though the French had twice been raided there 
just before we came. Patrol work, however, wenn 
steadily on. One night an unlucky patrol stumbled 
into a cleverly placed trip wire which exploded 
grenades when it was struck and caught the men in 
the legs. Several were wounded, including Lieuten- 
ant Wallace, one of my battalion intelligence officers. 

That same night one of our companies was gassed, 
but we knew more about gas and gas masks by that 
time. A few gas shells fell near the Post of Command, 
and I had my mask on. Toward morning I heard 
a bird singing in a tree near by. It struck me that 


if there wasn't enough gas in the air to kill a bird, 
it wouldn't kill me, and I took off the mask. 

A gas mask, by the way, is a thing one is anxious 
to take off at the first opportunity. It is a hot and 
stifling thing and seems to impede the faculties. 
The wearer takes in the air through his mouth, after 
it has been sucked through the purifying chemicals. 
His nose is not trusted and is clamped shut. Im- 
agine yourself fighting with a clothespin on your nose 
and a bag over your mouth and you may be able to 
get some notion of what a gas mask is like. And at 
that it is preferable to one whiflP of the deadly fumes. 

Spring advanced and May came. Verdure over- 
spread the old Roman camp on the hill. Wild 
flowers burst into bloom and birds sang in the woods. 
I remember coming upon a hillside that was white and 
fragrant with a great mass of lily-of-the-valley. On 
the plain below the shell-ploughed farms clothed them- 
selves in green sprinkled with wild flowers. At 
another time and under other circumstances it 
would have been a peaceful, restful scene. 

It was on one of these bright days in May that we 
assembled in a wooded spot back of the lines at 10 
o'clock in the morning to witness the decoration of 
our heroes. There under the trees those of our men 
who had won especial honour received from a grateful 
and appreciative Ally their hard-earned recognition 
— ^the coveted Croix de Guerre. 

The recipients, numbering about twenty-five 
American Marines and about the same number of 
French soldiers in that sector, were drawn up inside 


a hollow square composed of two companies of 
French troops and two of Marines. A French band 
rendered martial music and a number of high French 
officials filed in. It was an impressive ceremony. 
One by one the citations were read, giving a resume 
of each man's deeds of valour and service, there was 
a burst of bugle notes, and the Cross was pinned on 
and the Gallic salutation administered by General 
Tenant of the French Army. In that simple cere- 
mony and in the knowledge of what it meant, our 
men found their reward for all the perils and labours 
they had undergone in No Man's Land and the 

Early in May, shortly before we left the trenches. 
General Doyen, on account of ill health, was relieved 
of his command of the brigade by Brigadier General 
Harbord of the Army. Of course we were a bit dis- 
appointed not to have a Marine officer at our head, 
but|there was no Brigadier General of Marines in 
France at that time, and it was advisable to have an 
officer of that rank in command of the brigade. But 
every Marine in the brigade knew that a better man 
could not have been assigned to the post. General 
Harbord had been General Pershing's Chief of Staff; 
the very best had been sent to us, and that we 

General Harbord was a splendid soldier. I had 
known him as a member of my class at the War 
College. He was first of all a man of action, and 
from the time he took over our force in the trenches 
things were always on the move. He was a glutton 

l-rom ine painting oy ^. J. I^t ooLj 

"Out there in No Man's Land the Hun took bloody toll of our Marines, 

but he paid the price" 


for work himself and was always inspecting some- 
thing or somebody. There were no idle units under 
him. And he exhibited that ideal combination of 
discipline and the democratic attitude which we like 
to think is typically American. He was popular 
with the men, talked with them often, and obviously 
had their interests at heart. Marines to him were 
something more than cannon fodder, and the men 
knew it and worked their hardest for him. It is 
impossible to overestimate the value of such officers 
with our boys in France. 

Though not a Marine himself. General Harbord 
fully understood and appreciated the traditions of 
our Corps, and it was said of him that he became as 
pro-Marine as any Marine. He told us that when he 
took over the command. General Pershing said to 
him, "You are to have charge of the finest body of 
troops in France, and if they fail to live up to that 
reputation I shall know whom to blame." That they 
did live up to their reputation necessarily throws not 
a little credit upon their commander. 

I speak of these things because General Harbord 
was our commanding officer during all the stirring 
days that followed. Our orders all came from him 
and he handled the brigade of Marines at Belleau 
Wood and Bouresches. After that action he was 
made a Major General, and he deserved it. 

I cannot refrain from adding a few words here 
regarding General Doyen, the first commander of 
our brigade, for he has given his life to the service as 
truly as if he had been killed by a German bullet. 


He was born in Concord, N. H., on September 3, 
1859, and was admitted to the Naval Academy as 
midshipman in June, 1876. He graduated with the 
Class of 1 88 1 and received his commission as Second 
Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1883. He saw 
service in all parts of the world with the Atlantic 
and Pacific Fleets. He was made First Lieutenant 
in 1889, Captain in 1898, and Major in 1900, when 
he was assigned to the command of the Marines of 
the Atlantic Fleet. In 1905 he became a Lieutenant 
Colonel and took command of the Marines then in 
the Philippines. He received his Colonel's commis- 
sion in 1909 and went to the Philippines again in 
1913. In 191 5 he was assigned to the command of 
the Marine Barracks at Washington, D. C. 

When the United States went into the war. Colonel 
Doyen was the officer selected to command the first 
brigade of Marines to be sent to France. Under 
him our two regiments underwent the months of 
vigorous training on French soil that fitted them for 
the service which they saw later. Full credit should 
be given him for that. When we went into the 
trenches he was relieved of his command because of 
ill health. He was made a Brigadier General to 
date from March 26, 19 17. 

On his return to this country he was placed m 
command of the Marine Barracks and Overseas 
Training Station at Quantico, Va., and died there 
of influenza on October 6, 191 8. His death was a 
great loss to the service. He was a fine type of 
officer, one of the most distinguished in our Corps, 


and embodied all of those traditions of which we are 
so proud. 

It was while we were in the trenches, in that 
"quiet" sector, that the terrible, heart-sickening 
drive of the Germans in Picardy was going on. 
Rheims was threatened, and the Boches plunged 
steadily on toward Amiens, across the Somme, 
through Peronne, and down to Montdidier. It was 
almost more than flesh and blood could stand to lie 
there in our dugouts and learn what was going on to 
the northwest. Every man of us knew all about it, 
for we picked up the German and French communi- 
ques by wireless. The former were the most dis- 
quieting, for, with characteristic exaggeration, they 
told of tremendous victories and whole armies taken 
prisoner. We did not know then, as we know now, 
that the German invariably lies in his communiques. 
The French and British do not lie, though they are 
often obliged, for military reasons, to conceal the 
precise extent of their losses during important actions. 

Naturally we began to grow restless. Why could 
we take no part in this crucial action ? Why weren't 
the American Marines called upon to help stem the 
fiery tide that seemed to be sweeping so irresistibly 
onward? We learned that the First Division had 
been sent in at Cantigny, and this did not add to our 
contentment. For a month we looked for orders to 
move, but none came. 

At last, in the second week of May, the orders 
came. We were to proceed to a rest area on May 
14th, after having been in the trenches exactly two 


months. We rejoiced, for the order meant a rest 
from trench digging, relief from the nightly peril of 
No Man's Land, a fond farewell to the mud and rats 
and cooties. But it meant more than that; it meant 
the likelihood of our being prepared for action on the 
battle line. We felt that our initiation had been 
completed, that at last we belonged, that we were 
now an intrinsic part of the AlHed armies in France 
that were fighting so desperately in the common 
cause of human justice and liberty. 

A new ardour seemed to possess the men when the 
news of that order went the rounds. Eagerly we 
climbed out of the damp and narrow trenches, fought 
one more battle with the cooties, and looked for the 
last time on "the misty mid-region of Wier" which 
was No Man's Land. And behind us we left slain 
comrades; that we did not forget. 

The Drive that Menaced Paris 

ON MAY 14th we were withdrawn to a rest 
area in the rear of the Hnes where we re- 
mained for five days. Then we were ordered 
to still another one to the northwest of Paris. We 
skirted the city on our way, but none of the men were 
given leave and we were obliged to sigh regretfully 
and pass on. 

In this second rest area we remained till the end 
of May. We rested, or at least it seemed like rest to 
the boys who were weary with the nerve-racking 
grind of trench work, but General Harbord did not 
believe in idleness. There was constant police work 
and constant drilling. And there we reformed our 
units for the task ahead of us, and overhauled our 

It may perhaps be interesting to enumerate some 
of the things which a regiment of Marines in France 
has to carry about with it and keep in condition. 
Each man, of course, had his personal effects, weigh- 
ing in all about sixty pounds, which he was obliged 
to carry when travelling in heavy marching order. 
There was the Colonel's automobile and fifty-nine 
riding horses for the officers, all of which had to be 

kept in perfect condition by the men. The auto- 



mobile went to the front, but the horses were not 
much in evidence in the front Hnes. 

Our medical service was attached to the division. 
It was taken from the Navy force and included nine 
medical officers and forty enlisted men. That they 
had plenty to do will be evident later. 

Each regiment had three motor cycles with side 
cars for messenger service, though in the press of 
battle runners had to be depended upon. Then 
there was all the paraphernalia of telephone and 
signal service, the ammunition, and all the adjuncts 
of fighting. The baggage wagons, ration wagons, 
water carts, ammunition wagons, rolling kitchens, 
etc., were all drawn by mules, as was our comple- 
ment of machine guns. We used the heavy Hotch- 
kiss. There were 332 mules, in all, attached to our 
regiment, and they, of course, had to be cared for. 

And then there was Lizzie. She was a Ford car 
presented by Miss Elizabeth Pearce of New York 
to the Marine Corps for service with the Sixth Regi- 
ment. She was equipped as an ambulance and was 
used as such in Bordeaux, when our camp was five 
miles outside the city. When we joined the rest of 
the Second Division, the regular ambulance service 
of the division supplied all our needs in that direction. 

But don't think for a moment that Lizzie was dis- 


carded. I believe there was no more useful member 
in the whole regiment. She was first pressed into 
service as a mail carrier to and from Division Head- 
quarters. When we got to the trenches I hardly 
know what she was not used for. She was the rapid 


transit system for the regiment in the front lines. 
Up there in the trench sector she met with a bad 
accident. Somehow she got smashed up in a ditch 
and the ambulance top was lost. She looked like a 
total wreck, but the good old engine still ran. The 
boys got her out of the ditch, cleaned up the wreck- 
age, and converted her into a sort of open delivery 
truck. And all through those weeks in the trenches 
she rendered invaluable service. 

I don't know how thoroughly she was overhauled 
during our rest period, but I believe she made no 
complaint of neglect. When at last we got to the 
fighting front, Lizzie came through with the supply 
train on June 4th. She was used almost constantly, 
especially after June 6th, to carry ammunition and 
food to the front lines, and the boys had many an 
occasion to rise up and call her blessed. She proved 
to be, in a way, our guardian angel. 

She was still in commission the last I knew. One 
wheel wabbled and she was full of shrapnel holes, but 
still she ran. And the men had painted a large Croix 
de Guerre on the side of her hood. 

Already Lizzie has inspired the muse of at least 
one poet. The following verses, written by Wallace 
Irwin for the Marines, are printed here with the 
author's permission. 

Elizabeth Ford 

We carried her over the sea, we did. 

And taught her to hep, hep, hep — 
A cute little jinny, all noisy and tinny. 

But full of Americap pep. 


Recruited into the Corps she was — 

She came of her own accord. 
We flew at her spanker the globe and the anchor 

And named her EHzabeth Ford. 

^Cute little 'Lizabeth, dear little 'Lizaheth, 

Bonnie Elizabeth Ford! 
She was short and squat, but her nose was sot 

For the Hindenburg line — Lord! 
She hated a Hun like a son-of-a-gun^ 

The Kaiser she plumb abhorred. 
Did chunky Elizabeth, hunky Elizabethy 

Spunky Elizabeth Ford, 

We took her along on our hikes, we did. 

And a wonderful boat was she. 
She'd carry physicians, food or munitions. 

Generals, water, or tea. 
She could climb a bank like a first-rate tank 

And deliver the goods aboard — 
When we touch our steel Kellies to " Semper Fidelis," 

Remember Elizabeth Ford. 

'Cute little *Lizabeth, dear little 'Lizabeth, 

Bonnie Elizabeth Ford. 
She took her rests in machine gun nests 

And on bullet-swept roads she chored. 
Where the Devil Hounds were first on the grounds 

0} a section of France restored — 
Why, there was Elizabeth, chunky Elizabeth, 

Spunky Elizabeth Ford! 

But 'twas on the day at those murder-woods 
Which the Yankees pronounce Belloo; 


We were sent to knock silly the hopes of Prince Willie 

And turn *em around d. q. 
We prayed for munitions and cleared our throats 

With a waterless click — good Lord ! — 
When out of a crater with bent radiator 

Climbed faithful Elizabeth Ford! 

'Cute little 'Lizabeth, dear little 'Lizaheth, 

Bonnie Elizabeth Ford. 
With a cylinder-skip she had made the trip, 

With her hood a wreck and a broken neck 

She cracked like a rotten board. 
Hunky Elizabeth, chunky Elizabeth, 

Spunky Elizabeth Ford. 

When they towed her out of the town next day 

Said Corporal Bill, "Look there! 
I know of one hero who shouldn't draw zero 

When they're passin' the Croix de Guerre. 
Who fed the guns that's startin' the Huns 

Plumb back to Canal du Nord?" 
So his Cross— and he'd won it!— he tied to the bonnet 

Of faithful Elizabeth Ford. 

'Cute little 'Lizabethy dear little 'Lizabeth, 

Bonnie Elizabeth Ford! 
Where shrapnel has mauled her we've now overhauled her. 

Her wheels and her gears restored. 
Her record's clean, she's a true Marine 

And we're sending the Dutch War Lord 
A note by Elizabeth, chunky Elizabeth, 

Spunky Elizabeth Ford! 


In the rest area we were rather more pleasantly 
located than in our previous training area. At 
least it seemed so, for the dreary winter weather was 
over and spring was at its height. The little villages 
in which we were billeted looked very pretty, with 
their gardens and neat houses, and we tried to keep 
them so. Part of our police work consisted in 
raking the streets and roads by hand and keeping 
the whole place shipshape. 

Unquestionably the men were benefited by the 
change. Complete relaxation, however, was out of 
the question, for we knew how things were going with 
our Allies and we lived from day to day expecting, 
and hoping for, the call that came at last. 

Before telling of our response to that call, of how 
we went to the hard-pressed front and joined battle 
with the victorious Hun, it might be well to set the 
stage by reviewing the military situation as it then 

It will be recalled that the first spring drive of the 
Germans started on March 21st, 191 8. Across the 
Somme it swept, engulfing the plains of Picardy in 
a huge wedge, and carrying discouragement to the 
hearts of the Allied nations. Foch was at the helm 
at last, but he seemed unable to check the advance. 
Amiens was threatened, and there were wild specu- 
lations of a rush to the sea and the separation of the 
French from the British. Men asked where the 
Allied army of manoeuvre could be, and Foch 
answered not. 

Over there in the trenches we realized these things 


and we were anxious and restless. So was every- 
body. I now believe that General Foch was the 
wisest and most patient man in France. He bided 
his time, and at last the onsweeping tide spent its 
force and the Allied lines were reformed. The drive 
was checked and counter-attacks began. The First 
Division of the American Army was sent in, and it 
will be remembered that it was American troops of 
that division that stormed and captured Cantigny, 
northwest of Montdidier, on May 28th. The Ma- 
rines, you may well believe, envied those lucky troops, 
but our turn was to come soon enough. 

The Hun, however, had by no means expended all 
his long stored strength. The drive in Picardy 
having reached its limit, and the Ypres and Arras 
barriers holding in the north, it was inevitable that 
Ludendorff should feel out another spot to break 
through farther south. His railroad and concentra-^ 
tion facilities were excellent and the Crown Prince 
was begging for a chance to retrieve his vast failure 
at Verdun. 

The line northwest of Rhelms was the logical 
point, but Foch, though he probably saw this, was 
still obliged to concentrate his army of manoeuvre 
in Picardy, and the weary forces in the Champagne 
were unable to withstand the power of the new drive. 
This had been a quiet portion of the line for a year 
and was not strongly held. The French, weakened 
and surprised, were forced to fall back. 

The German struck hard and suddenly. The new 
drive started on May 27th, while we were in the 


rest area, and it was with consternation that we 
watched the ease with which the enemy carried the 
Chemin des Dames and the Aisne near fortified 
Soissons. Both natural and human barriers seemed 
to crumble before them. 

Possibly Foch was for the moment outgeneralled, 
being deceived by feints to the north. Perhaps it 
was all a part of his far-sighted plan to let the enemy 
wear himself down by extreme efforts. At any rate, 
on they came, sweeping everything before them, 
demoralizing the French army opposed to them, and 
heading straight for the Paris of their dreams. We 
realized that with a sinking of the heart; Paris real- 
ized it; everybody realized it; but what was to be 
done ? The Metz-to-Paris road was definitely threat- 
ened, but what barrier was there to throw across 
their path? And we, lying in our pleasant billets, 
could only curse and wait. 

With forty divisions, including some 400,000 of 
their best troops, and with the greatest auxiliary 
force of tanks, machine guns, and poison gas pro- 
jectors ever mobilized, they rolled on for thirty miles, 
in spite of enormous losses, advancing at the rate 
of six or eight miles a day, capturing men and guns 
by the wholesale, and occupying 650 square miles of 
territory. There were simply not enough French 
and British there to stop them. The Allies resisted 
heroically, but they were forced to yield to the un- 
answerable argument of superior weight. And where 
was that American aid that the French people had 
been building their failing hopes upon? 



State of M3es . 

5 K> 

An unfathomable gloom and depression settled 
over weary France — the numbness of utter despair. 
An uncanny sense of 
disaster and impend- 
ing doom oppressed 
us all. It was a 
dark moment for the 
Allied cause. 

Held at Rheims 
and west of Soissons, 
the Germans thrust a 
U-shaped salient clear 
down to the Marne, 
its rounded apex rest- 
ing on a contracted 
six-mile front between 
Chateau-Thierry and 
Dormans, but thirty- 
five scant miles from 

Then the harried 
soldiers of France arose in their might for a last grim 
stand. The name of the Marne was a rallying cry 
for them. "They shall not pass," they muttered 
between gritted teeth, and they did not pass. There 
behind the prepared defences of the Marne the 
French line held at last, and ^the German hordes, 
having outrun their artillery, ^ met with a check. 
Oh, the glory of that stand! It will live in the 
hearts of the French people forever. 

But the Hun was not through. He had plenty 


This map shows the western side and southern 
extremity of the salient created by the German 
drive of May, 1918. Chateau-Thierry, on the 
Marne, is only thirty-five miles from Paris. The 
heavily shaded section northwest of Chateau- 
Thierry is the groimd won back by the American 
Second Division after June 6th- 


of men to bring up, plenty of guns. They might 
still have turned the trick if the unexpected had not 
happened to upset their calculations. On June ist 
and 2nd the Germans made a determined effort to 
broaden the point of the salient northwest of Cha- 
teau-Thierry and to find a weak spot to break 
through, and it was here that they met with a new 
and by them entirely unforeseen element of resis- 
tance. The Yanks had come at last. 

There was a weak spot there, a gap to be plugged, 
one of the most dangerous points on the whole front. 
Very likely Foch was not yet quite ready to use the 
American troops, but the emergency was acute. 
The Second Division of the American Army was 
thrown in in a final effort to defend the Metz-to-Paris 
road and save the city. 

The Germans, who had become accustomed to the 
weakening resistance of the French, did not know 
what to make of it at first. But they soon learned 
the taste of American mettle and metal. They were 
stopped in their overwhelming rush, and stopped for 
good. Between June 6th and 12th they were fought 
to a standstill on that narrow front, the best of the 
Kaiser's vanguard troops, flushed with victory as 
they were. And not only stopped; the bow of the 
salient between La Feste-Milon and Chateau-Thierry 
was actually bent back. 

Unquestionably, Paris had been in deadly peril. 
There had seemed little chance of preventing the 
Germans from sweeping around west of Chateau- 
Thierry and across the Marne. But they couldn't 


do it. The United'States Marines wouldn't let them. 
We plugged that gap, we held that line, and the 
German was stopped then and there. 

As the inspired Berlin Vossische Zeitung put it, 
"The German Supreme Command cannot well 


,The territory between the two heavy lines was won back in June, 1918, by American 
soldiers and Marines of the Second Division. The Bois de BeUeau lies in the center of 
the map, west of Bouresches and northeast of Lucy-le-Bocage. " 

proceed now against the newly consolidated French 
front, which is richly provided with reserves, and 

bear the great losses which experience shows are 
entailed by such operations.'' The chief of the 
reserves with which the French were so "richly pro- 
vided" were two regiments of American Marines. 
That was the military situation in early June, 191 8. 
How the Marines turned the tide of battle there is 
the tale I have to tell. 


Meanwhile, however, there were preliminary ac- 
tions which should be mentioned, for there were 
Americans, though not Marines, who stood shoulder 
to shoulder with the heroic French when they made 
their glorious stand at Chateau-Thierry. 

The first contingent of Americans to arrive at this 
crucial moment was a unit of machine gunners — 
one battalion of the Third Division with forty-eight 
guns. On May 31st, when the capture of the town 
of Chateau-Thierry by the Germans was imminent, 
they arrived in the nick of time. 

This was, as a matter of fact, one of the tensest 
and most critical moments of the war, for if the 
Germans had broken through at Chateau-Thierry 
and had thrown their vanguard across the Marne, it 
is difficult to see how anything could have stopped 
them before they reached the defences of Paris. The 
delay occasioned by the stubborn resistance of the 
French and Americans at Chateau-Thierry gave us 
a chance to organize the defensive strategy which 
culminated in the battle of Belleau Wood and the 
thrusting back of the German hordes. 

The city of Chateau-Thierry is built on both banks 
of the Marne, and by the time the Americans arrived 
the Germans had beaten down the French defence 
north of the town, had pushed their way in, and had 
established positions on the northern bank of the 
river. They dominated the bridges with their guns, 
and the battered French, forming for a last desperate 
stand on the southern bank, had but a slight chance 
of preventing a crossing in force. 


The Germans believed they were going to push 
straight through to Paris. They came in ever increas- 
ing numbers, gaily goose-stepping down the roads 
to Chateau-Thierry, in columns of fours, with their 
rifles on their shoulders, singing. There were many 
on both sides who said, "Well, the war is over." 
It looked like a mere matter of marching to the 

At the bridgeheads they paused to form for the 
final assault that was to sweep the French out of the 
town — and they paused a moment too long. From 
the southeast a small but irresistible whirlwind blew 
into Chateau-Thierry — a sort of Kansas cyclone — 
and it hit the bewildered Boche square in the face. 

When the Germans were reported to be in the 
outskirts of the town a hurried and despairing call 
for help went out — any help at all, so that it came 
quickly. Some 100 kilometres to the rear was sta- 
tioned an American machine gun battalion that was 
ready and eager for battle but was waiting for the 
fuller organization of the Third Division. But this 
was no time for waiting. The battalion was ordered 
in without support and made a speedy all-night trip 
to the front on motor lorries. 

These boys had never faced German shell fire 
before; they were stiff and cramped after their long 
night ride; but the smell of powder and the roar of 
combat were like wine to them and they jumped into 
the thick of the fray like veterans. Joining a bat- 
talion of French Colonials, they entered the town and 
rushed to the threatened bank of the river. 


There were dash and fury in that American charge, 
but there was coolness, too. Under a galling fire 
to which they were unaccustomed they brought up 
their guns and organized their defence positions at 
the bridges with mathematical precision. 

Then came the Germans, a long, grey flood of 
them, streaming down to the bridges. The Ameri- 
cans opened upon them a fire so furious and accurate 
that the advancing columns hesitated, wavered, and 
then halted behind the barrier of their fallen com- 
rades. Then they came on again. 

On the bridges and in the streets of Chateau- 
Thierry there raged a wild, demoniacal tempest of 
machine gun and rifle fire. The enemy, infuriated 
by this resistance, fought desperately to brush the 
offensive Yankees from their path. Our boys fell 
by the dozens beside their guns, but there was always 
some one to leap into the breach and keep the stream 
of bullets pouring into the ranks of the thwarted 
Huns. They held the southern bank of the Marne 
against the onslaught; they cleared the bridges; and 
at last they destroyed them, and the Germans could 
not pass. They repulsed the enemy at every point 
and they helped the French to keep their vow. 

Never have men fought with greater heroism, dash, 
and gallantry under the American flag than did 
those machine gunners of the lone battalion at 
Chateau-Thierry. They fell, dead and wounded, 
many of them, but not one was taken prisoner, 
though they captured a number of Germans as well 
as machine guns. 


The Germans held the northern part of the town 
until the Allied offensive of July i8th and 19th, when 
they withdrew before Franco-American pressure, 
but they never once gained a foothold in the part of 
the city lying to the south of the Marne. 

We Marines have a special interest in that engage- 
ment, apart from the fact that it was an American 
exploit. The officer in command of that battalion 
of machine gunners happened to be a Major of 
Marines, who had been sent to them for training. 
He was, in fact, the son of our own beloved General 
Waller, who was himself unable to go to France, hav- 
ing been in command of the Advance Base Brigade 
at Philadelphia since the affair in Haiti. 

When our own Second Division went in, after the 
manner which I shall presently describe, it was the 
23rd Infantry which saw the first action. On June 
1st they beat off two determined German attacks 
on the Marne. The enemy had concentrated large 
forces before Veuilly Wood and began a mass attack, 
seeking to penetrate the wood. The advancing Ger- 
man phalanx was mowed down by our machine guns 
and the attack was broken up before it reached the 
American line. Then, by a magnificent counter- 
attack, the Hun was hurled back. 

An enemy battalion which crept across the Marne 
to the left bank above Jaulgonne was counter- 
attacked by French and Americans and was thrown 
back to the other bank with losses. After that the 
Allies held the Marne. 

I have mentioned these engagements in order that 


full justice may be done, for I have no wish to dim 
the glory of the Infantry by dwelling solely on the 
achievements of the Marines. The Marines won 
glory enough in the days that followed, and it is 
their story that I shall now narrate. 



Going In 

AT LAST the great call came. We left our 
rest area on the morning of May 31st and 
took our places in the battle line on the 
afternoon of June ist. And the hours between were 
packed with action. 

The drive into Picardy had been stopped, it will 
be remembered, and the First Division had been 
fighting there. We were located not much over 
fifty miles from Montdidier, and we were fully ex- 
pecting to be sent up back of Cantigny to relieve the 
First Division. We did, in fact, receive orders to 
be ready to leave for the Beauvais district on the 
morning of May 31st, and on the morning of the 
30th we sent our billeting officers up there to arrange 
our quarters. 

Then came the sudden, acute crisis at Chateau- 
Thierry, and the plans of the High Command were 
hastily changed. When the orders failed to come 
we suspected what it meant. We had been reading 
the Paris papers and we knew the situation. I be- 
lieve there was not a man in my regiment whose 
hopes were not raised by the delay in the orders. 
Our Marines were in fine shape for action, and they 



were eager to get in where the fighting promised to 
be hottest and the danger most threatening. 

All day long on May 30th we waited for those 
orders, and General Bundy reported that the division 
was ready. In the afternoon we received orders to 
be ready to leave at 6 o'clock on camions which 
would be provided. No word came from Division 
Headquarters, however, to indicate where we were 
going. We hoped and waited. 

Six o'clock approached and no camions appeared. 
Then the orders were changed to 10 o'clock. Night 
fell, and still no camions. Indefinite orders came 
to be ready to leave at any time on short notice. 
The battalions were assembled and inspected and the 
men bivouacked in battaHon groups. 

All night they slept there in the open, on the 
ground. It was not until 4 o'clock on the morning 
of the 31st that the first camion arrived. They were 
big, powerful motor trucks, these camions, all French 
machines, with seats at the sides and with canvas 
covers like those of prairie schooners. The French 
had enough of them to move a quarter of a 
million troops. Many of them had Chinese drivers. 

They came in convoys of fifty or so for each bat- 
talion, and they were quickly loaded. About thirty 
men were packed into each camion, each man with 
his rifle and sixty-pound pack. At 5.30 they started. 
The Marines were taken by battalions as they came, 
the first to go being a battalion of the Fifth under 
Lieutenant Colonel Wise. 

There was a French officer in charge of each bat- 


talion. He rode in an automobile and took the 
battalion officers with him. I waited until the last 
squad of the Sixth had started, and then followed in 
my own car. For the entire division there was a 
steady stream of motor trucks pouring out from that 
region from 5.30 till nearly 10 a. m. 

We were some seventy-five miles from our destina- 
tion and many of the units made it a longer trip than 
that. On the whole the roads were good, but the 
journey had its exciting incidents. Most of those 
camions had been working for seventy-two hours at 
a stretch, carrying troops, and the drivers were worn 
out. Some of them fell asleep at their wheels and 
several ran off the road into the ditch. 

As to our men, they were fresh and eager after 
their night on the hard ground. We must have 
seemed an extraordinary spectacle to the inhabitants 
of the country through which we passed, the inter- 
minable caravan of motor lorries filled with merry 
men in khaki, and the long train of artillery, machine 
guns, supply wagons, mules, and automobiles. They 
seemed to know what it meant, for they cheered us 
lustily on our way. 

We skirted Paris, about nine miles to the south 
of us, and passed through pretty villages, in many 
of which the people were out in full force, waving 
small American flags and throwing flowers into the 
camions. It was more like an enormous bridal pro- 
cession than a column of fighters going to face a 
terrible death. 

The division started first for Meaux, and until we 


arrived there we had no idea of whither we were 
bound or what we were to do. I arrived in Meaux 
about 8.30 that evening, after a hard all-day run, 
the troops having already passed through the town 
on their way to the front. I remained in Division 
Headquarters for half an hour, getting instructions, 

maps, etc. 

Then followed a series of misadventures that tried 
my soul. From Meaux my first orders were to pro- 
ceed north, but those orders were changed twice 
during the night. About 10 o'clock a French staflF 
officer stopped my car and told me that the troops 
had been shunted off. I started in a new direction 
and was switched again to Montreuil-aux-Lions. I 
was a lost Colonel, hunting around in the dark for his 
command, and hunting with an anxiety that, in this 
crisis, approached panic. 

There is no use in trying to conceal the fact that 
it was a sorry mix-up. The French were on the run, 
and the staff came pretty close to being up in the air. 
Orders were given and countermanded in the effort 
to get the reinforcements to the spot where they 
were most needed, while a dozen spots looked equally 
dangerous. It must have been a terrible night for 
those upon whose shoulders rested the responsibility 
of saving their beloved Paris. 

After leaving Meaux I overtook a stream of our 
camions and met a number coming back. Some- 
times there was a jam in the road that delayed the 
advance for ten minutes, due to some break-down of 
the overworked motors. Some of our troops were 


badly held up, or were lost in trying to find another 
way around. My regimental band didn't get to the 
front for two whole days. 

I also began to meet sorry-looking little bands of 
refugees in the midst of all this traffic, wandering 
like lost souls in a chaos of confusion. I wondered, 
as I looked into their sad, resigned faces, whether 
they saw any hope or comfort in this long train of 
soldiers and guns. For the most part everything 
and everybody seemed to be hurrying away from 
the battle line except the Americans. 

At Montreuil, about four miles back from the 
front, some of the troops left the camions and went 
into billets, but many of them got no sleep before 
daylight on June ist, the very day we went into the 
line. And remember that the night before they had 
slept on the ground with the expectation of being 
called at any moment. 

Our Marines rode on those camions from nineteen 
to thirty hours, according to their luck in reaching 
their destination. Some got lost and had to hike 
with their sixty-pound packs. When they arrived 
they were grey with dust and hollow-eyed with 
fatigue. They looked more like miners emerging 
from an all-night shift than like fresh troops ready 
to plunge into battle. 

About midnight the first and luckiest battalion 
halted about seven kilometres back of where they 
were to go in. They expected orders to advance 
at once, but they got a little rest. There behind the 
lines, within sound of the booming guns, the men 


bivouacked, each with his poncho and one blanket, 
and waited for the day. 

About noon on June ist a battalion of the Fifth 
came trudging wearily in. They had been landed 
at the wrong place and had been obliged to march 
all the forenoon. Two battalions of the Sixth were 
delayed. Major Holcomb's battalion coming up in 
the afternoon just in time to be deployed into line 
from the trucks. Our supply train did not arrive 
till two days later. 

' Well, we all got there, but not much rest was 
allowed to the weary. A French staff officer had 
told me that we wouldn't be expected to go in until 
June 2nd, but General Harbord had determined to 
waste no time. If the need was urgent, delay might 
be fatal. And the Marines, he said, were always 


I think the French hesitated to trust us too far in 
this crisis. We were without tanks, gas shells, or 
flame projectors. We were untried in open warfare. 
But General Harbord begged to be allowed to tackle 

the job. 

"Let us fight in our own way,'* said he, ''and 

we'll stop them." 

The situation was acute; there seemed to be no 
alternative. General Harbord was given free rein, 
and in that moment we passed out from our French 
tutelage and acted as an American army fighting 
side by side with our hard-pressed Allies. The 
Battle of Belleau Wood was fought by American 
troops, under American officers, supported by Amer- 

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The author carried this section of a French war map 
during the first stages of the Battle of Belleau Wood. It 
shows the pencil marks indicating the position of the lines, 
which are given in the following diagrams. He used this 
in explaining orders to the battalion officers under him. 


ican guns, in a typically American manner. And 
the battle was won. 

Orders came from General Harbord to move two 
battalions into line at once. I sent them up in the 
camions on the Metz-to-Paris road to within half a 
mile of the line of battle. From there they went in 
on foot. I went up with the camions and got there 
with the first of them. The Germans had some field 
guns — 77's — ^trained on the road, but luckily they 
did not shell our trucks. 

I say we sent them up in camions, but that is not 
wholly correct. Two battalions marched four miles 
from Montreuil to the line, but we managed to gather 
together about twenty-five lorries to carry most of the 

It is easy enough to figure out how little genuine 
rest those men had had for over two days and 
nights, and how much fatiguing labour. And for two 
days more they had no food but their reserve rations 
of hardtack and bacon. (Each Marine carries reserve 
rations for two days in his pack — one pound of 
bread and three-fourths of a pound of bacon per day.) 
It came pretty close to hardship, but I heard no one 

Private John C. Geiger of Jasper, Fla., told about 
it later in the hospital. "The Dutchmen were about 
fifteen hundred yards away when we came on the 
scene,'* said he. "We got orders to dig in. We 
used the lids of our mess gear and bayonet for tools. 

"Say, you'd be surprised to know just how much 
digging you can do under those circumstances. 


Bullets and shrapnel came from everywhere. You'd 
work until it seemed you couldn't budge another 
inch, when a shell would hit right close and then 
you'd start digging with as much energy as if you 
had just begun/* 

The enemy artillery and machine gun fire annoyed 
Geiger, but the thing that made him cross was the 
irregularity of the meals, especially when an order 
came to move just as they were sitting down to the 
first warm meal in several days. "When you missed 
ohow, then you missed something," said he, looking 
mournful at the recollection. 

They say the German soldiers fight blindly, with 
only such knowledge of their objectives as is abso- 
lutely necessary to send them forward. We believe 
in giving our men thorough orientation and a realiza- 
tion of just what is expected of them and what they 
are up against. I showed the battalion commanders 
my map, indicating the points to be held, and 
through them passed on to the men all the infor- 
mation available. I hold that men like ours fight 
none the worse for knowing just what they are 
fighting for. 

The men were told that the orders were to hold the 
line at all costs, for at first we were to assume a 
defensive position. Unquestionably they realized 
what that meant. They knew that there were few 
if any troops in their rear, for they had just come 
that way. They knew that only their thin, deter- 
mined line lay between Paris and awful destruction, 
and in that knowledge they fought. 


There was no distinct line where we went in — no 
trenches or prepared defences. We were merely 
ordered to take up a definite position in support of 
the French who were struggling in front with the 
advancing Germans. The latter were thrusting 
down columns wherever the resistance was weakest, 
forging ahead at the rate of six or seven miles a day, 
and the French line was not holding. Stragglers 
were coming through all the time, many of them at 
a loss as to the location of their units. 

It was a tragedy, a heart-breaking, world-shaking 
tragedy, this defeat and demorahzation of the heroic 
French troops who had fought so brilliantly for 
three years in defence of their native land. Pity 
swelled our hearts as we watched them stagger back 
to the rear, a bruised and broken remnant, with utter 
despair written upon their war-weary faces. To 
them the war was lost, life held no hope. We wanted 
to take them by the hand and say, "Brother, at last 
we have come." And when we took our places in 
the line of defence before Belleau Wood it was with 
the grim determination to avenge to the death the 
bitterness which had been shot into the hearts of 
those suffering men. 

And oh, the peril to Paris and to the cause of 
liberty and justice that lay in that ebbing tide! 
If the world was staggered by the news of it, think 
what it must have meant to us who were there to 
witness it. Already we could hear the savage 
breakers snarling against the wreck-strewn reef that 
was our advance line. The storm was approaching. 







and it was borne in upon us that the war was lost if 
we did not hold. 

Our first position can best be understood by con- 
sulting the diagram. The curving line which was 

assigned to our divi- 
sion ran from the 
Metz-to-Paris Road 
at La Thiolet in a 
generally northwest- 
erly direction along 
the Bois des Clerem- 
bauts, through Tri- 
angle Farm, skirting 
the southern end of 
the Bois de Belleau, 
to the town of Lucy 
de Bocage; thence to 
Hill 142 and through 
Les Mares Farm to- 
ward the Bois de Veuilly. At the extreme left 
were the French and the 23 rd Infantry. From 
Les Mares to Hill 142 the line was held by a battalion 
of the Fifth under Lieutenant Colonel Wise. From 
Hill 142 the First Battalion of the Sixth under Major 
Shearer took the line down past Lucy to a point just 
south of Belleau Wood. There it was joined by the 
Second Battalion of the Sixth — Holcomb's — ^which 
extended down to the Metz-to-Paris Road, where 
it was met by the Ninth Infantry. The Sixth 
Machine Gun Battalion was distributed along the line. 
The Marines thus held a line extending from Les 


Showing' the Knc from which the French fell 
back and the first position taken up by the 
Marines before Belleau Wood. Each square 
is one kilometre across.. 


Mares Farm, past Belleau Wood, to the road, a front 
of seven kilometres in all. The Third Battalion of 
the Sixth — Sibley's — ^was in support position in the 
woods south of Lucy, about a mile and a half back 
of the line, where it remained that night and the 
next day. The other two battalions of the Fifth 
were also in reserve. 

As our men went into line there was a very light 
artillery fire from the German guns, which seemed 
to indicate a lack of information on the part of the 
enemy as to the significance of the movement. It did 
not bother us much. The men were ordered to dig 
in and they made for themselves such shallow rifle 
pits and shelter trenches as were necessary for pro- 
tection in a temporary line. 

There were three French regiments in front of the 
Sixth at that time and one in front of the battalion 
of the Fifth that went in. I went to Lucy, and there 
I found a battalion of French troops and the Colonel 
of the sector. He realized the desperate straits the 
French troops were in and his mute appeal, as he 
gazed questioningly into my eyes, was a prayer that 
the Americans might show the stuff of men and hold 
fast against the awful tide that threatened to engulf 
all that life held dear to him. 

On that first night two companies of Engineers, 
which had been sent to us by General Bundy from Di- 
vision Headquarters, reported to me. Their ojBicers 
found me in my temporary quarters in a corner of the 
woods at 3 A. M. They were of great assistance to 
us in preparing our positions, both then and later. In 


the line the men made themselves as comfortable as 
they could for the night and feasted on bread and 

The Ninth Regiment, as I have said, was given a 
position on our right at the Metz-to-Paris Road. On 
our left was a regiment of French troops. The 23 rd 
Infantry arrived late, and so was sent in at the left 
of the French, though later they moved over. 

It was in this line that we lay on the night of June 
1st, waiting for the morrow. 

Carrying On 

I ESTABLISHED my first Post of Command in 
a corner of the woods near Lucy-le-Bocage, but 
this soon proved to be too exposed a position 
as German shells began to burst in the neighbourhood, 
and on June 2nd I moved my P. C. over to La Voie 
du Chatel, a little village west of Lucy and south of 
Champillon. Here I established headquarters in an 
old stone house, and from here I had an excellent 
view of the battle ground. Later on, however, when 
the line was shortened, I moved again still farther 
south to the wooded cover of Mont Blanche, and 
Colonel Neville of the Fifth moved to my old P. C. 
When Major Holcomb first went in he took 
quarters in an old stone farmhouse not far from his 
part of the line, but a shell hit that farmhouse early 
in the game and killed five men, and Holcomb took 
to the woods for greater security. 

On June 2nd, after a night that could not have 
been entirely restful, our men awoke to the realiza- 
tion that the French were filtering through. The 
Germans kept up their steady push and the French 
continued to fall back. It became more and more 
clearly evident that we had come not a moment too 
soon and that we had been cast for a rdle at the 



centre of a seething stage. There could be no doubt 
of the fact that the United States Marines must 
build a dike against that onsweeping flood of destruc- 
tion or nobody would. 

All that day we waited for the crash which did 
not come until late afternoon. Fatigue and hunger 
were forgotten in the excitement of the moment, and 
when the crash came the Marines were ready. 

The attack was launched against the French who 
had remained in front of Wise's battalion of the 
Fifth at Hill 165. It started about 5 o'clock in the 
afternoon and came from the north and northeast. 
It was a beautiful, clear day, and from my post of 
observation at La Voie du Chatel I could watch the 
whole of it. 

The Germans swept down an open slope in platoon 
waves, across wide wheat fields bright with poppies 
that gleamed like splashes of blood in the afternoon 
sun. The French met the attack and then fell 
steadily back. First I saw the French coming back 
through the wheat, fighting as they came. Then 
the Germans, in two columns, steady as machines. 
To me as a military man it was a beautiful sight. 
I could not but admire the precision and steadiness 
of those waves of men in grey with the sun glinting 
on their helmets. On they came, never wavering, 
never faltering, apparently irresistible. 

But they were not irresistible. Back of the French 
was a force they had not reckoned on, a force as 
steady and confident as themselves. It was that 
battalion of the Fifth Marines on our left. 


At the right moment the Americans opened up 
with a slashing barrage. Shrapnel, machine gun, 
and rifle fire was poured into those advancing lines. 
It was terrible in its effectiveness. The French told 
us that they had never seen such marksmanship 
practised in the heat of battle. If the German ad- 
vance had looked beautiful to me, that metal curtain 
that our Marines rang down on the scene was even 
more so. 

The German lines did not break; they were broken. 
The Boches fell by the scores there among the wheat 
and the poppies. 

They hesitated, they halted, they withdrew a 
space. Then they came on again. They were 
brave men; we must grant them that. Three times 
they tried to reform and break through that barrage, 
but they had to stop at last. The United States 
Marines had stopped them. Thus repulsed with 
heavy losses they retired, but our fire was relentless; 
it followed them to their death. They broke 
and ran for cover, though their first line hung on till 
dark, north of Champillon. 

Then, mercilessly, methodically, we shelled the 
woods where they had taken refuge. A French 
aviator who sailed overhead saw one entire battalion 
annihilated there, and signalled back " Bravo T* 
to our gunners. 

It was a terrible slaughter; the mere thought of 
such wholesale killing is enough to curdle Christian 
blood. But we had whipped the Hun. We had 
turned that part of his advance into a rout. We 


had tasted his blood and we had not forgotten the 
blood of our own who had been slain. We had won 
our first fight there where fighting meant so much, 
and it would not have been human to refrain from 
cheering when it was over. And the men who had 
done it, that battalion of the Fifth Marines, were the 
ones who had walked all the way to Belleau Wood 
two days before, when their camions broke down. 

Here is the story of that encounter as told by one 
of our Marines in a letter home: 

VThe Boches were coming with seven-league boots 
when General Harbord threw a line of Americans across 
the front and ordered us to hold. 

" *Get the devils,* yelled Captain Blanchfield (now 

"A minute later the Boches tore out of the woods, a 
machine gun to every ten of them. A rain of good Amer- 
ican lead from good American riflemen met them. We 
saw them stop. Surprised? Why, they never dreamed 
of anything like It. We kept pounding and they turned 
and raced back for the wood. The German drive got its 
first shock. 

"We lay in the open, digging In with bayonets and 
firing while the Boche was frantically passing back word 
that a cog in the wheel had slipped. They still never 
dreamed of Americans, we later learned from prisoners." 

This is the way one of our machine gunners, a 
Toledo boy, described his part in the action: 

"I got your Dutchmen for you with a machine gun, 
lots of 'em, not over three hundred yards away, and one 
with a pistol for good luck. He bayoneted my bunkie and 


he won't do it again. He's a good Fritz now. They 
couldn't kill me, but it was almost as bad. I've still got 
both my hands and legs, but my head is all to the bad 
even yet. 

"Up to this time we had been under some pretty se- 
vere barrages, but this time we must have gotten under 
Fritz's skin because it started to rain shells of every 
calibre from one-pounders to the big *Sea Bags,' or nine- 
inch howitzers. ^ 

"It lasted just an even hour and then Fritz came at 
us with blood in his eye. I estimated them at about 500 
and they were in fairly compact masses. We waited 
until they got close, oh, very close. In fact, we let them 
think they were going to have a lead pipe cinch. 

"Oh, it was too easy; just like a bunch of cattle coming 
to slaughter. 

"I always thought it was rather a fearful thing to take 
a human life, but I felt a savage thrill of joy and I could 
hardly wait for the Germans to get close enough. And 
they came arrogant, confident in their power, to within 
300 yards. 

"Curiously the infantry, which had been steady up to 
this time, paused as though waiting for us of the 'devil's 
snare drums' to take up the great work. And we did! 
Rat-tat-tat-tat full into them, and low down, oh! But 
it was good to jam down on the trigger, to feel her kick, 
to look out ahead, hand on the controlling wheel, and see 
the Heinies fall like wheat under the mower. They were 
brave enough, but they didn't stand a chance. The poor 
devils didn't know they were facing the Marines — 

"That hour paid in full all the weary hours of drill 
and hike, all the nerve-racking minutes passed under 
Fritz's barrage, and avenged the staring eyes and mangled 


bodies of our dead buddies. There weren't many of them 
got back to tell the tale of the American's 'cowardice.' 

"It was on the afternoon of this day that I got mine. 
I had helped carry a wounded man back to the dressing 
station and was coming back up the road. I heard it (the 
shell) whistle and knew it was going to hit close. (You 
can tell by the whistle when they are going to hit.) 

"I jumped into a hole and the shell hit it at the same 
time. A blinding, deafening roar, and a sensation of 
hurtling through space, and then oblivion — until several 
days ago. I have one faint recollection of bleeding ter- 
ribly at the nose and ears, and the soft hands of an angel 
working over me, and then darkness again. 

"The Red Cross, especially those organizations near 
the front, are beyond comparison. How they must have 
taken care of me and hundreds worse. I haven't words 
with which to express my praise. 

"How do I feel? Sometimes I'm all right and again 
I'm not. I have spells in which everything leaves me for 
hours at a time and I can't tell for the life of me what I 
did during that time. And when I go in the sun I get 
dizzy and bleed at the nose and my head feeb like scram- 
bled eggs most of the time." 

On the night of June 2nd the French retreat be- 
came general. They passed through to the rear in 
large numbers, both stragglers and organized units, 
and we suddenly realized that our line, which had 
been placed here for support, had become, through 
the fortunes of battle, the front. The United States 
Marines stood face to face with the oncoming hordes 

of Attila. 

Not for a moment did a sense of panic follow that 


realization. Not a man thought of such a thing as 
joining the retreating French. There arose, rather, 
a sort of feeling of exultation, that now at last there 
was men*s work to be done, the work of Marines in 
a tight place. All through the training at Quantico 
and before, all through the toilsome weeks in the 
trenches, they had been living for this chance, and 
now it had come. As to the officers, well, we had the 
whole history of the Corps behind us, and what a 
Marine has he holds; he kills or gets killed; he does 
not surrender; he does not retreat. 

The retiring French made a gap in our line which 
we closed by putting in three reserve companies next 
to the battalion of the Fifth, so that the Sixth held 
a wide front of nearly seven kilometres, with one 
company in reserve. And we determined at all costs 
to hold that line. 

There is no gain in mincing matters; the French 
were thoroughly demoralized. And they had good 
reason to be. They had been fighting interminably, 
pounded by guns, poisoned with gas, and borne 
back and broken by superior numbers. They were 
ordered to make a last stand, to counter-attack on 
the morning of June 3rd, but the units were disor- 
ganized; the officers simply couldn't get their men 
together. All that forenoon a distracted French 
officer stood near my Post of Command trying to stem 
the ebbing tide and to corral, enough men to re- 
organize. That afternoon they did make a heroic 
though feeble attempt to counter-attack, but they 
were driven back, and fell in behind our lines. 


During the 3rd there came a little relief in the form 
of motor trucks loaded with extra rations, but we 
had no way of cooking them. The men had to get 
along as best they could with bread, cold bacon, and 
"monkey" or tinned , beef. Their only drinking 
water was in their canteens, and the source of supply 
was a mile or more away. In the midst of all this 
grim, tense seriousness there was something irresis- 
tibly ludicrous in the sight of our tireless runners 
hurrying back and forth all covered over with tin- 
ware, as they went for the precious water. 

In the afternoon our mule-drawn supply train 
reached Montreuil with Major Manney of the Sixth 
and Major Puryear of the Fifth in command. They 
had realized the acuteness of the crisis and had 
accomplished the impossible. They had driven 
those mules fifty-five miles in twenty-two hours, 
without sleep or rest. They came, and with them 
came blessed Lizzie, back-firing and steaming, but 
ready to leap over the shell-torn roads to carry aid 
and comfort to the men at the front. The rolling 
kitchens were moved up to within two miles of the 
line, and from the 4th on we did our own cooking 
and every night sent at least one hot meal and hot 
coffee to the men. 

It took about all night on June 3rd to get our 
lines well established and ready for the next on- 
slaught. We pushed outposts into the smaller woods 
near Belleau and improved our defences and our 
gun positions. And that night the French liaison 
officers were withdrawn and the front line — that 


narrow but vital section of the Frontier of Liberty 
— ^was turned over to the United States Marines. 
Thenceforth we were to fight on our own. 

Unquestionably the Germans were tremendously 
surprised by the unexpected resistance they had met. 
They couldn't have known who we were, for they 
had taken no steps to shell our Hnes and they took 
no prisoners who would reveal our identity. But 
they did know now that some sort of effective rein- 
forcements had been brought up. They had been 
driving the French at will and now they were stopped. 

As a matter of fact, the Germans had become too 
confident; perhaps Foch.had counted on that. Rela- 
tively speaking, they were loafing on the job when 
we came up. It had all been so easy, and now they 
were only waiting to bring up more men and enough 
guns to start the final drive and administer the coup 
de grace. 

They waited a day or two too long, for we were 
able to establish our lines without great hindrance, 
and on the 3rd American artillery had been brought 
up to support our division. Infantry action has 
accomplished wonders in this war on both sides, but 
however brilliant their performance, foot soldiers 
are not enough to check a big drive or carry through 
a big offensive. It was becoming more and more a 
war of artillery, and the Boche made his fatal mistake 
when he gave us a chance to bring up our guns. 

Three regiments of artillery came to our support 
in this crisis — all Americans. The Twelfth and 
Fifteenth operated 75 's; the Seventeenth was sup- 


plied with heavies — French 155's. They took up 
their positions the day they came in, the light guns 
about a mile or a mile and a half back of the lines, 
some of them near my Post of Command. The 
heavies were about three miles back. All were 
camouflaged, but the Hghter guns were well within 
the range of the enemy's observation and their 
positions were frequently changed. As will be seen 
later, these guns were unable to do fully effective 
work at first, but in the end, after the Marines had 
gojt the enemy on the run and had felt out all his 
positions, they drove the last Germans from Belleau 
Wood. To the Marines, in those last gruelling days, 
their help meant everything. 

By the 4th, the Germans seemed to have gained an 
inkling of what was in front of them, for their shell 
fire increased materially, and for two days the bom- 
bardment was terrific. There was the constant roar 
of heavy guns, punctuated by the explosions of 
bursting shells. They had evidently succeeded in 
bringing up some of their 150's, and they appeared 
to be preparing the ground for an advance. 

During the 3rd and 4th our casualties from shell 
fire numbered over 200 — twenty dead and 195 
wounded. The casualties were heaviest in the woods 
at the rear where our reserves were located. Possibly 
the Germans did not yet realize that we were actually 
holding the front line. They shelled all the cross- 
roads, to get our supplies and moving troops and to 
cut our communications. They shelled Lucy heavi- 
ly, then a battahon P. C. The shells fell so thickly in 


the town that you could scoop] up handfuls of 
shrapnel bullets in the streets — round pellets about 
the size of marbles. On the 4th, too, they began 
using gas, so that the men were obliged to fret away 
the hours in their stifling masks. 

By this time our lines were pretty well consolidated 
and formed a long row of shallow rifle pits and shelter 
trenches where the men had dug themselves in. 
The men in reserve, warned by the shrapnel fire, 
had also dug in. I went down to inspect them on the 
4th. Each man had dug a hole six feet long, two 
and a half feet wide, and three feet deep. Even the 
battalion commander had his hole. They looked 
shallow and open enough, but they did help; they 
offered good protection against flying shell splinters — 
against everything, in fact, except a direct hit. 
Under cover of darkness the men crept out to stretch 
their limbs, but they spent most of the dajrtime 
sleeping in their holes. 

They were arranged in rows like graves in a Potter's 
Field or a soldiers' cemetery. The men, in fact, 
jocosely referred to them as their graves. When I 
saw them each was filled with the motionless form of 
a sleeping man. It was a gruesome sight. 

We were not quite satisfied with the disposition 
of our forces, and on the night of the 4th we reformed 
our line, and the front held so thinly by the Marines 
was greatly shortened. 

On the left, Wise's battalion of the Fifth was 
relieved by the French, who had now somewhat 
recovered and took over the line as far as Hill 142. 



The First Battalion of the Sixth was also withdrawn 
to support, and Major Berry's battalion of the Fifth 
was sent in there to hold the line from Hill 142 to 
Lucy, a shorter Hne than that held by the Sixth's 

battalion. Holcomb 
moved over with his 
battalion of the Sixth, 
until his left rested on 
Lucy, joining Berry 
there, and the 23 rd 
Infantry was brought 
around to Holcomb's 
new right at Triangle 
Farm, where it held 
the line from Triangle 
to the road, making 
contact with the 
Ninth Infantry there. 
The centre, therefore, was still held by Marines, 
though on a much shorter front than before, there 
being two of our battalions now in the line — Berry's 
of the Fifth and Holcomb's of th^ Sixth — supported 
on the left by the French and on the right by the 
23rd Infantry. These new lines were successfully 
consolidated and we faced the future with confidence 
and a more effective formation. 

To the north of our lines and to the west of Belleau 
Wood the Germans still held too many strong points 
for our comfort. The shell fire from Hill 165 was 
particularly troublesome, and it was decided that an 
attack was necessary to put these guns out of action. 


Showing the second [position [taken [by the 
American forces before Belleau wood on the 
night of June 4th. 


About 3 o'clock on the morning of June 5th a 
joint attack was made by a French battalion and 
Berry's battalion of the Fifth. The enemy was 
taken by surprise and was driven back toward Torcy. 
Many of his guns 
were put out of ac- 
tion and he was 
thrust back about a 
kilometre and a half 
to the north. I did 
not see that attack, 
and so I cannot de- 
scribe it, but it was a 
brilliant action, and 
it resulted in our es- 
tabhshing a new line 
which the French held 
on the north. Berry's 

men digging in along the western side of Belleau 

It was on the 5th that, owing to the likelihood of 
early action, I moved my P. C. again, leaving Mont 
Blanche and returning to the neighbourhood of Lucy. 
By this move to an apparently more dangerous loca- 
tion it is probable that my life was saved, for a 
German shell reduced to a heap of ruins the room 
I had occupied at Blanche Farm very soon after I 
vacated it. 

We now stood facing the dark, sullen mystery of 
Belleau Wood, Berry on the west and Holcomb on 
the south. It was a mystery, for we knew not what 


Showing the Allied line as advanced to the 
north on the fmorning of June 5th, after the 
successful Franco- American attack on Hill 165 


terrible destruction the Hun might be preparing for 
us within its baleful borders, nor at what moment 
it might be launched in all its fury against us. That 
the wood was strongly held we knew, and so we 

It was rolling country, with small woods scattered 
all about and farm land between. From many of 
the little hills a good view could be obtained of a 
considerable expanse of beautiful, pastoral landscape. 
'Of these woods Belleau was the largest, being about 
two kilometres from north to south and something 
oyer a kilometre from east to west. A kilometre is 
about three fifths of a mile. It was, therefore, not 
a large forest, but it loomed up before us like a heavy, 
menacing frown in the landscape. It was a typical 
piece of well kept French woodland, which the 
foresters had thinned and cared for so that the timber 
was of fairly uniform size and the underbrush fairly 
well cleaned out inside. At the edges there was some 
undergrowth and smaller trees and saplings. The 
timber was not large but grew very thickly. The 
trees were rather tall. I should say they would not 
average more than five or six inches in diameter, but 
they were set so closely that when our men got in 
they found they could see not more than fifteen or 
twenty feet through the wood, except where ax or 
shell fire had made small clearings. Belleau Wood 
stood on high, rocky ground and hid innumerable 
gullies and boulder heaps. 

We were nearer to the woods on the south than on 
the west, and on both sides open wheat fields lay 


between our lines and the forest. From without it 
appeared almost impenetrable, and there were those 
open spaces to cross. Behind us lay the smaller 
woods where our own reserves were waiting. 

The character of the terrain and the impossibility 
of gaining any information of the enemy's movements 
by direct observation added materially to the tense- 
ness of the situation. It is hard to lie and wait for 
your antagonist to strike the first blow, but thus far 
we had received no orders save to act on the defensive 
and hold the line. 

All through June 5th we waited, with nothing of 
moment occurring save increasing artillery fire on 
both sides. The sound of it was at times deafening. 
To this day I do not know why the Germans did not 
attempt a sortie — ^whether they felt so secure in their 
position that they could afford to wait for over- 
whelming reinforcements, or whether the resistance 
and then the offensive dash of the Fifth Marines had 
frightened them into caution. 

As a matter of history, they never did come out, 
for on the following day the Marines went in. 

'Give 'Em Hell, Boys! 

THE morning of June 6th found us holding 
the shortened Hne that I have just described, 
with Berry's battahon of the Fifth and Hol- 
cqmb's of the Sixth in front and Sibley's of the Sixth 
in immediate support. That something v^as going 
on within those threatening woods we knew, for our 
intelligence men were not idle. Every day my regi- 
mental intelligence officer rendered a report of the 
enemy's movements to the Divisional Intelligence 
Department and also to me, and I reported in turn 
to Brigade Headquarters. The report on this morn- 
ing was to the effect that the Germans were organiz- 
ing in the woods and were consolidating their machine 
gun positions, so that a sortie in force seemed not 

As a matter of fact, we had been prepared for 
something of the sort for nearly two days. On the 
night of the 4th Lieutenant Eddy, the intelligence 
officer of the Sixth, with two men stole through the 
German lines and penetrated the enemy country 
almost as far as Torcy. They lay in a clover field 
near the road and watched the Germans filing past 
them. They listened to the talk and observed what 

was going into the woods. 



It was a risky thing to do, but they brought back 
valuable information. This Lieutenant Eddy was 
a dare-devil, anyway, and loved nothing better than 
to stalk German sentries in Indian fashion and steal 
close to their lines. While we were in the trenches 
he did some remarkable work with the patrols. He 
was the son of a missionary, I believe, born and 
raised in Asia Minor, and was an American college 
graduate. How he came by his extraordinarily 
adventurous spirit, I don't know, but he certainly 
had it. The Marine service has always attracted 
men of that type. 

As I say, we were looking for a sortie, but none 
came, and in the afternoon we were ordered to at- 
tack at 5 P. M. The Germans must be driven out of 
Belleau Wood. 

There were sound strategic reasons for this remark- 
able order. In the first place, pressure had to be 
relieved northwest of Chateau-Thierry before that 
position could be made secure. Belleau Wood now 
formed a dangerous salient in our curving line, and 
to straighten that line from the advanced position 
at the northwest down to Triangle Farm, it was 
necessary to take in the town of Bouresches and at 
least a part of the wood. 

In the second place, Belleau Wood was too strong 
a natural fortress to be allowed to remain in the hands 
of a powerful enemy on our immediate front. It 
was strongly garrisoned with infantry and machine 
gunners, and the big guns were coming up. For 
the Germans it formed a base of attack that threat- 


ened our whole line to the south. So long as they 
held it ^ sudden thrust was possible at any time, and 
such a thrust might mean untold disaster, probabl}^ 
the quick advance on Paris. For us it was an effec- 
tive barricade. The Allies could not advance with 
that thorn in their side. 

Obviously, Belleau Wood had to be taken, and that 
right quickly, whether we were to act successfully on 
the defensive or on the offensive. It would have 
been suicidal to wait for the German attack. An 
assumption of the offensive was the only solution. 
And so it turned out that the United States Marines, 
who had been called up to support the French in 
defence, were ordered to attack, and to attack an 
enemy position of the strongest kind. That we 
were expected to succeed speaks volumes for the 
confidence that we had won. 

Belleau Wood is longer than it is wide, and the 
easiest way to take it was from west to east. Other- 
wise we would have been plunging against the 
enemy's deepest strength. 

Holcomb's battalion was ordered to hold the line, 
while Sibley's was to come up, pass through it, and 
make the attack on the southern section of the woods, 
starting in on the western side. The objectives for 
the first attack mentioned in the orders were the 
eastern edge of the woods and Bouresches. Berry's 
battalion was to attack from the west on Sibley's left. 

The second prearranged objective was another sec- 
tion of the woods and a line over the high ground 
south of Torcy. The French and the rest of the 


Fifth were to push on toward the north, with Torcy 
and the rest of the woods as the ultimate objective. 
As will be seen, a part of these objectives were at- 
tained promptly and decisively, while others were 

The orders to attack at 5 o'clock were written at 
Brigade Headquarters, about three kilometres in the 
rear, at 2 P. M. At 3.45 a copy was handed to me by 
Lieutenant Williams, General Harbord's aide, who 
came up by motorcycle. 

I was supposed to direct Berry's movements, 
though he had also received the orders from his own 
Regimental Headquarters. I telephoned at once to 
Berry's P. C. at Lucy, but his battalion was beyond 
reach and he was himself in the woods in their rear, 
a mile away. It had been impossible, on account 
of the heavy sheUing, to run a telephone out to him. 
I sent runners, but I was sure they couldn't reach 
him before the attack would have to be made. 

I must confess that this situation caused me con- 
siderable anxietv. I don t know whose fault it was, 
but the communications were far from perfect. It 
looked as though we would have to attack without 
proper cooperation, and as a matter of fact, that is 
what we did. I was fully aware of the difficulties of 
the situation, especially for Berry. He had 400 
yards of open wheat field to cross in the face of a 
galling fire, and I did not believe he could ever reach 
the woods. It looked as though Sibley's battalion 
would have to bear the brunt of the action. 

No one knows how many Germans were in those 


woods. I have seen the estimate placed at i,ooo, 
but there were certainly more than that. It had 
been impossible to get patrols into the woods, but we 
knew they were full of machine guns and that the 
enemy had trench mortars there. We captured five 
of their minnenwerfers later. So far as we knew, 
there might have been any number of men in there, 
but we had to attack just the same, and with but a 
handful. Sibley and Berry had a thousand men 
each, but only half of these could be used for the 
first rush, and as Berry's position was problematical, 
it was Sibley's stupendous task to lead his 500 
through the southern end of the wood clear to the 
eastern border if the attack was not to be a total 
failure. Even to a Marine it seemed hardly men 

The men knew in a general way what was expected 
of them and what they were up against, but I think 
only the officers realized the almost impossible task 
that lay before them. I knew, and the knowledge 
left me little comfort. But I had perfect confidence 
in the men; that never faltered. That they might 
break never once entered my head. They might be 
wiped out, I knew, but they would never break. 

It was a clear, bright day. At that season of the 
year it did not get dark till about 8.30, so we had 
three hours of daylight ahead of us. 

As soon as I received the orders I got Holcomb and 
Sibley together at the former's headquarters, some 
500 yards back of the line. With map in hand, I 
explained the situation to them without trying to 


gloss over any of its difficulties and gave them their 
orders. I found them ready. As we stood there, 
Sibley's battalion was filing by into a ravine, getting 
into position. The two Majors passed on the oral 
orders to the company commanders. 

With Captain Laspierre I went on to Lucy, and 
from there to a point where I could observe the 
action. Perhaps I exposed myself unduly, but I was 
anxious about Berry and it seemed necessary for me 
to get as near his command as possible and to keep an 
eye on the whole proceeding. 

As I went through Lucy, I passed around the left 
of Sibley's men, now waiting in the shelter trenches, 
ready to go over the top. They were equipped for 
action. When Marines go into line they travel in 
heavy marching order, but when they go in to fight 
it is in light marching order, with no extra clothing or 
any blankets. They carry twenty-odd pounds then. 
They all had their rifles and ammunition, and some 
of the men were equipped with hand or rifle grenades. 
The machine guns were in position, both those of 
the machine gun company of the Sixth and those of 
two companies of the machine gun battalion attached 
to the brigade. They were just back of the front 
hne. Each company had eight automatic rifles and 
eight in reserve; all were used. 

The men seemed cool, in good spirits, and ready 
for the word to start. They were talking quietly 
among themselves. I spoke to several as I passed. 
Some one has asked me what I said, what final word 
of inspiration I gave those men about to face sudden 


death. I am no speech maker. If the truth must 
be told, I think what I said was, "Give 'em Hell, 
boys!" It was the sort of thing the Marine under- 
stands. And that is about what they did. 

On my left I passed some of Berry's men, the right 
end of his battalion. They, too, seemed to be ready 
and waiting for the leash to be slipped. 

Our artillery fired for half an hour, shelling the 
woods, but there was no artillery preparation in the 
proper sense of the term. They had no definite 
locations and were obliged to shell at random in a 
sort of hit-or-miss fire. It must have been largely 
miss. The German artillery, on the other hand, 
increased its fire as Sibley's men went into line. 

Before us stood the frowning wood, with its splin- 
tered trunks and shell-shattered branches, and with 
the little jungle of undergrowth at the edge filled 
with threat and menace. It was a moment of fore- 
boding fit to shake nerves of steel, like entering a 
dark room filled with assassins. 

No orders as to the adjustment of rifle sights had 
been given, as the range was point blank. Watches 
had been synchronized and no further orders were 
given. As the hands touched the zero hour there was 
a single shout, and at exactly 5 o'clock the whole line 
leaped up simultaneously and started forward, 
Berry's 500 and Sibley's 500, with the others in 

Instantly the beast in the wood bared his claws. 
The Boches were ready and let loose a sickening 
machine sun and rifle fire into the teeth of which 


the Marines advanced. The German artillery in 
the woods increased the fury of its fire, and the 
big guns at Belleau and Torcy, a mile and a half 
away, pounded our advancing lines. 

On Berry's front there was the open wheat field, 
400 yards or more wide — ^winter wheat, still green 
but tall and headed out. Other cover there was none. 
On Sibley's left there was open grass land perhaps 
200 yards wide; his right was close to the woods. 
Owing to the poor communications, the two bat- 
talions engaged in what were virtually independent 
actions, and, as I had feared. Berry got the worst end 
of it. He had to face that wide open space, swept 
by machine gun fire, with a flanking fire from the 
direction of Torcy. 

My eyes were on what Sibley's men were doing, 
and I only knew in a general way what was happen- 
ing to the battalion of the Fifth. But Floyd Gib- 
bons, the correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, was 
with Berry and saw it all. He was, in fact, seriously 
wounded himself, and has lost an eye as a result. 
Gibbons says that the platoons started in good order 
and advanced steadily into the field between clumps 
of woods. It was flat country with no protection of 
any sort except the bending wheat. The enemy 
opened up at once and it seemed, he says, as if the 
air were full of red-hot nails. The losses were 
terrific. Men fell on every hand there in the open, 
leaving great gaps in the line. Berry was wounded 
in the arm, but pressed on with the blood running 
down his sleeve. 


Into a veritable hell of hissing bullets, into that 
death-dealing torrent, with heads bent as though 
facing a March gale, the shattered lines of Marines 
pushed on. The headed wheat bowed and waved 
in that metal cloud-burst like meadow grass in a 
summer breeze. The advancing lines wavered, 
and the voice of a Sergeant was heard above the 

"Come on, you ! Do you want to 

live forever?'* 

The ripping fire grew hotter. The machine guns 
at the edge of the woods were now a bare hundred 
yards away, and the enemy gunners could scarcely 
miss their targets. It was more than flesh and blood 
could stand. Our men were forced to throw them- 
selves flat on the ground or be annihilated, and there 
they remained in that terrible hail till darkness made 
it possible for them to withdraw to their original 

Berry's men did not win that first encounter in 
the attack on Belleau Wood, but it was not their 
fault. Never did men advance more gallantly in 
the face of certain death; never did men deserve 
greater honour for valour. 

Sibley, meanwhile, was having better luck. I 
watched his men go in and it was one of the most 
beautiful sights I have ever witnessed. The bat- 
talion pivoted on its right, the left sweeping across 
the open ground in four waves, as steadily and cor- 
rectly as though on parade. There were two com- 
panies of them, deployed in four skirmish lines, the 


men placed five yards apart and the waves fifteen 
to twenty yards behind each other. 

I say they went in as if on parade, and that is 
literally true. There was no yell and wild rush, but 
a deliberate forward march, with the Hnes at right 
dress. They walked at the regulation pace, because 
a man is of little use in a hand-to-hand bayonet 
struggle after a hundred yards dash. My hands 
were clenched and all my muscles taut as I watched 
that cool, intrepid, masterful defiance of the German 
spite. And still there was no sign of wavering or 

Oh, it took courage and steady nerves to do that in 
the face of the enemy's machine gun fire. Men fell 
there in the open, but the advance kept steadily on 
to the woods. It was then that discipHne and 
training counted. Their minds were concentrated 
not on the enemy's fire but on the thing they had 
to do and the necessity for doing it right. They 
were listening for orders and obeying them. In this 
frame of mind the soldier can perhaps walk with even 
more coolness and determination than he can run. 
In any case it was an admirable exhibition of military 
precision and it gladdened their Colonel's heart. 

The Marines have a war cry that they can use to 
advantage when there is need of it. It is a blood- 
curdling yell calculated to carry terror to the heart 
of the waiting Hun. I am told that there were wild 
yells in the woods that night, when the Marines 
charged the machine gun nests, but there was no 
yelling when they went in. Some one has reported 


that they advanced on those woods crying, 
"Remember the Lusitania!" If they did so, I 
failed to hear it. Somehow that doesn*t sound like 
the sort of thing the Marine says under the condi- 
tions. So far as I could observe not a sound was 
uttered throughout the length of those four lines. 
The men were saving their breath for what was to 

I am afraid I have given but a poor picture of that 
splendid advance. There was nothing dashing about 
it like a cavalry charge, but it was one of the finest 
things I have ever seen men do. They were men 
who had never before been called upon to attack a 
strongly held enemy position. Before them were 
the dense woods effectively sheltering armed and 
highly trained opponents of unknown strength. 
Within its depths the machine guns snarled and 
rattled and spat forth a leaden death. It was like 
some mythical monster belching smoke and fire 
from its lair. And straight against it marched the 
United States Marines, with heads up and the light 
of battle in their eyes. 

Well, they made it. They reached the woods with- 
out breaking. They had the advantage of slightly 
better cover than Berry's men and the defensive 
positions at the lower end of the woods had not been 
so well organized by the Germans as those on the 
western side. The first wave reached the low growth 
at the edge of the woods and plunged in. Then the 
second wave followed, and the third and the fourth, 
and disappeared from view. 


Some months later Private W. H. Smith, recover- 
ing from his wounds in the Naval Hospital in 
Brooklyn, told the story of that charge: 

"There wasn't a bit of hesitation from any man. All 
went forward in an even line. You had no heart for 
fear at all. Fight — fight and get the Germans was your 
only thought. Personal danger didn't concern you in 
the least and you didn't care. 

"There were about sixty of us who got ahead of the 
rest of the company. We just couldn't stop despite the 
orders of our leaders. We reached the edge of the small 
wooded area and there encountered some of the Hun 

"Then it became a matter of shooting at mere human 
targets. We fixed our rifle sights at 300 yards and aiming 
through the peep kept picking off the Germans. And a 
man went down at nearly every shot. 

"But the Germans soon detected us and we became 
the objects of their heavy fire. We received emphatic 
orders at this time to come back but made the half mile 
through the woods, hardly losing a man on the way." 

I had no field telephone and felt obliged to see 
what was going on. I took my stand on a little rise 
of ground protected by a low line of bushes about 
3CX) yards from the woods. It was near a road where 
Holcomb's left had been in contact with Berry's 
right. The shelter trenches did not cross the road. 
From this point of vantage I watched the advance 
through my glasses. 

Bullets rained all around me, the machine gun 
crews near me forming a target for the Germans. 


There was a great racket of rifle and machine gun 
fire and bursting shrapnel and high explosives, like 
the continuous roll of some demoniacal drum, with the 
bass note of the heavy guns that were shelling Lucy. 

I saw a number of our brave lads fall in that 
advance. The German machine gunners aimed low 
to sweep the ground, catching most of the men in 
the legs. And those who fell lay right in the line of 
fire and many of them were killed there on the 
ground. Those who were able to stand and keep 
going had the best chance. Some of them went 
through the whole fight with leg wounds received 
druing the first ten minutes. 

I am able to tell something of what went on in the 
woods that night, but my own participation in the 
conflict ended abruptly right there, and before con- 
tinuing the narrative I may as well give a brief 
account of what happened to me. 

Just about the time Sibley's men struck the woods 
a sniper's bullet hit me in the chest. It felt exactly 
as though some one had struck me heavily with a 
sledge. It swung me clear around and toppled me 
over on the ground. When I tried to get up I 
found that my right side was paralysed. 

Beside me stood Captain Tribot-Laspierre, that 
splendid fellow who stuck to me through thick and 
thin. He had been begging me to get back to a 
safer place, but I was obstinate and he never once 
thought of leaving me. When I fell he came out of 
his cover and rushed to my side. He is a little man 
and I am not, but he dragged me head first back to 


the shelter trench some twenty or twenty-five feet 
away. My Hfe has been spared and I owe much to 
that Frenchman. 

I have heard of men getting wounded who said 
that it felt Hke a red-hot iron being jammed through 
them before the world turned black. None of these 
things happened to me. I suffered but little pain 
and I never for a moment lost consciousness. Nor 
did any thought of death occur to me, though I 
knew I had been hit in a vital spot. I was merely 
annoyed at my inability to move and carry on. 

The bullet went clean through my right lung, in 
at the front and out at the back, drilling a hole 
straight through me. I am inclined to think that it 
was fired by a sniper in the trees at some distance 
to the left, who was trying to pot our machine 
gunners. I believe it was a chance shot and not 
the result of good marksmanship, for the bullet 
must have come some 600 yards. 

Experts have made a study of the action of rifle 
bullets, and have discovered that a bullet fired at 
short range — less than 500 or 600 yards — twists in 
such a manner that when it strikes an obstacle it 
wabbles. If my bullet had been shot from near at 
hand it would have torn a piece out of my back as 
big as my hst. On the other hand, a spent bullet 
is already wabbling, and would have made a big 
hole in the front of my chest and perhaps would not 
have gone clear through. That is why I believe that 
my bullet came from a sniper about 600 yards away, 
and I am thankful that it did. 


Captain Laspierre laid me down in the bottom of a 
three-foot trench and there I remained for an hour 
and a half. He opened my coat and shirt, but there 
was little he could do. Most of the bleeding was 

My runners were near at hand, and I had the 
Captain send a message by one of them to Lucy, 
whence the news of my wound could be telephoned 
back to the Post of Command, where Lieutenant 
Colonel Lee and my adjutant. Major Evans, were 
located. Lee jumped for the automobile and drove 
to Lucy; from there he came on foot to where I was' 
and I turned over the command of the regiment 
to him. 

In about three quarters of an hour Dr. Farwell, 
the regimental surgeon, came from Lucy and admin- 
istered first aid treatment. These trips all had to 
be made under heavy fire. 

As I lay there before turning the orders of the day 
over to Lee, I was chiefly conscious of my anxiety 
over the outcome of the battle. My mind was as 
active as ever, and it was torture to lie there and not 
be able to see or do anything. I received reports 
from Sibley by runners, telling of his progress, and 
these I read to Lee when he came. 

Dr. Farwell brought stretcher bearers with him, 
but I was kept there in the trench for a while because 
of the heavy artillery fire. Gas shells began to burst 
near us, and they put my gas mask on me. I never 
knew before how uncomfortable one of those things 
could be. It is hard enough for a man to breathe 


with a lung full of blood without having one of those 
smothering masks clapped over his face. 

Fortunately, my interest was so firmly fixed on 
the fortunes of battle that I had but Httle time to 
indulge in any feeling of discomfort. I heard the 
sound of the firing gradually recede, and knew that 
Sibley's men were advancing. Then it came nearer 
on the left, and I knew that Berry's outfit was being 
beaten back. It was not an ideal way to observe 
an action, and my anxiety would have been almost 
unbearable if it had not been for one or two reassur- 
ing messages from Sibley. That grand old man was 
as hopeful as if the whole American army had been 
at his back. 

After a while the artillery fire let up a little, though 
it was still on when they carried me back to Lucy. 
They cut ofF my mask and hauled me out of the 
ditch and bundled me on to the stretcher. Four 
men raised me to their shoulders and away we went. 
Carrying a 215-pound man on a stretcher over rough 
country under fire is no joke, but they got me to Lucy. 

Meanwhile Sergeant Sidney Colford had got an 
ambulance at Lucy and I was rushed to the forward 
hospital and shot full of anti-tetanus serum. Then 
on to Meaux and finally to Paris, where I arrived at 
4 A. M. the next day — June 7th — after being eight 
hours in the ambulance. I was placed in Hospital 
No. 2 — Dr. Blake's — ^where they drew quarts of 
blood from my pleural cavity. It is a wonder that 
I came through it, but there were no serious compli- 
cations and the wound began to heal. I remained 


in the hospital until July 22, when I was discharged 
and came home on leave. 

So much for my personal experience. Mean- 
while the battle for Belleau Wood was going on, and 
I received detailed reports of it. How it went with 
the boys after I fell remains now to be told. 

In Belleau Wood and Bouresches 

MAJOR Burton William Sibley is one of the 
most picturesque characters in the Marine 
Corps. He is a short, swarthy man, wiry 
and of great endurance. He is one of those men 
whose looks are no indication of their age; he might 
be anywhere from thirty-five to fifty. I fancy that 
is why he is affectionately known as "the old man." 
As a matter of fact he was born in Vermont on March 
28, 1877, and was appointed a Second Lieutenant of 
Marines on July 23, 1900. Thus far he seems to 
have borne a charmed life and I hope his luck will 
not desert him. 

Sibley is particularly thorough in everything he 
does and has never been known to get rattled. His 
men love him and would follow him anywhere. He 
is as active as a boy, and it was he who, on foot and 
fighting as desperately as any of them, personally 
led those two companies of Marines into the death- 
haunted labyrinth of Belleau Wood. They followed 
him as warriors of old followed, their chieftain, and 
he pulled them through and won the first stage of 
the battle that was to put the strength of our brigade 

to the acid test. Staunch veteran of Marines that 



he is, he deserves all the praise that can be heaped 
upon him for that night's work. 

The minute they got into the woods our boys 
found themselves in a perfect hornets' next of 
machine gunners, grenadiers, and riflemen. No 
one could have realized how strong the enemy's 
position there was, or I do not believe that we would 
have been ordered in without more adequate artil- 
lery preparation. There were machine gun nests 
everywhere — on every hillock and small plateau, in 
every ravine and pocket, amid heaps of rocks, 
behind piles of cut timber, and even in the trees, 
and every gun was trained upon the advancing 
Marines and spitting hot death into them. 

These German guns in the wood were well placed 
to cover all zones with both lateral and plunging 
fire. No spot was safe from their spray of bullets. 
Quick action was essential, or our force would have 
been wiped out. But the Marines never faltered. 
They attacked those nests with rifles, automatics, 
grenades, and bayonets. In small groups, even 
singly, they charged the machine gun crews and their 
infantry supports with wildcat ferocity, fighting like 
fiends till the Huns were dead or threw up their 
hands and bleated "Kamerad." Then they rushed 
on to the next one. 

The most eflPective method was to run to the rear 
of each gun in turn and overpower the crew. But 
each flanking position was covered by another gun 
which had to be taken immediately. It was a furious 
dash from nest to nest, with no time to stop for 



breath. In the thick of the m^lee the wild yells of 
the Marines were mingled with the constant 
crackle of rifle fire like bunches of fire crackers 

Through the smoke of battle that drifted like fog 
among the tree trunks, Sibley kept to his course 
across the southern section of the wood. His diffi- 
culties must have seemed well-nigh insuperable, for 
his men were exposed to a constant flanking fire on 
their left, while they were obliged to keep their eyes 
to the front and take the machine guns from the 
flank or rear. But take them they did, one after 
another, and though many a brave man fell there in 
the wood, they pushed steadily on across. 

There was dense brush in spots, where men got lost 
and found themselves isolated and cut off from their 
squads. The wounded dragged themselves to thickets 
and depressions — any place where they could hide 
from those prying bullets and wait till there was time 
for some one to carry them out. They were short of 
water and the suflFering of many of them was intense, 
but they urged their comrades to leave them and 

press on. 

An hour passed; two hours, the Marines still fight- 
ing with the savage intensity of catamounts. "All 
the time," said Private Frank Damron afterward, 
"the fighting consisted in running from one shell 
hole to another. Shove your bayonet at a Hun and 
he will give up. I myself had very little 'stick- 
ing' to do. You could generally get them with a 
rifle bullet first." "Our men," added Corporal John 


Miles, "went after them with fixed bayonets, and 
drove them as a fellow drives a flock of chickens." 

The action was all in the hands of the platoon 
officers. Success or failure rested on their shoulders. 
It is not the general who wins such a battle as that, 
but the captain, the sergeant, the private. 

It had been called an exaggerated riot, that des- 
perate conflict in the wood. It was hand-to-hand 
fighting from the first, and those Germans, hating 
cold steel as they do, soon learned what American 
muscle and determination are like. From tree to 
tfee fought our Marines, from rock to rock, like the 
wild Indians of their native land. It is the sort of 
fighting the Marine has always gloried in. And in 
that fighting they beat the Germans on two points — 
initiative and daring, and accuracy of rifle fire. They 
picked the German gunners out of the trees like 
squirrels, and in the innumerable fierce onslaughts 
that took place at the machine gun nests the Marines 
always struck the first blow and it was usually a 
knock-out. It was a wild, tempestuous, rough-and- 
tumble scrap, with no quarter asked or given. Rifles 
grew hot from constant firing and bayonets reeked 
with German gore. It was man to man, there in the 
dark recesses of the woods, with no gallery to 
cheer the gladiators, and it was the best man that 

The thick woods made the fighting a matter of 
constant ambuscades and nerve-racking surprises, 
but the Marines tore on. With Sibley at their head 
nothing could stop them. Machine gun nests whose 


crews held out formed little islands in the welter 
about which the Marine flood swept, eventually to 
engulf them. Some of the Germans turned and fled, 
abandoning their guns; others waited till caught in 
the rear and then threw up their hands and sur- 
rendered; some waited in huddled groups in the 
ravines till the gleaming-eyed devil dogs should leap 
upon them; some stuck to their guns till an American 
bullet or an American bayonet laid them low. One 
by one the guns were silenced or were turned in the 
opposite direction. 

They started in at 5 o'clock. At 6.45 the report 
was sent to headquarters that the machine gun fire 
at the lower end of the woods had been practically 
silenced. At 7.30 German prisoners began to come 

Night fell with the fighting still going on and only 
the flash of shooting to see by. But at 9 o'clock word 
came from Sibley by runner that he had got through 
and had attained the first objective, the eastern edge 
of the wood. In four hours he and his men had 
passed clear through the lower quarter of Belleau 
Wood, traversing nearly a mile, and had cleaned 
things up as they went. And only 500 of them 
started; I hesitate to mention the number that 

At 10 o'clock reinforcements were sent in with 
orders to consolidate the position. Two companies 
of Engineers were reported at Lucy and they were 
ordered in to help. Their assistance was invaluable, 
for though there was still heavy fighting for the 


Marines that night, the Engineers started in at once 
and by morning had the position reasonably secured. 
Orders to stop further advance were sent out at the 
same time. 

The men who went through that Turkish bath of 
fire and steel are the best judges of what it was like. 
This is the way the story was told by Private W. H. 
Smith of Winston-Salem, N. C, after he had been 
invahded home: 

"German machine guns were everywhere. In the trees 
and in small ground holes. And camouflaged at other 
places so that they couldn't be spotted. 

"We stayed for the most part in one-man pits that 
had been dug and which gave us just a little protection. 

"We sa'W one German a short distance before us, who 
had two dead ones lying across him. He was in a sitting 
posture and was shouting *Kamerad, Kamerad.* We 
soon learned the reason. He was serving as a lure and 
wanted a group of Marines to come to his rescue so 
that the kind-hearted Americans would be in direct line 
of fire from machine guns that were in readiness. 

"Now isn't that a dirty trick? Say, it made me sore. 
Before I knew what I was doing and before I realized 
that every one was shouting at me to stay back I bobbed 
up out of my hole and with bayonet ready beat it out 
and got that Kamerad bird. It seemed but a minute 
or so before I was back. But, believe me, there were 
some bullets whizzing around. They came so close at 
times I could almost feel their touch. My pack was 
shot up pretty much but they didn't get me. 

"After that I thought I was bullet proof, and didn't 
care a damn for all the Germans and their machine guns. 

-' Photograph jrom the Committee on Public Information 



"There were machine gun nests everywhere — on every hillock and 
small plateau, amid heaps of rocks, and even in the trees" 

Photograph from the Committee on Public Information 

"They picked the German gunners out of the trees like squirrels" 


"Soon we charged forward again. I saw one Dutch- 
man stick his head out of a hole and then duck. I ran 
to the hole. The next time his head came up it was 
good-night Fritz. 

"We were running along when a German pops up 
right up from the weeds on the roadside and shot at a 
Sergeant with me. The bullet got the Sergeant in the 
right wrist. I got the German before he dropped back 
into the weeds. 

"Every blamed tree must have had a machine gunner. 
As soon as we spied them we'd drop down and pick them 
ofF with our rifles. Potting the Germans became great 
sport. Even the officers would seize rifles from wounded 
Marines and go to it. 

"On the second day of our advance my Captain and two 
others besides myself were lying prone and cracking 
away at 'em. I was second in line. Before I knew what 
had happened a machine gun got me in the right arm 
just at the elbow. Five shots hit right in succession. 
The elbow was torn into shreds but the hits didn't hurt. 
It seemed just like getting five little stings of electricity. 

"The Captain ordered two men to help me back. I 
said I could make it alone. I picked up the part of the 
arm that was hanging loose and walked. 

"It was a two-mile hike to the dressing station. I got 
nearly to it when everything began to go black and 
wobbly. I guess it was loss of blood. But I played in 
luck, for some stretcher bearers were right near when I 
went down." 

In a letter home Private Edward Cary of St. Louis 
thus described that night of blood and battle: 

"We were called from a little town somewhere in the 
vicinity of the Marne, where we were resting, up to the 


front, where the Germans were coming too strong for the 
French, and when we hit the line the 'Froggies' were all 
in and retreating. The Marines went into the action, 
stopped them and drove them back over a mile. How*s 
that ? 

"We did not go into action until the 6th, but were 
held in reserve in woods made a living hell by shell fire. 
I have seen boys killed and blown to pieces by high ex- 
plosive shells right beside me. It was trying at first. A 
comrade was wounded alongside of me and one killed. 
The same shell got the both of them. 

"The day after this we made an attack. Whooey! I 
never knew there were so many machine-gun bullets and 
high explosives in the world. Two men, one on either 
side of me, were killed by machine-gun fire, and in the 
fracas I lost the company but hooked up with another 
one. A Lieutenant, eight other men and myself took 
seventeen prisoners, three machine guns, and other equip- 
ment. I had to shoot at two of them, and they fell, and, 
as we found them afterwards dead, I have two notches 
to my credit. 

"When we came up to the Germans they threw down 
their arms and called *Kamerad! Mercy!' They are yel- 
low as ochre and will not fight like men. As long as 
they are away from you they will fight, and fight damn 
dirty, but corner them and they quit — I could lick a 
squad of them with a soup ladle. 

"Some of the boys took souvenirs, but not for me. 
Everything they own is tainted with innocent blood and 
they are too damn mean and too foul to touch. The only 
things that I have are three buttons that a young 16-year- 
old Prussian gave to me voluntarily. 

"Well, we gave them hell that night when they at- 
tempted a counter-attack, and then we were relieved to 


go into reserve and reorganize. I wasn*t the least bit 
scared in battle." 

During the night the fighting raged for five hours 
or more with gradually diminishing fury, and those 
men who were able to snatch a few minutes* sleep 
in a shelter trench or rifle pit were the lucky ones. 

Meanwhile an equally important and successful 
action against odds had been taking place at Bour- 
esches, the town just east of the woods at its lower 
end. It was necessary to eject the Germans from 
this position for the same reasons that made it 
essential to drive them from Belleau Wood. 

Shortly after the attack on Belleau Wood had 
been launched, the 96th Company of Holcomb's 
battalion and one of Sibley's reserve companies were 
ordered to take the town, and two platoons started, 
one from each company. There was a short bom- 
bardment, and then the Marines advanced in four 
waves just as the others had done in going into the 
wood — twelve men in each wave, five yards apart, 
and twenty yards between the waves. The first and 
third waves were supplied with automatics and gren- 
ades, the second and fourth with rifles. They ad- 
vanced across a little valley and a wheat field, in the 
face of a sharp fire from three-inch and machine guns. 

The original plan was to have the battalion of 
Sibley's company go into Bouresches, while Hol- 
comb's undertook to straighten the line from there to 
Triangle Farm, but through some misunderstanding 
of the orders, Holcomb's men got to Bouresches first 
and went in. 


Half of this little force was under Captain Duncan 
and the other half under Lieutenant Robertson. 
The enemy's fire, as they neared the town, was 
frightful, and more men fell than kept going. Dun- 
can was shot down while coolly advancing with his 
pipe in his mouth. Robertson, who, by the way^ 
was afterward shot through the neck near Soissons^ 
led the remnant on and entered the town. 

There were probably 300 to 400 Germans in that 
town and the place bristled with machine guns. 
There were guns at the street corners, behind barri- 
cades, and even on the housetops, but the Marines 
kept on. They attacked those machine guns with 
rifle, bayonet, and grenade in their bitter struggle 
for a foothold. They were outnumbered when they 
started, and one by one they were put out of the 
fighting. But they kept going, taking gun after 
gun, until the Germans, for all their numbers and 
advantage of position, began to fall back. And 
Lieutenant Robertson took Bouresches with twenty 
men ! 

He sent back word at 9.45 that he had got in and 
asked for reinforcements, but he did not wait for 
them. Those twenty men started in to clean up that 
town in the approved Marine fashion, and he was 
well on his way when Captain Zane's company of 
Holcomb's battalion arrived to support him. Then 
Engineers were sent in to help consolidate the 


But the town was not 3"et fully won. The Ger- 
mans began displaying counter-activity, and the 


Marines sent back word that they were running short 
of ammunition. Lieutenant William B. Moore, the 
Princeton athlete, and Sergeant Major John Quick 
(of whom more anon) volunteered to take in a truck 
load. With a small crew chosen from fifty who 
wanted to go, they started with their precious, peril- 
ous freight, over a torn road under a terrific fire. 
The whole way was brilliantly lighted by enemy 
flares and the solitary truck offered a shining mark 
to the German gunners. It rolled and careened fear- 
fully over the gullies and craters, shells shrieked and 
whistled over their heads and burst on every hand, 
and as they neared the town they drove straight 
into the fire of the spouting machine guns. But 
John Quick bears a charmed life and they got through 

That ammunition truck saved the day at Bour- 
esches, for after it got in, Zane's men proceeded to 
clean up the town. At 11 o'clock that night the 
report was sent in to headquarters to the effect that 
the Germans had been driven out of Bouresches. 
At 2.30 A. M. they made an attempt to get in again, 
but the counter-attack was smothered by our 
machine gun fire. 

The next day, with the help of the Engineers, our 
position in the town was made secure. Later the 
garrison was reinforced by replacement men under 
Quick. Fighting continued through the 8th, but 
all counter-attacks were repulsed and the town 
remained in our hands. Contact was established 
with Sibley's men in Belleau Wood and Holcomb 


straightened and consolidated the line from Bour- 
esches to Triangle Farm. 

Through all this fighting our men were obliged to 
get along without direct telephone connection with 
headquarters, and our runners were depended upon 
to carry out the reports and the requests for assis- 
tance. All that night they plied their hazardous 
trade, dashing through machine gun and shell fire 
and keeping open the Hnes of communication. They 
were specially selected men, attached to head- 
quarters, and their work should not be allowed to 
pass unnoticed. 

I have spoken of some of the officers who were 
responsible for the success of our undertaking, but 
I have neglected to mention Wendell Neville, the 
Colonel of the Fifth. He was a classmate of mine 
at Annapolis and we entered the Corps together. 
He was with the Marines at Guantanamo and was 
brevetted Captain there for his excellent work. He 
served with Waller in China at the time of the Boxer 
uprising and at Vera Cruz. After I was wounded 
and Lee took over the command of the Sixth, Neville 
went in with the Fifth in the subsequent fighting in 
Belleau Wood. He is now a Brigadier General and 
had command of the brigade at Soissons in July. 

And I must speak of Major Evans. He had 
retired from the service but rejoined at the outbreak 
of war. He joined the Sixth Regiment when it 
was organized and with the able assistance of John 
Quick he whipped that regiment into shape at 
Quantico. I couldn't have had a better man. He 


is a jolly fellow, always in good spirits, and possesses 
that sort of magnetic, dynamic personality that 
keeps things moving. He is a man of intellect, too, 
and altogether just the sort to succeed with our college 

In France he served as my adjutant. He did not 
get into the fighting in Belleau Wood and Bouresches 
because he remained at the Post of Command, 
where he received all the reports and orders and kept 
his fingers constantly on the keys of the situation. 
He backed up Sibley and Holcomb in their arduous 
undertakings; his was the brain behind the fight. 

A long letter from Major Evans, written from the 
front to our Commandant, Major General George 
Barnett, I have thought best to offer in full in the 
appendix of this volume, since it gives a graphic 
account of the entire action at Belleau Wood as 
viewed by the man at the end of the wires in the 
Post of Command. I will, however, insert at this 
point a shorter letter from Major Evans to Mrs. 
Charles A. Childs of New York, the donor of our 
regimental colours, because it speaks entertainingly 
of our old friend Lizzie who turned up again at 

"As a result of the splendid work of the Marine Bri- 
gade, notably between June 6th and loth, when our regi- 
ment did its share in the capture of Bouresches and 
part of the Bois de Belleau, we .have learned that the 
brigade is to be cited by the French army and that the 
regimental colours will have the Croix de Guerre and the 
palm. It is a wonderful honour, the highest that any 


regiment has won over here so far, and I know how 
much you will be pleased and how proud you will be. 
When it does take place I will send you a photograph, as 
many as I can, if I have to face a firing squad to get them 
to you. We also hear that our Colonel, who was wounded 
in the first half hour of the first fight, is to be made a 
Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. 

"And the Ford which Mrs. Pearce gave us will go 
down in Marine Corps history at any rate. 

" Elizabeth Ford, as the regiment knows her, has had a 
unique career. Not only in Quantico, where I drove her, 
but in Bordeaux and later up in our training area, she 
catried everything from sick men to hard tack. Then 
we had two months in the trenches near Verdun and at 
the end it seemed as though she would have to go to the 
scrap heap. Her top was entirely gone and we made a 
mail wagon of her. In some way the men, who have an 
affection for her that you can hardly comprehend, patched 
her together and we brought her down to our first billets. 
A week later we had to go to another area, forty kilo- 
metres north of Paris, and in the long trip the Elizabeth 
Ford sailed along without mishap and was the talk of 
the division. 

"Then we came up here and she rose to the heights of 
her service and her record. The night we took Bouresches 
with twenty-odd men, and news came through that others 
had filtered in and the town was ours, we shot out a truck 
load of ammunition over the road. The road was under 
heavy shell and machine gun fire. Later in the night we 
sent the Ford out with rations. For the next five days 
she made that trip night and day, and for one period ran 
almost every hour for thirty-six hours. She not only 
carried ammunition out to the men who were less than 
200 yards from the Boche, but rations and pyrotechnics; 


and then to the battalion on the left of the road, in those 
evil Belleau Woods, she carried the same, and water, 
which was scarce there. For these trips she had to stop 
on the road and the stores were then carried by hand 
into a ravine. I saw her just after her first trip and counted 
twelve holes made by machine gun bullets and shrapnel. 
"At one time the driver, Private Fleitz, and his two 
understudies, Haller and Bonneville, had to stop to make 
minor repairs, and another time, when they had a blow- 
out, how she and the men escaped being annihilated is a 
mystery. The last time I saw her she was resting against 
a stone wall in the little square of Lucy-le-Bocage, a shell 
wrecked town, and she was the most battered object in 
the town. One tire had been shot off, another wheel hit, 
her radiator smashed, and there were not less than forty 
hits on her. We are trying every possible way to find new 
parts and make a new Ford of her. She is our Joan of 
Arc and if it takes six old cars to make her run again 
we'll get those six and rob them.*' 

As night deepened and hostilities diminished in 
Belleau Wood and Bouresches, the first stage of the 
battle ended, with our line extended some distance 
to the north, taking in nearly a third of the v^^ood and 
the town of Bouresches, and running from there 
straight down to Triangle Farm. All night the inde- 
fatigable Engineers laboured to make good our 
position while the fighters snatched such rest as they 
could, and the dawn of June 7th found them ready 
for another attack on the monster in the forest. 

Pushing Through 

THE backbone of the German resistance was 
broken on the night of June 6th when Sibley 
went through Belleau Wood and Robertson 
walked into Bouresches, but there still remained 
much to be done. We held the town and the lower 
edge of the wood, but it was at best but a precarious 
foothold. The enemy remained in force to the north 
of the town, his machine guns were still thick in the 
greater part of the wood, and his big guns still thun- 
dered from back of Torcy. He was daunted by our 
first rush, but he came back. It took the Marines 
many days to finish the job, but finish it they did. 

On June 7th fighting recommenced with a more 
intense fury, and our losses on that day were even 
heavier than on the 6th. We launched a series of 
battalion attacks against the forces in the wood, 
besides the constant fighting for local positions and 
the repulsing of counter-attacks. On that day 
Sibley's men resumed their rushing of machine gun 
nests and their strenuous hand-to-hand fighting. 

At peep of day they were up and at 'em again as 
though fresh from their billets. It was now a matter 
of thrusting the whole line northward through the 
wood, and into its darksome maw they plunged, 



straight into its Dantean horrors. There was no 
respite. The enemy machine gun fire became more 
deadly after they had penetrated to some Httle dis- 
tance, but they had to keep going. When they could 
they dug little rifle pits for themselves with the small 
trench tool carried in the kit, as a slight shelter 
against that withering fire. When fatigue became 
greater than could be borne, men curled up in shell 
holes or crevices in the rocks, or in the shallow 
trenches they dug, hoping for a brief respite, only to 
be roused by the uproar of a new conflict or the 
nearby bursting of a shell. Occasionally gas was 
poured into the w^ood, and that meant fighting in 
masks. None but the finest type of soldier could 
have stood up to all this and continue to make prog- 
ress. They took those machine gun nests one after 
another, and in some cases were able to turn them 
on the Germans. 

Our artillery was at a disadvantage in not knowing 
just how far our men had penetrated, but gradually, 
with more complete information, our shell fire im- 
proved. The guns cooperated when they could, 
eventually hurhng more than 5,000 high explosive 
and gas shells into the woods and clearing the heights. 

Fighting on in those treacherous woods, subject to 
flanking fire and in constant danger of ambush, the 
Marines continued to advance, regardless of fatigue 
and losses, until they held another quarter of a mile 
of the woods and the advance was halted. The new 
position was consolidated with the help of the 
Engineers and food and ammunition were sent in. 


Lizzie did heroic work on that day. A few light 
guns were got in to Sibley. 

As a result of the fighting of June 7th all along the 
line, the Americans advanced their position over a 
six-mile front. 

On the 8th and 9th, Sibley's men continued to 
rush those machine gun nests and to make further 
progress in the wood. It seemed as if nothing could 
tire them out or force them back. Meanwhile, Berry, 
who had been wounded, was relieved. Lieutenant 
Colonel Wise, in command of his battalion of the 
Fifth, went in to support Sibley. 

Our casualties were terrible; I will not attempt to 
give the figures. Our men were engaging in a sort of 
fighting that means heavy losses with the best of 
luck, but that did not check them. Their comrades 
fell, but they pressed on, and behind them they left 
dead Huns piled three deep about those captured 


To the men in the woods, fighting most of the time, 
snatching sleep when they could, the succession of 
night and day was hardly noticeable and there were 
few who could have told how long they had been 
fighting. Thus wrote Private George Budde of the 
Fifth to his parents: 

"I was always glad when the various positions we held 
in the woods had a few holes strewn around into which 
we could crawl when necessar>s but there were days in 
the first woods we went to especially, when M. and my- 
self, he being of the same mind, lay under the stars with 
nothing but a blanket, while the others had gone from 


four to six feet under ground, which was not as foolish 
as it sounds, as the shells were really going over us, and 
besides there was a perfectly splendid ditch along the 
side of the road. I reall}^ did start to dig, but it just 
naturally tired me all to little bits and I quit with nothing 
to show for it but some elegant blisters. It seems really 
unbelievable, but there were hours at a time at that place 
and others when we would lie -perduy while a steady 
stream of missiles would be going sweetly over our heads, 
just a continuous humming whir-r-r that can't be de- 
scribed. Most of the big ones do give notice of their ap- 
proach most politely, and one generally has time to duck 
or take cover." 

On June 8th Major Evans jotted down a laconic 
memorandum to the eflPect that Holcomb had asked 
for both chaplains. That meant the hurried burial 
of our dead. 

And right here let me put in a good word for those 
chaplains. Theirs is no easy berth, and they do 
not always receive the honour that is their due. 
The Marine chaplains, like the members of the 
Medical Corps, are furnished by the Navy. They 
^re busy men. Besides holding services at the 
camps and in the various villages where the Marines 
are billeted, and acting in a general way as the big 
brothers of the men, they have to censor all mail and 
serve as the statistical officers of the regiment. At 
the front they have charge of all burials, collect the 
bodies, and attend to the matters of record and iden- 
tification. And more often than not they volunteer 
to assist the surgeons. 


In each of our two regiments there were two 
chaplains, a Protestant and a Catholic. After the 
battle was over, all four of them were cited and 
decorated for heroic action in collecting and burying 
the dead and assisting the surgeons under fire. 

Gradually terror and the realization of defeat 
began to creep into the hearts of the Boches. Wrote 
one of the boys : 

"Not once in .the days of fighting that followed did a 
German stand up when the Americans got close to him. 
WeVe got their number and they know it. I wish I 
could get over and tell you all about it. I'm so full of 
stuff I simply can't write the things in a straight-out way. 

"You know how I did worry about a pistol and field 
glasses. Well, it wasn't necessary. I now have the best 
Zeiss glasses the Imperial German Government could 
purchase for me, and the splendid new Lauger pistol 
that I swing at my belt is certainly the finest the Hohen- 
zollerns could provide for an American Army officer. 

"In many places they left so fast that clothing, boots, 
rifles, machine guns and all sorts of booty taken from 
French towns was left. Every soldier had at least two 
Boche overcoats for a mattress. 

"In one officer's overcoat Lieutenant Blaisdell found a 
cat-o'-nine-tails, ample evidence of the statement of many 
prisoners that they were driven time and again to fight." 

There were evidences ever3rwhere, during this 
fighting, of German treachery. Those Prussians 
were nasty fighters. The following is quoted from 
the letter of a Quartermaster's Sergeant who talked 
with a number of our wounded in the hospital: 



If evidence were lacking of ingrained German untrust- 
worthiness and treachery, the following from the lips of 
three men, one an officer, would be ample. During the 
progress of a hot engagement a number of Germans, 
hands aloft and crying *Kamerad!' approached a platoon 
of Marines who, justifiedly assuming it meant surrender, 
waited for the Germans to come into their lines as pris- 
oners. When about three hundred yards distant, the 
first line of Germans suddenly fell flat upon their faces, 
disclosing that they had been dragging machine guns by 
means of ropes attached to their belts. 

"With these guns the rear lines immediately opened 
fire and nearly thirty Marines went down before, with a 
yell of rage, their comrades swept forward, bent upon re- 
venge. I am happy to state that not a German survived, 
for those who would have really surrendered when their 
dastardly ruse failed were bayoneted without mercy. 

**As stated, I talked separately with three different 
Marines at different times, and have no doubt of the 
truth of the story. When it spreads through the Corps, 
it will be safe to predict that the Marines will never take 
a prisoner. 

"Can they be blamed? As one man remarked,* A good 
German is a dead German.' Another said, 'They are 
like wolves and can only hunt in packs. Get one alone, 
and he is easy meat.' 

"Little of this sounds uplifting, and smacks of cal- 
loused sensibilities. But the business that brought these 
men to France is not a refined one. It is kill or be killed, 
perhaps both, and the duty of each man in the American 
army is to kill as many of the enemy as may be, before 
he, in turn, is killed. Likewise it is his duty to study 
and understand the psychology of the German, and he 


does it in his crude way, although he might not under- 
stand such mental processes by the term psychology. 

"An occupation lacking refinement creates unrefined 
descriptive terms, and the man whose temporary trade 
is war chooses his own phrases and originates new defi- 


I will not deny that my nerves are tense with horror 
at what I have seen, and with pride at what our boys 
have done, even while my soul is sickened with this 
closer view of the red monster. War. In the spirit of the 
men seen to-day, I am moved to greater admiration for 
their qualities and an abiding faith in our ability to finish 
as we have begun. Youth of the American army, flower 
of our young manhood, my hat is off to you! May vic- 
tory perch upon your banners, and God give you the re- 
ward you deserve here and hereafter." 

And here is further evidence of German gentleness 
from the pen of Private James Donohue, a BuflFalo 
boy, who was captured by the enemy and was, I am 
told, the first American prisoner to escape and make 
his way back to our lines. 

"I attacked with our boys," wrote Donohue, "and ran 
into a lot of Fritzies. One of them hit me on the head 
with the butt of his rifle, and when I woke up, I was in- 
side the German lines being dragged before an ofiicer at 
German headquarters. Every one I passed along the 
road kicked, jeered, and spit at me. 

"When I landed in headquarters, a pompous German 
officer asked me how many divisions we had in France. 
I said 'thirty,' but he didn't believe me. A guard was 
then placed over me, who watched me all night. Just as 


day was breaking, I was roughly awakened and given an 
axe and without breakfast I had to cut a lot of brush that 
was to serve as camouflage for machine guns. 

"I was working close to the front lines and American 
machine gun bullets whistled past me for fair. I had to 
work all that night. When I tried to snatch even a few 
minutes of sleep, a husky guard would give me an awful 
kick with a big hob-nailed boot and I would grab the 
axe and go to chopping again. I saw three Germans dis- 
guised in American uniforms. I was getting so weak 
from hunger and loss of sleep that I thought I would go 
under any minute. Finally the guard gave me some 
black bread and thin, watery soup. I could not get any 

"Afterward they put me to digging trenches to bury 
dead Germans in. Along with other prisoners we dug 
long rows, two and three deep, into which it seemed as if 
they buried the whole German army. 

"Finally one night, I found my guard asleep. I wal- 
loped him over the head with my pickaxe. He never 
moved. I ran away through the woods in front and 
there chanced across some German Red Cross dogs. I 
found some canteens of water and hunks of bread tied 
on their backs, which I took. 

"All of a sudden I got where shells were bursting 
everywhere. I had run into a barrage and thought it 
was all up with me. But I ducked along and suddenly 
a sentry challenged me. I recognized him as an American 
and shouted at the top of my voice, *I am an American. 
Don't shoot.' 

"So he passed me through the lines and that night I 
slept in the wood inside the lines and reported the next 


And so the battle continued, with our boys edgin 
their way slowly ahead in the forest, the ghastly 
dead lying all about them. Companies that had 
entered the battle 250 strong dwindled to fifty or 
sixty with a Sergeant or only a Corporal in command; 
but with burning eyeballs and drawn faces they 
fought doggedly on. The Germans brought up 
reserves and stiflFened their resistance. A tremen- 
dous and continuous artillery fire was concentrated on 
the wood, Bouresches, and all the approaches. Gas 
was poured in, the deadly, insidious yperite, that 
saturates the clothing and burns the skin and hangs 
for days in thickets and low places. The strain was 
beginning to tell. 

Gallant as had been the fighting of the Marines 
in Belleau Wood, it was finally decided that their 
first operations were not sufficiently decisive. Their 
progress was too slow and too costly. The Germans 
were concentrating their forces in the northern half 
of the woods and it seemed impossible to drive them 
out and complete the occupation without more 
thorough artillery support. 

On June 9th, accordingly, Sibley received orders 
to withdraw to give the artillery a chance. Back to 
the edge of the woods he came, with the ragged 
remnant of his brave battalion, fighting a rear guard 
action. Many of them were wounded ; some of them 
had worn their gas masks for eighteen hours at a 
stretch; they had lived on scanty rations and had 
enjoyed but little sleep or rest; they were weary, 
spent, sated with killing; but every man was mad 


clean through because he could not go on and settle 
the rest of the German army then and there. 

Fifty American and French batteries — some 200 
guns in all — then let loose an infernal fire on the 
woods. The infantry action had given the artillery 
a chance to get thoroughly ready for this storm of 
fire. And they battered the last spark of fighting 
spirit out of the Huns. 

On the loth, after hours of bombardment, Major 
Hughes went in with part of his battalion and 
reported that the woods had been reduced. He 
and Wise worked steadily up from Sibley's former 
position and extended the line in the wood farther 
to the north. Hughes himself was later gassed and 
had to come out. 

The Germans had tried attack after attack to drive 
the Marines out but without success. Now they 
were up against a more serious situation. The com- 
bined artillery and infantry attack was too much for 
them. It must not be supposed, however, that there 
was any lack of resistance. The enemy still oper- 
ated numerous machine gun nests in well selected 
positions, many of them cleverly camouflaged, which 
our shells had missed. And so the hand-to-hand 
fighting was resumed, though against less frightful 


Early on the morning of the loth the Marines 
started in again, with the artillery fire sweeping the 
woods ahead of them, and began to clean out the rest 
of those machine guns with rifle, hand grenade, and 
bayonet. They partially surrounded the woods and 


subjected the flanks of the German defenders to a 
taste of their own medicine. The Boches began to 
flee, and some of them ran into their own machine 
gun fire. They were cut up and slaughtered. They 
began surrendering in groups. 

On that day our Hne was advanced two-thirds of 
a mile on a 6ooyard front, and all but the upper 
portion of the wood was cleared of Germans. And 
behind our men came the Engineers, constructing 
a strong position. 

Our casualties on that day were heavy, but if it 
was bad for us it was inferno for the Boche. Hun- 
dreds of Germans were slain, and those that were 
captured were heartily glad it was over. The wood 
which they had chosen as an impregnable fastness 
had proved to be a death trap. We took 300 pris- 
oners that day, and found that many of them be- 
longed to the Fifth German Guard Division, includ- 
ing the crack Queen Elizabeth Regiment. 

On the same day — the loth — the Germans 
launched an attack in force to regain Bouresches. 
It was well planned and was executed by fresh troops. 
A dark, cloudy night had aided their preparations, 
but they were expected. The Americans had the 
northern side of the town lined with machine guns 
and heavier guns were trained on the railroad em- 
bankment over which the Germans must come. 

Following the usual artillery preparation they 
advanced in close formation. At the edge of the 
town they were met by the sting of the machine gun 
fire and were checked with heavy losses. Then our 


artillery laid down a thick barrage behind their 
advanced line, preventing the bringing up of rein- 
forcements. They could neither advance nor retreat; 
they were caught between two destructive fires. 
Gradually the barrage was lowered upon their 
advance line and their position became a slaughter 
pen. Those who got into town never got out again 
and the rest were driven back to their lines. The 
well organized attack was simply crumpled up and 
wiped out. We had very few casualties and took 
fifty men captive and one officer. 

In Belleau Wood the advance after the loth was 
slow but continuous behind an effective barrage. 
Almost imperceptibly our line was pushed forward 
among the trees, like water eating its w^ay into a snow 
bank. As fast as they advanced the Marines dug in 
and stuck, though constantly shelled and gassed. 
There was less hand-to-hand fighting now, but cas- 
ualties on both sides were numerous and the Marines 
continued to capture prisoners and machine guns. 

Between June 6th and 15th six main attacks were 
made against the woods and nine counter-attacks 
were repulsed. The Germans tried to filter in from 
the left but were beaten off. Bouresches was sub- 
jected to an aerial bombardment, but the Marines 
stuck there, too. What they have they hold. 

Private F. E. Steck of Camden, N. J., remembers 
this period rather vividly, for it was then he was 
wounded. Steck's company did not take part in 
the attack on Belleau Wood until June i ith, but they 
were not all idle while in reserve. He and two 


sergeants succeeded in sneaking out at night and 
bringing back wounded Marines they found in that 
area. Private Steck doesn't know whether his 
officers learned of these nightly "desertions." The 
trio succeeded, however, in rescuing many com- 
panions in this manner. 

"We came across a German officer seated comfortably 
with his knees crossed," Steck relates. "Before him was 
spread a little field table on which was cake, jam, cookies, 
and a fine array of food. A knife and fork was in either 

"Beside the officer was seated a large, bulky Sergeant 
who had been knitting socks. The darning needles were 
still between his fingers. Both their heads had been 
blown off by a large shell. 

"We went into hot fighting on June nth at 2 A. M. A 
few hours before I had been on a detail that was bringing 
up hot coffee from the rear. 

"Hand grenades were distributed and then Captain 
L. W. Williams lined us up in combat formation. Soon 
we were going single file through the woods and charging 
across the open area to where the Germans were secluded 
in their holes. 

"My duties were to load a Chauchat or French auto- 
matic rifle. You could run about nine steps and then 
another clip would have to be inserted. Bullets slit my 
canteen, hit my scabbard, and two or three went through 
my trousers without touching me. We had advanced 
in triangle formation about half a mile. I was in the 
front end of the *V' when three machine bullets got me. 
One went into the neck, another in my left shoulder, 
and the third in my arm. 


"I tried to keep on in assisting the operation of the 
automatic but the blood came up in my throat. I forced 
my way back and hid in a shell hole in the woods until a 
little Marine found me. This fellow dragged me five hun- 
dred yards on his shoulder to a first-aid dugout. There 
a shelter-half was used as a stretcher and I was taken 
back to a larger dressing station." 

Private John C. Geiger's company was also one 
of those that were held in reserve during the first 
few days of the fighting, but when they got their 
chance they went to it as though afraid that their 
comrades had left them no Germans to kill. It was 
the attack of June loth which they took a leading 
part in, and at last they found themselves entering 
the blood-soaked wood. They surged forward in a 
two-wave formation at five-pace intervals, but they 
were an impatient bunch and the waves did not last 
long in the wood. It was impossible to hold the 
second wave back and the attacking force soon 
became one line of fierce fighting men, shooting, 
bayoneting, and hurling grenades wherever the 
Boches dared show themselves. 

"Our men were yelling as if they were in a football 
game. You heard just one cry from the Germans — that 
was *Kamerad,' " Geiger declared. "We crossed an open 
space of nearly a mile when we discovered that we had 
hit the Germans' second line trench. 

"Still we kept going. Of th^ twenty-five who were 
with me, only four remained. 

"Suddenly we spotted a machine gun. Without a 
thought the four of us started to charge it. Two of the 


men were killed immediately. I was shot in the right leg. 
The last man escaped. He told other Marines of the 
machine gun and in a few minutes a second and bigger 
advance was made. They surrounded the gun and the 
crew wanted to surrender. But there's not much use 
taking as prisoners men who fire at you until they see 
they are overpowered. I don't remember any prisoners 
walking back from that crowd. 

"I lay wounded for nearly an hour. For a while I 
hardly dared to breathe. I was right in line with the 
machine gun's fire. 

"The bullets sped past my ears so closely that I couldn't 
hear them whizz or buzz. There was nothing but a loud 
'Crackety-crack-crack' as they went by. It was just 
like having your head near the muzzle of the gun. 

"Soon the camouflage, consisting of high weeds around 
me, was shot away. Fortunately the machine gun tried 
for another target about that time and ceased firing in 
my direction. I tried to crawl off but couldn't make it 

very far. 

"I heard a German crying piteously 'Wasser, wasser.* 
It was a fellow I had seen shooting at the Marines a few 
minutes before. 

"I tried to get near him but couldn't make it. I had 
no water but did have about eight inches of blade that 
I wanted to present to him. 

"Then came a scene I shall never forget. This spot 
was pretty well abandoned now. The heavy action had 
moved forward and the Germans were still being pursued. 

"I heard occasional revolver shots and through the 
weeds saw a Hun running about the field shooting wounded 
Marines. Never before did a man look so like a devil 
to me and I shall never forget the fiendish glare with 
which he went about his mission. 


"It was not long before five Marines came up. They 
wanted to carry me ofF but I told them of the fellow 
who had been shooting our wounded. Later they re- 
turned with that devil's automatic." 

Geiger was carried back until hospital men with stretch- 
ers appeared. His wound cost him his right foot. 

"Shooting Germans is heap more fun than shooting 
rabbits," says Geiger. "You never could tell what was 
going to happen. We captured one machine gun and 
turned it on the Germans until the ammunition was ex- 

"But I want to give credit to those hospital corps men 
of the Navy, who worked with the Marines. Those fel- 
lows deserve a gold medal or the highest award they can 
receive. Why, before we could reach our objectives they 
were right out on the field picking up and tagging the 
wounded. They didn't mind the danger and did their 
duty without protection of any kind. They were un- 
armed and could not shoot a German if they did nm 
across one. 

"There was one fellow we knew as * Little OF Pewee* 
Jones. On June 8, * Pewee' had his clothes almost shot 
ofF but he escaped without serious injury. After a few 
hours he did get hit badly in the arm but he refused aid 
and went back to the dressing station alone laughing and 
cussing the Germans in the same breath. 

"It was *Pewee's' everlasting good spirits and bandying 
that kept his co-workers and every one he came in contact 
with in the best of humour. 

"Others who deserve worthy mention, too, are men 
known to me only as First-Class Pharmacist's Mate Tib- 
bets, Second-Class Pharmacist's Mate Israel, and two of 
their assistants, Russell and Turner." 


Private Fank Damron, who was also wounded 
about this time, gives another glimpse of the fighting 
in a letter home. 

"On the morning of the 13th we saw a German lying 
ahead of us a few yards. We brought him in. He must 
have had twenty-five wounds in his arms and legs without 
being hit in a vital spot. 

"This fellow told us that the Prussian Guards were 
coming and it was but a short time before the information 
had been relayed back and had reached our leaders. 

"And that night they attacked. Let me say right at 
the start they didn't budge us back an inch. The recep- 
tion they were given made what few were left forsake all 
desire for further attacks. 

"But those Heinies gave us everything they had by 
way of artillery fire. And they are good at it, too. Those 
fellows can place a shell in your hat five miles away. 

"That action certainly was hell. We counter-attacked 
right at the start. It wasn't but a short time when 
shrapnel got me in the left foot and put me out of action. 

"Fellows near by bound up my leg with a belt and 
made a litter out of a blanket and tree branches. But 
that broke. I was hours and hours getting back to the 
dressing station. But two days later the amputation had 
been made and I was on the road to recovery." 

On June nth the report came in that the enemy's 
machine gun fire had been practically silenced and 
he was making a last stand at the northern end of 
the wood. So far, so good, but our progress was now 
a mere crawl against concentrated resistance and the 
fight was not over by any means. The enemy was 


still supported by the guns at Torcy and our men 
were under constant fire. 

Then the Germans, realizing the seriousness of the 
situation, resolved to make one last desperate effort to 
regain what they had lost. Reserves were brought up, 
including an entirely fresh division, and their forces 
were strongly concentrated along the whole Belleau 
Wood front. On June 13th they attacked with stub- 
born fury. Their orders were to retake Belleau 
Wood and Bouresches at all costs, and God knows 
they tried. But that depleted line of Marines, 
backed now by artillery, still held fast. Held ? Nay, 
worn down and decimated as they were by nearly two 
weeks of bitter fighting, they counter-attacked, and 
foot by foot, day by day, they pressed the Prussians 

For days the Marines kept up that steady, unre- 
mitting grind, that constant battering at the German 
gates. They seemed not to know when they were 
overwhelmed and beaten. Then, on June i8th, their 
fury flamed out again. There was a scalding artil- 
lery shower from the American guns by way of pre- 
face, a quick drive across the open behind a bar- 
rage, and then the Marines fell tooth and nail upon 
the tow^n of Torcy. It was a short and merry battle. 
The crossroads below Torcy were taken at a rush 
and the troublesome German batteries behind the 
town were silenced. 

On the 19th a heavy barrage tore up the woods 
and Marine rifles and bayonets proceeded to com- 
plete the job. By the 24th the last German was 


cleared out of the main part of Belleau Wood — or 
was killed — but it was not until the 26th that the 
battle was over. On that day Major Shearer of the 
Sixth was transferred to the command of a battalion 
of the Fifth and attacked the last bit of woods held 
by the enemy, which lay like a small green island 
to the north of Belleau Wood proper. He took 500 
prisoners there, besides machine guns and other 
booty, and the last of that formerly victorious Ger- 
man army, smitten hip and thigh, was driven from 
cover and forced to fall back to a new line. 

"Before leaving the dismal waste that was once 
Belleau Wood, now haunted by the memories of 
brave and fallen comrades, I have one more story 
to retell. It is another dog story, and it was told 
by one of those cheerful ruffians who have been 
getting their broken bodies mended at the Brook- 
lyn Naval Hospital. This fellow has had a close 
shave, but American surgical skill has pulled him 

He took part in some of the hottest fighting in 
Belleau Wood and it took more than one piece of 
German metal to make him quit. The first wound 
didn't bother him much — **just a scratch in the leg, 
and besides we needed every man and in the excite- 
ment I didn't care." So he kept on going until a 
piece of shell shattered the bone in his right leg below 
the knee. That stopped him. He did try to crawl, 
but weak from loss of blood and pain he finally gave 
it up, waiting for some one to find him and carry him 
in. The "scratch" had been a shell wound where a 


big chunk of flesh had been torn from the muscular 
tissue of his left leg, but in the excitement he hadn't 

He lay for many hours — a whole day and night 
they told him later at the hospital — ^when he felt 
something pushing against his shoulder. He shut 
his eyes tight because he thought it might be a 
Heinie. Then something warm and moist licked his 
cheek and travelled down toward his lacerated leg, 
and he looked. His own particular buddie wouldn't 
have been a more welcome sight than that Red Cross 

The dog was a big one and a mongrel. "They 
don't use any particular breed so far as I could 
notice," explained the Marine. "He was just a dog, 
but he sure had learned his work." 

He came up to the Marine now, placing himself in 
such position that the wounded man could see the 
canteen on his back. The Marine, parched and 
burning, needed no second invitation but detached 
the canteen and took a long drink, and then replaced 
it. He had been without water so long and he was 
afire with fever and the water was wonderful, so 
wonderful that he just dropped back satisfied; but 
the Red Cross dog wasn't satisfied. He had come 
to do a certain thing and he knew his duty as well as 
any soldier in the line. He kept pushing against the 
wounded man's shoulder until he just had to Hsten. 
The Marine said "listen" because it seemed almost 
as if the dog talked to him and said "Come on, buck 
up, you've got to get out of this." 


And the Marine did buck up. He grabbed the 
dog's tail with one hand and with the other and his 
useful knee he crawled forward at the dog's leading. 
But it was slow going and finally he had to give up in 
despair. The pain was too much, and he had to 
quit. But the dog didn't quit. He went off at a 
trot and after a time returned with two Red Cross 
stretcher men, who carried the Marine to the dressing 

When the Marine was made comfortable his first 
thought was very naturally of his rescuer. His 
surprise was very great when he found that the dog 
would pay no attention to him. 

"That's the way they're trained," it was explained 
to him. "They pay no attention to any man unless 
he is wounded and then only to bring him into safety. 
They go out time after time under shell fire bringing 
in the wounded, or leading the stretcher men to them, 
but when they have done that they aren't interested 
in the wounded any more. 

"Another thing they have learned is never to eat 
anjrthing except food that is given to them by their 
masters in the dressing station. They are taught to 
be suspicious of food, for earlier in the war some Red 
Cross dogs were poisoned." 

"They sure are wonderful," the Marine says. "I 
wish I could have brought that dog home with me, 
but of course he's enlisted for the term of the war, 
and had to stay in France." 

The action which centred about Belleau Wood 
and Bouresches, and which had for its object the 


relieving of the menacing German pressure north- 
west of Chateau-Thierry, may be said to have 
been brought to a close on July ist, when men of 
the Ninth and 23 rd Infantry of our Division took 
the town of Vaux behind a barrage of American 
artillery fire. 

Vaux lies on the Metz-to-Paris Road about two 
miles east of Triangle farm and halfway to Chateau- 
Thierry. (See Diagram 2.) Its capture and that 
of the Bois de la Marette were necessary to straighten 
the line and to free the Metz-to-Paris Road of the 
danger of a German attack. The American lines 
were rather too far advanced on the left to make the 
position secure, and what amounted to a small salient 
had to be wiped out. With this removed, Chateau- 
Thierry, the Bois de Belleau, and the road to Paris 
were relatively safe. 

The task was given to the two regiments of Infan- 
try, which had hitherto seen but little action. They 
had been merely holding their section of the line and 
serving as a barrier across the threatened road. The 
capture of Vaux was not spectacular, but was a 
cleanly done job from a military point of view. Our 
guns were now in position in force, and there was 
perfect artillery preparation, such as had not been 
possible in the earlier fighting. Following a thor- 
oughly effective barrage, the Infantry took their 
objectives almost without loss, and the work for 
which our division had been thrown in was com- 

The Marine Brigade was soon withdrawn to a 


quiet place for a period of hard-earned rest, to mend 
battered heads and limbs, to fill the gaps in the ranks 
with replacements, and to prepare for the next job. 
In about two weeks it was "Marines to the front!" 

"They Fought Like Fiends" 

ONE prisoner that we took at Belleau Wood 
stated that the impression had been created 
among his comrades that all the Americans 
had become drunk before going into battle, for no 
men in their sober senses could have fought so like 
fiends. Well, they weren't drunk, but they did fight 
like fiends, and so many of them performed prodigious 
deeds of personal valour that the story of them is 
bewildering. I want to tell some of these individual 
stories, for they are thrilling in themselves and they 
give a sort of mosaic picture of the battle in the 
woods. But when I glance over the Hst of the cita- 
tions which our Marines received I find it difficult to 
make a selection. There are so many of them, of 
almost equal importance, and I dislike to mention 
one brave man and not another. The best I can do is 
to recount a few of these true tales that particularly 
gripped me by reason of their dramatic quality, 
hoping that it will be understood that there are 
dozens of others of which these are merely a sample. 
First let me tell something about one of our old- 
timers, one of the most noteworthy characters of our 
Corps — Sergeant Major John Quick. He is a Manne 



of some thirty years' standing, and what he doesn't 
know about the service must be a matter of small 
importance. In 1898 he signalled to the fleet from 
an exposed hilltop in Cuba with hundreds of Spanish 
rifles firing at him, and for that act he received a 
Medal of Honour. In 1914 it was Quick who hoisted 
the Stars and Stripes above the Hotel Terminal in 
Vera Cruz when every window sill and roof parapet 
was the gun rest of a Mexican sniper. He helped to 
whip our new Marines into shape at Quantico and 
to keep the wheels oiled at Chateau-Thierry. Then, 
when there was need for heroism of a rare kind com- 
bined with a quick brain and steady nerves, it was 
Quick who, though supposed to be at regimental 
headquarters with Evans, doing clerical and execu- 
tive work behind the lines, rose up from the earth 
and took into Bouresches that truck-load of ammuni- 
tion along a road swept by artillery and machine gun 
fire. He thereby "relieved a critical situation," in 
the words of the order citing him for bravery, and 
he received the Distinguished Service Cross. 

I don't know what to think of John Quick. I 
think he must carry a rabbit's foot or some other 
amulet about with him, for he has repeatedly risked 
his Hfe in the most hazardous undertakings and he 
has usually come through without a scratch. In 
fact, I believe he has never been seriously wounded. 
They say the only time he ever got hurt was at the 
end of a long march in the Philippines to rescue a 
detachment of Americans who had been cut oft. 
Nearly dead with exhaustion and hunger, he fell over 


a precipice into a river. A native pulled him out 
and he spent the next two months in the hospital. 

Quick is the sort of man we like to put in with the 
young recruits, for he is a living example of what a 
Marine ought to be. He is the Mulvaney of our 
Corps. Now he has returned to America to resign. 
We in the Corps are mournful, but Quick has finished 
his job, he deserves his rest. 

Then there is another picturesque old-timer that 
I must tell about — First Sergeant Dan Daly of the 
machine gun company of the Sixth. He enlisted in 
January, 1899. He first distinguished himself during 
the Boxer Rebellion in China when, on the night of 
July 15, 1900, he volunteered to remain alone under 
fire in a bastion in Peking, which he held until aid 
came. For this act and for his conduct during the 
siege of Peking and the battle of August 14th, he 
was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour. 
During the outbreak in Haiti, under odds of ten to 
one, he led a squad of Marines against Fort Dipitie 
on October 24, 191 5. The men were in pitch dark- 
ness and were obliged to wait until daybreak, when 
they advanced under heavy fire. Their steady shoot- 
ing and cool discipline alarmed and disorganized the 
Cacos. In a short time they had captured the fort 
and set it on fire. For this Daly was awarded his 
second medal. When the Marines landed at Vera Cruz 
Sergeant Daly inspired his men to limitless daring, 
and for his he was recommended for a third medal. 

Daly went to France with us and he fought there 
with all his old-time fire. Boches meant no more 


to him than Mexicans. In Belleau Wood he located 
a machine gun and took it single-handed, charging 
its crew with a yell and killing most of them before 
they could put up a fight. For that and for some 
other little matters General Pershing sent him a 
Distinguished Service Cross, the citation reading as 
follows : 

"Sergeant Daly repeatedly performed deeds of heroism 
and great service on June 5, 191 8. At the risk of his life 
he extinguished a fire in an ammunition dump at Lucy- 
le-Bocage. On June 7, 191 8, while his position was under 
violent bombardment, he visited all the gun crews of his 
company, then posted over a wide portion of the front, 
to cheer his men. On June 10, 191 8, he attempted an 
enemy machine gun emplacement unassisted and captured 
it by use of hand grenades and his automatic pistol. 
On the same day, during the German attack on Bouresches, 
he brought in wounded under fire." 

If you can picture Dan Daly doing these things 
there in the smoke and uproar of battle, with his 
comrades falling on every hand, you may be able 
to get some conception of what the fighting was like, 
for there were hundreds of our fellows doing just 
that sort of thing. 

Captain Burns of the 74th Company offers a good 
example of the spirit of the Marines. He also got 
after a machine gun nest and had both legs shot ofl^. 
Later I saw him in the hospital. He was smoking 
a cigarette, and he blithely remarked, "No more toe 
dancing for me, I guess." I regret to say that he did 
not recover. 


I have already mentioned Captain Duncan of the 
96th Company, who was ever a source of inspiration 
to his men and who led the advance against Bour- 
esches with his pipe in his mouth. He died with his 
face to the enemy, and if you never saw anything but 
the laconic citation which recounted his act, you 
would never know what a splendid type of American 
hero he was. "Captain Donald Duncan of St. 
Joseph, Mo., on the night of June 6th, courageously 
led his men through the machine gun fire in the street 
fighting which resulted in the capture of the village 
of Bouresches. He was killed while the town was 

Major Berry of the Fifth was awarded the Dis- 
tinguished Service Cross by General Pershing, and 
his citation is almost as brief and unemotional as that 
of Duncan. "Major Benjamin S. Berry led his men 
in a gallant attack across open ground and into the 
Bois de Belleau, northeast of Chateau-Thierry, on 
the afternoon of June 6th, inspiring them to deeds 
of valour by his example. When he reached the 
edge of the woods, he fell, severely wounded. Never- 
theless, he arose and made a final dash of thirty 
yards through a storm of bullets and reached again 
the first wave of his command before yielding to 
exhaustion from his injury." 

I briefly mention these few instances at the outset 
to give an idea of the sort of things the officers did. 
Some of the most picturesque exploits, however, - 
were accomplished by privates. The story of Private 
Henry Lennert is one of the best. Lennert was 


captured by the Germans and was held in an officers' 
dugout for three days. He wondered why he was 
not sent to the rear or set to work like most of the 
prisoners. The captain of the company into whose 
clutches he had fallen spoke Enghsh, and occasionally 
dropped in to chat with Lennert. He asked repeat- 
edly what sort of treatment was accorded to German 
prisoners, whether they were summarily shot as had 
been reported. 

"Shot?" responded Lennert. "Why, no; they are 
given a good feed and sent to a quiet place." 

On the third night, after a good deal of this sort 
of questioning, the Captain asked, "Could you get 
us safe into the American lines if we were to sur- 

"Sure," replied Lennert. "Easy." 

"Then come with me," said the Captain. 

The Marine was led out of his dugout, and there 
in the darkness he beheld what appeared to be the 
entire company lined up. He wondered whether it 
could be a firing squad, or whether some new 
form of German trickery had been invented, but the 
Captain showed him that their arms had been 
thrown down and bade him lead the way. Lennert 
picked up a few souvenirs and set forth toward the 
American lines. 

At length he was challenged by an outpost. 

"Who goes there?" 

"A Marine," replied Lennert, "with a bunch of 
recruits that want to sign up." 

The American guard advanced and Lennert led 


proudly into the lines eighty German prisoners 
including the Captain and four other officers. 

One of our most daring young athletes was Carle- 
ton Burr. I wish I could remember all the stories 
they told of him. He had been in the American 
Ambulance for about a year, when he came home 
and got a commission in the Marines. He trained 
at Quantico and was transferred to the first outfit of 
the Sixth that went across. Because of his initia- 
tive and daring he was made intelligence officer of 
the First Battalion and achieved some remarkable 
successes at patrol work while we were in the trenches. 
But hard luck came to him when we went in at 
Chateau-Thierry. He was gassed at Belleau Wood 
about June 5th and was evacuated to the rear. He 
knew we were fighting and was crazy to get into it. 
About July 2 1st he managed to get out of the hospital 
and rejoined his regiment at Soissons. Forty-five 
minutes after he went in he was killed by a shell. 
Not all our dare-devils bear charmed lives. 

From various brief reports of individual valour 
that have come back to us I have culled a few that 
give an idea of the fighting in the wood. Corporal 
Christie Collopy of Spring City, Pa., kept his group 
under cover and then went out alone with hand 
grenades and routed an enemy machine gun crew. 
Gunnery Sergeant Grover C. Conrad of Lexington, 
N. C, when his commander was wounded and the 
strength of his platoon was reduced to himself and 
five men, took charge, advanced, and silenced an 
enemy machine gun. Private Clarence W. Kelly of 


Oil City, Pa., led a rush into a German machine gun 
position, himself accounting for six of the enemy. 
Corporal Earl F. Miller of Chattanooga, Tenn., went 
out alone after a German sniper in a tree whom he 
killed with a well thrown hand grenade. Private 
Charles McGarland, a baseball player, by himself 
hand-grenaded the enemy out of two machine gun 
positions. Private Walter J. Ball of Roxbury, Mass., 
crept to within twenty yards of a German sniper and 
got him with an automatic rifle. And such instances 
could be multiplied by the score. 

On June 9th the French, who were holding a small 
wood on our left, called for aid, as the Lieutenant in 
command had only twenty men left and the Germans 
were advancing to attack. Lieutenant Robert Blake 
of Berkeley, Cal., responded promptly with twelve 
men from the American front line. When they 
arrived at the French position the Germans were 
but 200 yards away, coming in three waves, sup- 
ported by machine guns. A wheat field was immedi- 
ately in front and screened the Germans, so that 
the handful of Marines had to stand on their feet in a 
withering fire, blazing away with their rifles. By 
reason of their cool and accurate fire they soon had 
the Germans running back. Many of the party 
were wounded and all have received the Croix de 

An amusing story is told of Captain Alphonse 
De Carre of Washington, who went forward with his 
company to the support of his Lieutenant Colonel. 
On the way he kept bumping into groups of Germans, 


utterly terrified, who had been passed in the advance. 
Had they been properly officered, these Germans 
might have attacked the advanced American troops 
from the rear and partially surrounded them, but 
De Carre supposed they were prisoners who had 
been left behind by his commander, and he coolly 
gathered in 164 of them and sent them to the rear 
before he learned the truth about them. 

Private Frank Cronewett of Monrovia, Cal., was 
an ambulance driver loaned to the American troops 
by the French army. He ran his ambulance along 
a road full of shell holes between Bouresches and 
Coupru when it was being gassed. He took ofF his 
mask to see the way better and was burned about the 
eyes and face, but kept to his work of transporting 
the wounded. On his way back with an empty am- 
bulance on one trip he had a French soldier on the 
front seat with him. A shell exploded in the road, 
wounding his companion. He stopped the ambu- 
lance, put the wounded soldier inside, took him to 
the hospital, where he had a cut in his own head 
dressed, and then reported for duty and continued 
in service. 

There are, altogether, several hundred citations on 
file — ^that is, recommendations for bravery on the 
battlefield. Over 500 of these give the names of in- 
dividual heros of the Battle of Belleau Wood. One 
group is printed at the end of this volume. Man}' 
of these men won decorations, and a mere list of 
them would be too long to include here. They 
tell of officers who led desperate attacks against 


odds; of wounded officers who refused to leave 
their commands and go to the rear; of non-coms, 
who took charge of platoons and led them on in the 
wood after all the officers had been killed or wound- 
ed; of men who brought out wounded officers and 
comrades under fire; of runners, sometimes wounded, 
who braved death a hundred times a day carrying 
messages under fire; of drivers who brought up 
ammunition and supplies through a storm of shells 
and machine gun bullets; of non-coms., privates, 
and members of the Medical Corps who dressed the 
wounds of the fallen under fire; of men who con- 
tinued operating machine guns single handed after 
all their comrades had fallen; of severely wounded 
men who walked to the rear to spare the services of 
the stretcher bearers; of men who displayed excep- 
tional courage and dash in charging machine gun 
nests. It sometimes seems as though the entire 
brigade must have been individually cited; indeed, 
the Marine who did not exhibit personal heroism of 
a high order in those days was the exception. And 
there was Private Morris Fleitz who drove battered 
Elizabeth Ford all over the place, through a spray of 
shrapnel and bullets, carrying ammunition and 
rations to exposed points. 

"Le Bois de la Brigade de Marine" 

A REGIMENTAL or brigade officer has the 
advantage of being able to view an engage- 
ment in its entirety, while the men in the 
thick of the fighting know only what is going on in 
their immediate neighbourhood. That is why so 
many of the letters from the front are fragmentary 
and give but a sectional view of the great movements 
of the war. Nevertheless, most of us, because we 
have personal friends at the front, are vitally inter- 
ested in knowing something of what the individual 
soldier accomplishes and suffers, what he is thinking 
about and how he feels. From the newspapers we 
learn how the battle goes; it is only from the 
individual soldier that we can learn how the war 
appears to the man who is doing the fighting. 

For this reason I venture to present one more letter 
from a Marine in France before proceeding with the 
rest of my story. It is one of the most interesting 
letters I have seen and I offer it in full because it 
tells the whole story of Belleau Wood from the 
restricted but intense viewpoint of the man behind 
the bayonet. It was written by Private Hiram B. 
Pottinger of the 76th Company, Sixth Regiment, to 

his mother in St. Louis. 



"I wrote you a card yesterday telling you we had 
gone over the top. Well, we sure went over the top and 
we had some battle. I will tell you the story as near as 
I can. 

"It happened early in the morning and before day- 
light we were all lined up behind our lines. In front of 
us lay a large open field and in front of that a thickly 
wooded hill. That was where we were going. We all had 
kind of a funny feeling, but we laid back there smoking 
and telling jokes while we waited for the order to form. 
During all that time our artillery was throwing a barrage 
into the woods ahead of us, and believe me they were 
siire tearing things up, too. 

"Well, at daylight we commenced to form. Our com- 
pany was in about the fourth or fifth wave and then the 
advance started. I would give anything for a picture of 
those 'leathernecks* that morning going across that field, 
for we were behind and could get a good view of it. 

"Across the field we went and up the hill and over, but 
the Germans never put up much of a fight. I guess the 
shell fire was too much for them and they retreated. We 
took positions at the edge of the woods and stayed there 
all day. The next day was the day of the fighting in 
which our company took a big part — we took a wood 
which had formerly been known as the 'Machine Gun 
Nest,' 'Death Valley* and all such names as that, and none 
of the names were too good for it. 

"The first sight that struck my eyes when our little 
platoon started through the woods was a place where the 
Germans had shot liquid fire and the ground and woods 
all around were scorched black. In the middle of this 
were men's bodies all charred and some of their faces 
almost burned off. A little farther on I stumbled over 
the body of a man who must have been killed a month 


before. I tell you such sights as that gives you a sick 
feeling if you have seen nothing like it before, but I soon 
forgot them, for it was then we spied the Boches. 

"They were placing a machine gun to turn it on us, 
but they never did get it placed, for we let out a yell 
and fired into them, wiping all of them from the gun, 
and in a second we had the gun in our hands. 

"They must have thought from the way we were 
shooting and yelling that the whole American army was 
coming through the woods, for they blew a call to either 
retreat or surrender and they came running out of the 
woods with their hands up, yelling, *Kamerad, Kamerad,' 
and we took an awful mob of prisoners right there. 

"One of our men could speak German and he got the 
lay of everything from a prisoner who was scared to 
death. We then advanced on their flank so as to come up 
behind them, and that we did. We caught four or five 
bunches of them in the act of swinging their machine 
guns on us, but our eyes and rifles were too quick for 
them and we wiped more than one crew away from their 
guns. That was our main watch-out, machine guns. 
We got about half way through the woods and started 
raising hell in general; we killed Boches like rabbits; they 
would not fight us hand to hand. Seeing their machine 
gun was lost, they threw up their hands and yelled 'Kam- 
erad — mercy.* One guy threw a whole bundle of hand 
grenades at us and then yelled 'mercy.' He is still laying 
up there, I guess. 

"We took their machine guns and turned them on the 
Boches as we advanced through the woods, also their 
grenades and pistols. We had nothing of our own except 
our rifles and bayonets, but that was enough for them, 
for the sight of our bayonets made them shout * Kamerad.' 
It was then that the old saying about your rifle being your 


best friend came true, for they were sure our best friends 
that day. 

"At last we reached our objective. It was a bunch of 
great big rocks, but we never stopped. We stormed the 
rocks, but all we found was a lot of dead Huns. If they 
would have let us go on we would have gone clear to 
Berlin, but when we reached our objective we had to 

"We then started to dig in. We brought up the ma- 
chine guns we had captured and put them on the line 
with us; then in a little while our own guns got up on the 
line and we were pretty well fixed for the counter-attack 
we expected. But we were not there two hours until they 
started shelling us and then, after not losing a single man 
in the attack, one was killed and two wounded, including 
one Lieutenant, by shell fire. But it only lasted about two 
hours. Then it quieted down, but we kept on digging 
and dug down underneath the rock and made regular dug- 
outs for ourselves. Everything went well until the next 
afternoon and then hell started. 

"They gave us a bombardment which lasted about five 
or six hours, which none of us will ever forget as long as 
we live. It tore the woods all to thunder, the trees looked 
as though somebody had cut them down with a scythe. 
All that afternoon the ground just rocked under shell 
fire, and the gas was so thick at times you could not see 
two feet in front of you. By night about half the platoon 
was killed or wounded, and it did not look as if any of us 
had a chance to get out alive, but we stayed, and the 
bombardment kept right on, and about midnight it 
quieted down a little and over the}^ came with a counter- 
attack, but as you might know, sleeping was out of the 
question, and we saw them coming, although it was pitch 


"As the Lord would have it, not one of our machine 
guns had been hit, and when they started over, we crawled 
up out of our holes and pumped enough iron into them 
to kill the whole German army. But it only lasted a few 
minutes, for the Huns threw up a call for a barrage and 
retreated, and we had to hunt our holes once more, for 
the shells started dropping by the thousands. The whole 
end of my rifle was blown off by shrapnel, and my bayonet 
was shattered into a million pieces. It was pretty tough 
to lose that rifle, too, after carrying it so far, but I had to 
hunt another one. 

"Until we were relieved the days we spent were days 
of hell, for the bombardment kept right on, and you 
were taking your life in your hands when you left your 
hole. Why, the concussion of the air made by some of 
those high explosives just knocked the wind out of me, 
and I was buried beneath the earth three times. 

"We never thought much about eating or sleeping, for 
they tried an attack almost every night. We were gassed 
so much that we had to wear our masks a good part of 
the time, but we held our ground and never gave an 
inch, and drove back every attack they tried to make. 
I went after rations one night (there were three of us), 
and coming back through the woods we were caught in a 
barrage. We threw down our sacks and jumped into a 
hole, and had hardly done that when a shell hit just a 
few feet away. A piece of shrapnel about a cubic inch in 
size went clear through the sack of bread and grazed my 
hand, knocking a hunk of flesh off, but it never amounted 
to anything. 

"By the time we were relieved our platoon had dwindled 
down to about twenty-odd men, and we came back leav- 
ing our best pals up there. When we came out we brought 
along the machine guns v/e had captured, and are sending 


the finest one to Major General Barnett, commander of 
the Marine Corps. Our one little platoon captured about 
(censored) prisoners, and I do not know how many ma- 
chine guns. 

"But we won. We advanced about three miles and held 
everything we took and found out we were not fighting 
fighters, but cowards, who have to rely on artillery and 
machine guns to do their fighting." 

Before passing on to the subsequent activities of 
the Marines in France it may be well to survey the 
Battle of Belleau Wood in its entirety, that it may 
appear in its true proportions in relation to the rest 
of the W2Lr in general and the strategy of the Marne 
salient in particular. Just what did this month of 
bloody fighting accomplish, with its terrific losses in 
our ranks .f* What were its strategic and moral 
results .? 

In the first place, the German rush toward Paris 
was definitely and finally stopped. The day before 
the Marines went in the Germans had advanced six 
miles against the weakening resistance of the French. 
After that they advanced not a step. It is not on 
my own authority that I make the assertion that the 
Marines saved Paris. M. Clemenceau said so; the 
Parisians said so; it was generously admitted by the 
French commanders. That was the one outstand- 
ing result of our eflFort. The fact received official 
recognition in various communications and orders, 
one of the most interesting of which I present 
herewith : 


With Army StaflF. 

6930/^ Army H.Q., June 30th, 1918. 


In view of the brilliant conduct of the 4th Brigade of 
the 2nd U. S. Division, which in a spirited fight took 
Bouresches and the important strong point of Belleau 
Wood, stubbornly defended by a large enemy force, the 
General commanding the Vlth Army orders that hence- 
forth, in all official papers, the Bois de Belleau shall be 
named "Bois de la Brigade de Marine." 

Division General Degoutte, 
Commanding Vlth Army. 
(Signed) Degoutte. 

The strategic situation of the lines at the rounded 
point of the salient created by the German drive was 
much improved by the action. In fact, a line was 
established which had been virtually non-existent. 
W^ith the French cooperating on the left, the Ameri- 
cans forced the German line back two kilometres on 
an eight-kilometre front. At the end of the action 
we held a strong line which included the strategic 
positions at Bussiares Wood, the crossroads south of 
Torcy, the whole of the Bois de Belleau, Bouresches, 
and Vaux, establishing a tenable front from Bussiares 
to Chateau-Thierry. (See Diagram 6.) 

We took, in that action, some 1,400 prisoners and 
more than 100 guns, including 77's, machine guns, 
and small mortars. 

We whipped more than four times our weight of 
Germans, fighting in protected positions and includ- 


ing some of the Kaiser's best. A portion of one 
American division had two and sometimes three 

German divisions op- 
posed to it. At first 
they had in line the 
Tenth, the 197th, and 
the 237th, and these 
were so hard pressed 
that they had to be 
reformed after the first 
few days and the 28th 
and the crack Fifth 
Guards Division were 

DIAGRAM 6 ^^^^^^ ^^- ^^ «^^^.^ 

The final position of the line after the BatUe of WOrds, the tWO tegi- 

^^""" ^°*^ ments of Marines used 

up five divisions of the Germans' finest fighting 

All this was officially summed up and recorded for 
us by General Bundy in one of the many communica- 
tions which reached us. His order reads as follows: 

Headquarters Second Division (Regular), 
American Expeditionary Forces. 

France, July 10, 1918. 
General Orders No, 41. 

After more than a month of continuous fighting, the 
division has been withdrawn from the first lines. It is 
with inexpressible pride and satisfaction that your com- 
mander recounts your glorious deeds on the field of battle. 

In the early days of June, on a front of twenty kilo- 
metres, after night marches, and with only the reserve 


rations which you carried, you stood Hke a wall around 
the enemy advance on Paris. For this timely action you 
have received the thanks of the French people whose 
homes you saved, and the generous praise of your com- 
rades in arms. 

Since the organization of our sector, in the face of 
strong opposition, you have advanced your lines two 
kilometres on a front of eight kilometres. You have en- 
gaged and defeated with great loss three German divi- 
sions, and have occupied the important strong points of the 
Belleau Woods, Bouresches, and Vaux. You have taken 
about fourteen hundred prisoners, many machine guns, 
and much other material. The complete success of the 
infantry was made possible by the splendid cooperation 
of the artillery, by the aid and assistance of the engineer 
and signal troops, by the diligent, watchful care of the 
medical and supply services, and by the unceasing work 
of a well-trained staff. All elements of the division have 
worked together in perfect harmony as a great machine. 
Amid the dangers and trials of battle, every officer and 
every man has done well his part. Let the stirring deeds, 
the hardships, the sacrifices of the past month remain 
forever a bright spot in our history. Let the sacred 
memory of our fallen comrades spur us on to renewed 
efforts to add to the glory of American arms. 

(Signed) Omar Bundy, 

Major General, N. A. 

And finally, the achievement of the United States 
Marines brought new hope to the people of imperilled 
France and new confidence to the Allied armies. 
What they had done was an earnest of what America 
would continue to do. There in our little section 


of the far-flung battle line we had given a fair sample 
of the sort of fighting that might be expected of 
America at war. 

It was like many a football match you have attend- 
ed, with the game going dead against your side in 
the second half. The opposing team has recently 
made a touchdown and the score is in their favour. 
The ball is in their possession and they are forcing it 
steadily down the field, five, ten, fifteen yards at a 
rush. The defence seems to have crumpled. Your 
team, beaten by superior weight, appears to be all 
in and there is small hope of regaining the offensive 
before another score is tallied. 

Nearer, nearer to the goal the scrimmage line is 
pressed. You sit on the bleachers with clenched 
fists and groan inwardly — perhaps aloud. The game 
seems lost. 

Suddenly from the sidelines, at the command of 
coach and captain, a substitute back field jumps in 
to take the places of the worn-out plungers. They 
are not the veterans of the team, but they are fresh, 
strong, eager to make good and to save the day. 

Again the shock of attack. You watch the line 
bend, sway, then hold. The new backs plunge into 
it, fighting like wildcats. Twice more the desperate 
charge is loosed and twice more the line holds, though 
perilously near the goal line. 

There is a pause; the linesmen do some measuring; 
the referee raises his hand; the boys at the score board 
manipulate the letters and figures. A wild cheer 
goes up from the bleachers. Your side has the ball 


again and there is yet hope. The blood races again 
through your veins; your benumbed brain is aroused 
to new activity. The advance is checked on the 
threshold of defeat; the ball is punted out of danger, 
and with fresh courage and a new chance your team 
begins once more to hght. 

That is the way it was there on the Marne in June, 
1 91 8. I do not wish to overemphasize the strategic 
or tactical importance of the Battle of Belleau Wood, 
nor the part the Marines played in the great game of 
the war. But unquestionably they did do just what 
fresh blood will often do on a football field. They 
brought into the conflict new zest, new strength, new 
courage. The German advance slowed up and the 
whole Allied world took heart. The game had by 
no means been won yet, but that heart-breaking rush 
down-field was checked by the United States Marines. 

They were untried, inexperienced, green in the 
grim business of fighting; they were substitutes, if 
you will; but when the}^ went in it made all the 
diflFerence in the world to the losing side. For it was 
then that the French took heart of hope, and with 
their new allies at their elbows, they held the baffled 
Hun for downs on their five-yard line. 

At Soissons and After 

THE Second Division, to which the Marine 
Brigade belonged, was now one of the vet- 
eran divisions of the American Army in 
France, and I have seen it stated by correspondents 
on more than one occasion that, as a fighting unit, 
it was considered the equal of any division of any 
army in Europe. For that reason it was not allowed 
to rest idly on the laurels it had won at Belleau Wood 
but was repeatedly called upon for hard action up to 
the very moment of the cessation of hostilities. 

In July the Second Division was honoured by 
Marshal Foch who especially selected it to aid in 
leading the drive at Villers-Cotterets in the Soissons 
offensive. Again, in September, Pershing had the 
Second Division in the van at St. Mihiel. Later, in 
October, it took part in the attack on BlancMount 
which relieved the pressure about Rheims. And 
finally, it participated in the capture of Sedan and 
the final breaking of the strongest part of the German 

First, the Franco-American attack on Soissons, an 
action in which the Marines won no less credit than 
in the affair at Belleau Wood and which was part of 

a broader and more important movement. 



Undoubtedly the American successes in the Cha- 
teau-Thierry sector encouraged Foch to take the 
offensive in July. Because of the rapidly augmenting 
American armies in France he was able to bring up 
his splendid French reserves and strike the blow that 
placed the German commanders on the defensive and 
sounded the death knell to German hopes. He knew 
now that he could count on Americans to fight. He 
used them in that offensive and they did not fail him. 

It will be remembered that the drive that menaced 
Paris resulted in a deep, U-shaped salient thrust down 
from the Chemin-des-Dames to the Marne, its bot- 
tom resting on Belleau and Chateau-Thierry and the 
upper ends of the two sides being near Soissons and 
Rheims respectively. Rheims was held strongly 
against German attack, but Soissons had been in- 
cluded in the territory won by the drive. It was at 
Soissons, at the upper end of the left-hand side of the 
salient (See Diagram I), that Foch decided to launch 
the attack which had for its ultimate purpose the 
pinching out of the entire salient — a purpose even- 
tually achieved. Here the French General's superb 
strategy completely outwitted the Hun. He sud- 
denly massed his forces on an apparently inactive 
sector of the front and delivered a surprise attack in 
great force that drove confusion into the German 
armies and started the great withdrawal that proved 
so costly to the foe. 

The action which began on July i8th had for its 
immediate objective the cutting of communications 
between Soissons and Chateau-Thierry, thus leaving 


a large part of the German army in a helpless con- 
dition. The attack was launched at the Forest of 
Villers-Cotterets, on the western side of the Marne 
salient below Soissons. Foch used the French re- 
serves which he had been holding for an offensive, 
but he also summoned to his aid the available 
Americans, including the Marines. 

The two regiments of Marines, when they were 
withdrawn from the Chateau-Thierry sector, were 
placed under the command of Brigadier General 
Neville and were taken to La Fere, where they re- 
m^ained for a few days, resting and reorganizing. 
But they did not enjoy a long period of recuperation. 
They were summoned by Foch to help in the attack 
on Soissons and they left La Fere in camions. 

In a way Soissons was a bigger affair for the 
Marines than Belleau Wood, though entirely different 
in character. They were not required there to stop 
a German drive single-handed, but they took a not 
inconspicuous part in the big push that drove the 
Boche back from the Marne. Both the First and 
Second American Divisions participated in that 
attack, with the French Moroccan Division between 
them — one of the crack divisions of the French Army. 

The advance of the Marines to the point of attack 
was a memorable one. They were en route on motor 
lorries through the whole of one night, hiked during 
the greater part of the following day, and then, just 
as darkness began to fall, set out again. They 
marched until daylight, rested for only a few minutes, 
and then went in. The Fifth Regiment arrived at 


the front on the first day of the attack, July i8th. 
The Sixth relieved them on the second day. 

It was a wonderfully planned surprise attack, and 
the first day's advance of eight kilometres rendered 
the German position in the salient untenable and its 
evacuation inevitable. The part of the Second Di- 
vision in this offensive was the taking of Beau Repaire 
Farm and Vierzy in an advance of extraordinary 
rapidity in the face of a murderous machine gun fire 
which contested every step of the way. They reached 
the objective position in front of Tigny at the end 
of the second day. In this action the First and 
Second Divisions captured 7,000 prisoners and over 
400 pieces of artillery. 

I am again indebted to Floyd Gibbons, the corre- 
spondent of the Chicago Tribuney for a first-hand 
account of what the Marines did at Villers-Cotterets. 
Having somewhat recovered from the wounds he 
received at Belleau Wood, he stuck to the Marines 
and witnessed their mobilization for the new action. 
He was, quite unexpectedly, the only American 
correspondent at that point when Foch launched his 
big drive. 

"The Boche was prepared for an attack to come from 
that place/* said the war correspondent. "He had his 
Prussian Guards all prepared for it. His planes would 
come out at night looking for ammunition dumps and 
men and supplies, but there were none to be found. 
There was nothing to be seen but a little line of French- 
men, holding a hastily constructed trench on the edge of 
the forest. 


"The Germans believed the Frenchmen, for sentimen- 
tal reasons, would strike on July 14th — their national gala 
day. But they did not. The Germans were puzzled. 
There was no French movement of ammunition or troops, 
and they did not appear strong enough to hit. 

*So they took the Prussian Guards away and moved 
them over to the Rheims front on the other side of the 
salient for the purpose of getting Epernay and Chalons — 
the second phase of their offensive. They attacked there 
July 15 th. 

"When Foch learned the German policy he made the 
master stroke. From somewhere in the line he took the 
Seeond Division, including the Marines, and put them in 
to fill the gaps here and there. He used them all, too. 
Besides the division to which the Marines were attached, 
there was another — the finest in the whole French army. 
The combination of the two was the greatest compli- 
ment that could be given to the Marines by the French 
people. There were also some Morrocan troops, splendid 
fighters. These troops, chosen to serve with the Marines, 
are without a doubt the finest the French have. Alto-- 
gether some 70,000 men were used. 

"The Marines and the French had made some prelim- 
inary raids on the German lines and knew the exact 
strength of the forces that opposed them. I have the 
order, a slip of paper, that came round on the night of 
July 17th from the American Commander, saying: 'Men 
of the First and Second Divisions, this honour comes to 
you, and see that you respond to it.' 

"That night the weather for once played in the Allies' 
hands. It began to thunder, the lightning came and the 
skies spit fire. The rain came down like the spray of 
machine guns. 

"While the rain poured down, from every avenue 


came two long lines of steel trucks, ammunition wagons, 
and every sort of conveyance. On either side of the road, 
marching in single file, were American Marines, infantry, 
and others. All were moving forward. French cavalry, 
with the lances, were winding in and out of the trees. 
Little French tanks, green, yellow, brown, and blue, 
moved forward like monsters in the dark, guided by fel- 
lows walking in the front with Turkish towels wrapped 
around their shoulders, showing faintly white through the 
darkness. All moved through the forest of Villers- 

"It was 4:35. It would have been hell if the Germans 
had found out there were 70,000 men in the forest. Poi- 
sonous gases would have knocked out thousands of them, 
the place would have been filled with shrapnel — and that 
would have been the end of that movement! 

"The Marines had plainly the furthest distance to 
move to get into line, and they had to hurry to get there 
by the zero hour. Yet — would you believe it — after 
those poor fellows had been on the march all day long, 
they moved forward on the double time in order to get 
there on time. 

"Then, preceded by artillery barrages, they swept 
through village after village, scattering the Boche and 
cutting his communications by capturing the road be- 
tween Soissons and Chateau-Thierry. 

"The marching was awful. I talked with one chap 
who was sitting down to rest. When I asked him what 
was the matter, he said his feet were all in, and he could 
not run any further. 

" *I enlisted in the Marines to Jcill Germans,' he said, 
*but I did not think we had to run them to death. I 
recommend that they give us lassoes.' 

"Of course," said Mr. Gibbons, "this is not always the 


case. Frequently the Boche will hold his ground fairly 


**When the attack started, I never saw such spirit in 
my life. Side by side the infantry fought — one side those 
little French Moroccans, who are really wonderful fight- 
ing men. 

"I saw quite a sight when the Boche prisoners came 
back — a long column of them. We were on the edge of 
what was once a farm. Eight Boches walked ahead 
of this column, four abreast in front and four in the rear. 
They had between them two roughly constructed litters 
with coverings made of German hairy knapsacks. There 
w^ a wounded man on each of these litters. These two 
fellows, one an American and one a Moroccan, were up 
there in a half-sitting, half-reclining position, using the 
hairy knapsacks as pillows. Both appeared to be hit in 
the arms, and their clothing was covered with blood. 
Each had a cigarette. 

"There was a long line of prisoners following them. 
It was a curious procession. The American was calHng 
to every one who passed, shouting to this one and that 
one: *How do you do, boys?' You see reinforcements 
were coming forward all the time. 

"After a while this procession, led by the litters, 
moved up to where two American generals were standing. 
The American, who was smoking his cigarette and shout- 
ing greetings, spied the generals and poked his companion 

in the ribs. 

"It was the funniest thing to see those two fellows, 
up there on the litters, throw their cigarettes away, raise 
themselves to a sitting position on the litters being carried 
by the Boches, and bring their good arms to a salute 
when they arrived in front of the generals — for all the 
world like stern regimental commanders on parade. 


"During this never-to-be-forgotten fight of July i8th, 
they captured many German 77*8 and other guns, fre- 
quently turning them around and letting them go at the 
Boches. Marines should never forget July 18th." 

It was in this action that Private Elmer Groves of 
Billings, Mont., emulated the example of some of his 
comrades at Belleau Wood and brought in a batch 
of German prisoners single-handed. This is the 
story as told by George H. Seldes, correspondent of 
the Buffalo Express: 

"Groves had lost his company in the confusion of the 
attack at Villers-Cotterets on July 19th. He wandered 
about the battlefield until he heard a gunner firing over 
a knoll. Wearily he approached the enemy position, and 
gaining a point of vantage, plugged his man through the 
hand. The German could no longer work the machine 
gun, so he got his revolver and was about to shoot again 
when Groves shot him through the head. 

"The noise of the duel disturbed other Germans who 
were weathering the American artillery showers in dug- 
outs. Groves approached the men and, bombs in hand, 
called upon the Boches to surrender. One by one they 
stumbled up the dugout steps, hands over their heads. 
Groves asked one of them to bandage his bleeding hand, 
and then, not knowing where his company was, marched 
his thirty-five prisoners to regimental headquarters and 
got a receipt for them. He was told to go on and have 
his wound treated." 

A letter written by Sergeant K. P. Spencer of 
Kansas City, Mo., gives an unusually colourful 


picture of the engagement from the fighter^s point 
of view. He writes : 

"The day the Germans began an offensive on the 
Chateau-Thierry-Rheims front we were standing by in 
a small village in the rear of Chateau-Thierry. The of- 
fensive began that morning — the next morning we were 
in trucks riding toward Soissons. An Allied drive was to 
begin the following morning, July 1 8th, and our division 
was to start the ball rolHng. 

"After the truck ride came a forced march through 
one of the largest forests in France — immense trees 
eighty and ninety feet high on both sides of the road as 
far as one could see. It was a narrow road but thousands 
and thousands of men were going forward over it. A 
traffic jam on Grand Avenue couldn't compare with the 
congested condition of this single road leading through 
the woods. 

"Overhead were dozens of airplanes, all of them Al- 
Hed (the supremacy of air was necessary to protect and 
cover the movement of troops). Filing down the right 
side of the road were three columns of infantry, down 
the left two columns; on the right centre a continuous 
stream of vehicles, machine guns, carts, provision and 
munition trucks, hundreds of artillery pieces and their 
caissons; occasionally a general in his auto; large French 
tanks and British armoured cars, and probably best 
of all the French cavalry, regiment after regiment, going 
forward at a trot. On the left side of the road coming 
out were trucks, ambulances, wagon trains, and artillery 

"All the allied troops of the world were represented 
here — the Americans in their khaki; Moroccans and 
Italians wearing a dirty brown coloured uniform; the 


Scots in their kilts; Englishmen and Canadians in their 
khaki; Irish troops wearing tam-o*-shanters, and the 
French wearing all the different shades of blue imaginable. 
Here was a display of colours that outclassed the rain- 

"About 10 p. M. it began raining and we were soon 
drenched. After about an hour of sHding and slipping 
around in the mud we left the main drag and made camp 
under the trees. It was still raining but we were too 
tired and sleepy to mind it so were soon asleep. Next 
morning we were awakened at 4:30 a. m. by the bang, 
bang of several guns, which was soon followed by thou- 
sands of them. I have never heard a barrage that could 
begin to compare with this one; we were only a couple 
of hundred yards in front of a six-inch battery and the 
concussion from these large guns was fearful. 

"After two hours of this bombarding, our division, ex- 
cepting this regiment which was reserve, went over. 
Little resistance was met. By eleven o'clock the line 
had been advanced ten kilometres and thousands of Ger- 
man prisoners were being marched back (most of them 
carrying in our wounded and a few of their own). The 
third line of Hun artillery was passed that day, hundreds 
of large guns captured and thousands of machine guns. 
The attack had been a complete surprise so the Germans 
had either thrown away everything and started running 
or had been taken prisoner. 

"As reserves we followed the advance. The road was 
more congested than the night before, if such was pos- 
sible. Hundreds of tanks, armoured cars, and motorcycle 
machine guns were going forward. The Germans were 
on the run — we were to keep them going. Toward 
night we made camp in the woods and slept. We were 
to attack the next morning. 


"At 4 A. M. the barrage was on and we were soon going 
forward. The attack was scheduled for 7 a. M. A few 
minutes before this hour we were formed in two more 
formations on the top of a small hill about 1,000 yards 
from the Germans. The Germans were on the reverse 
side of a hill in front of us. About three kilometres be- 
hind them was the edge of a woods, our objective. 

"While we were waiting, the Hun artillery and ma- 
chine gunners got busy and clicked off a few casualties, 
mostly leg wounds, for they were shooting low. We hadn't 
waited long until we saw the remainder of the regiment 
coming up behind us. There must have been six or 
ei^ht waves of them; perfect lines and at intervals of thirty 
yards. Behind the second wave was a line of tanks. Oh, 
what a sight, one that even made you forget the Germans 
were only a short way off shooting at you. 

"This formation soon passed through our own and we 
followed. The tanks did wonderful work that day clear- 
ing out machine gun nests, but they drew much artillery 
fire which inflicted many casualties on the infantry. The 
Germans threw up a barrage of high explosives and ma- 
chine gun bullets but we continued to advance and soon 
had taken the hill they had occupied. Here we dug in 
and awaited orders. You should have seen us dig — it 
was no time at all until every man had a hole of some sort. 

"Yes, we dug in and we remained. We gained six 
kilometres that day and all objectives were taken. That 
night at 12 o'clock we were relieved and started toward 
the rear. Since then we have been travelling in a leisurely 
manner away from the front." 

The two letters which follow, dealing with this 
same adventure, fairly illustrate the cheerful atti- 
tude of the average Marine lying wounded in the 


hospital. Private Kenet Weikal of Middletown, 
Ohio, writes: 

"I have seen and fallen over many dead Germans in 
the past months. I have also quite a few souvenirs, but 
have thrown some away. It makes things so heavy to 
carry around on the different and many hikes, but if ever 
I return, I'll bring a few back with me. One of the 
souvenirs I have is a piece of the shrapnel that went into 
my leg; it's about one inch and one-half long; quite a nice 
thing. I also have a German belt and several buckles 
with brass and silver. I had a hard time getting them 
as the dead German was down in a deep hole and to get 
to him I had to step all over him. I also have a pocket- 
book and several marks. 

"I was wounded on the 1 8th, perhaps you know by 
this time. It was about 9:20 in the morning when our 
batteries and tanks started and we followed the tanks. 

"I was in the fourth wave. The first two waves are 
much better than the others. After going over for about 
600 yards and about 100 yards from a small town which 
was one of our objectives, I received my wound when 
two big shrapnel shells exploded beside the squad I was 
in (the first in the line), receiving it in my leg. The next 
fellow got his left hand blown oflF, the next was shell 
shocked and lost his voice, and so on. I could use all 
the paper in the 'Y' telling how each of us got wounded 
or killed. It sure is horrible. It is something that is 
impossible to express, but there is something humorous. 
As when we just started over, a high explosive shell lit 
right behind one fellow on my right, and as you know 
most of the power of a shell goes before it, so, in this 
case, it didn't hurt the fellow, but just raised him off 
the ground about three feet. Then turning around he 


said: *That one sure had whiskers!* The same fellow 
had his bayonet taken away by a big shell. But over 
here one is taught and drilled to take death with a grin. 

"We have captured quite a few of the German machine 
guns and in every case the men were chained to their 
guns. Being able to speak a little German myself, I asked 
a young German wounded who was only eighteen years 
old, how long he had been in the service. He said his 
mother had hidden him in the woods for two years and 
that he had just been at the front two days. There are 
ever so many cases like this. 

"I am still in the hospital at Bordeaux with but few 
new changes. Yesterday I was given ether, then had my 
wound sewed up. To-day I am walking around without 
crutches. They can't keep me down (they can't keep a 
good man down). Ether is sure awful stuff. When I was 
coming to I made love to the nurse." 

Private Robert U. Neal, 45th Company, Fifth 
Regiment, v^rote as follows to his father, Mr. J. H. 
Neal of the Committee on Public Information : 

"I have reached the base hospital at last in fairly good 
spirits and am able to hobble around a little, just as a 
wounded guy should. This is a fine place but just a bit 
awkward without money — no pay yet, you know. 

"Every doggone personal thing that I owned in the 
way of toilet kit (present from Warren), wallet (present 
from Uncle Wialt), my address book, your pictures, foun- 
tain pen, etc., is somewhere out in No Man's Land. You 
see, Hell was a-poppin' so fast during that attack, that 
toilet kits and excess baggage just couldn't find a lodgment 
in my cerebrum a-tall. 

"Us Marines and doughboys went over the top O. K. 


you know, with the tank fleet leading the procession. We 
had gone several kilometres when one of the many little 
machine gun bullets stopped its 'wee-ee' song long enough 
to rip off my gas mask and tear my shirt open. That 
little manoeuvre swung me around to such an inviting 
positon that I stopped two more of those sweet singing 
little hunks of lead with my chest. Luckily they hit my 
bandoliers and no more than bruised me, although my 
chest is still pretty sore. 

" TU catch up as soon as I can get my breath,' said I 
to the rear Sergeant at the end of the column. Just then 
a bold, audacious hunk of an eight-inch heavy skipped 
through my legs instead of around me as any gentlemanly 
shell would have done, but who ever heard of a Hun shell 
acting like a gentleman.? So there you have the story 
of how it happened, dear father. 

"Darn! There is a lop-eared son-of-a-gun playing all 
mother's pieces on the piano. I have counted six so far. 
This is a punk time for getting homesick. 

"We have the use of a good library here, which just 
about saves my life, the 'Y' to write in, moving pictures, 
billiard table, shower baths, wash room, regular human 
chow, and a civilized bunk. All that I really need is a 
toilet kit and a pay-day, Hope to get both in the near 

"About half a dozen of my company are down here so 
I can find some one to chat with. Believe they actually 
deliver mail here once in a while, so I might get some of 
your letters. Wonderful thought. 

"Hope you and mother are both well and can stand for 
my living this life of sinful ease for a few weeks.'* 

Of all the literature which this war has produced, 
I know of nothing more thrilling and vivid, or that 


more truly expresses the soldier's sensations in battle, 
than a series of letters written by Sergeant Arthur 
R. M. Ganoe of the Marines to an old friend, Mr. 
A. W. Brown of Pittsburgh. They appeared first in 
the Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, and I shall take the 
liberty of quoting from them at some length. After 
some preliminary paragraphs on the fighting of the 
Marines, Sergeant Ganoe continues as follows: 

"Then on the evening of July i6th we suddenly 
pulled stakes and vaulted into camions or French 
motor trucks. The boys love these vehicles. The 
springs are so staunch and stiff, the hard seats are 
so dependable, like boards laid on the round side 
of overturned beer kegs; and their capacity is so 
blindly ignored when they are loaded. The comment 
heaped on the guileless French driver during an all- 
night ride is so refreshing that you don't get tired in 
any particular place, just all over. But this time 
the boys were cheerful during the first stages of 
agony. Although they had no supper there was 
quite a bit of singing and 'kidding.' They believed 
themselves at last on the way to a well-earned and 
longed-for rest. I had a hunch, but said nothing. 
If ever men needed a rest and deserved it they did. 
So it was good to hear these young veterans sing 
once more! Then, too, their arguments were logical. 
We had been issued no emergency rations, a prime 
essential in the movement of troops who leave their 
field kitchen behind. But such things are accom- 
plished so easily at the last moment. 


"All night long as we bumped over the traffic-torn 
roads off to the right the red reflection of the heavies 
kept pace with us. And I knew my hunch was 
right. We were not ofF to a rest camp. When dawn 
peeped above the purple horizon we pulled into a 
little village and crawled out of the camion. We were 
hungry and thirsty, and oh, so sleepy! And we had 
a long, long road to foot. It started to rain as we 
started to hike. The booming of the big guns dis- 
illusioned the boys. They were drunk on misery. 
Yet not one word of protest was uttered. 

"A division cannot be moved over one road and 
expect to arrive on the line in proper formation. 
All the roads leading to the objective must be utilized. 
And some parts of the division will be dumped quite 
a long way from their place in the line. This is to 
avoid congestion of the main traffic arteries. We 
were dumped twenty-five kilometres from our 
destination. So we hiked and hiked, till the road 
beneath us rose in dusty protest at our ceaseless 
tramp, tramp, tramp. Toward noon we got some 
water. Everywhere were American troops. We 
climbed mountains and descended hills, skirted 
jungles and ploughed through worse. It stopped 
raining and the sun came out. Sweat followed suit. 
Our suits were steaming. Canteens went dry. So 
did we. 

"In the afternoon we struck through a huge wood. 
Magnificent trees! All the linderbrush had been 
cleared out. It was replaced by shells! Acres on 
acres were piled high with shells of every calibre! 


Most of 'em were made in America. How that sight 
gladdened our tired minds! And around the edges 
of this stupendous mountain of death there was the 
liveHest activity, a subdued excitement that boded 
ill. American and French ammunition trains came 
tearing, galloping, whirling in dust-clouds ahead of 
smoking exhausts, into that trembling woods. With 
seeming recklessness shells were tossed into the 
wagons and camions, which departed with fresh 
haste. A flood of giant trucks steamed into that 
wood, dumped their loads of ammunition and whirled 
away for more. We boys tightened our belts and 
determined to stick around. Something was doing! 
" Finally we emerged on the main road. And what 
a road! It was a nightmare, a thousand bedlams. 
I've seen the busiest thoroughfares in the world. 
They were country lanes compared to this road. 
There was noise, noise, and more noise worse con- 
founded. It was a Niagara of sound, a mighty dia- 
pason that deafened us. The shouting and curses 
in 'steen different languages, the crunch and grind 
of wheels, the groan of gears, the crackling of whips, 
the clang of metal, the pounding of countless horses' 
hoofs, the chugging of streams of motors and the 
screams of their many-throated sirens, empty ammu- 
nition trains coming and loaded ones going, light 
artillery and heavy artillery, tanks in platoons, 
trucks in companies, field kitchens, water wagons, 
supply trains, ration carts, officers' cars, motorcycles, 
all fought for space and air in which to make their 
own peculiar noise vibrate. Every square foot of 


that road, broad and gummy-surfaced, supported 
something all the time, while the ditches on both 
sides were used by endless lines of plodding Ameri- 
cans, faint from hunger and thirst, almost exhausted 
for want of sleep, but all thrilled by the hunger for 
Huns that will be satisfied only by victory and peace. 

"The World was about to strike the Huns. Mar- 
shal Foch was behind us. So, these hungering 
Americans plodded on and on, without complaint. 
That road with its babel of streaming traffic told 
us something big was about to happen. And we all 
secretly congratulated ourselves on being considered 
good enough to have a part in the big show. 

"The tanks were the most cheering sight. In our 
previous ventures over the top we had done for the 
Hun with artillery and rifles only. We never had 
seen a tank in action, but we believed it would be 
a comfort to have them with us. Had we only known ! 

"Toward evening it was pure agony to pass a 
French kitchen, located in the woods that flanked 
both sides of the road. We took to robbing the water- 
wagons as they passed. The Frenchman is a volup- 
tuous little cusser and we gave those poor drivers 
every chance to display their undoubted talent. 
They slashed at us with their whips when their voices 
gave out, but we didn^t mind. When a man gets to 
a certain stage of dryness, such as he might feel 
after thirty Turkish baths have fried him out, a 
thousand devils wouldn't prevent him from robbing 
a water-wagon. It reminded me of Kipling's 'But 
when it comes to slaughter, you'll do your work on 


water, and you'll kiss the bloomin' boots of him that's 
got it.' Good old Kip — he knows! 

"Looking back along the line, I saw a lad with 
a loaf of French bread. I stepped aside and waited 
for him. In the presence of that loaf I actually 
trembled, as a lover will in the presence of some peach 
he would die to possess. 

"*Where'd you get it.?' 

" 'Frenchman — the makin's,' came between the 

"Congestion soon halted the line, and I soon pro- 
cured three loaves of bread and a cup of heavenly 
wine. They cost me half a tobacco sack (all I had) 
and a pack of cigarette papers. And the French 
cook, by a wealth of gestures and a shameful waste 
of words, finally informed me that the grand show 
would open in the morning. "^The bread disap- 
peared. And all spirits in my vicinity perked up 

"Every now and then we'd come to a place in 
the road where a shell had exploded recently. At 
one place there were five and a half horses and some 
blue helmets. These were dragged aside hastily. 
And then what a furious race ensued as the halted 
traffic now dashed ahead to close the gap in the 
stream of war wheels. 

"Around 5 o'clock the Major, who had gone to 
headquarters in a commandeered automobile, re- 
joined us and we stopped for a rest. I dropped down 
in the ditch and eased my pack straps from the'spots 
that ached. I forgot to state that I had been attached 


to battalion headquarters as liaison non-com. The 
Major came over and sat beside me. 

"'Sergeant/ he said, * have the men got emergency 
rations?' I knew my company had none. 

"'No, sir/ I replied. 

"'What!' he exclaimed. 'Why in h — haven't 

they? Maj. G (who had taken charge while 

our Major was in hospital) told me they had !* 

"I could have told him why they had none, but 
refrained. He is the finest man in the Marine outfit. 
He is known as 'Johnny the Hard'. The title was 
bestowed by his affectionate men years ago because 
he will bawl any one out from a buck private in the 
rear rank to a Colonel on the general staff for good 
reason. He is as keen as a razor, indefatigable in 
the line of duty, a soldier from top to toes, and an old 
hand. I wasn't in the mood to receive a tongue 
lashing, so I referred him to the Captain of the nearest 
company. After the Major had exploded with the 
effect of a big gas shell we resumed the hike. 

*' Finally, after several parleys with French officers 
and a close study of maps, the Major struck out 
along a quieter road. We hiked and hiked and hiked 
till our shoes quit squeaking. Dusk dropped his 
curtain. The road gradually became deserted. Soon 
we were the only men in sight. We zigzagged 
from side to side, ducking trees cut off by big 
shells. Suddenly we were confronted by a ges- 
ticulating Frenchman, who refused to let us pass. 
His eloquence barred our way. The Major was 
impatient. He sent back for an interpreter. Then 

it (^ 


the Frenchman had an idea. He grasped the Major's 
arm and, pointing along the road, he dramatically 
uttered, *Boche!' 

What!' said our Major, 'Combien kilometres?' 
'Non, non! Kilometre!' hissed the little Man in 

One hundred metres at forty inches a metre, 
turned over in our minds and made us uncomfortable. 
As an Enghshman would have said: *If hide 'ad a 
'andkerchief hide 'ave mopped me brow.' The 
Major shook hands admiringly with that Frenchman. 
And we discreetly withdrew to a woods, like a lady 
to her boudoir, assisted by five shells that burst 
on either side the road. A runner from R. H. I. found 
us and delivered an order to dig in. 

"Meantime darkness had blotted out all but the 
trees, and between the bark of *heavies' we caught 
the deep-throated roll of thunder. A soldier who 
has had two months of open work of out-door war- 
fare, in which artillery has played the leading role, 
has to be very, very tired to ignore an order to dig 
in, a scant kilometre back of the first line, the worst 
spot on the field. We dug in. When nature's storm 
broke we meekly rolled up in our ponchos and 
dropped to the ground asleep. The closing misery of 
that day came in the shape of rain-water trickling 
down my back as sleep knocked us unconscious. 
And I had not strength enough left to mutter a curse! 

" Before dawn next morning we were up, standing 
by, awaiting the barrage. We were not scheduled 
to work that day. But reserves are held in readiness 


to act instantly. The last of the tanks that had found 
shelter in our wood the preceding day trundled away 
by 4 A. M. Nothing was left to divert our attention 
from gnawing stomachs. We tightened our belts 
again and tried to concentrate on the barrage to come. 
We expected something extraordinary. But we were 
utterly unprepared for what did happen. 

"At 4:30 A. M., July 1 8th, there was an explosion — 
a grand, glorious, terrific, ear-gouging explosion. It 
never wavered. It lasted for hours without interrup- 
tion. The earth shook up and down and sideways. 
The very foundations of the Teutonic dynasties must 
have trembled fearfully, for it heralded the long- 
awaited new order of things. The Driver became the 
Driven, the Offender the Defender. I thought I 
knew what a barrage was. I had heard 1,600 guns 
of all calibres discharged simultaneously and had 
thought it the Himalayan topmost peak of din. 
But this barrage! It shook the leaves oflF the trees! 
The heavens came down and the earth went up; 
I can't describe it. The great organ of eternity was 
rolling out its thunder from the world^s end to world's 
end. The mills of the Gods were grinding, and they 
grind, exceeding small. 

"And we revelled in this gargantuan explosion 
like starving men set down to milk and honey. For- 
gotten were our empty stomachs! Forgotten were 
parched throats, cracked Hps, blistered feet, aching 
joints, and wet clothes ! Our eyes shone like a zealot's 
and our hearts filled with the glory and splendour 
of that mighty thunder. O, man! What a grand 


and glorious feeling that was! One lad said: T 
never want to have a grander feeling or Fd just 
naturally die of joy.* 

"Two hours later, the guns still on double-forte, 
we started up the road on which the Frenchman had 
flagged us the night before. A hundred yards be- 
yond where he had turned us back lay a dead Ger- 
man. Near him was a machine gun placed to com- 
mand that road. This road was a replica of other 
roads. If anything, the congestion now was worse. 
Huge trees uprooted by giant shells required detours, 
while the engineers worked like beavers to clear 
away the massive tops. Reserve tanks and artillery 
lined either side of the road. Ambulances now 
mixed with the various wagons of war. Weaving 
in and out through the traffic came the walking 
wounded. Germans bearing improvised stretchers 
and batches of from ten to thirty Boche prisoners. 
The air was peopled with airplanes. The sharp 
clatter of their machine guns occasionally rose 
above the rumble of the artillery. 

"We had travelled about three kilometres when we 
met the first big haul of the front-line fishermen. 
There were about 200 Huns and five officers. The 
boys have learned a lot about human nature in the 
last few months. They read faces. The face of one 
of those officers roused their ire. He was brazen 
and contemptuous. 'Kill the Boche T some one 
shouted. Many a hand slipped to an automatic. 
Lordy, how we hate the German officer, arrogant, 
full of bile, and raging inwardly at his capture! One 


of the grimy-faced guards taking those prisoners to 
the rear shouted after us: 

" 'We got more than this spawn! You oughta 
see the artillery! Some 210s/ Better news never 
came back from the front line. 

"In our first encounters with the Boche we learned 
many things. We learned that the German infantry 
has a horror of hand-to-hand fighting and will run 
or surrender rather than try such combat with us. 
We learned that the sole protection of the Boche 
artillery lay in the effectiveness of front-line machine 
guns and its own accuracy. We came to believe 
the backbone of the German infantry was their 
artillery. Every battle since has strengthened that 
belief. And such a situation in any army has a 
demoralizing effect. The infantry should be the 
backbone of the artillery! Our boys say: *0h, 
if the powers-that-be would only dispense with the 
artillery on both sides and let us mix it man to man, 
we'd have BerUn in a week!' That's the spirit pro- 
tecting our artillery, and it's appreciated. You 
may get an idea of the confidence placed by our 
artillerymen in our infantry when I tell you I have 
seen three-inch pieces drawn up within 2,000 yards 
of the front line, where the fighting could be seen 
with the naked eye and one had to duck bullets. 
That's cooperation with a vengeance. So news of 
the capture of heavy artillery, the only dependable 
fighting machinery of the enem}^ tickled us all over 
and clear through. Further reports set the number 
of cannon captured as 200, ranging from 77s or 


three-inch to 2ios or eight-inch. And the absence 
of reply to our battering batteries confirmed such 

"We were wild with glee. Other reports dealt with 
the conduct of the fleeing Germans, the demoraliza- 
tion following the loss of their artillery, the capture 
of a Boche Colonel and his staff, and the taking of 
fifteen villages. 

** Meantime our battalion took up a position at 
the edge of the wood and awaited orders. After the 
first excitement passed our attention fell back on 
our empty stomachs. We counted again the hours 
since our last meal. It was forty-two. For that 
many years, it seemed, w^e had been without food, 
sleep, and water rations and we had worked as men 
never worked before. The nervous strain had kept 
us on our feet and yet those men were willing, yes 
fretting, to get into the thick of battle. Who kept 
us back in reserve ? With what righteous anger the 
men asked that question. They declared they would 
bear such misery for months just to keep the Hun 

"Then the miracle happened. A big truck drew 
up by the roadside and began to dump boxes — boxes 
of canned beef, tomatoes, prunes, and bread. Fifteen 
minutes later there were a thousand utterly radiant 
soldiers ravenously gulping a real feed and easing 
their thirst — ^with tomato juice. 

** But war considers no man's pleasure. In the mid- 
dle of the feast came the rattle and clatter of machine 
guns, temporarily acting as aerial defence. Came 


swooping down from the sky directly over us four 
planes. *The Iron Cross!' We grabbed our rifles. 
'Germans!' 'Hold on!' as rifles were sighted; 'it's 
a Frenchman and three Heinies after him!' 

"Points in this aerial battle at close range come and 
go too quickly for recognition almost. The clever 
Gaul is outwitting the Boche pilots. The four 
planes whirl directly over our heads ^00 feet from 
the ground, the Frenchman a few yards ahead and 
lowest. They clear the tops of the trees and circle 
over a field in front of us. The Boche pilots pour lead 
at the handicapped Frenchman, who desperately turns 
the nose of his craft upward. The Germans must have 
been looking for such a move. They elevate and 
close in on him. A fierce rattle of machine guns! 
A plane drops nose-foremost. Straight down it 
comes, then — ^we gasp in avid admiration — ^within 
twenty feet of the ground the French pilot with 
superb daring jerks his responsive machine to a 
level keel and sails off, clipping the heads oflF the 
grain ! 

"We shout a millionth part of the joy we feel and 
open fire on the Boche machines that hover, it seems 
angrily, over where the Gaul should have met dis^ 
aster. Their amazed disappointment actually evi- 
dences itself in the way they handle their craft. 
They attempt several times to swoop down on the 
Frenchman, who has alighted. But a thousand rifles 
in the hands of Marines who know how to shoot is 
a court of death. Each time they approach we 
tear holes in their wings. They must have gone 


only for more ammunition, for we had hardly finished 
our meal when they returned with two companions. 
We took cover and opened fire. They manoeuvred 
and swooped down on us, all together, spitting 
bullets by the reel. But the way we used our rifles 
made those Hun machine guns look pale and ill. 
Things began to thicken up when a French air 
squadron plumped into sight. Our buzzards left 
abruptly. We were sorry! We were having the time 
of our lives! And we might have got 'em all. Then 
we were ordered to dig in, and with full stomachs 
and light hearts we turned to. By 5 o'clock every 
one had a hole. At 5 :30 we left the wood and our holes 
behind to take a position nearer the front line, which 
was pushing ahead with surprising rapidity. 

"We came to a crossroads and turned to the right. 
From here one could see a deal of country. It was 
all grain fields. Streams of men, of horses and ar- 
tillery were everywhere. We cut across an enormous 
field of wheat. On our right lay a French plane, 
apparently none the worse for its adventure. To 
the left lay a big German plane. One wondered if 
the little Frenchman had conquered the big Hun. 
To our left was also a German trench and the dead 
who remained after one of our tanks had passed its 

** 'Here they come!' 

*T looked ahead and saw a column of men — Ger- 
mans — marching toward us, four abreast. Appar- 
ently there was no end to that column. I bethought 
me to count the fours. At least twenty officers were 


at the head of that column. They were the happiest 
prisoners alive, I believe. Those Germans who spoke 
English cheered us on. One shouted: *Give *em 
hell, boys. It won't last long!' Those who spoke 
French shouted encouragement to the Frenchmen 
and the burden of their shout was: *Fini la guerre!' 
(Finish the war.) The French were tickled. I 
counted fours to the extent of 205 and lost track 
then through trying to hear everything that was 
said. I estimated the batch of prisoners at 1,300. 
And the majority were so young. It made one's 
heart ache to think of how recently they had been 
dragged from their mothers' hearths by the Kaiser's 
mailed fist. Nothing but rosy-cheeked, red-lipped, 
bright-eyed boys! We vowed again to do our best 
in the coming fight that the world might see a speedy 
end of the outrageous clique of men who send to 
hopeless slaughter the children of their nation for 
the sake of mere temporal pomp and power and to 
protect their own rhinoceros hides! There was 
pure murder in the men's eyes now. 

"We passed a line of batteries, famous French 
75s, pounding, pounding. Over the country ahead 
we counted five hangars, or what had been hangars. 
Now they were grotesquely twisted steel skeletons, 
deserted by the Huns. We passed through a wee 
village, came into another wheat field, formed for 
attack, and stopped for the night. We occupied a 
knoll. On the slope below was a line of queer-looking 
dots. In the hollow proper were three 75 batteries. 
Up to the left were still more batteries. We searched 


the landscape in the direction they were shooting. 
We found their target. It was on the farthest hill. 
The last rays of the sun outlined it clearly. It was 
a long line of tanks. Their artillery having been 
captured, the Huns brought into the fight these tanks 
as a substitute. When we first sighted them they 
were spitting fire from their one-pounders. And they 
were moving. In a half hour they were in ruins. 
And through glasses w^e saw the German infantry 
fleeing past them, running as only scared Huns can 
run, helter-skelter, every man for himself, the devil 
fake the hindmost. Our batteries rested and a 
skirmish line of Americans came on the scene pur- 
suing the Germans. The hill was ours! 

"Then we went down to examine those queer dots 
below us. *Guns, German guns. Eighty-eights. 
Hundred and fives!' And we tore down on them. 
They were placed in deep holes, with only the muzzles 
sticking out. Large piles of shells were near each 
gun. The Germans transport their shells in wicker 
baskets, small caHbres having three compartments. 
The 2io-shell is given its own basket. 

"After the sun had set the slope before us began 
to be covered "with Chasseurs de Cheval, the light 
cavalry of France. They were massed on that slope 
by the thousand and still they came. We wondered 
where they all came from and where they had ob- 
tained their horses. Again we had that feeling of 
doing big things. For they were to go over the top 
with us on the morrow. 

"The day was succeeded by one of those nights 


that sets a fellow to dreaming of the folks back home. 
I had the io-to-12 watch. From the road at the 
right came the steady clinkety-clank, cHnkety-clank 
of tanks — an endless stream of tanks going for- 
ward for the morning attack. I had not dreamed 
there were so many tanks in the whole of France 
or in the world. To the right and left and in front 
the Germans sent up star-shells that lighted the 
country in an unearthly glare. One could judge 
the extent of their demoralization by the continuous 
stream of star-shells they sent up. Often a cannon 
would bark somewhere. Always it was our cannon. 
The Huns had none. How safe we felt with their 
guns harvested behind our lines. When 12 o'clock 
came I rolled up in my wet blanket and slept as I 
never slept before behind the front line in easy reach 
of the Germans. So ended the morning and the 
evening of the first day." 

"Base Hospital No. 20, A. E. F. 

"Dear Brownie — Fm a very lucky hombre. Went 
over the top at 8:20 a. m., July 21st. High explosive 
shell hit the road alongside of me and never touched 
me. The gas blinded and choked me and I fell 
into a shallow dugout alongside the road. Just then 
the dugout was blown up and the last of my sensa- 
tions was of floating up, up, up, minus my left leg. 
Some time later, when I got back to earth, a hos- 
pital apprentice assured me I was all there. Consid- 
ering all this Fm feeling pretty good. 

"I've been to the land from which only cooks and 


chaplains return. And Tve all my arms and legs! 
Why? I don't know, unless God and Our Country 
has further use for me before the Kaiser puts my 
address on a shell. An English Tommy told me 
before I went up to the battlefront that if I were 
lucky my trials and troubles would end the first day 
and were I extremely out of luck, Fd duck along 
for a year or two. I smiled incredulously then. 
But he was right. I believe that if it ever is neces- 
sary for me again to endure what the last seventeen 
days have battered in and out of me, I should be 
a raving maniac. Nothing in history, in heaven or 
earth, nor nightmares of a deranged mind can offer 
simile to this war. Sherman's expression is of the 
far past, and civilized. At that time it may have 
been an apt description. But we have the electric 
furnace to-day, with its thousand degrees of heat. 
Compare it with a candle. So battles have inten- 
sified, until they are a million hells rolled into one. 
This is weak, weak! For no man, though he command 
all the knowledge of the ages and the universe, could 
in a terse expression conjure for the world an ade- 
quate description or comparison of war to-day. But 
Tm not going to continue in that strain. 

"I've had a few days' rest since my last battle 
and my nerves have quieted considerably here in the 
hospital. Oh, the sweet rest! After one has survived 
nine days of continuous shell fire, witnessed all the 
numbing scenes of the most hellish bombardments 
by shells of from i- to 15-inch calibre, classed shrap- 
nel, high explosives, and gas, one may be excused for 


a slight case of nerves. Considering that we had 
neither dugouts nor trenches for protection, that 
we held fast under what veteran French officers swore 
was one of the most terrific shell-storms in their 
vast experience, that we actually stopped the Ger- 
mans and drove the arrogant Huns back — consider- 
ing all this we Marines, every one of us, believe 
ourselves the luckiest warriors in the world. But let 
us digress. 

"It has ceased raining at last and France appears 
to be doing her utmost to square herself on the 'sunny 
stuff.' Man, this is a fine morning, the sun shining 
brightly, the wind blowing gently over a rolling green 
country stretching away to the uttermost reach of 
sight, dotted here and there with clumps of wood 
and red-tiled, picturesque stone houses. It's a 
beautiful part of a wonderful country, but for all of 
its promising beauty there is something lacking. 
Even a novice can sense the air of desertion and deso- 
lation hanging over the placid scene. It affects one 
like the painting of an artist who cannot reproduce 
the life, the soul of his subject. Life! There's not 
a living creature to be seen. No moving thing in 
all those miles of country. No haze of smoke haloing 
yonder village, no cattle browsing on those verdant 
slopes, no farmers working back and forth across 
those strips of cultivated ground. The soul of the 
country has been stunned, battered into uncon- 
sciousness by the ravaging Hun. 

"A closer scrutiny of the nearer buildings brings 
a sense of the grotesque — they don't look plumb; 


they're out of true. It's too far away to be distinct, 
but the perpendicular line of yonder steeple curves 
in and out again as though some giant hand had 
torn away a fistful of the masonry. The roof of the 
house off to the right appears to sag in the centre 
and there stands a wall perhaps thirty feet in height, 
without a supporting side — What's that? A dull, 
droning humming sound like a monstrous bee over- 
head. There's another, louder, nearer! Tutt, putt-t, 
prrrrrht — putt.' — Machine guns! There they are, 
outlined against the sun, two transparent yellow 
spots that circle, whirl, dive and mount swiftly, 
gracefully, the poetry of motion, manoeuvring for 
mastery, majestic in their elemental swoop and dash 
and bravery. Two lone eagle-men in the eagle's 
realm are in combat. They charge. They feint. 
They tack and twist. They dive and bounce upward, 
wings flashing, Hke giant ospreys or cormorants, 
love-rivals. Thrilling, thrilling, thrilling! As you 
watch them, your heart in your bosom seems to 
move in concert with every swoop and dash of the 
eagle-men. The result of this battle, in a day or 
two, may mean life or death to us who walk terra 


"There, a black ball of smoke opens beneath those 
dashing fliers. Another and another. High explo- 
sive. Now two balls of yellow smoke, closer to them 
than the black— shrapnel. Ah, one is falling. One 
eagle tumbles like a plummet. The round world 
rises to meet him. He's afire! French or Boche? 
We don't know, but we hope 


"Wommph — Bzzzzhhhr — Bang! A 155-shell has 

"The face of the earth is deserted. Not a man 
is in sight where a moment before were twenty- 
Vanished! Where? Were they blown to atoms? 
See those Httle mounds of earth, neatly covered, 
carefully concealed by boughs and leaves? Beside 
each of those mounds is a hole and in each hole a man, 
maybe two. While you listened to the song of the 
enemy shell, they dropped into the bowels of the 

"At first we lost men through inexperience. They 
couldn't tell a shell's direction by its whistle. Some 
of us ducked when there was no need. Some of us 
did not duck when the need was imperative. But 
now our ears are educated and we can spend more 
time than formerly outside our dugouts. We do 
not needlessly tire ourselves climbing in and out. 

"Our invincible sense of humour sticks with us 
Americans. That is the miracle amid all this blood 
and death and crashing of cannon. And it is worked 
overtime. Everything in this battle life is so novel 
and grotesque. Passing through a trench I came on 
a gunnery Sergeant sitting in his dugout, the roof 
of which had been blown off. He was squeezing the 
stump of his arm, which had been amputated near 
the shoulder by a piece of high-explosive shell. At 
the instant I stopped to give aid there ran down on 
us a panic-stricken youth who had been rudely 
ejected from his hole by a 155. In passing us he 
stumbled over the Sergeant's detached arm in the 


centre of the ditch. He paused for a second, glanced 
at what had interrupted his speed, raised his eyes 
to the Sergeant's stump, moaned dolefully, and 
resumed his flight at redoubled speed. The wounded 
Sergeant spat out a copious spout of tobacco-juice 
and, with twinkling eyes, remarked: 'Reminds me 
of the first time I had to drown a batch of kittens.' 

"I've seen men laugh at the antics of their com- 
rades whose eyes and mouths had been filled with 
the dirt and corruption a Maxim machine gun tore 
up. I was crouched in the entrance of a dugout 
during one of the Germans' famous barrages when a 
lad jumped out of the ditch and in front of me. At 
that moment three 155-shells fell and burst within 
a 15-foot radius. The terrific explosion hurled the 
boy straight back into the dugout and his feet hit me 
squarely in the face. When I recovered my wits 
I called out, inquiring if he were hurt. He chuckled 
and said 'H — , no.' 

"During that same barrage two men previously 
posted fifty yards ahead of the line with an automatic 
were forgotten in the excitement, but they stuck 
to their post. Some one happened to think of them 
about half an hour after the show started and I 
ducked out to get them in. I had little hope of 
finding them aHve. I ran out into the wheat field 
in their direction when I heard a shell coming. I 
flattened out on the ground. The top of my head 
floated in a crazy, gyrating course toward heaven, 
then snapped back into position. The shell had 
exploded ten feet on my right. One of the lads of 


my quest was long and rangy and hailed from Texas; 
the other, short and stubby, was from Georgia. 

" *She cut 'em both off,' came the Texan's voice 
out of darkness on my right. 

" Th' 'ell she did?' said Shorty. 

" 'Shorty, I reckon we'd better drag this huzzy 
out a here.' 

" *Them's my sentiments,' Shorty agreed. 

"We all returned together. The shell had lit, or 
aHghted, under the tripod of their automatic rifle 
and neatly amputated both its metal legs. 

"Before we went over the top a tale was told to 
illustrate the density of the German barrage. A 
Corporal walked into a first-aid post with a badly 
fractured arm and spoke of the terrific shelling his 
unit was undergoing. There being no laceration of 
his flesh, the puzzled doctor inquired how the Cor- 
poral had been injured. 

" 'Oh, that,' said the lad; *you see I was standing 
beside the hole of my dugout, leaning up against that 
barrage, when it suddenly lifted, letting me fall into 
a hole, where I lit on my arm.' 

"We captured a German Lieutenant Colonel soon 
after our barrage lifted the first 100 yards, who 
thought the efficiency and speed of our artillery 
was due to machine work. As he surrendered he 
fixed his captor with a vacuous stare and said: 
'Where is it — that terrible machine gun you have 
that shoots 75s .^' 

"One lad remarked: 'Rifle fire is a sweet, sweet 
lullaby, machine guns impress one as the humming 


of bees, Austrian 88s make a lot of noise that won't 
afFect a dugout, but the lazy boys launched away 
back of Berlin sure disrupt the company.' And 
when those 8- to 15-inch shells, 'sea-bags,' we call 
*em, that the French turn loose from Somewhere 
in France, come sailing over our heads, slow and 
easy, like they're just aching and fixing to drop in 
the centre of a German column, you should see the 
boys look at each other and smile! 

"One will hear a 'Whispering Willie' shoved off 
in our direction. The boys will duck as it looses a 
^diabolical shriek above their heads. Every ear 
strains to catch the explosion — nothing but a dull 
thud when it hits the earth. Immediately some 
one says, ' 'Nother dud.' We've kept track when 
the fire was not too heavy and found that an average 
of two out of every five small-calibre German shells 
were duds, while the larger ones average one out 

of five. 

"One platoon in reserve was taken up on a newly 
estabHshed line to eliminate a pestiferous machine 
gun nest. After satisfactorily completing the job 
they returned to their dugouts to find during their 
absence that Fritz had tried to blow up their homes 
with some 205s. The last men filing into the trench 
were spied by enemy observers, who signalled to a 
battery of 88s that proceeded to accelerate the boys' 
movements about 100 per cent. Each man dived 
for his little old hole in the ground and all were safely 
ensconced in a twinkling, except one lad, who was 
seen to jump away from his hole with a terrified 



expression on his face and dive in with a neighbour. 
Whereupon an altercation — 

" *Hey, get out! There's two in here now/ 

" *Well, shove together. Fm comin' ki. Can't 
get in mine.' 

'Why can't you?' 

'There's a 205-dud went through the roof and 
its nose is sticking out of the door.' 

*Tine argument. Our respect is enormous for 
a dud of those dimensions. And not one of us is so 
heartless as to force a friend into a hole with such a 
cold companion. For an 8-inch shell's intentiens 
are so indefinite. 

*'I really believe that the recklessness of the United 
States Marines saved many of our lives, astounding 
the enemy, hypnotizing them into forgetting their 
guns. And it would take incredible recklessness to 
counter German discipline. One Lieutenant whom I 
accompanied took two platoons from reserve, where 
they had been under continuous shell fire for seventy- 
two hours, to clear a wood of enemy machine guns 
and establish liaison on the left flank of the battalion. 
Advancing some 600 yards they found themselves 
free of the shelled area, only to be spied by a couple 
of Maxim machine gunners, who lost no time in 
announcing their presence. *Peeung — peeung — pee- 
ung,' the bullets came whistling through the brush. 
One hit a lad on the cheek, whereupon he heaved a 
sigh and said: *What a relief!' We halted the 
men and reconnoitred. To reach the wood sheltering 
the Boche we had to cross a ploughed field. The 


Lieutenant took fifteen men. I followed with fifteen 
more and was followed in turn by another Sergeant 
and as many men. Each step we took was the 
expected last. I was sweating like a harvest hand on 
the Fourth, while my teeth chattered like dice in a 
box. Never a shot! We formed a skirmish line the 
shape of an L as we entered the woods, not knowing 
the position of any German. The word was passed 
to *down* and wait for 'patrol.* As the last man 
on the right flank downed hell broke loose fifty 
feet in front of us. A machine gun in the centre and 
one on either flank tore up the ground, sawed off 
the brush, cut down saplings in front of us, and lit- 
erally slapped the whole mess in our faces. The man 
on the right flank had failed to get down quickly 
enough. He's there yet. 

"I was behind a three-cornered piece of rock 
that seemed to grow amazingly smaller each moment, 
and for five minutes I neither could see, hear, nor 
smell. Suddenly those guns ceased and, spitting the 
dirt out of our mouths, we took a turn at shooting, 
and I think our forty rifles and two *shau-shauds' 
outdid the machine guns for speed and noise. But 
the precarious position we held, practically a wedge 
driven into the German line, offset the deadliest 
fire, for we could be surrounded in a twinkling. 
Back of us lay the ploughed field, devoid of cover, 
that had been crossed in our advance. In front and 
on the right and left were the enemy machine guns. 
'Cannon to the right of them,' etc., popped into my 


"Came one of those lulls in the fire and a long 
line of breaking twigs, stumblings, mumblings, 
and sibilant commands marked the advance of the 
Boche. We all thought our lives had just about 
been lived. There was left a choice between two 
distasteful dilemmas: Stay where we were and be- 
come prisoners or retrace our steps across the ploughed 
field and become dead men. It was one or the other, 
pronto! And there wasn't a doubt in our minds as 
to which it would be. Turning your back on a line 
of Boche machine guns, walking away from them at 
midday over a ploughed field covered by their cross- 
fire isn't the pleasantest thing to contemplate and 
it is well we had little time for thinking. When word 
came to fall back every one was ready, believe me. 
No matter how long you have lived previous to such 
an experience you cannot know until then what a 
pliable and sensitive thing your backbone is. There 
was nothing lagging or pernickety about the step, 
of that retreat. If we were uneasy when advancing 
over that field, ignorant of the German line, imagine 
our emotions now. Needless to say, the last few 
yards were covered in nothing flat. And the Germans 
never fired a shot. 

"But they followed us and attempted to pull the 
same trick again. With cries of *Help, Help,' and 
'Kamerad' six men and an officer came across that 
field and, while they parleyed, we continued to 
throw up a parapet. On their part they were covering 
two machine guns that attempted to flank us. We 
held our fire while the Lieutenants shouted to each 


other. When the Boche officer thought his machine 
gun crews had had sufficient time to accompUsh 
their task, two of the gang, who were trying to *sur- 
render,' dashed forward and threw hand grenades. 
Meantime we had obtained reinforcements and two 
machine guns. So the two who threw the hand 
grenades we used as parapets. The other five of 
the *kamerad* gang will prevaricate no more. And 
the eight who worked with the Maxim have doubt- 
less been reported missing in German casualty lists. 
I know they were missing a miscellaneous assortment 
of organs necessary to the functioning of the human 
body. For the effects of a C. E. grenade are splendid 
and terrible. 

"Later a whole battalion attempted to take those 
woods without the assistance of our artillery. The 
enemy, with no other object than a reckless deter- 
mination to foil us, ignoring his own infantry, turned 
a barrage into his own front line that accounted for 
more Boches than we did. After our objective 
was gained, rifles were laid by for picks and shovels. 
The companies reported. Those reports will be 
whispered into the ears of grandchildren by old, 
old grandmothers, whose eyes will mirror the supreme 
sacrifice. Such things make the chins of strong men 
quiver. Anyhow, it was considered best to fall 
back to original position. (The next morning, fol- 
lowing a barrage, we took the wood.) 

"One lad, on an isolated post, failing to get the 
word, was industriously entrenching himself when 
the Germans counter-attacked and he found himself 


alone, surrounded by what seemed i,ocx) Boches. 
He reached for his rifle. He found its stock shattered 
by a piece of shell. A young Boche Lieutenant con- 
fronted him. There was nothing to do but surrender. 
He signified his helplessness. But the Germans 
didn't appear anxious to molest him. The Lieutenant 
began to jabber at Sammy, who couldn't get his drift. 
Several non-coms, took up the one-sided talk, when 
the officer gave up and Sammy got disgusted. *H — ^* 
says he, *if you don't want me, I'm going back.* 
So saying he swung the shovel over his shoulder and 
boldly marched back. To his surprise and discom- 
fiture the German Lieutenant, nodding and smiling, 
immediately fell in behind, followed in single file by 
his men. 

"Suddenly it dawned upon Sammy that the 
Germans wished to become prisoners. The fire of 
conquest ran through his veins. He stopped and 
counted them. Fifty-nine and an officer! Oh, boy, 
what a haul! With a lilting step, head up, shoulders 
squared and chest thrown out, he peacocked back 
to our lines and ran smack into company head- 
quarters, the shovel still on his shoulder. When his 
comrades spied those Huns, most of 'em armed and 
equipped, there was a sharp intake of breath, a spon- 
taneous, unanimous *What the h — 1,' followed by a 
riotous grabbing of rifles. The alert Germans averted 
a massacre by promptly sticking up their mitts while 
Sammy explained. Then he was given a firearm 
and permitted to lead his sixty prisoners triumph- 
antly to the rear. 


"One lad from the West was tickled by the com- 
parison we offered to a prairie dog village. He said 
you could sometimes slip up close enough to one of 
these villages to catch a glimpse of hundreds of 
animals sitting or frolicking around near their holes, 
but the moment you were sighted they were gone, 
each into his own hole. Their disappearance is so 
sudden that it makes you rub your eyes and pinch 
yourself. We differ from a prairie dog in that a shell 
never slips up on us. When five minutes pass with- 
out producing a shell several heads will be poked 
cautiously from the earth in a place apparently 
deserted. After a sniff for gas there ensues a grunting 
and heaving, plentifully seasoned with invectives 
directed at Fritz, the Kaiser, the general staff, most 
anything German, and the more courageous are out 
of their dugouts. They dig the 'monkey meat' (South 
American canned beef) and bread from under the de- 
bris and earth deposited by the 'Whispering Willies.' 

"Those who have discretion, not valour, appear 
intermittently and by the time the rations have 
been recovered and rejuvenated every one is on the 
job. The meal is begun and carried along with 
astonishing rapidity until *womph — bzzzzwhrrr — 
chapowieT From the Vommmph' to the 'owie' is a 
matter of seconds, from the men to their dugouts is 
a matter of feet and inches, but the most agile prairie 
dog could not pull the vanishing stunt better than we. 
For that shell has not shrieked the last *z' before 
the face of the earth is deserted. Such speed would 
make 'Smoky' Joe bat his eyes. All the time a man 


is out of his hole he knows instinctively the exact 
direction of and distance to the entrance of his dug- 
out. No matter how far he wanders or turns and 
twists, the time consumed between the report of a 
gun and his arrival in that dugout is invariably 
the same as if he had been standing by the entrance 
when the shell shoved off. But despite this ducking 
and dodging there are no troops more feared and 
respected by the Boche than the Marines. And we 
so impressed them they honoured us with the nick- 
name * Devil Dogs.' We are proud of it. 

'*The first time our battalion went over the top 
the leading wave entered the woods without seeing 
a German. About 100 yards in the woods they 
sighted the Boche. With a blood-freezing war-whoop 
they charged. Nothing on earth but concentrated 
cross-fire by cool machine gunners could have stopped 
them. And the imperial German nerve, being noth- 
ing to brag of in the first place, had been worn ragged 
by our artillery. That war-whoop was the straw that 
broke their nerve. Two crews stood by their guns. 
The other Germans ran. They didn't seem to care 
about direction. Some ran into our bayonets, some 
ran away from them, some didn't have nerve enough 
to haul themselves free of their dugouts. But it 
made no difference. The result was the same. 
They're there yet. One German Captain jumped up 
from his dugout, wild-eyed and dishevelled. 

" *What in Gott's name is it?' he shouted in good 
English. *Are these devils we face drunk or blood- 
thirsty savages?' Then he threw a hand grenade 


pointblank at a Lieutenant. The 'loot' ducked and 
levelled his automatic at the same time, so the 
Captain's question is still unanswered." 

After Soissons the Marines were again withdrawn 
to a rest area. Their casualties had been heavy and 
there was much reorganizing to be done and many 
replacement men to be trained and fused into the 
brigade. By September, however, they were ready 
again for battle. 

On September 12th Pershing started his now 
famous drive to reduce the St. Mihiel salient, and 
the Marine Brigade, with General Lejeune at its 
head, was again called upon. The Second Division, 
now rated as first-class shock troops, were given a 
place of honour in the hardest fighting along the 
southern side of the salient, where the German 
resistance was stifFest. They smashed through that 
stubborn line in record time. 

Here is the story of that operation as gleaned from 
the Pershing and Daniels reports: On August 30th 
a large section of the St. Mihiel front was turned 
over to General Pershing. Our Second Division was 
placed in the First Army Corps, with the Fifth, 
82nd, and 90th Divisions, under Major General 
Hunter Liggett. On September nth the Second 
Division took over the line running from Remenau- 
ville to Limey. On September 12th the First Corps, 
with three divisions of the Third Corps, began an 
advance which continued irresistibly until the salient 
was wiped out. 


On the night of the 14th and the morning of the 
15th the Second Division attacked with two days' 
objectives laid out for them. They crossed the Rupt 
de Mad and occupied Thiaucourt, the first day's ob- 
jective. But it never occurred to them to stop 
there. They scaled the heights beyond Thiaucourt 
and pushed forward to a hne running from the 
Zammes-Joulney Ridge to Binvaux Forest, reaching 
their second day's objective at 2:50 P. M. of the first 
day. This extraordinary accompHshment was not 
achieved without sacrifice. The division's casual- 
ties numbered 1,000, of whom 134 were killed, but 
they captured eighty German officers, 3,200 men, 
ninety-odd cannon, and vast stores, besides slaying 
their thousands. 

The Marines were again withdrawn, to reappear on 
October 2nd where least expected — in the Champagne 
with General Gouraud's Fourth Army, which drove 
north to free the Rheims from the German clutch. In 
the region of Somme-Py they attacked like a whirl- 
wind and broke through the German line for a gain of 
six kilometres, leading all other troops in the attack. 
They seized the German second line positions in 
front of them, capturing the armoured trenches and 
wired lines. On the second day, October 3rd, they 
were ready for the main attack on Blanc Mont and 
in the face of a devastating machine gun fire they 
assisted in the capture of that stronghold, which was 
accomplished with such amazing speed that the 
Boches were swept oflF their feet. 

The story of the Second Division's part in that 


operation is thus succinctly told in General Per- 
shing's report: "On October 2 to 9 our Second and 
36th Divisions were sent to assist the French in an 
important attack against the old German positions 
before Rheims. The Second conquered the compli- 
cated defence works on their front against a persist- 
ent defence worthy of the grimmest period of trench 
warfare and attacked the strongly held wooded hill 
of Blanc Mont, which they captured in a second as- 
sault, sweeping over it with consummate dash and 
skill. This division then repulsed strong counter- 
attacks before the village and cemetery of Ste. 
Etienne and took the town, forcing the Germans to 
fall back from before Rheims and yield positions 
they had held since September, 1914.'' On October 
9th the Second Division was relieved by the 36th, 
having done its part in breaking the Hun's tenacious 
hold on the hills of Champagne and at last setting 
free the martyred cathedral city. 

The story of that action is told thus by Edwin L. 
James, correspondent of the New York Times: 

"It is now permitted to give a comprehensive sketch 
of the role played by the Americans in the brilliant 
Champagne advance of General Gouraud's army. 

"This stot}'^ is one of the most absorbingly interesting 
of the Americans at war, not only because of the glorious 
work of our Veteran* 2nd Division, but because of the 
remarkably effective work done by the 36th Division, 
from Texas, which, never having been under shell fire and 
not even entirely organized, jumped Into the bitter battle 
and made gains that were sensational. Never havIn/> 


heard the scream of shells before, they fought day after 
day under terrific shell fire, and went after the Germans 
in true ranger style. An official order of the French Gen- 
eral calls this one of the brilliant performances of the war. 

"America knows well the bright record of the 2nd Divi- 
sion of Infantry, the regiments of which there are the 5th 
and 6th Marines and the 9th and 23 rd Infantry. These are 
the boys who stopped the Germans up in Belleau Wood, 
back in June when the foe thought he was going to Paris. 

"This division played a good role in the St. Mihiel 
battle. It went into line on the evening of October 2, 
taking over a position of three and a half kilometres 
running westward from Somme-Py. To get a good 
jumping-off place for the attack to begin the next morn- 
ing, they seized the German second line positions in front 
of them, taking armoured trenches and wired lines. 
When the main attack started on October 3, at 5:30 
o'clock in the morning, the Americans were successful 
from the start. 

"Raked from a German position on their left flank, 
known as the * Essen Trench,' from which enfilading ma- 
chine guns swept the advancing ranks, the divisions sent 
part of a regiment out of its sector to take the trench. 
So fast was the pace of these men that they reached the 
German observatory of Blanc Mont before the foe knew 
what had happened, an observer there being captured 
while writing out a report that the German counter- 
attack was going well. 

"On October 3, the 2nd Division made an advance of 
about six kilometres. The men got so far ahead of the 
troops on the left that they were in danger of being en- 
circled when a fresh French division was put in behind 
them to protect their left flank. Next morning they re- 
sumed the attack at 4:30. They ran into very heavy 


German machine gun and artillery resistance north of the 
Arnes River, but reached Ste. Etienne. 

"The day of the 5th was devoted to consolidating the 
newly won positions. All the time there was a murderous 
fire from the Germans. The American positions had to 
be held under front and flank fire until the troops on the 
left and right got up. Meanwhile the advance of the 
Americans and the taking of Blanc Mont had decided 
the Germans to make a withdrawal from the Rheims 
salient, the execution of which greatly bettered our po- 

•• "On October 6, two regiments of Marines, which had 
been in the heaviest fighting, were relieved by a brigade 
of the 36th Division, never under fire before. After short 
artillery preparation, the attack was renewed October 8, 
at the same time that the Germans delivered a heavy 
counter-attack on the right of the division front. This 
was repulsed after bitter fighting. 

"The next day was devoted to consolidation, while on 
October 10 the second brigade of the 36th relieved the 
9th and 23 rd Regiments of the 2nd Division, completing 
the relief. 

"From that time on our part in the advance was ef- 
fected by these young Texans, entirely new to war. On 
October 11 they forced the Germans back, occupying 
Machault and Semide, and on the next day, against heavy 
machine-gun resistance, reached the banks of the Aisne." 

On October 17th General Gaulin, commanding the 
corps in which the Second and 36th Divisions served 
in this fighting, issued this general order: 

"On October 2 the 2nd American Division, having ar- 
rived during the night on the sector of the 21st Army Corps, 


attacked the fortified crest of Blanc Mont, captured it 
in a few hours in spite of the desperate resistance of the 
enemy, and in the following days made an extended ad- 
vance on the slopes to the north for the purpose of con- 
solidating his victory. The 36th American Division, of 
recent formation, and as yet incompletely organized, was 
ordered on the night of October 6 and 7 to relieve, under 
conditions particularly delicate, the 2nd American Divi- 
sion and dislodge the enemy from the crests north of St. 
Etienne and the Arnes, and throw him back to the Aisne. 
"Although being under fire for the first time, the young 
soldiers of General Smith, rivalling in their combative 
spirit and tenacity the old and valiant regiments of 
General Lejeune. have accomplished their mission in its 
entirety. All may be proud of the task they accomplished. 
To all the General commanding the army corps is happy 
to address the most cordial expression of his recognition 
and his best wishes for their future service. The past is 
proof of the future. 


And here is General Lejeune's order, in which the 
pride of the Marine is manifest: 

Oct. II, 1918. 
"Officers and Men of the 2nd Division: 

" It is beyond my power of expression to describe fitly 
my admiration for your heroism. You attacked magnifi- 
cently and you seized Blanc Mont Ridge, the keystone of 
the arch constituting the enemy's main position. You 
advanced beyond the ridge, breaking the enemy's lines, 
and you held the ground gained with a tenacity which is 
unsurpassed in the annals of war. 

** As a direct result of your victory, the German armies 


east and west of Rheims are in full retreat, and by draw- 
ing on yourselves several German divisions from other 
parts of the front you greatly assisted the victorious 
advance of the allied armies between Cambrai and St. 

"Your heroism and the heroism of our comrades who 
died on the battlefield will live in history forever, and will 
be emulated by the young men of our country for genera- 
tions to come. 

"To be able to say when this war is finished, *I be- 
longed to the 2nd Division; I fought with it at the battle 
o/ Blanc Mont Ridge,' will be the highest honour that can 

come to any man. 

John A. Lejeune, 

"Major General, United States Marine Corps, Command- 


Finally, on November ist, General Pershing 
started the drive which proved to be the last great 
struggle of the v^ar. It was that mighty sweep 
toward Sedan, that reaching for the very heart of 
the Hun. 

The Germans massed their best troops and a 
tremendous artillery support and opposed every step 
of the advance with the utmost bitterness. It was 
a fight to the death. An interminable line of mur- 
derous German machine guns, but a few feet apart, 
was thrown across the line of the American advance. 
The casualties were terrific. 

For two weeks the Germans succeeded in beating 
back the most determined American attacks in front 
of Landres and St. Georges. Then the battling 
Second Division was hurled in. Operating at the 


centre, they started an irresistible push on the ver^'^ 
afternoon that the Germans began to show signs of 
weakening and pressed forward until they controlled 
the heights below Beaumont. They broke through 
that living fortress for five kilometres the first day, 
leading all other divisions, and for the first time 
since the beginning of the war the official German 
communique admitted that the line had been pierced. 

This advance made possible the shelling of the 
vital Mezieres-Metz railway. The advance became 
a pursuit, with the Germans on the run and the 
Second Division ever in the van. Forty kilometres 
were covered in seven days, German soldiers sur- 
rendered in companies, and the end of the war was 
in sight. 

The soldier does not like to dwell on casualties, 
but the casualty list is often the best indication of 
the character of the fighting. Certainly the path 
which the Marines trod in France was no easy one. 
Of the various figures that have been given out, 
those offered by General Barnett in his annual re- 
port are the most reliable, though still subject to 
revision. In all, 21,323 enlisted men of the Marine 
Corps and 540 officers were sent to France. Be- 
tween April I and September i, 191 8, the casualties 
amounted to 23 per cent, of the gross strength, 
though many of the units saw no action. During 
that period 44 officers and 1,116 enlisted men were 
killed and 76 officers and 2,832 men severely wound- 
ed. Only 25 Marines remained prisoner in i- the 
hands of the Germans on September ist. Surren- 


dering wasn't popular at the time and the only way 
to capture a Marine was to knock him senseless first. 
After September ist took place the bloody fighting 
in the St. Mihiel, Rheims, and Sedan regions, in- 
creasing the casualty list and the percentage mate- 
rially; authentic figures are not available at the time 
of writing. I have seen it estimated that of the 
8,000 who had some part in the action about Belleau 
Wood, 6,200 were at least hit by a bullet or frag- 
ment of shell, and that half of the men and officers 
-in the fighting brigade who were not killed were at 
one time or another knocked out of action. The 
Marines won glory in France, but they paid a terri- 
ble price. 

The story of the Marines in France is told. Our 
brave brigade had gone in at one of the darkest 
moments of the war and had seen the thing through 
till sunshine pierced the clouds. They saw the tide 
of battle turn there on the Marne at Chateau- 
Thierry. They saw Marshal Foch prove to all the 
world that German armies could be defeated and the 
German line broken. They saw him assume the 
offensive, and they joined him in the last grim push 
to victory. 

And so, as I write these lines, the dream of the 
Marines is coming true — to follow the retreating 
Hun across the Rhine, for they have been chosen to 
march side by side with the honour divisions of the 
Allied armies in the forefront of the peace-com- 
pelling Army of Occupation. Long live the United 
States Marines! 



The Story of the Marine Corps 

THE exploit of the United States Marines at 
Belleau Wood now forms a glowing page 
in history which all the world may read, 
but back of it lies a history, less spectacular perhaps, 
but world-embracing in its scope and honourable 
among military and naval annals. "From the halls 
of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli," from Cuba 
to the Behring Sea, from Veru Cruz to Peking the 
Marines have stood for over a century as the strong 
arm of the United States Government, the embodi- 
ment of the American spirit of justice, order, and fair 
dealing. That history of a hundred daring deeds 
well done forms a tradition which lies at the bottom 
of our wonderful esprit de corps. 

The American Marines were first organized by 
resolution of the Continental Congress on November 
lO) 1775- They served in the Revolution, the war 
with Tripoli, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, 
the Civil War, and a hundred affairs of less import- 
ance. The volume of that history has become part 
and parcel of the traditions of the Corps, but since 
dates and terse statements of action make but dull 
reading, I will spare my readers the boredom of 
delving deeper into the past than the Spanish War. 



But before I begin the story of the Marines as I 
myself have known them, I beg leave to quote from 
an article on **Sea Soldiers'' which appeared in the 
New York Tribune of October 13, 1916. 

"Considering the part it has played in the world's 
history of warfare, there is no fighting unit less under- 
stood, less appreciated, or even less known than the 
Marines. Having taken his share in the making and 
obliterating of maps since the days of the Phoenician gal- 
leys and the biremes of the Grecian maritime states, at 
least five centuries before the Christian Era, down to the 
present day, the chroniclers of the glories of arras of all 
civilized peoples have mentioned the Marine in many a 
stirring passage. And yet, to-day, a very large part of 
the population of maritime nations, and certainly of the 
United States, do not know what a Marine really is. 

"The Marines have proved their patriotism and devo- 
tion to our country for over a hundred years. Through- 
out this period they have been in the front rank of Amer- 
ica's defenders. They have been zealous participants in 
nearly every expedition and action in which the Navy 
has been engaged. In many trying campaigns with their 
brethren of the Army they have won distinction. The 
globe has been their stage. 

"They have fought at Tripoli, in Mexico, and the 
Fiji Islands. They were on the job in Paraguay, at 
Harper's Ferry, at Kisembo, on the West Coast of Africa, 
and in Panama. They fought the Japanese at Shimono- 
seki, the savages in Formosa, and the forts in Korea. 
They suppressed seal poaching in the Behring Sea and 
protected the lives and property of American citizens in 
Honolulu, Chili, and China. These and many more things 
have the United States Marines accomplished. 


"The Navy has in the Marine Corps a little army of 
its own, which, without causing international complica- 
tions, without disturbing stock markets, and without even 
attracting undue attention, it may pick up and move to 
some disturbed centre in a foreign land for the protection 
of American lives and property. These Soldiers of the 
Sea move speedily and unostentatiously, frequently nip- 
ping a revolution in the bud before the world at large 
knows that there has really been any cause for concern. 

"They are the first men on the ground in case of trouble 
with a foreign power and the first men in battle in case of 
hostilities. Great mobility and facilities for quick action 
are required of the Marines. They are kept in readiness 
to move at a moment's notice. In many of the actions 
in which they have been engaged they have had to con- 
tend against great odds in the way of superior numbers. 

"Aldridge says: 'Before a single vessel of the Nav>^ 
went to sea, a corps was organized, and a detachment of 
it won, on the Island of New Providence — one of the 
Bahamas — early in 1777, the first fight in the history of 
the regular Navy, In this noteworthy engagement the 
attacking party, consisting of 300 Marines and landsmen, 
under Major Nichols, captured the forts and other de- 
fences of the enemy after a struggle of a few hours, and 
secured a quantity of stores and British cannon.' " 

So much for ancient history and a running start. 
After my own appointment in 1892, up to the time 
of the Spanish War, the Marines were engaged in 
only minor activities, such as protection service in 
Honolulu, China, and Korea. In none of these affairs 
did I personally have any part. 


At the time of the outbreak of the Spanish War^ 
I had been detailed for service aboard ship, and it 
so happened that, as First Lieutenant, I was in com- 
mand of the Marines on the battleship Maive when 
she was blown up and sunk in Havana Harbour in 
February, 1898. It was a Marine, one Private 
Anthony, then serving as Captain's orderly, who 
came quietly aft to the Captain's cabin after the ex- 
plosion with the historic remark, "I have to report. 
Captain, that the ship is sinking." 

I was transferred to Key West and remained there 
through March, during the meetings of the Board 
of Inquiry. Then I returned to New York. War 
was declared in April and I was shortly afterward 
ordered out on active service with the fleet. The 
American liner St. Louis steamed into New York 
Harbour on a Saturday night and was promptly 
converted into an auxiliary cruiser of the United 
States Navy. Supplies, ammunition, and four six- 
pound guns were rushed aboard. Captain Goodrich 
and Ensign Payne of the Navy being placed in charge 
of the ship's crew. They were the only naval men 
aboard. I embarked on Sunday with a Marine guard 
of forty-five men, the only enlisted men aboard, 
and on Monday we sailed. We mounted the six- 
pounders at sea, two forward and two aft. 

For two weeks we patrolled the sea east of the 
Windward Islands in search of Cervera's fleet, which, 
the reports stated, had left Spain. As ill luck would 
have it we never saw that fleet. We reported on 
the appointed day at Guadeloupe and then went 


on to St. Thomas. On the day after we left those 
waters Cervera went through. 

Seagrave, the first officer of the ship, who had been 
in the EngHsh cable service, told Captain Goodrich 
that he knew the location of all the submarine 
cables and stated that the cable running to San Juan 
could easily be picked up. The Captain decided to 
cut the cable and we steamed out about ten miles 
from San Juan. We had no grapnels aboard, so 
one was made in the fire room. We picked up the 
cable and finished the job in about half an hour. 
Then we joined the fleet that had been bombarding 
San Juan. 

When Captain Goodrich reported to Admiral 
Sampson regarding the cables, we were ordered to 
proceed to Santiago and there cut the cable running 
to Kingston, Jamaica. This was not such an easy 
task, for the job had to be done under the Spanish 
guns of Moro Castle. The tug Wompatuck was 
ordered to accompany the St, Louis, 

On May i8th the St, Louis dropped her grapnels 
and picked up the cable about a mile from Moro 
Castle. About the time we hooked the cable some 
old six-inch guns east of the fort opened fire on us 
and also some mortar batteries on the little island of 
Smith Cay. We had just the two six-pounders on 
the side toward the fort, and we returned fire with 
those, manning the guns with crews of Marines. 
I fired the gun aft while Ensign Payne had the for- 
ward gun. We silenced the old six-inch guns, but 
the mortars were too far away for our six-pounders. 


We lay there for forty-five minutes, laboriously 
reeling in the cable on an anchor winch, while shells 
fell all around us. But, though the big St. Louis 
offered an easy target, not a shell hit us, owing, I 
suppose, to the notoriously bad marksmanship of 
the Spanish gunners. Still, it was a warm situation 
while it lasted. 

I have sometimes been asked how it feels to be 
under fire, and I can only answer that it all depends 
on what you are doing. There have been times when 
I have been obliged to wait inactive for orders, with 
little to think about but the enemy's fire, and on such 
occasions I must confess that I have grown uncom- 
fortably nervous. But there in Santiago Harbour, 
a fair target for the mortar batteries and the guns 
of the fort, with the air thick with peril, I was so 
intent on getting a diflficult and important job done 
that the thought of personal danger never entered 
my head. Only when we turned to get away and the 
tension was over did anything resembling fear 
hasten our flight. 

After that we left for Guantanamo and sent the 
tug in to cut the cable there. That happened to be 
just the day before Cervera steamed into Santiago 
Bay; we had missed him again. A Spanish gunboat 
lurking behind the point — the Sandoval — came out 
and opened fire on the tug with her three-inch 
Krupp. The little three-pounder on the tug could 
not reach her, and she was pouring in a shower of 
shells. So Captain Goodrich was obliged to recall the 
Wompatuck before the cable could be cut. Later 


on the Spaniards were obliged to sink the Sandoval 
in Guantanamo Bay. 

At Santiago, again, on July 3rd, Marines served 
the secondary batteries, and were given credit for 
inflicting more damage on the enemy than the larger 
guns of the cruisers. 

The first American troops to set foot on Cuban 
soil after war had been declared were Marines, and 
I only regret that I cannot give an eye-witness account 
of their remarkable exploit. It was necessary to 
establish at once a naval base on the shores of Cuba, 
and the Bay of Guantanamo was selected for this 
purpose — a splendid harbour where American war 
ships have made their home ever since. A battalion 
of Marines — about 400 men under Colonel Hunt- 
ington — ^was landed on June 10, 1898, at 2 p. M. 
They engaged about 3,000 Spaniards, drove them 
inland, and, under the protection of the guns of the 
ships, established and held a base on the point at 
the entrance of the bay. 

This base, however, was not secure from attack. 
Spanish troops, estimated at 6,000, lined the shores 
of the bay and the Marines were exposed to their 
fire. It appeared necessary to drive out the Span- 
iards at least from the side of the bay on which the 
base had been established, and they were protected 
by a cover of wooded hills. 

Colonel Huntington learned Jrom his scouts that 
the only water supply of the Spaniards on that side 
of the bay was what was known as Cusco Well, 
which was located about two miles inland from the 


point, and a small detachment under Colonel (now 
General) Elliot was detailed to go in against superior 
numbers and capture Cusco Well. 

It was a difficult task, but the Marines lost no 
time in engaging the Spaniards. They had to cross 
hills and ravines and there were a hundred spots 
where large numbers of the enemy might be lying 
in ambush. Progress, not to be foolhardy, was 
necessarily slow. 

The Marhlehead had taken up a position in the 
harbour to assist the landed troops by shelling the 
well or the enemy's main position when it could be 
located, but at first they had no means of knowing 
what to shoot at. 

It was then that Sergeant Major John Quick, 
who was afterward with me in France, pulled off the 
stunt that won him a Medal of Honour, By means 
of tireless tree-to-tree fighting, our men had advanced 
far enough to be reasonably sure of the location of 
the well and the troops that guarded it. To push 
on in the face of such odds meant heavy casualties 
and perhaps failure. The support of the Marhle- 
head' s guns was essential. 

Halfway to the well there was a high hill that was 
not wooded. Quick volunteered to go up this hill 
and signal to the ship. He stalked up the slope in 
full view of the enemy, and there at the top he stood, 
with his broad back to them, while Spanish bullets 
peppered the ground all around him, and calmly 
wigwagged to the Marhlehead the position of the ene- 
my. The shell fire began, the Spaniards ran for cover. 


and the Marines, when the woods were cleared, 
romped in and took Cusco Well. This gave Colonel 
Huntington control of the entire side of the bay and 
the naval base was established and held for the fleet. 

It is this sort of fighting that appeals to the imagi- 
nation more than the tedious gnawing of trench 
warfare or the ponderous movements of great armies. 
The average American has been brought up on stories 
of Indian warfare, and it is just this sort of fighting 
that the Marines have learned to do — have been 
obliged to do on numerous occasions — the whole 
force engaged in concerted action to a definite end, 
and yet each man depending on his own resource- 
fulness to come through. That this sort of experience 
helped us when we went in against the highly modern- 
ized soldiers of the Kaiser in the Bois de Belleau has 
already been pointed out in the account of that battle. 

Meanwhile, in May, 1898, the Marines were with 
Dewey at Manila. After the battle of Manila Bay, 
Marines were landed from the fleet at Cavite to hold 
the fort and naval station. More Marines were sent 
to Manila at once, and later Marines served with the 
Navy in some of the southern islands. At the close 
of the war a brigade of Marines was left in the 
Philippines to assist in the work of pacification. 

Since that time, though the United States has not 
until now been actually at war with any nation, the 
Marines have seen plenty of service, not only in 
the Philippines and in Mexico, but elsewhere. 

The name of General L. W. T. Waller, now in 
command of the Advance Base Brigade at Philadel- 


phia, is one to conjure with among the Marines. 
It was Waller, then a Major, who, at the outbreak of 
the Boxer uprising in China, in 1900, was rushed over 
from the Philippines with two battalions of Marines 
— between 800 and i,cxx) men — to cooperate with the 
Army in the safeguarding of American lives and 
interests. Later they were reinforced by Marines 
sent from the United States. They participated in 
the battle of Tien Tsin, the march on Peking, and 
the relief of the besieged American Legation. Here 
is the story as printed in the Indianapolis Sun: 

"It was in the campaign of the allies against the Boxers 
in 1900. They had captured Tien Tsin by a hard three- 
day battle. A conference had been called of all the com- 
manders to discuss the question of advancing or waiting 
for reinforcements. General Robert Meade, in com- 
mand of the United States Marines, was ill, and Major 
Littleton W. T. Waller was the junior officer of the rep- 
resentatives of many nations in the conference. 

'*One by one the older men gave their opinions that there 
was no pressing need of an advance and that the troops 
must have several more days of recuperating. Finally 
Major Waller's opinion was asked, and he stood up and 

" 'Gentlemen, I don't know what the rest of you mean 
to do, but the Marines start for Peking at 6 o'clock in the 

"The Marines did start at 6 o'clock in the morning, 
taking the allies along." 

It was Waller who, in October, 1901, took a battal- 
ion of Marines down to Samar, one of the untamed 

From the painting hy L. A. Shafer 


"From the Halls of Montezuma 

To the shores of Tripoli, 

We fight our country's battles, 

On the land as on the sea." 

— The Marines' Hymn 


islands of the Philippines, to clean it up. It was a 
wild country, where no white troops had ever before 
been, filled with hostile savages, and much cut up 
by streams and jungle. They were misled by their 
native guides, were lost in the wilderness, and suffered 
untold privations. A number of men died on that 
march, but Waller brought his battalion through, 
marching clear across the island. 

Meanwhile I was leading a quiet life. I went to 
the Philippines in 1902, established the post in Hono- 
lulu in 1903, and came home in 1904. But the 
Marines were not idle. There were troubles in Africa, 
Korea, Santo Domingo, and Panama that required 
attention. About 1905 things got pretty messy 
in the West Indies, and some troops from Panama 
were sent over to Santo Domingo. In May, 1906 — 
I was a Major then — I was sent down with a battalion 
of Marines to relieve these troops. I remember I 
was in New York at the time, on duty in the Navy 
Yard. At II o'clock one night I received orders to 
report in Philadelphia the next afternoon, and that 
evening we were putting out to sea on the Dixie. 
Things had quieted down a bit and we were not 
obliged to make any landings. We stuck around 
until matters had been straightened out, and were 
about ready to return home when the revolution 
broke out in Cuba. 

Again the Marines were first on the job, and the 
troops from the Dixie were the first to set foot on 
Cuban soil. In September four battalions of Marines 
were rushed down to hold things steady until the 


Army of Cuban Pacification could be got ready. The 
first of the Marines were landed at Cienfuegos; 
later others went to Havana. By the time the Army 
got there we had established our bases and I had 
detachments all along the railroads and the situation 
well in hand. 

There were 2,ckdo Marines in Cuba when the Army 
came. Then half of them were withdrawn, leaving 
one regiment of about i,cx>o men which served with 
the Army throughout the occupation until January, 
1909. I was among those who remained. I was 
stationed at Santo Domingo, in Santa Clara province, 
in the centre of the island, and our job was to disarm 
insurgents and keep things quiet. 

One incident in connection with the first period of 
the occupation is worth recording as illustrative 
of the resourcefulness and fighting spirit of the Ma- 
rines. It was in the last days of September, 1906, after 
our landing in Cuba. The Newark^ of the battleship 
fleet, was sent to the port of Nue vitas and Marines 
were landed. Captain (now Lieutenant-Colonel) 
Harlee, with a detachment of Marines, worked his 
way up to Camaguey, a town in the interior of the 
island, where a rebel general with 3,000 troops was 
reported to be operating outside the town. 

The frightened mayor of Camaguey sent word that 
the insurgents were shooting up the town and ter- 
rorizing the inhabitants. Captain Harlee took 
twenty-five men and went in to clean it up. He di- 
vided his little force into patrol squads and went 
through the streets, stopping and disarming parties 


of rebels wherever he met them, no matter what their 
numbers might be. The twenty-five Marines took 
care of several hundred insurgents in this way, and 
not entirely without resistance. 

At one point a villainous-looking negro Captain 
came riding up on horseback at the head of a band 
of his ruffians. The Sergeant in command of the 
squad of Marines stepped up and ordered him to 
dismount and disarm. By way of reply the Captain 
drew and cocked his revolver. The Sergeant prompt- 
ly clubbed his rifle and smashed the stock over the 
rebel's hard head, and the party threw down their 
arms. Captain Harlee gathered in a pile of machetes 
as high as his waist, and sent back the report that 
the trouble was over. 

After the government had been turned back to 
the Cubans, and just before the American troops 
were withdrawn, I took a leading part in a memorable 
ceremony. We were drawn up in the public square 
of the town for a sort of farewell tableau. The mayor 
and town council came out with great dignity and 
made speeches, and then they impressively presented 
me with a huge diploma, gorgeous with gilt, in which 
I was informed that I had been voted hijo adoptivo 
— an adopted son — of Santo Domingo, Cuba. That 
diploma is to-day one of my valued possessions. 

Marines were used during the next few years in 
Panama, Nicaragua, China, and elsewhere. In 
March, 191 1, at the beginning of the Mexican crisis, 
a brigade of Marines under Colonel Waller was sent 
to Guantanamo at the same time the Army was 


sent to the Border. I commanded a battalion in 
one of the two regiments sent down. Another 
regiment was landed from the fleet, making about 
2,icx> men in all. 

During those anxious days people at home were 
criticizing the Government for taking a foolish risk 
and were worrying over the apparent lack of pro- 
tection. I wonder how many of them knew that as 
large a force of fighting Marines as had ever been 
gathered together in one body was right there on 
the job, ready to jump into Vera Cruz at a moment's 
notice. And I wonder how many Americans realized 
how capable those Marines were of coping with a 
situation which seemed fraught with such peril to 
our arms. A landing at Vera Cruz was not deemed 
necessary at that time, however, and so but little 
was heard of the Marines. The chief interest was 
with the boys who were sent down to the Border. 
We spent four months at target practice, sham bat- 
tles, and general training, and then we came home. 

In September, 191 1, I started on a three-years' 
cruise with the North Atlantic Fleet, visiting Euro- 
pean waters in 191 2. During that time I missed 
some rather interesting affairs in Nicaragua, Haiti, 
and elsewhere, of which I think I should speak more at 
length, but before my cruise period was ended I 
was fortunate enough to have some part in the 
occupation of Vera Cruz in 191 4. 

Vera Cruz and the Outbreak of War 

OF THE activities of the Marines during my 
absence on cruise, a few seem worth telling 
here. They had some exciting times in 
Cuba during the coloured revolution of 191 2-1 3. In 
February, 191 3, the fleet went down to look things 
over and a brigade of Marines was landed at Guan- 
tanamo under Colonel Karmany. They engaged 
in some lively skirmishes with the rebels among the 
iron mines and plantations at Santiago de Cuba 
and returned in May. 

It must be remembered that such events took 
place while the United States was at peace and her 
people were largely interested in economic questions 
and domestic politics. I sometimes wonder how 
many Americans realize that hardly a year has 
passed during which the Marines have not been 
fighting somewhere under trying circumstances, 
perhaps dying under the tropic sun, to uphold the 
honour of the Flag. The Marines, at least, have 
never for long suffered from the debilitating effects 
of peace, and when the Great War came their sword 
was sharpened and unsheathed. 

Did you know, for example, tliat four good Ameri- 
can lives were lost and several United States Marines 
were wounded in Nicaragua in 191 2? The revolu- 



tionary situation in that country had become acute 
and American hfe and property were unsafe. So 
they sent the Marines. They fought and they paci- 
fied the country. Major Butler took a battaUon 
over to Corinto, Nicaragua, from Panama, and 
Colonel Pendleton was sent down with a regiment 
from the States to join him. For the rather stirring 
events of that campaign, I am indebted to the follow- 
ing account which appeared in the New York Sun: 

"Early in August of 191 2 a battalion of Marines, con- 
sisting of ten officers and 338 men, under Colonel Joseph 
H. Pendleton, U.S.M.C., was ordered from Panama to 
Nicaragua, then in the throes of a revolution that menaced 
the lives of American citizens and other peaceful foreign- 
ers in that country. That expeditionary force of Marines 
had to struggle against all the handicaps of a tropical 
climate, dense forests, and a foe that offered a good deal 
of stubborn resistance. 

"They participated in the bombardment of Managua, 
a night ambuscade in Masaya, the surrender of General 
Mena and his rebel army at Granada, the surrender of 
the rebel gunboats Victoria and Ninety-three, the assault 
and capture of Coyotepe, the defence of Paso Caballos 
Bridge, besides doing garrison and other duty at Corinto, 
Chinandega, and elsewhere. The most noteworthy event 
of the campaign was the assault and capture of Coyotepe, 
which resulted in the crushing of the revolution and the 
restoration of peace to Nicaragua. 

"The assault lasted for more than half an hour under 
heavy fire from the rebels, who enjoyed a position deemed 
well-nigh impregnable. During these operations three 
enlisted men were killed and several wounded. . . . 


"The victory at Coyotepe Hill was the climax of other 
work in which the Marines showed their adaptability 
and the manner in which they have taken to heart the 
lessons learned in time of peace. They took the loco- 
motives and the battered rolling stock which the revolu- 
tionists had tumbled into the ditches and got them back 
upon the rails, which the Marines also repaired. 

"With this done it was but a short task for these shifty 
men to get up steam in the funny-looking engines. Then, 
with the cars loaded with field guns and ammunition 
and the men anxious for action, the trains staggered along 
the sinuous track and over an uncertain roadbed, carrying 
to the front a certainty of defeat for the entrenched foe, 
safe, as he thought, behind unassailable defences." 

Meanwhile, matters had been going from bad to 
worse in Mexico, and from 191 3 on the Marines were 
closely watching developments in that perturbed 
country. In January, 1914, the Advance Base 
Brigade, consisting of the First and Second Advance 
Base Regiments of Marines, under the command 
of the present Major General Commandant, George 
Barnett, was stationed at Culebra, Porto Rico, for 
instruction in advance base work as a preparation for 
whatever serious situation might arise. Again the 
Marines were ready. This brigade returned to the 
United States just in time to be diverted from the 
home stations to Vera Cruz, where perhaps the most 
important action since the Spanish War took place. 

It so happened, however, that there were other 
Marines in Vera Cruz ahead of the Advance Base 
Brigade. These were the Marines who were aboard 


the ships of the Atlantic Fleet. The Utah and 
Florida were lying in the harbour at Vera Cruz and 
the Minnesota at Tampico; the remainder of the 
Atlantic Fleet was at target practice off the Chesa- 
peake Capes. I was on the Arkansas at the time, 
and we received orders to hasten at once to Vera 
Cruz. We sailed on April 17th and arrived in the 
harbour early in the morning of April 22nd. 

Meanwhile, on April 21st, Admiral Fletcher 
decided to land and take charge of the custom house 
^t Vera Cruz, in order to prevent the German ship 
Yperangay which lay in the harbour, from landing 
her cargo of arms and ammunition. The Marines 
from the Florida and Utah and the sailor battalions 
from the two ships were landed under command of 
Captain W. R. Rush, U. S. N. Lieutenant Colonel 
W. C. Neville was in command of the Marines. 
There were about 200 Marines in the landing party 
and some 300 or 400 sailors. 

It was a ticklish business, for there were at least 
600 Mexican troops in the town, in addition to the 
garrison and other attaches of the Naval Academy 
there. The Mexicans had also set free and armed 
all the convicts in the vicinity, and there was no 
way of estimating the number of armed and desper- 
ate ruffians abroad. 

The custom house was taken over quietly and 
without great difficulty by this landing force. Soon, 
however, the Mexican troops and civilians opened 
fire, and it became necessary to send reinforcements. 

The fleet arrived in the harbour at 2 a. m. on April- 


22nd, and the Marines and sailor battalions were 
immediately landed. I was in command of the 
Marines, numbering about 1,000 men, and Captain 
E. A. Anderson, U. S. N., was in command of the 

The fire of the Mexicans became more intense, 
and on the morning of the 22nd we were ordered to 
take Vera Cruz and drive the Mexicans out. At 
7:30 we commenced to clean up the town. \ 

The battalion of Marines under Major Butler, 
which had been sent up from Panama some time 
before, was landed under fire early in the morning 
and took part in the occupation of the city. The 
second Advance Base Regiment, under Lieutenant 
Colonel C. G. Long, arrived and was landed during 
the forenoon, so that we had some 2,000 Marines 
ashore, besides the sailors. About ten American 
ships lay in the harbour. 

I don't know how fully that engagement has been 
reported to American readers. It was a hot fight 
while it lasted. The enemy was well supplied with 
machine guns and the housetops were alive with 
snipers. It looked like a dive into a hail-storm of 
bullets, but we took a reef in our belts and started in. 

The sailors got it worse than we did, for they 
started on a rush through the streets, swept by the 
enemy's fire, and their casualties were numerous. 
The Marines, with their training in Indian warfare, 
took another course. Since the open streets were 
dangerous, we promptly decided to go through 
the houses, and our chief weapon was the pick-ax. 


The streets of Vera Cruz are lined with rows of 
adjoining houses of adobe with flat roofs and with 
their fronts picturesquely stained in various colours. 
The walls of some of them were two or three feet 
thick, but that did not deter us. We would place 
a machine gun at the end of a street to keep it clear 
of Mexicans, and then start in at the first house and 
go right up the line, breaking through the walls of 
one house after another, and cleaning each one up 
as we got to it. 

There were Mexicans on the flat housetops that 
extended the length of the street, but we sent men 
up to engage them from behind the parapets. This 
double form of attack, from in front and below, was 
not to their liking, and we soon had them running 
for safer cover. When we got to a cross street we 
rushed across to the house on the opposite side and 
began again, potting Greasers as we went. It 
proved to be an eff'ective method, for we cleared out 
our share of the town that day and in the morning's 
fighting we had only one man killed. 

By 8 o'clock that night we had control of the town, 
and on April 23 rd the whole of Vera Cruz was in 
the hands of the Americans, though there was con- 
siderable sniping from the housetops for several 
nights. Five lives were lost in the fighting of those 
two days and a number of men were wounded. 

Colonel J. A. Lejeune arrived and took command 
of all Marines on shore. The town was divided into 
districts, with the sailors in charge of part of the 
town and my regiment the remainder. The two 


Advance Base Regiments took charge of the out- 
posts, one battalion going to Tejar, where the water 
supply of the city was located. This was about 
eight miles from the city on the narrow gauge rail- 

Ten days later the Army arrived, and with them 
another regiment of Marines under command of 
Colonel F. J. Moses. The sailors and fleet Marines 
then returned on board their ships, most of which 
remained in the harbour all summer. Colonel Waller 
arrived about this time and took command of the 
Marine brigade, and Colonels Lejeune and Mahoney 
took command of the two Advance Base Regiments. 
Marines took part in all the subsequent military 
activities incident to the American occupation, the 
three regiments under Colonel Waller remaining on 
duty with about 5,000 Army troops until Vera Cruz 
was evacuated in November. I came north in 
September, having won my Medal of Honour. 

During this period other Marines were watchfully 
waiting on the west coast. Colonel Pendleton 
assembled the Fourth Regiment at the Marine base 
at Mare Island, Cal., and embarked on the South 
Dakota, West Virginia, and Jupiter for duty off 
the Mexican coast, but conditions did not require 
a landing. 

In operations of this sort, the Marines are generally 
given two chief duties to perform. Because of their 
mobility and training, they are usually the first 
to make a landing and pave the way for the soldiers 
or sailors, and this skirmish work requires speed, 


energy, and resourcefulness. It is difficult, perhaps, 
for the civilian to picture such a situation as has 
often existed in the experience of the Marines. The 
ships steam into the harbour with orders to straighten 
out the difficulties existing on shore, to protect 
American lives and property, and to take such action 
as the commanding officer judges to be necessary. 
But accurate information as to conditions on shore 
is not always available. The strength and disposi- 
tion of the enemy or the trouble makers is not defi- 
nitely known. So Marines are landed to make the 
necessary reconnaissance. They proceed unfalteringly 
in the face of the unknown, confident of their ability 
to do what Marines have done before. Often this 
reconnaissance is sufficient to quell the disorders, and 
the report goes back to Washington, "The Marines 
have landed and have the situation well in hand." 
Those few words may cover a tale of bloodshed as 
thrilling as a page of Dumas, but all the American 
newspaper reader knows is that Uncle Sam's police- 
men have again somehow managed to break up one 
of those opera bouffe disorders somewhere south of 
Key West, and he goes to bed with his sense of 
security undisturbed. 

Thus the Marines are landed, and when the situa- 
tion is well in hand they proceed to the second 
of their duties, which is that of provost and patrol 
work. Naval and Army officers have learned by 
experience that no one can do that like the Marines, 
and the Marines are nearly always assigned to the 
important if not always glorious task of keeping 


order. That is what they did in Vera Cruz during 
the summer of 191 4. And it is not merely the frac- 
tious native that needs restraint; Jack ashore is 
often a troublesome handful. The sailor will fight 
the soldier who interferes with his liberties, but he 
will usually submit to arrest at the hands of a Marine 
without resistance, for the Marine is his brother-in- 
arms. The sailor calls the Marine a leatherneck, 
but he loves him just the same. 

When the war broke out in Europe in August, 
1 91 4, the United States Marines were not among 
those who were slumbering in perilous unprepared- 
ness. They were busy on both coasts of Mexico, two 
regiments were in Santo Domingo and Haiti, and 
the whole Corps was mobilized and growing. During 
that same year, 1914, Colonel Charles A. Doyen 
had the Fifth Regiment of Marines under arms on 
board the transport Hancock, which remained in 
Santo Domingan waters until December, during a 
period of unrest in that unfortunate island. Again, 
in April, 191 6, Marines were sent down to Santo Do- 
mingo and cleaned out the rebels with the loss of 
several officers and men. Colonel Pendleton was 
placed in command of a brigade of Marines which 
established a sort of military protectorate over the 
government of the island. 

A similar expedition was sent to Haiti in the 
summer of 191 5 under General Waller. He landed 
with a brigade of Marines in the midst of one of the 
most serious revolutions in the history of the island. 
He discovered that the northern part of the island 


was in the hands of bandit chieftains who used the 
people for their own ends, and the Government was 
powerless to restore order. It appeared necessary 
to wipe out these robber barons, and Waller did it. 
There was some hard fighting, and I cannot say 
how many rebels were executed as a military neces- 
sity, but Haiti, the whole island, was cleaned up and 
quieted down and peace was at last restored. Major 
(now Colonel) Butler was left in Haiti with a number 
of Marine officers and men to keep the peace. They 
are still there at this writing, having formed the 
Haitian constabulary of natives under officers of 
the United States Marines. 

Both Santo Domingo and Haiti were clean jobs, 
well done. Doubtless some of the Marines down 
there would give a year's pay to be with the boys 
in France, but a Marine learns that duty is duty, 
whether he is picked to serve as a runner under fire 
on the Marne or is fated to serve as an office orderly 
at Marine Headquarters in Washington. It's all 
in his day's work. 

As to my own part in this troubled period prior 
to the entrance of the United States in the Great 
War, I was doing what I could to get ready. The Corps 
was expanding and there was a great need for officers. 
I came north in September, 19 14, from Vera Cruz, 
and my three-year cruise period was over in October. 
I was relieved of my sea command by Colonel 
Fuller and went to Portsmouth, N. H., in December, 
to take command of the prison there. Seeing the 
clouds of war approaching, and feeling the need to 


fit myself for wider service, I went to Fort Leaven- 
worth to study in September, 191 6, and later to the 
War College at Washington. I graduated from 
the War College in the spring of 191 7, at about the 
time the United States entered the w^ar, and received 
my Colonel's commission. 

The Corps was at this time organized in the cus- 
tomary manner and engaged in its customary activi- 
ties. The Marines are always on a war-time footing; 
there is nothing that may properly be called a peace 
basis with us. But the United States is not often 
at war, and under ordinary conditions our forces 
are distributed up and down our coasts and over the 
Seven Seas. There are always some of our men on 
board ship, while the rest are posted at the various 
Naval Stations. The dreadnaughts commonly carry 
about eighty-five Marines and the smaller battle- 
ships about seventy-five, with usually two officers 
to each detachment. The larger cruisers carry a 
sergeant's guard. 

The centre of activity of the Marines at home is 
in Philadelphia, where is located the headquarters 
of what we call our Advance Base Brigade. It is 
here that the hurry calls come when the Marines are 
needed. The General Headquarters is in Washing- 
ton. At Paris Island, near Port Royal, S. C, and 
at Mare Island, Cal., are situated our training sta- 
tions where the recruits receive fourteen weeks of 
training. At Miami, Fla., we have the Marine 
aviation grounds. 

Not to go too far back into history, the Marine 


Corps at the outbreak of the Spanish War numbered 
1, 800. It was increased temporarily to 4,500 at that 
time, and afterward, in March, 1899, to 5,000. On 
different subsequent occasions, to meet the demands 
of an expanding Navy, the numbers were increased 
to 7,500, 9,500, and more, until at the outbreak of 
the Great War we had 14,500. 

Owing to the kind of work we have had to do and 
the size of the detachments commonly engaged, we 
have always maintained a good complement of 
vtrained officers. Though we are soldiers and not 
sailors, our association has always been with the 
Navy and Naval men have sought our ranks. In 
1883 for the first time an Annapolis man became an 
officer of Marines. From about that time until 1898 
all our new officers were graduates of the Naval 
Academy. Then the Navy was expanded and needed 
them all, and the Marines were forced to look else- 
where for their officers. Since then a few Naval 
Academy graduates have received commissions in 
the Marine Corps, but the majority of our officers 
now are not Annapolis men, and we have developed 
our own system of officer training. 

Up to 1916 the highest officers of Marines, with the 
exception of the Major General Commandant, were 
the Colonels. In August, 191 6, we were allowed 
by Congress four general officers in addition to the 
Major General, and Waller, Lejeune, Pendleton, and 
Cole were commissioned Brigadier Generals. Since 
the Marines have taken part in the fighting in France, 
others have received this rank. Major General 


George Barnett, our present Commandant, received 
his four-year appointment in 191 3 and was reap- 
pointed in 191 7. 

When at last the United States declared war 
against Germany, the Marine Corps was in fine fettle, 
but in one respect we were, like the rest of the 
country, unprepared for the great task that lay 
ahead of us. We lacked man power, but we immedi- 
ately set about repairing that lack. President Wilson 
was empowered to increase the Corps to 17,500 if 
necessary, and this he promptly did. Then Congress 
voted an expansion to 30,000 for the period of the 
war, and again in July, 191 8, raised the figure to 
75,000. Recruiting was stimulated and the numbers 
cHmbed steadily up to nearly 60,000, when enhst- 
ments were halted on October i, 191 8, pending the 
consideration of the Man Power Bill, and for a time 
the ranks were filled by induction from the draft. 
On December 5th recruiting was resumed for volun- 
tary enlistments for the four-year period. 

Following the first action of Congress, the Marines 
started a whirlwind recruiting campaign. We did 
not lower our requirements one jot, for we knew 
that no weakling could be made into a Marine. 
The whole Corps was on its toes, for there was 
promise of action, and the Marine Hves on action. 
The United States was going across to get into the 
biggest thing that had ever happened, and the Ma- 
rine recognizes no place but the van. Marine Head- 
quarters in Washington was a beehive, our publicity 
men were on their job, and the recruiting Sergeants 


were talking their devoted heads off. As a result, 
the young men of America flocked to our standard 
and in those days we drew in some of the best blood 
in the land. Some of our old-timers were made non- 
commissioned officers and we sent in a bid for the 
first of the Plattsburg graduates. The Corps un- 
derwent a period of rapid expansion, but we were 
able to absorb the new elements as fast as they 
came along. 

The new recruits were sent first to our regular 
training camps at Paris Island and Mare Island. 
There they were jammed through the regulation 
fourteen-weeks period of preliminary training, which 
in some instances was shortened for the emergency. 
When they came out of that school of unremitting 
drill they were Marines. 

At the outbreak of war the Corps leased land at 
Quantico, Va., on the Potomac River some thirty- 
five miles south of Washington, and set about 
establishing a finishing-ofF and embarkation camp. 
Major Campbell was sent down from Annapolis to 
take charge. As soon as the recruits had been 
whipped into shape at Paris and Mare Islands they 
were sent in detachments to Quantico, where they 
were organized into companies. 

Up to this time the Marines had had no fixed 
regimental organization, provisional regiments or 
battalions having been formed temporarily when 
the emergency arose. Now we were confronted with 
the problem of forming a complete military organ- 
ization on the plan of the United States Army for 


the period of the war. Aside from the officers, we 
had, as a nucleus in each regiment, fifty or sixty 
non-commissioned officers who were experienced 
Marines. All the privates in the regiments formed 
at Quantico were new men. 

By the time the Marine Corps had climbed up 
to 30,000 strong, some 5,000 more than were 
in the Regular Army at the outbreak of the Spanish 
War, several regiments had been formed. The First, 
Second, Third, and Fourth were on duty in the West 
Indies, and about this time some small ones were 
sent down there. The Seventh, under Colonel Shaw, 
went to Guantanamo; the Eighth, under Colonel 
Moses, went to Galveston; the Ninth was sent to 
Cuba, Colonel James Mahoney being in command of 
the brigade of three regiments. The Fifth and Sixth 
were organized at Quantico and were the ones des- 
tined for service in France. 

About June i, 1917, I was made Commandant 
of the Post at Quantico and went down to take 
charge. The First Battalion of the Fifth Regiment 
had already been formed when I arrived, and new 
detachments were coming right along to fill up the 
regiment. They were all living in tents then, and 
while the training was going forward we were erect- 
ing cantonments, a target range, and all the other 
appurtenances of a permanent post. Major Evans 
was my right-hand man in charge of organization, 
and he was a wonder. Major Ellis was sent down 
as my assistant in charge of instruction. Later the 
officers* school was sent up from Norfolk, and we 


had charge of that also. Of the life at Quantico I 
shall speak more at length in the next chapter. 

I remained in charge of the post there until Sep- 
tember, when I was relieved by General Lejeune 
and embarked for France at the head of the Sixth 
Regiment. And the curtain was rung up on the 
stirring drama I have endeavoured to describe. 

The Making of a Marine 

WHEN the Great War swept the United 
States into its vortex, the Marine Corps 
was already on a war footing and they got 
their new units quickly into shape. The Marines 
were disciplined, dependable troops the day they 
landed in France. That is why they were called 
upon to perform all that tedious provost duty and 
keep the other troops in order. And by the time 
they had completed their French training in camp 
and in the trenches they were seasoned soldiers. 
This was not the result of mere chance, though we 
were unquestionably fortunate in the matter of per- 
sonnel. It was the result of a thorough and inten- 
sive system of training and instruction which we 
believe is as good as any in the world, and I should 
like to tell something of the way we make Marines 
out of the raw material. We took boys fresh from 
college and business offices and put them through 
the mill, and in less than a year they were fighting 
in France with all the dash and snap and spirit of 
old members of the Corps. Young men who had 
never shot a rifle or killed anything more dangerous 
than a chicken were turned into such fighters that 

the whole world heard of them. Perhaps a glimpse 



at the system of training will give some idea of how 
it was accomplished. 

Young men are attracted to the Marine Corps from 
all walks of life. In ordinary times the service has 
been for three years and has proved attractive to 
the best type of American youth. The Marine ser- 
vice has always been popular and the percentage of 
reenlistment has been high. A larger organization 
than formerly is now being planned and the selective 
enlistment of men for a four-year period is now go- 
Jng on. It is still possible to become a Marine — if 
you're man enough. 

Our standards have always been high in the matter 
of physique, intelligence, and character. We have 
sought for men above the average in physical strength 
and agility. We have sought intelligent, educated 
men, for we have learned that they have sense enough 
to realize the necessity for obedience. They get the 
idea of the discipline quicker than the other sort and 
it stands by them in a pinch. 

The recruits which we took in for the overseas 
service were of an even higher quality than the aver- 
age in previous years. The campaign was, of course, 
stimulated by the war, and we soon had bunches 
of fine fellows on their way to the training stations 
at Paris Island, S. C, and Mare Island, Cal. 

At these stations the recruit undergoes fourteen 
weeks of intensive training. For the war emergency 
this period was shortened to six or eight weeks in 
many instances, after which the men were sent on 
to Quantico to be polished off. We knew there would 


be still more rigid training in France before they 
would be considered fit to fight. 

The recruit takes his preliminary oath and is 
sent to quarantine, where he is subjected to general 
inspection and physical examination. At the close 
of the quarantine period he is re-examined and takes 
the full oath of allegiance. He then goes *'over the 
fence" into the training camp. There used to be 
a fence at Paris Island, but the phrase is only tra- 
ditional now. 

Here the men are grouped eight men to a squad 
and eight squads to a company and are put through 
the regulation military drill. They become acquaint- 
ed with the field w^ork on the manoeuvre grounds, 
they learn how to take care of their equipment and 
adjust their packs ** Marine style," they become 
accustomed to all the rules and regulations of can- 
tonment life. They learn the meaning of neatness 
and the importance of ** police work." Finally, 
when they have been whipped into some sort of 
shape, the drill in markmanship is begun at the 
rifle ranges, and this drill is kept up until the recruit 
is worthy to take his place in the ranks of the sharp- 
est shooting organization in the world. 

The Marine Corps's reputation for marksmanship 
can hardly be overemphasized, and it is all due to 
the training. Over G'] per cent, of the entire Corps 
have qualified as marksmen, sharpshooters, or ex- 
pert riflemen, the three grades established for pro- 
ficiency. Toward the close of a recent report on the 
work of the Marines, Secretary Daniels said : 


"Thus it is that the United States Marines have ■ 
fulfilled the glorious traditions of their Corps in this 
their latest duty as the * soldiers who go to sea/ 
Their sharpshooting — and in one regiment 93 per 
cent, of the men wear the medal of a marksman, a 
sharpshooter, or an expert rifleman — has amazed sol- 
diers of European armies, accustomed merely to 
shooting in the general direction of the enemy. 
Under the fiercest fire they have calmly adjusted 
their sights, aimed for their man, and killed him, 
and in bayonet attacks their advance on machine- 
gun nests has been irresistible." 

Much of the recruit's progress is due to the la- 
bours of the drill Sergeant, who is usually a man 
who bears about with him a perpetual grouch be- 
cause he is not at the front killing Germans. The 
mental attitude thus produced is well calculated to 
carry the fear of authority into the heart of the un- 
broken American. It is good for his soul. 

A list of all the daily duties of the young recruit 
would make tedious reading, but it seems to have 
impressed a correspondent of the Savannah NewSy 
who wrote as follows in an article describing the life 
at Paris Island: 

"What a man who has passed through the Marine 
training can't do isn't worth mentioning. He is 
trained to box, to wrestle, and has bayonet practice, 
and when it comes to washing dishes and peeling 
potatoes — ^well, as one Marine wrote to a certain 
Savannah friend, *When I get through my training 
here I would make any man a good wife.' 

> >> 


And during these weeks, from the first minute, 
the recruit is shot full of the spirit of the Corps, and 
gradually there dawns upon his intellect the fact 
that there exists among the Marines a code of thought 
and faith and conduct which, Hke the British con- 
stitution, is all-potent though unwritten. 

After this preHminary training has been completed, 
with its hikes and company drills, its shooting and 
its bayonet practice, the young Marine is sent on to 
Quantico, where there are facilities for the advanced 
training of over 10,000 men. Here there are manoeu- 
vre grounds and rifle ranges of the most modern type. 
The men attend school where the best instructors 
obtainable teach topography, machine gun work, 
military science, and all the rest of it, and tactical 
marches are required to teach the men the best use 
of the roads. 

In one section of the camp there are hills and ridges 
and valleys that closely resemble the battleground 
of Vimy Ridge, and here the practice trenches are 
located. They are dug 450 yards apart and are fitted 
with wire entanglements and all the features of actual 
warfare. The Germans are represented by dummies 
and against them the young Marines direct their 
machine gun fire. Mines are sprung, wires are cut, 
and over-the-top charges are indulged in, with a 
bloodless mopping up at the end. The rifle, the auto- 
matic, the bayonet, and the grenade are all used in 
the manner required by actual fighting, and woe 
to the man who lags behind or shoots wild. 

Never having been through the private's training 


myself, I must rely upon some one else to present 
the recruit's view of it, which is naturally more inter- 
esting than that of his officers. The following 
letters were written by a Marine, now a Sergeant, 
who passed through the training at Paris Island and 
Quantico in 191 8. Reading between the lines, one 
catches a vision of the unfolding of the Marine 

Paris Island, S. C, 

July — , 191 8. 
.Dear Dad; — 

Here I am in the Y. M. C. A. at Quarantine Station, 
Marine Barracks, Paris Island. I am writing to-night 
because to-morrow and the next day we get our physical 
examinations, which will take up all of our time. Then 
we "cross the line" as they call it and all of the men I 
came down here with will be formed into a company. 

We had a long, dusty trip in a day coach, and the best 
dressed man in the crowd (that's me) was surely a sight. 
I made a bundle out of my coat, collar, and tie and put 
them in my suitcase. I was covered with cinders and 
grime and my long hair was tousled. My long hair is no 
more, dad. You should see my Mr. Zip haircut. 

Well, we landed in Port Royal, a town inhabited 
chiefly by Civil War history. A Sergeant took us in charge 
and we walked the gangplank of a small steamer tug 
named Pilot Boy. I saw the ocean for the first time, dad, 
and real live dolphins. We arrived at Paris Island in 
about twenty minutes, but not before we had had a lot 
of fun bidding good-bye to the mainland. Most of us 
threw our hats into the channel where the tide, rapidly 
receding, carried them out to sea. On the dock a Marine 
Sergeant took us in charge and we started the mile hike 


to Quarantine Station, a huge camp where all the appli- 
cants must come for examination, preliminary instruction, 
and formation into companies. This^Sergeant was a 
regular bull for strength. He seemed a powerful man 
and his voice was just as powerful. They call them 
"leather-lungs" down here. He was not unkind, though, 
and seemed to gaze upon us with a sort of half-hearted 
pity for what might be in store for us. In fact, he told us 
we were not going to a picnic and that we had better 
"snap out of it" right from the start, all of which he as- 
sured us would make things easier. 

I learned w^hat "snap out of it" means, to-day, when 
I didn't hear my name at roll call, and two Corporals 
came out looking for me. They found me, dad; they found 
me! One of them looked at me with a degree of disgust 
in his eyes, the like of which I had never seen, and said, 
"So you expect to be a Marine? Well, you can't be a 
Marine and be a dope. Snap out of it!" I am here to 
tell you I snapped. In fact, I have been snapping all 
day. It seems to be the principal occupation here. 

But last night was a sort of reception night. As we 
came into camp we were met by hundreds of fellows in 
white pajamas who had arrived the day before. They 
all wanted to know the home state of each one of us 
and we were all busy shouting our cities and names. 
Many of the boys found old friends or made new ones. 
We were given new white pajamas, furnished with soap 
and towels, directed to a shower bath, and then lined 
up for chow. That is food, dad, and wonderful food it 
was. Was I hungry? And did I eat? I never knew I 
could eat a meal like that. You Icnow I have always 
been a light eater. 

After we had tried to eat everything in sight and had 


failed, we went out and saw the camp. There are lots 
of queer trees and palmettoes here. There are cotton 
fields with old negro mammies hoeing and a line of red- 
sailed fishing boats come and go with the tide in the chan- 
nel, putting out to sea. Last night we saw three destroyers 
painted a dull grey steaming out to sea in a heavy smoke 

As soon as it was dark we went to the movies which the 
Y. M. C. A. conducts in the open air. We sat on the 
soft sand which was still warm from the sun and a de- 
lightful sea breeze swept continuously over this motley 
^audience hailing from all parts of the United States and 
representing every class and type. Strange bits of slang 
and colloquial phrases came to me from every side. It 
was an evening potent with promise of great interest 
in this new, strange life of the Marines. Under the 
starry canopy, from the great shadows of this island 
night, came the roar of the tide, sharp sounds of distant 
commands, far-oflP strains from tented quartets, and the 
faint tinkle of pots and pans from the galleys where men 
were preparing for the next morning's breakfast. I went 
to bed in my newly assigned bunk and scarcely slept a 
wink for thinking and wondering what my part would 
be in the great business of becoming a Marine. 

This morning after chow we went into an open-air 
pavilion and heard Captain Denby give his famous talk 
on what was expected of us as Marines. Captain Denby 
is an ex-Congressman from Michigan, and he surely must 
have been an easy victor in his race for office, for he held 
us all spellbound as he described the duties of a Marine — 
where a Soldier of the Sea must go, what he is expected 
to do, how he must conduct himself, and the penalty 
imposed in war time for touching a drop of intoxicating 


liquor. Truth and the esprit de corps of the Marines 
seemed to be the theme of this oracle whom they call 
the "Daddy" of the Marine Corps. They all went up 
to him after it was over — all those who could get near 
him — ^just to shake hands and hear a few words more. 
A lot of the fellows who had lied when they enlisted went 
up to square themselves, and the Captain looked more 
like he might be their own father than either a Congress- 
man or a Captain of Marines. He is a big man in stature 
as well as spirit. Even I, who have learned to respect 
the uniform of Marine officers with a respect born of con- 
fidence and esteem, forgot that Denby was anything so 
formidable as a Captain, and I told him all about you 
and your fight for the City Council last fall. He put his 
arm around my shoulder and his face lit up with all the 
enthusiasm of a man who knows men and loves them 
from the bottom of his heart. This, I think, will prove 
to be one of the biggest experiences of my camp life, for 
then and there I resolved to be a Marine in every sense 
of the word, first, last, and all the time, and try to up- 
hold the splendid traditions of the Corps. 

Love to all, 


The word "snap'* to which Bill refers is one of 
the most widely used and significant at Paris Island. 
It is descriptive of the spirit and technique which 
the drill Sergeants endeavour to instill into the minds 
of the new recruits who are learning foot drill without 
rifles. This is the way one recruit described it: 

So precise and snappy is the drill of the Marines that 
the new man, who has always considered himself quite 
alert, finds it necessary to make himself all over again. 


His chief slogan becomes "snap/' The word is synony- 
mous with "pep," but it means infinitely more, for every 
movement in the Marine Corps must be executed quickly 
and at exactly the right time, and, after the training has 
become a science, at the same time. 

Even the eyes seem to snap when a Marine commander 
gives the command, "Eyes right!" As a result, Marine 
drill is an almost perfect mechanism, moving in well-or- 
dered clicks, quickly, to the accomplishment of itsj^pur- 

Even in hours of play in the company streets the men, 
with that rare humour of imitation, often regulate their 
actions by shouting commands, or if at work, count a 
cadence — ^'One, two, three, four; one, two, three, four!" 
— as they fold their clothes or rake the ground about 
their tents. In this spirit of fun they snap from one po- 
sition to another. 

One Marine who, just before taps, drilled up and 
down the street in his pajamas giving bogus commands 
and obeying them himself, was caught later talking in 
his sleep, giving the same commands in a voice calculated 
to imitate his superior officer. Naturally he became the 
laughing-stock of his "buddies," who considered his 
sleep-walking better than the one in Macbeth. 

At the movies these hardy "buck" privates will count 
**One, two, three, four; one, two, three, four!" as the 
hero marches toward the leading lady, and if he does 
not embrace her with true Marine speed, they will shout, 
"Snap out of it!" 

Yes, snap is the word from the time the boys "hit the 
deck" or get up in the morning, through their drill periods, 
not forgetting chow, until they make down their immacu- 
late bunks at the sound of taps. Snap is the first thing 


the Marine learns and the last he forgets. It is the 
Marine snap that has won for the Corps the well-deserved 
reputation of being the snappiest fighting force in the 

Here is Bill's second letter to his father: 

Paris Island, S. C, 

July — , 1918. 

Dear Dad: — 

Three nights ago we came almost the entire length of 
Paris Island, six miles, to the Manoeuvre Grounds, or Boot 
Camp as it is called. We have no rifles yet and won't 
have for ten days or more. You see the camps are ar- 
ranged in a loop. When you have gone around the loop 
at Paris Island you are a Marine. That's what the 
Sergeant said yesterday and Fm beginning to believe him. 
If I have any muscles in my body which haven't been 
stretched within the last week it isn't the fault of the 
drill Sergeant or the physical instructor. 

I've been swimming twice. There's nothing like the 
ocean, Dad. You know I used to do my two miles a 
day in the lake. Well, a five-mile swim would be easy 
here only they won't let you try to swim that far. Our 
company went down in a column of squads uniformed in 
regulation Marine Corps bathing suits. 

Already we drill fairly well, but there are still a few 
who don't seem able to get in step. They are put in an 
awkward squad and given extra attention by the Ser- 
geant. I'm glad I'm not in that squad. 

At the beach we were separated into two classes, those 
who could swim and those who could not. There is an 
instructor for every man who cannot swim and chief in- 
structors who supervise the work. Flocks and flocks of 


pelicans and sea gulls flew over us, evidently much dis- 
turbed because we had interfered with their summer 
homes at the seaside. 

I don't think I'll ever work in an office again. I am 
tanning up fine now and have gained six pounds, so you 
see exercise agrees with me. My bunkie, who lives in 
the same tent with me, is a graduate of Oberlin College 
and was a crack athlete there. We had a field meet 
yesterday and he won the high jump, broad jump, and 
quarter mile run. He tells me that though he used to 
train in college, he never was in such good physical con- 
dition as he is down here. It must be the outdoor life 
and the happy-go-lucky spirit which all the boys have 
acquired. No matter what hardships spring up or what 
strenuous duties we have to face, they are all taken up with 
a laugh. Good cheer always saves the day. 

I won't need the toilet kit that Edith is making. The 
Marine Corps has furnished me with one that will take 
up much less room, I think. Just take it when she gives 
it to you and keep it, and I will write and thank her 
for it. If you were here you would understand that we 
have no room for excess baggage. 

You should see me washing my own clothes. We go 
over as a company to a place where there are rows of 
smooth, hard benches which drain into a trough. Each 
man takes a bucket full of clothes, some washing soap, 
and a big bristle brush. There are indoor places for 
washing, but those are used only in bad weather or in 
winter. It was hard work the first day, but I'm getting 
used to it now. We scrub clothes about three times a 
week. After each scrubbing a Corporal in charge inspects 
every piece of clothing. I never saw a cleaner bunch 
of men in any one aggregation before. There is some- 


thing to be cleaned all the time, but there is a great sat- 
isfaction in knowing that you are "always ready" (a 
Marine Corps slogan) and look just like you were on 
parade. We dress up for our Sergeant the same as we 
would for a General. 

I must go now, for we are going to be instructed in our 
general orders which will enable us to go on guard duty. 
We must memorize fifteen or more orders and be able 
to say them without a moment's hesitation. A Marine 
must always know these, for he may be called to most 
any country in the world where the United States has a 
legation or consulate, to guard our interest there. 

There's the Sergeant's whistle, which says, "Fall out 
and fall in." 

Love to all. 


Other letters from this young Marine, showing 
the progress of the training, follow: 

Paris Island, S, C, 

July — y 1918. 
Dear Dad: — 

The day after your visit I was made an "acting Jack" 
or acting Corporal, which means that at the end of my 
training here at Paris Island I will be made a regular Cor- 
poral. I wear a leather belt now and help to drill my 
company. I may or may not have to go to the non- 
commissioned officers' school. I would rather not, for 
it might mean that I would have to stay on the Island 
and drill troops, and you know I would rather go across. 

The camp has changed a great deal since you were 
here. It is marvellous the changes a week can bring. New 
buildings have sprung up everywhere and the entire 
island is a veritable city. 


We are on the range now. I am on the first shift, 
which has reveille at 4 o'clock while it is still very dark. 
We have early morning coffee and then hike two miles 
to the range, drilling every step of the way except for 
one stretch of road where they give us the "route step.'* 
Then we sing and shout to one another. It is a weird 
sight to see the long columns of companies dressed in old, 
ragged coats padded heavily at the elbows and shoulders 
(many of the range coats have no backs), swinging along, 
singing lustily and handling their rifles with the assurance 
that comes only with long practice. 

As daylight peeps over the targets we begin our fire, 
which lasts until one o'clock in the afternoon. We shoot 
rain or shine. When it rains we take our ponchos and 
roll up in them while waiting our turn on the firing line. 
On pleasant days there is no shade and the place where 
my back is exposed to the sun is a deep tan now. 

We "snap in" before firing actual bullets. By that I 
mean we go through all the science of firing; we adjust 
our windage, peep sight, and elevation, each man ac- 
cording to the instruction of his coach. We "snap in" 
three or four rounds, then shoot a clip of ammunition at 
the targets. Each man is assigned to a target which he 
keeps all through the three weeks of his range work. 
We shoot rapid fire, ten shots to the minute, at 200 
yards, rapid fire at 300 and 500 yards, and slow fire at 
300, 500, and 600 yards. Even the large target looks 
terribly small at 600 yards. Half the battle is keeping 
the sights well blackened by smoking them in burning 
shoe polish or oil. Then, too, the bolt must be kept in 
good condition so it won't jam. Marines are taught the 
science of shooting with the utmost care. -We must cal- 
culate evcr3^thing according to mathematical tables — 


elevation, the velocity of the wind, and the "zero" of 
the rifle. The greatest crime is to shoot carelessly with- 
out strict adherence to form. The rifle must be held 
just so, with the left arm well under the piece, the eye 
just back of the firing pin, and the jaw set tightly to the 
butt of the rifle, never firing until the breath is under 
perfect control so that there is not the slightest possibility 
of a "wabble.'* 

Very few of the men fail to become marksmen and most 
of them are sharpshooters and experts, all of which 
shows what expert coaching will do. Our coaches are 
mighty good fellows, always kind and patient and anxious 
to have us make a good showing. 

We expect to shove off in three or four days. Where 
we are going no one has the least knowledge but every 
one has his own idea, and I have been told that I am going 
everywhere from Siberia to Texas. Of course Marines 
go all over the world, so there is a possible grain of truth 
in each rumour. 

More in two or three days. 


Quantico, Va,y 
August — , 1918. 

Dear Dad: — 

We arrived at Quantico late night before last. We had 
to stand in line for about thirty minutes while some one 
went after the officers of the supply department. They 
were all up at the Post Gym. to hear Madame Schumann- 
Heink sing. 

This is a real camp. I hope you can get down here 
before I leave. It is to Paris Island what New York 
is to Hoboken. I had the equivalent of six meals during 
the day's trip here from Paris Island. Every one along 


the road treated us royally. There were lots of nice 

canteen girls and members of the Red Cross who gave 

us ice cream, sandwiches, and coffee, and all sorts of 

bird food which we weren't used to but which tasted 

mighty good. 

The best news I have is that instead of being made a 

Corporal, as I expected, I have been made a Sergeant 

and will have charge of a detail of men in one of the 

bunk houses. At Quantico we get "liberty" every 

week-end and may run up to Washington for the day at 

a total cost of a little more than $3. My detail is to be 

sent out for duty to the miners' and sappers' camp about 

two miles out on a concrete road. I don't know a thing 

about the work but will write you all about it as soon as 

we are settled. There are so many supplies to draw and 

so much equipment to check up that I haven't much time 

to write now. 

Your Marine, 


Quantico, Fa., 
August — , 1918. 
Dear Dad: — 

What do you think? I am at Chateau-Thierry! Not 
the one in France, but a regular imitation Chateau- 
Thierry right here in Virginia. A whole section of the 
Virginia woodland has been taken over and blasted, dug, 
and mined by the miners and sappers of the Marine Corps 
until it is almost an exact replica of the country around 
Chateau-Thierry and Vimy Ridge. The Scouts and Snip- 
ers stay at Vimy Ridge, which is closer to the main camp 
than we are. Both places are used as schools and for ex- 
hibition purposes. Troops of Marines come through here 
before going to France and help dig the trenches and 


take part In the sham battles and patrol raids that are 
everyday occurrences here. 

Most of my detail never saw a mine before, but all of 
the men in camp here are experienced miners and sappers 
and have worked for years in the mines in Butte and 
other Western mining centres. They have been retained 
here as instructors and will teach us the game of laying 
a sap through No Man's Land and blowing up the enemy 
trenches. The Russian sap is used to establish listening 
posts and can be dug without detection by the enemy. 

At Chateau-Thierry there are three lines of main trenches 
with their supporting trenches, shelters, dugouts, ma- 
chine gun nests, barbed wire entanglements, and all the 
trench accessories realistic as in actual warfare. Next 
week we are going to blow out the Commander's dugout, 
which is thirty feet underground and affords sleeping 
quarters for a platoon of men. It looks just like a hotel, 
for the hewn walls have been plastered with cement by 
a cement gunner. It seems a shame to blow it all up. 
But the officers want to see how much powder it will take 
and how quickly it is feasible to repair the damage; all 
of which, I suppose, is one of the many lessons of warfare. 

To the novice the science of underground warfare seems 
interminable. It is also about the most important, it 
seems to me, for although aviation has proved to be of 
great assistance in observation and even in direct attacks, 
there is positively no way for the enemy to detect the 
grim approach of the sappers and miners who may tunnel 
to their very door and blow up an entire field with com- 
parative ease. 

As soon as we are ready for any specific phase of the 
work, my detail will undoubtedly be shipped to France, 
for the Allies stand in great need of this work. But just 


because I am learning to be a miner, dad, does not mean 
that I am not a Marine. On the contrary, the officers 
here seem to be more particular than ever about our ap- 
pearance, keeping us in good physical shape, and in- 
specting our equipment. We carry our rifles and packs 
the same as the other men and hope to see some actual 
fighting, for our work carries us to the very first line 
trench and beyond. 

I must stop now, for I have made arrangements to go 
in on the truck to the main camp with one of the boys 
who is going to entertain his sister and three other girls 
£rom Washington at the Hostess House. 

Love to all. 


In Bill's first letter to his father there is a reference 
to Captain Edwin Denby's address to the recruits 
at Paris Island. I am inclined to believe that this 
address does more than any other one thing to 
awaken the young minds of the recruits to a realiza- 
tion of their responsibility as Marines and to open 
their eyes to the significance of membership in the 
historic Corps. It is a vital step in the making of a 
Marine, the value of which can hardly be overesti- 

Captain Denby is the son of the Minister to China 
in Cleveland's administration. He served for several 
terms in Congress and then retired from politics 
to go into business, in which he was equally success- 
ful. But the war spirit got him; he wanted to be- 
come a Marine. Turning aside all suggestions that 
infliuence might secure for him a commission at the 


outset, he enlisted as a private and took the training. 
He rose from the ranks to the Captaincy. He is a 
big, powerful man and a born orator. His personality 
is ideal for the task he has undertaken; no one could 
be better fitted than he to flood the minds and hearts 
of his hearers with the spirit of the Marines. 

He talks to the appHcants in the open air, in groups 
of a hundred, and I am told that the occasion is one 
to be long remembered by them — the sunshine and 
the breeze in the palmettoes, and the stretch of blue 
ocean, and the stirring words of the orator ringing 
across the sands. 

He begins by calling attention to the most serious 
of all a soldier's crimes — desertion — and the kindred 
sins of absence over leave and sleeping on post. The 
penalty, he points out, may be death or some 
other severe penalty with the loss of citizenship, 
and he explains why. He passes on to the subject 
of drunkenness and explains why the Marines have 
found it best to enforce the rule of no drink at all. 
He explains the system of pay, allotments, and 
insurance, counselling thrift. Then he takes up the 
history of the Corps. 

The work of the Corps, in normal times, he says, 
is not laid down by law or regulation, long custom 
and experience having shown how the Corps can best 
serve the Government. The first duty is as guards 
for the ships of the Navy, with service as soldiers, 
police, orderlies, and sentinels. This includes police 
work ashore, the manning and serving of the second- 
ary batteries aboard ship, and the organization of 


landing parties. Captain Denby calls attention to 
the cordial relations existing between the sailors 
and the Marines. 

Second, the Marines may be called upon to act 
as garrisons in overseas possessions of the United 
States, such as the Philippines. Five hundred 
Marines were sent to act as the garrison of the Island 
of St. Thomas the day we took it over from Den- 

Third, they serve as guards for the Navy yards 
and all property of the Navy. And, fourth, they 
serve, in a general way, as the guardians of the 
Monroe Doctrine — the visible evidence of force and 
protection for foreigners as well as Americans on the 
Western Hemisphere. 

Captain Denby goes on to describe the esprit de 
corps of the Marines. He tells the recruits what they 
will have to do and offers some plain truths about 
plain work. He explains the rules of obedience to 
officers and non-commissioned officers, the value and 
meaning of the salute, and the rights of privates. He 
describes the requirements of the drill and rifle 
practice. He makes a plea for letters to the folks 
at home and calls for voluntary censorship. He dis- 
cusses foul language and profanity, diseases and 
morals. He expounds the value and meaning of the 
oath and discusses its various parts. Altogether he 
sums up in a remarkable way the duties and respon- 
sibilities and privileges of the Marines. 

Set forth by some men, this sort of thing would 
be listened to with scant attention. It is a long 


address; to restless young men it might be a great 
bore. They would take it all with a grain of salt. 
Not so with Captain Denby's oratory. The boys 
listen to him with rapt attention and when it is 
over they crowd about him for a more personal 
word and approach him as a father confessor. It 
is wonderfully impressive and effective, like the offi- 
cial charge at some fraternity initiation. 

I think I cannot do better, in closing this chapter 
on the making of a Marine, than by quoting some 
of the more striking paragraphs in Captain Denby's 
address. In my humble opinion they are classic and 
might be read with profit by others than Marine 

You are down here to enlist in the Marine Corps. You 
know very little about the Corps. You know more than 
the average man on the outside because you have talked 
with recruiting Sergeants and perhaps read literature of 
the Corps, but that is not saying much. The average 
man on the outside has a very vague idea as to what the 
Marine Corps is, and what place it holds in the American 
military establishment — what it does for the Govern- 
ment, in other words. As a rule he only knows that one 
day he opens his morning paper and finds that there has 
been trouble at Vladivostok, Siberia, for instance, and 
the Marines have landed, and then that phrase we hear 
so often, "The Marines have the situation well in hand." 
The next day he notices in his paper that there has been 
trouble in Central America, or S.outh America perhaps, 
and again "The Marines have landed and have the situ- 
ation well in hand." And again he opens his paper and 
finds that there has been trouble in the Malay Straits 


Settlements, or Borneo, or Siam, or some other place 
long forgotten by God or man, and once more "The 
Marines have landed and have the situation well in hand/' 
So he says, "Who and what the dickens are these Ma- 
rines? I never hear of them except when there is trouble 
somewhere, and then they seem to rise up out of the sea, 
and they are always landing and always getting situations 
well in hand." And I don't know but what that is a 
pretty good description of the United States Marines. 
They are the stormy petrels of the United States Service. 
A petrel is a little sea bird that flies on the wings of the 
storm. So does the Marine, and wherever the storm blows 
you may count upon finding him. 

■ ••••• 

Let me point out to you that there are slackers and 
slackers. We are accustomed to think of the slacker 
only as one who fails or refuses to put on his country's 
uniform when the country needs him for its defence. 
But there are many other forms of slacking. Some of 
them are even more objectionable than that, and one of 
the most offensive forms of slacking is that exhibited by 
the man in uniform who fails or refuses to perform cheer- 
fully and well whatever duty he is given to do, because 
he cannot get the duty he wants to do. 

You must become good shots. The Marine Corps has 
always been celebrated throughout the world for its 
marksmanship, and if we ever get to open fighting in 
France, the Marine Corps will give the greatest exhibition 
of military marksmanship the world has ever seen. You 
men must do your part. You can become good shots if 
you will, and if you fail it will be because you lack the 
will to succeed. It is almost a mathematical certainty 


that any man who can pass the surgeon, has good eyesight, 
sound body, and sound nerves, can learn to shoot well. 
You will shoot 60 shots. Each shot, if you hit the bulls- 
eye, counts 5. Five times 60 is 300. Therefore, the high- 
est possible score you can make is 300. No man has ever 
done it, but why shouldn't you ? If you do, you will be 
famous throughout the Marine Corps, but you don't 
have to get 300 to become a qualified marksman and to 
be a good shot. If you get only 202 you will win the priv- 
ilege of wearing upon your uniform the little silver bar 
of the marksman, and you will receive $2 additional 
monthly pay. If you get 238 you will wear the cross 
of the sharpshooter and get $3 additional monthly pay. 
If you get 253 you will wear the wreath and crossed 
rifles of the expert and get $5 additional monthly pay, 
all for one year. Each year every man shoots for record 
again. Go to it, men, and take your place as good shots 
in;the best shooting force in the world. One other thing. 
If you know anything about high-powered rifles now, and 
have shot big game or at targets on the outside, forget it 
and go to the range with an empty mind and learn to 
shoot as the coaches instruct you. They know best how 
military marksmen are made, and that is the way you 
must learn. 


"You will at the end of your training, I hope, find that 
you have learned four things supremely well — obedience, 
discipline, how to shoot well, and how to use the rifle 
with the bayonet. If you will have developed your bodies 
and made them strong, quick, and hard, and learn those 
four things, you will be Marines. All things else can be 
easily built upon that foundation, and all things else 
that you are required to learn are comparatively easy, 


once you have thoroughly mastered those four. Those 
are the four great elements of the foot soldier. 

• ••••• 

As you have often been told, we are fighting to make the 
world a decent place to live in. We are fighting for future 
generations, for the peace of the yet unborn as well as 
for ourselves. So must we try hard, that while we fight 
to make the world a decent place to live in, we do not 
so conduct ourselves that those who are to be born here- 
after will not be fit people to live in a clean and decent 
world. We of America have stood on the sidelines and 
, watched this ghastly war for three years, and now we 
are in it. We have read with deep grief of the number 
of splendid young men of England, France, Canada, and 
Australia who have had their lives ruined, who have been 
beaten not by the German foe but by disease behind the 
lines. Scientists cannot estimate the harm that will be 
done to future generations on account of the flood of dis- 
eased blood that will be poured into the veins of those 
countries because of these illnesses contracted during this 
war. We only know that one hundred years hence there 
will be deformed and misshapen babies born. There will 
be half-witted men and women. The sum total of human 
misery will be greatly increased and national efl&ciency 
greatly lowered because of the diseases suffered by the 
boys in the Great War. And we of America have seen it 
all, and now we are in it too. Shall we not determine 
that we of the Marine Corps at least shall win both wars? 
So shall we be glad ever to look back with clean and lofty 
pride upon our part in this great struggle. 

Then, too, remember this. There is no man of us but 
has left at home some woman. It may be a mother, a 


wife, a sister, a daughter, or only a girl. But there is 
some woman vitally interested in each one of us. Let 
me say to you that ours is the easy part, no matter what 
suffering or hardships we have to undergo. You come here 
to the island and you go through work that is hard and 
trying, but that only needs a man's spirit in a man's 
body. And all the while you are learning new things. 
You are learning the art of the soldier. Your bodies are 
being built up and there are things of interest constantly 
coming to your attention. And so it will be throughout 
all your service, until perhaps you find yourselves on the 
battlefields of Europe. Even there, amid the horrors of 
which we have read so much, you will find the curious 
joy and exaltation of battle. After the guns begin to roll 
and the first tremor of nervousness is over, you will find 
the lust of battle to possess you. You will want to get 
at the enemy. Every man who has ever been under fire 
knows what I mean. And if the white road of duty shall 
lead to the soldier's grave, after all, is that so terrible? 
You will never again have a chance to offer your lives in 
so noble a cause. All through your service you will have 
the pride and glory of the thought that you are offering 
all for humanity and for your country, and that is enough 
to make things seem easy. You may think me childish. 
Perhaps I am, but to me the sight of the flag takes the 
hurt and the pain out of most things. To me the flag 
seems like some beautiful spirit, lovingly brooding always 
over our ships at sea and our camps at home and the 
battle line of our men at war, the spirit of a nation looking 
down in sympathy upon its sons. 

They do not have that at home-^our women. They 
only work and work and work for us, and then they pray. 
And pray for three things: First, that the war shall be 


soon over, and most earnestly may we join in that; and 
then that their men, whoever they may be, will come 
home again alive out of the struggle, and we can again 
join in that. But we cannot promise; that is on the knees 
of the gods, in the hands of fate. We may go home; we 
may not; we cannot control our destiny. And then they 
pray that, if we do come home, we shall come as clean 
and decent and upright and honourable gentlemen as 
we left — and we can do that. Nowhere in the world does 
a man stand more squarely on his own feet, to make or 
mar his character, than in the military service. We can 
V go home clean if we want to. So remember always, if 
you want to go back worthy to look your women in the 
face, if you want to go back and have them glad you came 
and not sorry that some kindly bullet did not leave you 
on the field of honour over there — it is up to you, men; 
it is up to you. 


Some Reflections on the War 

IT MIGHT be wiser, perhaps, if I were to leave 
all critical discussion of the war in general and 
the problems growing out of it to those trained 
writers and thinkers who have made a special study 
of these things. Viewing the situation broadly from 
afar, their ears unassailed by the roar of cannon 
and the groans of dying men, a clearer perspective 
is granted them. But they are for the most part 
civiHans, and my only excuse for indulging in these 
closing reflections is that the views of a professional 
soldier, whose Hfe has been spent with the Marines 
and who has faced the Boche on the firing line, may 
be not without a certain interest for those who gain 
most of their conceptions of the war from magazine 
writers and the editorial pages of the daily papers. 

Before the war the German army was spoken of 
as the finest military organization the world had 
ever seen. Now that it has been defeated I have 
sometimes been asked what I think of it. Well, 
the military man still has the highest respect for the 
German military genius. We must give the devil his 
due. Strictly on military lines, it would have been 
absolutely impossible to beat the German military 
organization with anything like equal numbers. 



That organization was so perfect in every depart- 
ment, that each man counted for more than an^^ 
other single man in the world. And their capacity 
for speedy mobilization was unexampled. 

In the second place, the German system of strat- 
egy, carefully and methodically developed by gen- 
erations of military geniuses, was practically flaw- 
less, and the German general staff was at least the 
equal of any in the world. And in the present war 
the reputation of that staff and that system of 
, strategy has been amply justified. In Eoch the 
German strategists met their match, but their system 
is still unassailable; they never were beaten on 

How, then, shall we account for the downfall *of 
the all-powerful German Empire.^ I think their 
failure must be attributed to fundamental defects 
in the German psychology and the basic error of 
their belief that might can rule the world in spite 
of right. They have utterly misunderstood the moral 
motives and mental processes of other peoples; 
they were mistaken in their belief in the German 
type of discipline as affecting the fighting capacity 
of the individual soldier; they underestimated the 
duration of the war and hence overestimated their 
own resources and staying power. 

While the German military strategy has been al- 
most perfect, many of the German war rheasures have 
been fatally blundering. Their military judgment 
has amounted to an almost infallible instinct; their 
political judgment has often proved itself to be quite 


unintelligent. On numerous occasions their diplo- 
macy has broken down completely. 

The German theory of frightfulness is absolutely 
logical if viewed only from a military point of view. 
To destroy the morale back of an army is as effec- 
tive as to destroy the morale of the army itself. If 
you are out to destroy, why not destroy both root 
and branch ? What the German in his blind follow- 
ing of his faith in force failed to foresee was that in 
neutral nations there existed a psychology which 
would react against this theory of frightfulness and 
so multiply Germany's opponents. He was hoist 
by his own petard. If Germany had not murdered 
babies in Belgium, if she had not ravished northern 
France, if she had not destroyed cathedrals or 
bombed hospitals or sunk the Lusitania, if she had 
not, in short, followed out her theory to its logical 
conclusion, the United States, loving peace, might 
never have entered the war, and the Hun would 
have been in Paris to-day. 

The Germans, judging all men by their own char- 
acteristics, misjudged the capacity of both the oppos- 
ing commanders and the opposing troops. Measur- 
ing them by a fixed, mathematical standard, they 
wrongly estimated their power in the field. 

And the Kaiser's own carefully prepared armies 
failed him in the eleventh hour. The German 
calculators failed to figure in the correct percentage 
of depreciation. The Kaiser started the war with 
a military establishment 100 per cent, efficient. It 
was a perfectly adjusted machine. But the indivld- 


ual parts of it weakened; the machine ran more and 
more out of gear; and the Kaiser, knowing only how 
to use a perfect mechanism, resorted not so much to 
the strengthening of the weaknesses as to the general 
repairing of the machine. During the last year of 
the war he was running with a patched engine, and 
a patched engine is not the thing he knows how to 
run. In the four years of fighting the Germans 
lost heavily in officers and a large part of their best 
troops were used up. What they had left were not 
a match for the flower of American manhood pitted 
"against them. 

The German soldiers and the German people 
became w^ar-weary. As far back as last spring we 
learned from prisoners that they were beginning to 
feel that they could not win the war. They had 
begun to distrust their leaders; rust was getting 
into the German machine. 

In this policy of deceit, in the belief of the German 
ruling class that the common people could be made 
to believe anything indefinitely, there lay one of 
the greatest of German blunders. It had nothing 
to do with strategy, but it was a fundamental defect 
in their military theory. 

In other words, the lOO per cent efficiency failed 
because of fatal errors of judgment. The German 
leaders misjudged Belgium, and France was given 
a few precious days in which to prepare for the first 
Battle of the Marne. They misjudged England 
and brought against them the power of the British 
navy, and later, the wonderful British armies. They 


misjudged the British colonies; they misjudged 
the United States. All the brilliance of their military 
genius and all the perfection of their system of 
strategy could not avail against such basic errors 
of judgment. Germany credited all men with selfish 
motives and an elastic code of honour, and, thank 
God, Germany was wrong. 

One has also begun to wonder about the individual 
German soldier, that perfect creation of the German 
machine, who at last began to lose his nerve and 
cry "Kamerad." Unquestionably he was the best 
trained soldier in the world, and no military man 
underestimates training. Not even the French sol- 
dier was his equal in that respect, while we in America 
have little conception of how thoroughly every Ger- 
man was made over into a soldier. Individually he 
was no coward, particularly when supported by his 
fellows and his officers in a mass movement, as has 
been demonstrated on a hundred occasions. What he 
lacked was initiative, resourcefulness, adaptability, 
the very things the United States Marines have 
always sought to develop. Furthermore, the German 
soldier is, as a rule, a poor marksman, while the 
average American is a natural shot. I think I am 
safe in saying that there are no finer marksmen in 
the whole world than the United States Marines, 
and I doubt if our boys would ever have been able 
to take those machine guns in Belleau Wood if 
they had not picked ofF four or five Germans with 
their rifles for every American that fell. The German 
soldier, with all his training, can be licked by a 


Frenchman or a Canadian, and I believe that today, 
man for man, the American troops are far superior 
to the over-rated Germans in personnel. 

It is difficult to characterize the American soldier; 
it is hard not to brag. To the British and French 
veterans who have learned all there is to know about 
war during these four bloody years, we are still a 
bit raw. But they all concede that the American 
possesses courage, dash, initiative, a strong morale, 
and a splendid physique. Perhaps it would not 
hurt us to exhibit a little more modesty in the face 
of events, but one cannot suppress a thrill of pride 
when some battered old French Territorial glances 
up from his trench digging with a broad smile at the 
husky Yankee swinging by, waves his hand, and cries 
with Gallic generosity, "Bon soldat! Bon soldat!*' 

I believe that our part in this war has been vital, 
that if we had not gone in Germany would have won. 
The morale of the French people was unquestionably 
at low ebb; they had begun to lose hope. Our first 
troops got there none too soon, but even though they 
were a bit slow at getting into the fighting, their 
mere presence on French soil served to hold up 
Foch's hands and brought back hope to the French 
people. Our critics over here did not all believe 
that these things were so, but the French knew. The 
mere fact that half a million Americans were training 
on French soil was enough to hearten volatile France. 
They needed something more than mere fighters, 
and they got it in the nick of time. 

And if the United States Marines had not beaten 


back the Hun at Belleau Wood, Paris might easily 
have fallen, and what would have happened to French 
morale then ? 

For morale may win or lose a battle or a war, 
and the Americans, whatever else may be said of 
them, were bubbling over with confidence. 

One matter has been settled by this war which 
my association with the Navy has led me to be 
particularly interested in. The U-boat campaign 
was a failure. It has been demonstrated that the 
submarine is not the most formidable naval weapon 
after all. The speed, efficiency, and resourcefulness 
of the Allied torpedo boats and destroyers have 
removed that question from the realm of debate. 

Well, the war is over, and we all rejoice in that. 
There has been enough of killing and of suffering. 
But it has not been fought in vain if Germany's 
military power has been thoroughly broken and its 
menace to civilization ended forever. We must 
remain constantly on guard to prevent the develop- 
ment of any similar malevolent power elsewhere. 

Never was there a conflict of human wills so fraught 
with peril and despair as this one, nor so pregnant 
with hope for the future of the human race. We are 
proud that we had a part in it. Nor need we, I 
think, reproach ourselves or our Government for 
not taking a fuller part. We did what we were given 
to do and God knows it was no child's play. We 
went in with clean hands and we came out with hands 
soiled only with the blood of international criminals. 

So much for the conclusions to be drawn from the 


military lessons of the war. In moral and ethical 
fields it has taught us much. Especially have our 
eyes been opened to new truths regarding prepared- 
ness, efficiency, discipline, and democracy. 

We have heard a lot about preparedness since 
the Lusitania was sunk, but I am inclined to think 
that a good deal of it is but dimly understood. It 
seems to me that the first premise to be established 
is that the thing to be prepared for is likely to be of 
supreme and vital importance. It is one thing to 
keep your revolver loaded on general principles; 
it is quite another to be informed of the fact that 
burglars are operating in the neighbourhood. The 
Marine has learned that there are always burglars 
operating in some neighbourhood, and his revolver 
is always loaded. As for the Nation, I am not sur- 
prised that Americans were slow to wake up to the 
necessity for preparedness, for they did not believe 
in burglars. It took a lot to convince them. But 
perhaps the lesson has been learned and the Nation 
will never become quite so completely demobilized 
again. So long as human nature is what it is, so 
long as there is a bare possibility that burglars Hke 
the Potsdam gang may be in existence somewhere, 
it is best to be ready. 

Discipline is a thing that the average American 
must more fully comprehend and beheve in if he is 
to become a thoroughly effective and trustworthy 
citizen, if the principles of American democracy are 
to be justified. So far as it signifies serfdom, the free 
American is right to condemn it. But when it be- 


comes part of a creed based upon truth, when it 
subordinates individuaHsm only so far as to perfect 
cooperation, when it means simply organization and 
team-work, when it stimulates rather than dulls 
personal intelligence and initiative, when it takes 
into account that man lives not to himself alone 
but is essentially a social being, when, in short, it 
is the result of a broader vision, then discipline 
becomes necessary to all national progress and the 
forward march of human civilization. Such disci- 
pHne is quite different from the Teuton idea of 
utter subserviency to the State. To such discipline 
the wise man submits while the fool rebels. He sees 
in it a means of achieving the common good, which 
includes his own. He is but conforming with univer- 
sal law, to combat which is suicide. 

It is this ideal of discipline, combined with courage, 
will, and ability to act, that the Marine has learned 
in the hard school of experience — an experience 
more vivid and more varied than commonly falls 
to the lot of man. A study of the ideals and creed 
of the Marines, as exemplified by the history of the 
Corps, is, I believe, a study of Americanism of a 
type that is needed to invigorate, vitalize, and stabil- 
ize our body politic and make us proof against those 
political maladies and weakening influences which, 
as history so clearly teaches us, insidiously beset 
the prosperous nation. 

National discipline we need. We have not yet 
learned to obey the law as the soldier understands 
obedience. We are an undisciplined people. Team- 


work and cooperation are in their infancy with us. 
And yet it would be a sorry day for democracy and 
for us if we were to fall under the ban of Teutonic 
efficiency, with the individual entirely subordinated 
to the State, which, after all, was created by man for 
man's benefit. Let us set up no man-made idols 
to fall down before and worship. Let us beware of 
the subtle lure of over-organization that leads to 
bureaucracy, that deadly feeling of security in the 
benevolent power of the machine. I speak of these 
things because they are going to be questions that 
we shall need to be awake to now the war is over 
and we find ourselves struggling to extricate our limbs 
from the net that we have in the emergency woven. 

No military man can afford to say a word against 
efficiency in its better sense, for efficiency is the chief 
asset of the military establishment, but I doubt 
whether we have so much to learn from the Germans 
on that score as we thought we had. I fancy the word 
will become less of a shibboleth with us than it was 
before the war. We have already come to look 
upon it with suspicion, like all other things made in 
Germany. The Teutonic principles of efficiency 
as applied to education, government, and industry 
are too mechanical to fit in with American ideals. 
They leave out of account the soul of man, and 
leaving the soul out of account is the basic error 
of the Teutonic theory of life. 

As to democracy, two sorts have been brought 
to our attention, the personal and the broadly social. 
When two strong men stand elbow to elbow amid 


the naked realities of battle, caste appears as a futile 
and artificial thing, without significance. Merit' 
is the only criterion. And I trust that our young 
men will come back to America with fresher and 
clearer ideals of equality and brotherhood. 

I have heard some comment as to the relation of 
British and American officers to their men. I have 
heard it said that we have much to learn from the 
French in the matter of personal democracy. Well, 
there is no hobnobbing between our officers and men, 
no casting aside of class distinctions, no informal 
slappings on the back, and I am sure that that sort 
of thing is far less prevalent in the French army 
than has occasionally been reported by imaginative 
writers. That sort of thing is incompatible with 
discipline, and discipline is the soul of any military 
establishment. At the front the men must salute 
the same as in camp. They must obey promptly 
and must show proper respect for their superiors. 
None of the snappiness of Marine discipline is 
dropped, for that discipline is essential on the battle 
front if anywhere. 

Still, I doubt if a more cordial feeling of comrade- 
ship exists anywhere in the world than between our 
Marine officers and their men. It is based on con- 
sistent justice and on the confidence of the men in 
the unselfish devotion of their officers to the service 
and to the personal welfare of their commands. 
And there at the front we seemed to draw closer 
together, like members of a big family with common 
aims and interests at heart. There is nothing ap- 


proaching servility in the proud Marine, but a ready 
acknowledgement of authority through a complete 
understanding of its necessity. If you had seen our 
Marines fighting at Belleau Wood, you would 
have become convinced of their implicit confidence 
and trust in their officers. And that trust was not 
betrayed. Those American boys who have enlisted 
in the Marine Corps since the war broke out have 
learned something, I believe, of the fundamental 
relationship of man to man and have caught some 
inkling at least of the truth that respect for properly 
constituted authority and personal democracy are 
not incompatible. 

I hope, when they come back, it will be with the 
deep-seated conviction that a man's money and his 
social and business prominence do not necessarily 
make him superior in political judgment or entitle 
him to power or privilege. The spirit of Bolshevism 
is abroad in the world to-day, and if we would avoid 
its excesses we must beware of a post-bellum reac- 
tionary movement tending toward special privilege, 
the strengthening of class distinctions, and the bene- 
fit of the few at the expense of the many. Let us 
shun all political theories based on the false doctrine 
of the divine right of the successful business man 
to rule. That, rather than old-world aristocracy, is 
our American danger. 

And considering democracy in its broader sense, let 
us never lose sight of the ideals that have been crystal- 
lized in the heat of this war — the ideals of justice and 
fair dealing among all nations and groups of mankind. 


I hope the war will have aroused us to the import- 
ance of these questions. What its effect will be upon 
those young Americans who left their peaceful 
pursuits to shoot Germans, it would be difficult 
to say. I suppose some of them will be ruined by it 
all, physically and morally. There are always soldiers 
who are spoiled for an industrious career in time of 
peace; there are always some whose upset nervous 
systems make them useless citizens forever after. 
Following the Civil War the great army of tramps 
sprang into being; there may be something like 
that, only now we know how to handle those things 
better and have already begun to tackle the problems 
of post-bellum rehabilitation and employment. 

One thing I am sure of, and that is that our modern 
American military discipline is going to benefit every 
man who has entered the service. They are all young 
men, and the influence of this thing will not be fully 
felt for a generation perhaps. But they will come 
back with a better command of themselves, and I 
look for a sturdier, more virile race of citizens in 
the United States of America. 

I must leave it for deeper students of such matters 
to discuss our national problems after the war — • 
political, economic, social, industrial. They lie 
outside the province of the military man. There 
will be a scramble for trade. There will be political 
upheavals. Labour conditions will be woefully 
upset. Business will be oflF its feet. And all our old 
problems of before the war will be revived to an 
intensified degree. I can only beg my fellow country- 


men to be on guard against these things and pray 
that statesmen may be raised up with sufficient wis- 
dom and clearness of vision to solve these problems. 
When the excitement of war is over, let us not sink 
back into complacent inactivity. Like the Marines, 
let us be ready and awake. 

And finally I pray for a more robust and heart-felt 
patriotism, a genuine love of country like that which 
the Frenchman feels. So many of us have gone our 
ways, getting and spending, with little thought of 
our obligation to the land that gave us birth and the 
"government that holds secure our sacred liberties. 
Can we ever again feel like that, I wonder? Can we 
meet a man who left an arm or his eyesight in France 
and pass on without a thought of what it was all for? 
Can we ever again look upon Old Glory as a mere 
banquet-hall decoration? Can we read what our 
college boys did in Belleau Wood without thanking 
God that the soil trod by Washington and Lincoln, 
the Pilgrim Fathers and the builders of the great 
West, can still produce men of such stuff as that? 

It is my country that went into this war solely 
to save the ideals of Christianity from destruction. 
It is my country that sent the flower of its manhood 
to fight and die for that cause. It is my country that 
stands here on the great Western continent, facing 
the future with faith undimmed, ideals untarnished, 
in the full strength of her prime, the world-acknowl- 
edged champion of the rights of man. God save 
my country! 



Historical Sketch 

The following resume of the principal events in 
the history of the United States Marine Corps is 
furnished by the U. S. M. C. Publicity Bureau. 

Soldiers who are enlisted for service either on land or 
on board ships of war are known b}^ the distinctive name 
of "Marines." In nearly all maritime countries claiming 
to be war powers, they constitute a separate militar>' body 
trained to fight either as infantrymen or as artillerists, and 
especially for participation in naval engagements. 

They are organized, clothed, and equipped very much 
the same as soldiers of the land forces, and their prelim- 
inary instruction is similar. For these reasons they become 
qualified for duty with either the Army or the Navy, and 
are, therefore, of double value to the nation which employs 
them. Their headquarters barracks and depots are on 
shore. Details from the barracks are made for service on 
board ship when required. Marine detachments, accord- 
ing to the size of the ship, vary in strength from a dozen 
men under a Sergeant, to sixty or more men under one 
or two commissioned officers. 

The first authentic record of Marines in America bears 
the date of 1740. Three regiments were organized in New 
York for service under the flag of Great Britain. It was 
presumed that the native Americans were better fitted for 
service in this climate than Europeans. The field officers 



were appointed by the king, while the company officers 
were nominated by the American provinces. 

On June 8, 1775, the Continental Congress resolved 
"that the compact between the crown and Massachusetts 
Bay is dissolved," and on November loth, of that year, 
before a single vessel of the Navy was sent to sea, the 
Marine Corps was organized by the following resolution: 

"Resolved, That two battalions of Marines be raised, 
consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant-Colonels, two 
Majors, and other officers as usual in other regiments; 
that they consist of an equal number of privates with 
other battalions; that particular care be taken that no 
" person be appointed to officers or enlisted in said battalions 
but such as are good seamen or so acquainted with mari- 
time affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea 
when required; . . . that they be distinguished by the 
name of the 'First and Second Battalions of American 
Marines/ " 

On December 13, 1776, Congress directed that thirteen 
ships of war be built. On the 22nd day of the same month 
Congress passed a resolution declaring Esek Hopkins 
Commander-in-Chief, and appointed officers for all the 
vessels then in service. This was the first step taken 
toward the creation of the naval establishment which has 
won imperishable fame for the United States, and upon 
which is based the claim of the Marine Corps to be "the 
oldest in the service." 

In February, 1777, a battalion of three hundred Marines 
and landsmen, under command of Major Samuel Nichols, 
was landed from the fleet under command of Commodore 
Hopkins at the island of New Providence, in the Bahamas, 
assaulted and captured the English forts protecting the 
island, taking a large quantity of cannon and military 


stores. This, the first battle of the American Navy, was 
fought and won by the Marines. 

During the following years of the Revolutionary War 
they were at work proving their patriotism and devotion 
to the cause which gave them being; and, in fact, through- 
out their entire existence they have been in the front rank 
of the Republic's defenders; zealous participants, on land 
and sea, in nearly every expedition, action, or movement 
in which the Navy has been engaged. Likewise have they 
won honour and fame for themselves and their country 
while serving in campaigns with their brethren of the 
Army. The globe (which forms part of the corps's emblem) 
has been their stage. 

Conspicuous among their services is their part under 
John Paul Jones in the battle between the Ranger and 

the Drake, in the Irish Channel on April 24, 1778, in 
which Lieutenant Wallingford, of the Marines, lost his 
life at the head of his men. Again, in the great battle be- 
tween the Bon Homme Richard and the Serapis, in which 
the Marines, numbering 137, lost 49 killed and wounded. 
The American ship Trumbull seemed doomed when, on 
June 2, 1780, it engaged the British frigate Watt in what 
has been called the severest sea battle of the Revolution- 
ary War. Lieutenant Jabez Smith of the Marines had 
been killed. Captain James Day was mortally wounded, 
and Captain Gilbert Saltnall, left in command of the Sea 
Soldiers, had been wounded eleven times by shot and 
shell-torn splinters. There was little hope of success, yet 
the men fought on. Soon there was nothing left but the 
foremast, yet the Americans doggedly continued until the 
Watt, heavily punished, slowly drew^ away to safety. In 
a few minutes its main-topmast crumpled and the Watt 
gave up the fight altogether. In 1782, Captain Barney, 


in command of the Ryder Jlly, fitted out by the state of 
Pennsylvania, with a crew of no seamen and Marines, 
captured the British ship General Monk in Delaware Bay 
after a hotly contested combat. This has been consid- 
ered one of the most brilliant actions that ever occurred 

under the American flag. 

The Navy and consequently the corps of Marines, like 
the Army, was disbanded at the termination of the Revolu- 
tionary War, leaving nothing behind but the recollections 
of their service and sufferings. On April 30, 1798, a regular 
Navy Department was formally created, and on July 11, 
1798, the Marine Corps was organized and established. 

During the war with Tripoli, in 1803, in the fight be- 
tween the frigate Philadelphia and the Tripolitans, "after 
most gallant exertions" Lieutenant Osborne and his guard 
were made prisoners. In the fight on the Tripolitan gun- 
boats August 3, 1803, Lieutenant Trippe, engaged in a 
hand-to-hand conflict with a Turk, was saved by a Ser- 
geant, who "passed a bayonet through the body of the 
Turk." The Marine Corps figured prominently in the 
remarkable march of General Eaton, the American consul 
at Tunis, from Alexandria to Derne, nearly six hundred 
miles across the desert of Northern Africa. Upon arrival 
at Derne on April 26, 1805, the Marines under Lieutenant 
O'Bannon stormed and captured the native fortifica- 
tions, hauled down the Tripolitan flag, and for the first 
time in the history of the country y hoisted that of the Repub- 
lic on a fortress of the Old World, and turned its gun upon 
the enemy. Thereafter "TripoH" was inscribed on the 
banners of the Marine Corps. 

During the war of 181 2, in the glorious victory of the 
Constitution over the Guerriere, the first ofliicer killed was 
Lieutenant Bush, commander of the Marine Guard, who 


was ably assisting in repelling boarders at a critical mo-^ 
nient of the engagement. In the victory of the United 
States over the Macedonia Lieutenants Anderson and Ed- 
wards with their Marines fought with "utmost steadi- 
ness." In the brilliant operations of the Essex in the 
Pacific Ocean, Lieutenant Gamble, of the Marines, 
gained a great reputation for "skill and efficiency," com- 
manding in turn his guard, a prize ship, and a fort at 
Nukahiva, in the Marquesas Islands. In the bloody fight 
between the Shannon and the Chesapeake Lieutenant 
Broom and eleven of his men were killed and twenty 
wounded. The Marines also took part in the battles of 
Lake Champlain and Lake Erie; in the action between 
the Constitution and the Cyane and Levant; in the fight 
between the President and the Endymion; and in the 
fight on Lake Pontchartrain. On shore they were with the 
Army under Scott in Canada, with General Winder at Bla- 
densburg, with General Jackson at New Orleans, at North 
Point, Baltimore, and in sundry affairs on the coast of Maine 
and on the shores of Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. 

In the interval between 181 5 and the Florida War 
(1836-37) they were called upon, among other things, to 
quell a serious revolt in the Massachusetts state prison; 
to act against Spanish pirates in the W^est Indies and in 
Sumatra; to guard public and private property at the 
time of the great fire in New York (1835) for which they 
received a vote of thanks from that city. 

The capture of the American vessel Friendship by the 
Malays led the Marines to Quallah Battoo on the west- 
ern side of the Island of Sumatra in the year 1832. On 
February 6th, Marines formed a landing party and at 
dawn went ashore. The pirates and Malays were con- 
gregated in a citadel which, with its massive stockade 


and fortifications, seemed to them impenetrable. The 
natives jeered and yelled in derision when they saw the 
Americans approach for what they considered an impos- 
sible attack, but in less than an hour the Marines had 
rushed the stockade. Then began a terrible hand-to- 
hand struggle in which the Malays wielded their savage 
knives. Again and again the Marines charged the de- 
fenders, who by this time had taken to high platforms 
where they could slash their assailants one by one as they 
attempted to mount. After several hours the defenders 
were routed and the few that survived fled from the town. 

When Indian hostilities broke out in Georgia in 1836, 
the disposable force of the Army being found inadequate, 
Colonel-Commandant Archibald Henderson, of the Ma- 
rines, promptly volunteered his services and those of the 
Corps at that time on shore. Throughout Southern 
Alabama and in the Everglades of Florida they served 
under General Jessup against the treacherous Creek and 
Seminole Indians. 

From 1846 to 1848 the Corps was engaged in the war 
with Mexico, where it figured in every quarter, and made 
a most excellent record. Several detachments served on 
the Pacific Coast under Commodores Sloat, Shubrick, 
and Stockton, and on the East Coast under Commodores 
Connor and Perry, and on shore under Generals Scott, 
Taylor, and Worth. They were present at the capture 
of Monterey, San Francisco, and Mazatlan, fought at 
Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Gabriel, Yuerba 
Buena, San Pedro, Santa Barbara, and Guaymas with 
such credit that Commodore Shubrick recommended that 
the Government double the number of Marines coming to 
that station, reducing, if necessary for the purpose, the 
complements of ordinary seamen and landsmen. 


On the East Coast they were engaged in the capture of 
Matamoras, Tampico, Frontera, Tabasco, and Vera Cruz. 
They were assigned to General Quitman's division in the 
assault on Puebla. This was the first division to enter the 
Grand Plaza, City of Mexico, which completes the ex- 
planation of the inscription since found on the Corps's 
banners, "From the Shores of Tripoli to the Halls of 
the Montezumas." 

The crowning honour, however, was at Chapultepec, 
September 13, 1847, when the party assigned to the 
storming of the castle, picked men from all corps, was 
led by Majors Twiggs and Reynolds, both of the Marine 
Corps. General Quitman in his report says: 

"The storming parties, led by the gallant officers who 
had volunteered for this service, rushed forward like a 
restless tide. For a short time the contest was hand to 
hand, swords and bayonets were crossed and rifles clubbed. 
Resistance, however, was vain against the desperate 
valour of our brave troops." 

The gallant and lamented Major Twiggs fell on the first 
advance at the head of his command. 

These same Mexican heroes in 1852 and 1853 were 
marching to the same music through the streets of Yeddo, 
the capital of Japan, as a part of the celebrated expedi- 
tion of Commodore Perry, which succeeded in opening up 
the ancient empire of Japan to modern commerce and 

During the "Know Nothing" political excitement of 
1847 Marines were ordered out by the President, upon 
the request of the Mayor of Washington, to suppress an 
armed mob of rowdies from Baltimore which had over- 
awed the police. In 1856 they punished Indians who had 
been slaying white men near Seattle, Wash. 


In 1858, Marines and sailors from the Vandalia had a 
fierce conflict in the Fiji Islands with a body of native 
warriors. In the same year a detachment was landed at 
Montevideo, Uruguay, to protect the lives and property 
of foreign residents from local violence. In 1858, when 
a mob burned a part of the quarantine buildings at Staten 
Island through fear of yellow fever. Marines were sent 
from Brooklyn to "protect all the remaining buildings 
at all hazards." In September, 1859, Marines blanketed 
an insurrection in Panama. 

In October, 1859, one hundred Marines were sent to 
V Harper's Ferry to capture John Brown, and suppress the 
rebels. This duty was carried out to the satisfaction of 
the Secretaries of War and Navy. 

In March, i860, Marines were instrumental in saving the 
property of American residents at Kisembo, on the west 
coast of Africa, and on September 27th of the same year 
another party landed at Panama to protect the railroad. 

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1 861 the first duties 
the Marines were called upon to perform were as rein- 
forcements to the forces at Fort Sumter, Fort Washing- 
ton, on the Potomac River, and Fort Pickens, Florida, and 
to destroy the navy yard, ships, etc., at Norfolk, Va. 
They participated in the first battle of Bull Run, at the 
capture of Hatteras Inlet, in the Dupont expedition, at 
Fort Clinch, and the battle of Port Royal, and in all the 
expeditions and actions which followed along the coast 
and up the rivers of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. 
They participated in the battle between the Merrimac and 
the Minnesotdy Cnmberlandy Roanoke, and St. Lawrence. 
At Roanoke Island, off Wilmington, N. C, operations in 
the sound of North Carolina, and in the James and Po- 
tomac Rivers they also assisted. On the lower Mississippi 


and in the terrible tumult at the passage of the forts, 
"they more than maintained their reputation." They 
fought under Farragut in the capture of New Orleans and 
later served under him in the seizure of Forts Powell, 
Gaines, and Morgan, which resulted in the destruction of 
the Confederate fleet. 

In 1862 Marines were the first troops to reoccupy the 

Norfolk Navy Yard. 

During the draft riots in New York in July, 1863, a 
battalion of Marines won marked approbation by quell- 
ing disturbances and guarding public property. They also 
engaged in the night attack on Fort Sumter, and in the 
battle between the Alabama and Kearsarge. 

During the same year, on the Wyoming^ they were 
fighting the Japanese forts at Simonosaki, Japan. They 
also participated in the battle of Mobile Bay. 

In November, 1864, two batteries of naval howitzers 
and nine companies of Marines and sailors ascended Broad 
River, South Carolina, cooperating with General Foster. 
When Charleston was abandoned seven companies of Ma- 
rines held the battery of fifteen guns. They also partici- 
pated in the attack on Fort Fisher. In December, 1865, 
Lieutenant French, of the Marines, with two Sergeants, 
was sent to arrest and deliver Captain Raphael Semmes 
of the Confederate cruiser Alabama, which was duly and 
satisfactorily done. 

Marines took part in the expedition against the savages 
of Formosa in 1867 and 1870, also in the operations of 
1 87 1 against the forts in Korea, where they led the 


In 1869 they assisted the United States Marshal at 
Brooklyn in preventing violation of the neutrality laws. 
They were called out during the great fire in Boston in 


1872. In 1877, during the labour riots, Marines were taken 
from the ships and barracks and rendered most excellent 
service. Upon their return from this duty they were 
reviewed by the Secretary of the Navy at Washington, 
who in orders, among other things, pronounced them to 
be a most important arm of the national defence, to be 
confidently relied upon whenever the public exigency 
should call them into active service. 

In 1882 a detachment of Marines was landed at Alex- 
andria, Egypt, for the purpose of preserving order and 
preventing pillage. 

In 1885 two battalions of Marines were sent to Panama 
" for the purpose of keeping transportation open across the 

In 1 89 1, during the trouble with the negro labourers in 
the Nevassa Island, a detachment of Marines was landed 
to protect American lives and property. During August 
of that year a detachment was landed at Valparaiso for 
the protection of the American Consulate. During the 
months of July and August of the same year detachments 
on board the Al Ki were used for the purpose of suppressing 
seal poaching in the Behring Sea. 

During the revolution in Hawaii in 1893 Marines were 
landed in Honolulu for the protection of American interests, 
as well as the lives and property of American residents. 

Marines were used in 1894 for the suppression of riots 
during the railroad strikes in California. From 1894 to 
1897 detachments of Marines were used to protect the 
American consulates in Korea and China. 

In 1898 a detachment of Marines occupied Guanta- 
namo, Cuba, defending it successfully, with the assistance 
of the ships, against about 6,000 Spanish soldiers, thus 
holding a base for the Navy. In the battle of Santiago* 


July 3, 1898, they distinguished themselves at the sec- 
ondary batteries which, it is believed, inflicted most of 
the damage to the Spanish cruisers. In May of that year 
Marines were landed from Admiral Dewey's fleet at 
Cavite, Philippine Islands, to hold the fort and naval sta- 
tion after the battle of Manila Bay. 

At the outbreak of the Boxer uprising m China in 1900, 
Marines were sent from Manila (later reinforced by Ma- 
rines from the United States), landed in China, partici- 
pated in the battle of Tien Tsin, and the march to Peking 
to the relief of the American Legation, which was being 

A battalion of Marines, under the command of Major 
Waller, in October, 1901, landed in Samar (one of the Phil- 
ippine Islands), and suffering many hardships and priva- 
tions, marched entirely across the island through a most 
hostile country. A number of the men died from the 
hardships encountered. 

In November, 1903, a company of Marines, commanded 
by Captain Thorpe, and mounted on camels, accompanied 
an American representative of the State Department 
across the deserts of Africa into the heart of Abyssinia 
to its capital for a conference with King Menelik. 

During an insurrection in Korea in 1903 a company of 
Marines, under the command of Captain A. J, Matthews, 
was sent to Seoul, Korea, to protect the American legation. 

Disturbed conditions in Panama incident to the holding 
of elections was cause for the sending of an expedition to 
that country in May, 1906. 

Unsettled conditions in the West Indies caused a bat- 
talion of Marines to be sent there^ in May, 1906, under 
the command of Major Catlin. No service ashore was 
performed by this battalion. 


In September, 1906, four battalions of Marines were sent 
to Cuba, and later, in conjunction with the Army, became 
the "Army of Cuban Pacification." The Army of Cuban 
Pacification succeeded in pacifying the incipient Cuban 
revolution of 1906, remaining in the field and occupying 
Cuba for about two years. The Marines were the first 
in the field and the only troops engaged in the disarma- 
ment of the insurgent forces. 

In June, 1908, Marines were dispatched to Panama, and 
acted as police at the polls during an exceedingly tur- 
bulent election, which threatened at one time to over- 
throw the stable government of that republic. 

The revolution in Nicaragua in December, 1909, threat- 
ened destruction of property belonging to the Americans, 
and an expedition under the command of Colonel Mahoney 
was dispatched to Corinto. Another battalion under the 
command of Major Butler was sent to Bluefields, Nica- 
ragua, in May, 1910. 

The Chinese revolution which resulted in the establish- 
ment of the Chinese Republic in 19 10, caused much 
uneasiness among the foreign residents in China. In Oc- 
tober of that year, a battalion of Marines was sent from the 
Philippines under the command of Major Bannon, to 
reinforce the Marine Guard at the American Legation at 

The revolution in Nicaragua became severe, and in Au- 
gust, 191 2, a battalion under the command of Major 
Butler was sent to Corinto, Nicaragua, from Panama, 
and a regiment commanded by Colonel Pendleton was 
sent from the United States. This regiment took part 
in several engagements and pacified the country. Four 
lives lost, and a number wounded. 

Border warfare between the negro republics of Santo 


Domingo and Haiti, involving Americans employed as 
customs collectors, caused the United States to dispatch 
a regiment, under the command of Colonel Moses, on 
the Prairie to Port au Prince. 

A brigade of Marines, under the command of Colonel 
Karmany, was sent to Guantanamo, Cuba, in February, 
191 3. This brigade returned to the United States in 

The Advance Base Brigade consisting of the 1st and 
2nd Advance Base Regiments was concentrated at Cu- 
lebra, Porto Rico, under command of the present Major 
General Commandant, for instruction in advance base 
work in January, 1914, and returned to the United States 
in time to be diverted from their home stations to Vera 
Cruz, Mexico, landing on April 22, 1 914, and taking part 
in all the military activities incident to the occupation 
by the American forces. Five lives were lost in the fight- 
ing of April 22nd and 23 rd and a number of men were 
wounded. Colonel Waller's brigade remained ashore at 
Vera Cruz until November 23, 1914, when they returned 
to the United States on transports chartered for this 

On the West Coast the Fourth Regiment was assembled 
at Mare Island, Calif., during this period and embarked 
on board the Soxith Dakota, West Virginia and Jupiter 
for duty oflF the coast of Mexico, but conditions did not 
require Colonel Pendleton to land his force. 

During the period of the Mexican occupation, conditions 
in Santo Domingo became acute, and the Fifth Regiment 
was assembled on board the transport Hancock under the 
command of Colonel Charles A. Doyen and remained in 
Santo Dominican waters until December, 1914. 

Grave disturbances in Haiti compelled the dispatch of 


the First Provisional Brigade to that island in the sum- 
mer of 191 5 and the establishment of a militar>^ govern- 
ment by General L. W, T. Waller. Several units of this 
brigade are still on duty in Haiti, and will continue there 
until the organization of a force of native constabulary 
known as the Gendarmerie d'Hayti and officered by Ma- 
rine officers and non-commissioned officers has been per- 

During April, 1916, conditions in Santo Domingo again 
became acute and Colonel Pendleton was directed to as- 
sume command of a provisional brigade made up from or- 
ganizations in Haiti together with the Fourth Regiment 
from the United States. This brigade is still in occupa- 
tion of Santo Domingo and in charge of the administra- 
tion of the civil and military governments, having lost a 
number of officers and men in the actions incident to the 

In the spring of 191 7, a camp was established at Quan- 
tico, Va., with Colonel A. W. Catlin in charge, for the 
purpose of training Marine recruits for service in France. 
In June the Fifth Regiment under Colonel C. A. Doyen 
was landed in France. The Sixth Regiment under Colo- 
nel Catlin followed in the autumn. These regiments were 
brigaded together in the spring of 191 8 as part of the 
Second Division, A. E. F., and took over a subsector of 
the front Hne trenches in the Verdun region. Later they 
took part in the fighting around Chiteau-Thierr}^, Sois- 
sons, and elsewhere. 



The Marines' Hymn 

From the Halls of Montezuma, 

To the shores of TripoH, 
We fight our country's battles 

On the land as on the sea. 
First to fight for right and freedom 

And to keep our honour clean, 
We are proud to claim the title 

Of United States Marine. 

From the Pest Hole of Cavite 

To the Ditch at Panama, 
You will find them very needy 

Of Marines — That's what we are; 
We're the watch dogs of a pile of coal. 

Or we dig a magazine; 
Though he lends a hand at every job 

Who would not be a MARINE ? 

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze 

From dawn to setting sun; 
We have fought in every clime or place 

Where we could take a gun; 
In the snow of far-off Northern lands 

And in sunny tropic scenes, 
You will find us always on the job — 


Here's health to you and to our Corps 

Which we are proud to serve, 
In many a strife we have fought for life 

And never lost our nerve; 
If the Army and the Navy 

Ever look on Heaven's scenes, 
They will find the streets are guarded by 



Major Evans's Letter 

I HAVE been granted permission to publish the 
following remarkable personal letter from Major 
Frank E. Evans, Adjutant, Sixth Regiment of 
Marines, to Major General George Barnett, the 
Commandant of the Corps. Major Evans was in a 
position to view as a whole the Battle of Belleau 
Wood, and this letter was written from the front at 
about the time that action was completed. 

France, June 2Qy 1918. 

Major General George Barnett, 
Headquarters Marine Corps, 
Washington, D. C. 

My Dear General: 

I have been hoping to find time to write you something 
about our recent activities, if as mild a term can cover 
the capture of a Boche town two kilometres away from 
our front line, and a week's fighting in woods honey- 
combed with machine gun nests. I asked Lieut. Leonard, 
Inf., U. S. R., attached to Zane's Company, to stop in 
and give you some first-hand information and know that 
you will find his news of great interest. He was selected 
to return to the U. S. as instructor and his orders came 
while he was in Bouresches. I got Holcomb by phone 
one of the times his line was not cut, in his little cave 
behind a rock out in front, and Holcomb relayed his 
orders into Bouresches. Two minutes later Leonard was 
out and on his way in. 


We have all been under a terrific drive from the time 
we left our rest area on the 30th until we left our trucks 
on the 1st and went into line that afternoon. Holcomb's 
battalion was unloaded just in rear of the support position 
to which our Brigade was assigned and his Co. Cdrs. got 
part of their orders while their men were disembarking, 
and then they deployed and went in. The strain accu- 
mulated like a snowball rolling down hill until we were 
pulled out temporarily on the 15th, and at times in that 
long stretch it looked as though the elastic backbone of 
the men and officers could not stand another tug, but 
they were always ready on an instant's notice to deliver 
a new attack or stop a new counter-attack. It made a 
fatalist of me back at the P. C. where we were in constant 
communication by phone or runner, until, the last five 
days in line, I couldn't feel any more strain, nothing but 
an absolute and serene confidence that the people higher 
up knew what they were doing, knew the conditions, and 
that our battalions would come across without a moment 
of hesitation or faltering and carry on no matter how 
black things were out there in the woods, or how close 
they were to human limit of mind and body. 

I feel as though I can talk as the battalion commanders 
cannot talk, and tell anybody, without a feeling of boasting, 
that the Marine Brigade not only lived up to the very 
best traditions of our service, but even surpassed them at 
times because we never faced such odds and never were 
confronted by such a crisis. I was not bothered by the 
consciousness of any heroic work on my part and at the 
same time I had my fingers on the pulse of our regimental 
front, for I talked with Holcomb, Hughes, and Sibley at 
all hours of day and night, read their most intimate mes- 
sages that were not intended for official reading, and 


talked to them when they were on the heights after the 
first flush of their big victory, and when it seemed to them 
that unless relief came there was nothing for them but 
their back to the wall. And day after day I had to take 
out my notebook in which I kept the officers' roster and 
put opposite the names of officers who had been doing 
such splendid work a K or W. And twice I had checked 
off until not an officer was left in a company and more 
than twice the notebook showed only one or two available. 
When they came out for a breathing spell I saw more of 
it by talking to officers and men, and I don't believe there 
ever were three battalions where officers and men had such 
a common feeling of strong love and affection and mutual 
admiration for each other. They were brothers in arms 
in the fullest sense of the word, and if ever any one asked 
why our officers and men cannot adopt the French atti- 
tude of officer-and-men comradeship, you can tell them 
that those days in the lines simply was the medium 
through which the constant care, the faithful performance 
of duty, and the live interest that our officers, notably 
the platoon officers, had shown from the Quantico days 
in their men, was translated into as perfect a comradeship 
as could exist between men. I saw then towards the end 
out in the woods when it was possible for me to get 
out, and I found them out there serenely confident, their 
faces showing the strain, but the old spirit unconquered. 
And I found them either clean shaven or shaving, and 
Turner, Hughes' old adjutant, then acting as Garrett's 
adjutant, as Hughes had just been evacuated, gassed, 
could have walked into the White House and passed in- 

Things broke so quickly that I have not found it possible 
to keep accurate notes of what we have done in the last 


month, but at times I was able, and I hope to patch up 
the gaps through visits to the battalions so that, when 
the time comes, and I am able to, I can write down the 
stor>'' of these days. 

We left our rest area at 4:00 A. M., May 31, in camions, 
20 to 30 in a camion, having bivouacked the night before 
as we had expected to leave at 6:00 and again at 10:00 that 
night. We took a route that skirted within 15 kilometres 
of Paris and when we reached those villages we realized 
that we were really on our way. Our other villages had 
been drab, primitive, little villages where we had com- 
fortable billets and a simple hospitality. Here we found 
beautiful little towns with charming villas, blooming 
gardens, and French who had that unconquerable gaiety 
of the Parisian, and they lined the roads and threw flow- 
ers into the trucks or handed them to the men, and waved 
American flags at us. It was a wonderful transformation 
and the men responded to it. Then, as we neared Meaux, 
we saw our first fugitives on a road that was a living 
stream of troops in camions, guns, and trains hurrying 
to the front. And the refugees went straight to the 
heart of us. When you saw old farm wagons lumbering 
along with the chickens and geese swung beneath in coops, 
laden down with what they could salvage, cattle driven 
by boys of nine or ten years, little tots trotting along at 
their mothers' skirts, tired but never a tear or whimper, 
saw other groups camping out on the road for the night, 
there was the other side, the side that I think fired the 
men to do what they did later. I saw one wagon coming 
along towering to the top with boxes and mattresses, and 
on the top mattress was a white-haired old lady who 
would have graced any home, dressed in her best, and 
with a dignity that blotted out the crude load and made 


you think of nothing but a silver-haired old lady who was 
the spirit of a brave people that met disaster with dig- 
nity. Meaux was crowded with them, but we had learned 
by that time that the work of getting them into new 
homes was well organized, and we knew that the camions 
that were rushing our division up to the lines would pick 
up many of them on the return. Up from Meaux the 
road went straight to the front with glimpses of the 
Marne. And it was a living road of war, troops on foot 
and in the lumbering camions, French dragoons trotting 
by with their lances at rest and the officers as trim as 
though they had just stepped out of barracks, trains, am- 
bulances, guns from the 75's to the 210's, staff cars 
whizzed by, and a trail of dust that coated the men in 
the camions until they looked like mummies. 

It was late in the evening when we were diverted to 
the right of our first destination. It was midnight when 
our 1st Battalion halted in their trucks at a point seven 
kilometres back of where we finally went into line, and 
officers and men bivouacked on the roadside or in the 
fields. We found orders to throw us into the line that 
night, but two of our battalions had been held up, the 
men were sadly in need of rest for they had practically 
no sleep for two nights, and it was finally decided by the 
French to put us in the next afternoon. And Holcomb's 
battalion arrived just in time the next afternoon so that 
the orders could be carried out by rushing their trucks 
close up to our line and deploying them out from the 
trucks to their positions. 

So it was June i when we took up the support line with 
French troops, hard presssed by the Boche holding the 
line out in front. The news was that the Boche was com- 
ing. Our first P. C. was in the outer edge of a strip of 


woods that is now two kilometres in rear, with as much 
protection from any kind of fire as a spot in the speed- 
way. But from what the French told us the Boche 
guns had got up in small numbers and in their fight the 
Boche had fought with machine guns, a prodigious quan- 
tity of them, and grenades. Our position then linked up 
on the left in front of Champillon with the 5th, who in 
turn had the 23rd on their left. The 5th had Wise's 
Battalion in line while we had the ist and 2nd, with 
Sibley in support. On our right were the French. The 
next day, the 2nd, the French began to drop back, tired 
out and outnumbered, and that afternoon, by prearranged 
plan, they were to pass through and our line was to be- 
come the front line. In the meantime, to close up a gap 
between us and the 5th, we had put three of our reserve 
companies into line on the left, and that afternoon the 6th 
held a front of 7 kilometres with one company as regi- 
mental reserve. 

We had dropped back from our too-close-to-nature P. C. 
and installed ourselves in a house in La Voie Chatel, a 
little village between Champillon and Lucy-le-Bocage. 
From one side we had observation of the north, and 
when the Germans attacked at 5 p. m. we had a box seat. 
They were driving at Hill 165 from the N. and N. E. and 
they came out, on a wonderfully clear day, in two col- 
umns across a wheat field. From our distance it looked 
flat and green as a baseball field, set between a row of 
woods on the farther side, and woods and a ravine on the 
near side. We could see the two thin, brown columns ad- 
vancing in perfect order until two-thirds of the columns, 
we judged, were in view. The rifle and machine fire were 
incessant and overhead the shrapnel was bursting. Then 
the shrapnel came on the target at each shot. It broke 


just over and just ahead of those columns and then the 
next burst sprayed over the very green in which we could 
see the columns moving. It seemed for all the world 
that the green fields had burst out in patches of white 
daisies where those columns were doggedly moving. And 
it did it again and again, no barrage but with the skill 
and accuracy of a cat playing with two brown mice that 
she could reach and mutilate at will and without any 
hurry. The white patches would roll away and we could 
see that some of the columns were still there, slowed up, 
and it seemed perfect suicide for them to try. 

You couldn't begrudge a tribute to their pluck at that. 
Then, under that deadly fire and the barrage of rifle and 
machine gun fire, the Boche stopped. It was too much 
for any men. They buried in or broke to the cover of 
the woods and you could follow them by the ripples of 
the green wheat as they raced for cover. The 5th bore the 
brunt of it and on our left the men raked the woods and 
ravines to stop the Boche at his favourite trick of infil- 
trating through. An aeroplane was overhead checking 
up on our artillery's fire and when the shrapnel lay down 
on those columns just as an elephant would lie down on 
a ton of hay, the French aviator signalled back to our 
lines "Bravo!" The French, who were in support of the 
5th and at one time thrown into the line, could not, and 
can not to-day, grasp the rifle fire of the men. That men 
should fire deliberately and use their sights, and adjust 
their range, was beyond their experience. The rifle fire 
certainly figured heavily in the toll we took, and it must 
have had a telling effect on the morale of the Boche, for 
it was something they had not counted on. As a matter 
of fact, after pushing back the weakened French and then 
running up against a stone wall defence, they were lit- 


erally up in the air and more than stopped. We found 
that out later from prisoners, for the Germans never 
knew we were in the front Hne when they made that at- 
tack. They were absolutely mystified at the manner in 
which the defence had stiffened up until they found that 
our troops were in line. 

The next day Wise's outfit pulled a spectacular stunt in 
broad daylight. They spotted a machine gun out in front, 
:alled for a barrage, swept out behind it, killed or wounded 
every man in the crew, and disabled the gun. They got 
back O.K. and then the Boche launched a counter-attack 
that was smashed up. For the next few days we were 
busy pushing out small posts to locate the enemy, and to 
reoccupy such strong points as were beyond the main line 
assigned us. While it had all been prearranged, our 
people were anxious to recover what they could, without 
precipitating an engagement, of some of the ground 
evacuated by the French. 

The real fireworks broke on June 6, when a general ad- 
v^ance on the Brigade front to straighten out the lines and 
recover territory was decided on. In the meantime the 
23 rd had been brought in from the left and put on our 
right, Holcomb's flank. Our Division sector had been 
shortened to about the front that the 6th had held and we 
bad two Bns. of the 5th and two of the 6th in line. At 
5:00 p. M. we started out for our new objectives, on a 
wonderful day, and the twilight is so long here that it 
was practically broad daylight. The eastern edge of the 
Bois de Belleau and Bouresches were our main objectives, 
with Torcy and other parts of the Belleau the 5th*s. 
Sibley's battalion and Berry's of the 5th had the advance 
with Holcomb's in support. The Colonel and Capt. 
Laspierre, our French military adviser, went out to Lucy, 


the central point behind the advance. Sibley moved out 
in perfect order, and poor Cole told me the night before 
they got him that when Holcomb's 96th Co. moved out 
later and came through the woods and into the wheat 
fields in four waves, that it was the most beautiful sight 
he had ever seen. The artillery preparation was short 
and one of the platoons of our machine gun company 
laid down a barrage. But out in the thick Bois de Belleau 
liaison was extremely difficult. The woods were alive 
with machine guns, and at times, where our lines and 
those of the 5th had passed through, they soon found 
Boche and M. G.s in their rear. The advance on the left 
was held up by stubborn fighting, but about 9:00 Sibley 
sent in a runner with word that his left was advanced as 
far as his right, that he had reached the N. E. edge of 
the woods, that the worst of the M. G. nests were on a 
rock plateau near his P. C. but that he had sur- 
rounded it. 

In the meantime word came in that Col. Catlin had been 
wounded and I felt that the bottom of the war had 
dropped out. He had such a complete grasp of military 
situations, was familiar as no one else could have been 
with what was to be done, and officers and men invariably 
looked to him, and there seemed no limit to his capacity 
for work or his ready sympathy with and understanding 
of his subordinates. Capt. Laspierre had gone to report 
to Feland, who was in charge on the left, when a shell 
burst near and he was evacuated, shocked and gassed. 
It was a double blow. The Colonel had moved a short 
distance out, as he had planned, from Lucy to watch the 
first phase. He was standing up in a machine gun pit 
with his glasses up, when a sniper drilled him clean 
through the right of his chest. It was a clean wound and 


ill our reports lead us to believe that he will be out by 
:he middle of July if not sooner. 

In the meantime, because of the extreme difficulty of 
iaison and with a dark night closing in, orders went out 
:o consolidate. This came just before we had word 
rom Sibley. It was just 9:45 when word came in that 
Bouresches had been taken by Robertson*s platoon of the 
)6th, or rather the 20 odd men of his platoon who had 
nanaged to break through a heavy machine gun barrage 
md enter the town. One of Sibley's company had been 
issigned the town, with Holcomb's battalion to establish 
he line from there to where the 23rd's left flank lay. 
t had been unable to advance and at the same time 
:eep in touch on its left as ordered. Duncan, however, 
learing that this company was 200 yards in advance 
an error), raced ahead with his 96th Co. and was met 
)y a terrific machine gun barrage from two sides of and 
rom Bouresches. As Robertson told me, he had managed 
o get part of his platoon through the barrage and, looking 
)ack, saw Duncan and the rest of the Co. charging through 
he barrage, "go down like flies." Robertson had one- 
lalf of the line and Duncan one-half. Robertson blew 
lis whistle just before this to bring up all of his half of 
he line, and missed Lt. Bowling. He passed the word, 
'Where is Johnny.?" and saw Bowling get up, face white 
nth pain, and go stumbling ahead with a bullet in his 
houlder. Duncan, the last he saw of him before he 
V2LS mowed down, had his pipe in his mouth and was 
arrying a stick. Dental Surgeon Osborne picked Duncan 
ip and with a hospital corps man had just gained some 
belter when a shell wiped all three out. 

Later Robertson gained the town and cleaned out the 
ioche after street fighting in which his orderly. Private 


Dunlavy (killed later in the defence of the town), captured 
and turned on them one of their machine guns; others fil- 
tered through, also the 79th Co., under Zane. Holcomb 
was very enthusiastic about Zane's handling of the town. 

In the meantime, although the capture of Bouresches 
was the most spectacular of the first fighting, Sibley was 
having heavier work in the Bois de Belleau. He reported 
early that there were many machine guns in the woods. 
At first prisoners came in early and the men who brought 
them back reported that the companies were cleaning 
up fast with few casualties. Young Timmerman charged 
one machine gun nest at the point of the bayonet and sent 
in 17 prisoners at a clip. 

To be able to get this letter ofF under present conditions 
I will have to condense the rest, much as I would like to 
give a more detailed story of it, and at the same time I 
don't want to write a letter that will go down with Paul's 
Epistles to the Ephesians in length. 

After the first batch of prisoners came into the court- 
yard of our P. C. and stood with hands up in the orthodox 
Kamerad style, and the runners were full of the easy 
manner in which Sibley was going through the woods, 
there came a message that the woods ahead were full of 
machine guns and that one, on a rock plateau in the 
northeastern edge, was especially troublesome, a nest 
estimated to hold between 10 and 12 guns. Then came 
word that he had reached the limit of his objective at 
the edge of woods, that he had surrounded the machine 
gun nest and was awaiting orders. Then came word 
from the Brigade to dig in and consolidate the position 
won. Two Cos. of Engineers were placed in Lucy, one 
for each Bn. We sent out a truck loaded with ammunition 
and tools to Bouresches, got up our Stokes and one- 


founders for Sibley, and Holcomb was ordered to stralght- 
m out his line from Bouresches straight down the to Tri- 
mgle Farm where the 23 rd rested its left flank. The truck 
-vent out with Lt. W. B. Moore, the captain of track 
:eam, halfback on the football team, and President of 
:he Senior Class at Princeton last year. The whole road 
vas lighted up by flares and exploding shells and swept 
)y both artillery and heavy machine gun fire. It was a 
•;reat trip and we had 50 volunteers from the Head- 
quarters Co., of whom we only sent the necessary crew. 
^Vhen it got back we knew we could hold Bouresches, 
md the counter-attack at 2:30 in the morning, although 
t got within 30 feet of the town, was smothered by our 

The 7th was spent in getting rations, water and am- 
nunition out to both battalions, and the little Ford we 
lave hung on to, although it was twice on the verge of 
lalvage, ran through a period of 36 hours over the road 
Bouresches in daytime and at night, or to a point from 
vhich the stuff could be carried off to the left to the 
avine running along the right of Sibley's position. All 
hat day and the next Sibley's men rushed machine gun 
lests in hand-to-hand fighting. The guns were emplaced 
m crests in the thick woods, on rocky ridges, with fire to 
dl points. Their light guns could easily be moved around 
our flanks or rear and the Boche certainly know the art 
)f working through, infiltrating, and opening fire from 
mexpected quarters. Many times the groups got a 
ooting on these crests, only to have to fall back in the 
ace of a deadly machine gun and stick grenade fire. It 
vas work of the most reckless courage against heavy odds 
md they took their toll of us for every gun captured or 
lisabled. All through this time Sibley had Boche and guns 


on his flank and in his rear, for the woods were held by 
both forces and the Haison on our left had been crippled 
by the initial advance in which the Bn. on his left, Berry's, 
and his own had to fight their way in the dark, and Berry 
wounded early in the fight. 

On the 9th Sibley was withdrawn to a point from which 
the artillery could hammer away at the machine gun nests 
which had been thoroughly located. For an hour 50 
American and French batteries of 75*s and 150*8 threw 
everything they had into those woods on the right. 
Hughes went in on the loth and his first message was that 
the artillery had hammered the Bois de Belleau into mince 
meat. Overton, who had taken over the 76th Co, that 
day, charged the old rock plateau position in brilliant 
fashion, killing or capturing every gunner and capturing 
all the guns, and with few casualties. He got his later 
when the Boches shelled him in his hastily dug-in position 
for 48 hours. Hughes captured six minnenwerfers, and 
about 30 guns, light and heavy. The copy of commenda- 
tions we sent to you will tell you better than anything 
else the story of Sibley's magnificent work before the 
artillery preparation made the task an easier one. Young 
Robinson charged into certain death to take one nest 
and a string of bullets caught him full in the breast. 
Young Roberts, a runner told me — the last time the runner 
saw him — was flat on a rock not twenty yards away 
from one gun, blazing at it with an automatic in either 
hand. They hit him three times, and hit him hard 
before he would consent to go to the rear. There was 
not an officer left in the 82nd Co. and Sibley and his 
adjutant, Bellamy, reorganized them under close fire and 
led them in a charge that put that particular nest out 
of business at :he most critical time in all the fighting. 


I heard later tnat at that stage some one said: "Major 

Sibley ordered that " [and another man said "Where 

in hell is Sibley?" Sibley was twenty yards away at the 
time and a hush went down the line when they saw him 
step out to lead the charge. And when the word got 
around that dead-tired, crippled outfit that "the Old 
Man" was on the line, all Hell couldn't have stopped 
that rush. With all the stories that Fve heard about it 
I wonder if ever an outfit went up against a more des- 
perate job, stuck at it more gamely without sleep, at times 
on short rations, with men and officers going off like flies, 
and I wonder if in all our long list of gallant deeds there 
ever were two better stunts than the work of Sibley and 

Since the loth, while the fighting has not been of that 
savage hand-to-hand character, we've been in there, the 
two regiments, always advancing, never giving an inch, 
attacking and smashing counter-attacks by the literal 
score. They've had five and part of a sixth Division vs. 
our Brigade and one-half the time three Divisions at once. 
One of them, the 28th, is one of their finest. 

Just one more incident of Sibley's work. The supply 
of grenades gave out at one time, due mostly to the fact 
that no one knew what a veritable nest of machine guns 
those woods sheltered. They would have been a God- 
send, and as one of the men said, "When I thought of 
the hundreds I'd thrown away in practice, I'd have given 
a million dollars for a grenade more than once." 

They've had reliefs for a few days, the battalions, for 
It's a battalion war now, but many people would hardly 
call it rest. It was the best we could get but the rest 
woods were shelled at times, there was no chance to scrub 
and wash clothes, and if it rained no shelter except ponchos 


and little dugouts that were soon flooded. But every time 
they went back into the lines, dead tired, but with a 
spirit that made any task possible. There were times 
when it seemed to me, with my talks over the phone, 
their official and unofficial messages and their reports of 
casualties, of bombardments and gas, that they must 
have reached their limit and could not hold. But they 
held like grim death without a whimper and got away 
with it. At one time, when a borrowed regiment took 
over the sector for a few days, the battalions marched 
back to the Marne for a swim. They had to go before 
daybreak, and return at nightfall, and by the worst of 
luck those were cold, rainy days. 

We're still in and the line now takes in all the woods 
from our right, which Sibley is now holding, up to the 
left where the French are. In one night on the 26th, 
Shearer moved his line forward for the 5th and sent in 
560 prisoners. The next two nights, Keyser, on the ex- 
treme left, for the 5th, moved his lines and took up the 
positions assigned without a loss, and sent patrols 3CX) yards 
ahead without resistance. 

The Boches have had the fight knocked out of them 
and admit it. The artillery has done wonderful work at 
all times. The last big draft of prisoners had been cut 
off from supplies for three days by our fire. One man 
in the 1 6th Co., Lennert, captured and held in the front 
lines, brought in unarmed a captain, 4 lieutenants and 73 
Germans, unarmed. Another Marine, wounded and 
found in a dugout by Shearer's men, had had his fun 
when they hammered questions at him, in a smattering 
of French, German, and English. When they asked him 
how our food supply was, he said, " Bon. Beaucoup chow." 
When they wanted a line on our machine guns they asked, 


"Combien put-put-put?" and he came back with "Beau- 
coup put-put-put.'* The prisoners vary a lot, some fine, 
big chaps and many look like retired farmers, undersized, 
or running down to 17. At first they thought we were 
Canadians, but the last lot say all the Germans know we 
have about 700,000 and they say they don't want to 
fight us, that we give them no rest and our artillery pun- 
ishes them terribly. We've found lots of letters and 
diaries and the diaries are interesting. They start off 
with the Gott mit Uns lines and boasts of what they will 
do to the big Americans. Then they tell of lying in the 
woods under a terrific fire and about the big Americans 
who seem to know no fear. Then they end, a complete 
story of disillusionment. 

I know you will be interested in what gallant work the 
officers and men are doing. The men have learned that 
the officers will lead them anywhere and the men worship 
them. And the officers will talk you to a finish at any 
time about their men. But they'll hit us heavily on 
officers for they had to fight with a reckless bravery to 
carry the day. The day I saw Holcomb's men going down 
to the Marne for their swim and for a good cootie hunt, 
I saw what looked like a rear guard. It was the 78th 
and 96th Co.'s fifty-eight men under one second lieuten- 
ant, and in that 58 were men who had been back at the 
kitchens and not in the line. A battalion with 64 per 
cent officers and 64 per cent men casualties. We put 
our replacements to them a few days before, right out 
to the lines, and they numbered 1,300. Three days later 
they mustered 12 officers and 472 men. A gas and high 
explosive bombardment did the bulk of it during a night 
relief, but of course a big percentage of them will be back 
soon. Last night we had an uneasy time for they gassed 


a large area from 4 to 9, but we only had two casualties. 
The higher percentage was due to a black night and they 
had to pick up their wounded and give them first aid, 
and make their way to their new position. And men 
can't give first aid and hike without seeing, so they ab- 
solutely had to take their masks off for short periods. No 
fault was found with the gas discipline by the gas oflBicers. 

Frank E. Evans, 
Major, 6th MariruSy A. E. F. 

P.S. — Last evening, in a space of 20 minutes, I saw four 

German sausage balloons go up in smoke to the N. of us, 

one after another, the work of some real aviator. Things 

are quiet and we expect a change soon. The very latest 

news from Col. Catlin is that he is out of the woods and 

should be fit for duty in 3 to 5 weeks. The French have 

proposed him for the Legion of Honour. 

F. E. E. 


Cited For Valour in Action 

Headquarters Second Division 
American Expeditionary Forces 

General Orders "[ France, July 5, igi8. 

No. 40. / 

I. The names of and the deeds performed by the fol- 
lowing named officers and enlisted men of this division are 
published as being well worthy of emulation and praise, n 

Major EDWARD B. COLE, 6th M. G. Battalion, U. S. 


For extraordinary heroism in organizing positions, June 
loth, resulting in the loss of his right hand, and wounds in 


upper arm and both thighs from enemy machine gun fire, 
and for excellent judgment in disposing his guns during 
the fighting from June 2nd to loth inclusive, until he fell. 

Captain DONALD F. DUNCAN, U. S. M, C: 
Captain JAMES McCOY, U. S. M. C: 
1st Lieutenant ORLANDO C. CROWTHER, U. S, M, C: 
2nd Lieutenant CLARENCE A. DENNIS, U. S. M. C: 
2nd Lieutenant H. LESLIE EDDY, U, S. M, C: 
2nd Lieutenant WALTER D. FRAZIER, U. S. A/. C: 
2nd Lieutenant THOMAS H. MILES, U. S, M. C: 
2nd Lieutenant C. C. ROBINSON, U. S, M. C: 
2nd Lieutenant VERNON L, SOMERS, U, S. M. C: 
2nd Lieutenant JOSEPH A. SYNOTT, M. C. R,: 
Marine Gunner W, R. CORNELL, U. S. M. C: 

For extraordinary heroism in stemming the German 
advance in this region, and in thrusting it back from every 
position occupied by the 4th Brigade from June 2nd to 
nth inclusive. 

Captain KELLER E, ROCKEY, U. S. M, C, Acting Bat- 
talion Adjutant, ist Battalion, ^th Regiment: 

Performed distinguished service as well in bringing up 
support as in taking them to the front lines and putting 
them in place there, demonstrating great personal courage, 
exceptional ability, and extraordinary heroism. He was 
indefatigable and invaluable to his Battalion Commanding 
Officer in carrying forward the attack and organizing and 
stabilizing our position. 

Captain JOHN H. FAY, Commanding 8th Machine Gun 
Company, jth Marines: 

By displaying extraordinary heroism when placing his 
machine guns in position. He was in the fight at all 


times encouraging his men and by his utter indifference 
to danger set an example to all near him. 

1st Lieuunant EDWARD B, HOPE, 45th Company, Sth 

For his coolness and courage in directing his platoon in 
the attack on the morning of June 6th, during which time 
he was badly wounded and refused assistance until wound- 
ed men near him had been treated. 

Marine Gunner HENRY L. HULBERT, 5/A Marines: 

For his extraordinary heroism on June 6th and for his 
invaluable services in assisting the supply service at all 
times. Due to his efforts and the organization which he 
has built up, the men holding the line have been supplied 
with food regularly. Under the present trying circum- 
stances no one could have rendered more valuable serv- 
ices than Gunner HULBERT. 

Captain PHILIP T. CASE, 47th Company, 5th Marines: 

During trying times the last two weeks has shown ex- 
traordinary heroism at all times. His manner of meeting 
trying conditions was always cheerful and confident. He 
has kept his company in excellent shape, faithfully car- 
ried out his orders at all times. 

1st Lieuunant ALBERT P, B ASTON, 17th Company, 
Sth Marines: 

Although shot and wounded in both legs by machine 
gun fire, after leading his platoon through the woods on 
June 6th, he refused to go to the rear until after personally 
seeing that every man in his platoon was under cover and 
in good firing position. 


1st LieuUnant ROBERT BLAKE, lyth Company, ^th Ma- 

Displayed extraordinary bravery under fire, during the 
attack on June 6th, in volunteering and going forward 
after the line was temporarily held up, and crossing and 
recrossing an open field, swept by machine guns, in order 
to establish liaison between his company and the 49th 
company. Later, again under heavy machine gun fire, 
he crossed a wheat field in order to establish liaison with 
French troops on the left. Although repeatedly sniped 
at, he fulfilled his mission and returned with valuable in- 

Gunnery Sergeant ARTHUR /. RINDAU, 47th Company, 
$th Marines: 

While organizing a combat group during the attack, 
under terrific fire was killed. During his last moments he 
gave directions to the group which were carried out and 
an attempt by the enemy to flank his company was 

Gunnery Sergeant JAMES CARBARY, 4ytk Company, 
§th Marines: 
During an attack, went up and dragged out from in 
front of the enemy machine gun position two wounded 
men. He was fired upon, but miraculously escaped, al- 
though the feat seemed absolutely impossible. He was 
within fifty yards of this gun and brought out the two men, 
one after the other, and escaped unharmed. 

1st Lieutenant JOSEPH A. HAGAN, sist Company, ph 


For extraordinary heroism during an attack on June 6. 

Led his platoon forward under heavy machine gun fire; 

when his platoon was forced to retire due to heavy losses 


he noticed the loss of his Gunnery Sergeant and returned 
through fire and brought this man back. 

1st Sergeant WALTER G. ALLEN, i8th Company , s^^ 

Sergeant GEORGE C. COLON, i8th Company, sth Marines: 

These men displayed exceptional bravery and coolness 
during enemy bombardment and attacks of June 7-8-9, 
continually walking up and down the line of their platoon, 
regardless of personal danger, steadying and encouraging 
their men. 

1st Sergeant JOHN GRANT, 20th Company, ^th Marines: 

Showed extraordinary heroism and coolness in devotion 
to duty; was killed while crossing a field swept by ma- 
chine gun fire trying to deliver an important message to 

1st Sergeant DANIEL A. HUNTER, 116828, 67th Com- 
pany, 5/A Marines: 

During the attack, he fearlessly exposed himself and 
encouraged all men near him, although he himself was 
wounded three times. He subsequently died of his wounds. 

Sergeant Major CARL J. NORSTRAND, 1 18863, ist Bat- 
talion, £th Marines: 

Volunteered to rescue wounded men from the field swept 
by machine gun fire and under fire of snipers. He con- 
tinued this work with the aid of other volunteers until 
all in this particular place had been brought in. 

Corporal ARNOLD D. GODBEY, 1 16923, 67th Company, 

3th Marines: 

Followed Sergeant Major NORSTRAND, assisted in 

rescuing wounded on fire swept field with great danger to 

himself. Corporal GODBEY himself carried in three men. 


Sergeant JOHN H, CULNJN, 116338, 4pth Company, sth 

Was directed by Major TURRILL to assist a wounded 
man to the rear; while so doing was wounded in the head 
but carried out his mission and succeeded in bringing the 
other wounded man to the dressing station for aid. 

Private JOHN KUKOSKI, 116482, 49th Company, ^tk 

Ran into a German machine gun. Several of his com- 
rades were killed and wounded but he alone charged the 
gun and with the utmost bravery captured it and its crew 
with an officer. These he compelled to carry the gun to 
the rear where he turned the gun into Regimental Head- 
quarters and delivered the prisoners to Brigade Head- 

Gunnery Sergeant CHARLES F. HOFFMAN, 116329, 
4gth Company, jth Marines: 

Displayed coolness and extraordinary heroism through- 
out the attack. During the counter-attack by a party of 
Germans armed with light machine guns he organized 
resistance and rushed the enemy off, killing several. When 
only about 10 yards away Sergeant HOFFMAN first saw 
the party of the enemy, he jumped at them, alone with a 
rifle. The men near him advanced with him. This action 
formed the basis for a successful resistance. Gunnery 
Sergeant HOFFMAN was severely wounded at this time. 

Sergeant JOHN CASEY, 116334, 4gth Company, ^th Ma- 

Wounded during the counter-attack, he remained to or- 
ganize his group and after successful resistance he refused 
to go to the rear as he was senior in the group. Refused 


medical attention until the enemy had retired and then 
remained long enough to assure himself that his men had 
dug in properly. 

Corporal PRENTICE S. GEER, 304300, 67th Company, 
^th Marines: 

When enemy counter-attacked he was among a group 
that was isolated and in a bad position. He jumped to 
the front yelling to the men to follow him and charged the 
enemy with his bayonet. His comrades followed him, 
capturing a machine gun crew and repulsed the attack at 
that point. 

burgeon PAUL T. DESSEZ, U. S. N., Regimental Sur* 
geon, ^th Marifies: 

On the day that the regiment suffered its heaviest losses, 
June 6, 191 8, this officer organized the service of caring 
for and evacuating of the wounded in a most systematic 
and admirable manner. As there were few of his officers 
and men who had had experience in this work and as the 
terrain and the villages in which the above work was or- 
ganized were not well known, the duty required almost 
constant exposure to the fire of the enemy on the part of 
Surgeon DESSEZ; it is felt that to the extraordinary hero- 
ism, coolness and energy on his part, was due the efficiency 
with which this work was performed. 

Corporal ROBERT McC. FISCHER, 118548, 20th Com- 
pany, ^th Marines: 

Corporal CHARLES AUER, 11Q303, 20th Company, ph 

Corporal WILLIAM L. GRIFFEN, ii8o6g, 45th Com- 
pany, $th Marines: 

Sergeant JAMES J, GIBBONS, 118068, 45th Company^ 
^th Marines: 


Corporal CHARLES JV. HEWITT, JR., 1 18233, 45ih Com- 
pany, 3th Marines: 

Gunnery Sergeant HAROLD TODD, 118030, 43th Compaiiy, 

3th Marines: 
Corporal CHARLES E. PL ATT, 118 187, 43th Company, 

3th Marines: 

1st Sergeant WILLIAM HIGGINSON, 118048, 43th Com- 
pany, 3th Marines: 

Sergeant LUTHER W, PILCHER, 11 48 37, 20th Company, 
3th Marines: 

Sergeant WILLIAM B. PERMLEY, 117036, i8th Com- 
pany, 3th Marines: 

1st Sergeant JOHN GRANT, 1 18440, 20th Company, 3th 

Sergeant FRED T, LUKINS, 1 18432, 20th Company, 3th 

Corporal WILLIAM HANSEN, 118363, 20th Company, 
3th Marines: 

Gunnery Sergeant FRANCIS J, FLYNN, 118441, 20 
Company, 3th Marines: 

Sergeant STEPHEN G. SHERMAN, 1 18636, 20th Com- 
pany, 3th Marines: 

Sergeant VINCENT M, SCHWAB, 1 18700, 8th Company, 
3th Marines: 

Corporal BENJAMIN T. STRIN, 119617, 43th Company, 
3th Marines: 

Gunnery Sergeant ARTHUR /. RINDEAU, 11844, 47th 
Company, 3th Marines: 

Sergeant WILLIE R, JEFFRESS, 1 18342, 47th Company, 
3th Marines: 

Corporal MEARL C, ALEXANDER, 119119, Headquar- 
ters Company, 3th Marines: 


Sergeant JOHN W. RODGERS, 117276, 43Td Company, 

^th Marines: 
Sergeant BERNARD WERNER, 117282, 43rd Company, 

3th Marines: 
Corporal KARL W. LOCKE, 117487, 31st Company, ^th 

Corporal FRANCIS J. DOCKX, 117749, 5Sih Company, 

3th Marines: 
Corporal GEORGE A, MINCEY, 1778 10, S5th Company, 

3th Marines: 

Who showed extraordinary heroism in the engagement 
on the morning of June 6 and gave their lives fighting. 

Captain GAINES MOSELY, 47th Company, ^th Marines: 
During the attack on the enemy on the morning of 
June 1 2th, accompanied by one man, successfully went 
through territory occupied by Germans in order to estab- 
lish liaison with the unit on the flank of his Company. 
By this action of extraordinary heroism liaison was estab- 
lished which had a bearing on the general result of the 
fight. Captain MOSELY during the whole period of the 
fight has assisted greatly in keeping the troops in good 

1st Sergeant EDMUND MADSEN, 47th Company, ^th 

Displayed extraordinary heroism during an attack, 
when with two men he rushed enemy machine gun positions 
and reached within three feet of the gun where he was 
killed, June 6, 191 8. 

Sergeant OLIVER D. BERNIER, 47th Company, jth 

During an attack and while under intense enemy ma- 
chine gun fire stood up and broke down with his bayonet 


a wire fence which was impeding his company's progress, 
thereby displaying extraordinary heroism and coolness 
under trying conditions. 

Sergeant JAMES A. PATTERSON, i6th Company , sth 

Sergeant P. W, JEWELL, i6th Company, ^th Marines: 
Corporal HERBERT St. GEORGE, i6th Company, jth 

Private FRANK W. ADDANTE, i6th Company, 5th 

Private PHILIP J. REIHL, i6th Company, sth Marines: 
Private GILBERT W, YOUNG, i6th Company, 5th Ma- 

Displayed extraordinary heroism during an attack, 
June 6, 1918, during which engagement all were killed. 

Sergeant THOMAS R. REATH, 43rd Company, sth Ma- 

Killed in action while delivering an important message 
under heavy barrage, June Sth, 191 8. 

Private ELVIN CAMPBELL, i6th Company, sth Ma- 

After being wounded by fragment of high explosive 
shell conducted wounded comrade to first aid station 
under heavy shell fire. His act probably saved his com- 
rade's life, as he was badly wounded and no stretcher 
bearer available. 

Private JAMES L, CLARKE, 4.7th Company, sth Ma- 

During an attack, although wounded, delivered mes- 
sage to battalion headquarters over a mile distance 
through enemy territory, and fell unconscious. 


Private D. P. COL FIN, i8th Company, Sth Marines: 

Displayed great bravery and coolness under heavy 
enemy bombardment in caring for wounded comrades 
during the enemy attack of June 7-8. As Acting Gunnery 
Sergeant of his platoon he was continually exposed to the 
enemy shellfire and machine guns, while walking up and 
down his platoon trenches, encouraging and steadying his 

Private HENRY T. LAWSON, 20th Company, 5th Ma- 

On duty as regimental messenger, while delivering a 
message to regimental headquarters, through an open 
country through shellfire, noticed several wounded men 
lying in the field, delivered his message and reported to 
the Regimental Commander, where these bodies were, vol- 
unteered to lead an ambulance to nearest point on the 
road and then assisted stretcher bearers to bring in 

Private ALOYSIUS LEITNER, Headquarters Company, 
^th Marines: 

For extraordinary heroism during the capture of three 
officers and 169 enlisted Germans, in an attack on June 12, 
although seriously wounded, continued to fire and assist- 
ed in taking prisoners, six Germans who were operating 
machine gun. He died at the hospital. 

Private ROY H. SIMPSON, 47th Company, 5th Marines: 

Delivering a message from Battalion to Company Head- 
quarters ran directly across the face of enemy fire. He 
was struck in the chest by bullets. He called out " I must 
deliver this message," ran about 50 feet and fell dead. 


Private J. P, THORP, i8th Company^ ^th Marines: 

Killed in action during the attack of June 7-8, while 
remaining at his post with his automatic rifle, in an ex- 
posed position. He inflicted heavy losses to the enemy 
until he was killed by a shell. 

Captain GEORGE W. HAMILTON, 49th Company, ^th 

During an attack on the enemy, showed exceptionally 
brilliant leadership. He advanced his company a kilo- 
metre to his final objective against an enemy in trenches 
and equipped with machine guns. He and his company 
passed through several zones of machine gun fire. When 
it is known that this company lost approximately ninety 
per cent of the ofiicers and non-commissioned officers and 
fifty per cent of company in casualties. Captain HAMIL- 
TON'S rare quality of leadership is apparent. During lat- 
ter stages of the attack, after the men had lost their lead- 
ers, he ran up and down his line under severe fire leading 
his men forward and urging them on, by cheering and 
similar efforts. He did this at great personal exposure. 
Captain HAMILTON displayed a quality of extraordi- 
nary heroism, 

1st Lieutenant JON A PL ATT, 4gth Company, ^tk Ma- 

Splendid example of leadership rendered. He joined 
the 49th Company on June 5th. From the instant of 
joining, he showed wonderful organization powers and 
was an inspiration to his men. During the advance on 
Hill 142, morning of June 6, he and several squads passed 
the objective several hundred yards. They were here sub- 
ject to heavy machine gun fire from both flanks. He or- 
ganized an attack on one flank and gradually retired with 


his men to the Company in the first line position. During 
the counter-attack, he brought his group to the assistance 
of another platoon, took charge of both platoons, drove 
back the enemy who were armed with machine guns. 
During the action, he was badly wounded in his leg but 
refused to return until his men had been properly dis- 
posed and dug in. His coolness and bravery were remark- 
able. Even after being wounded he refused assistance 
and dragged himself about, giving his orders. 

Lieutenant-Colonel LOGAN FELAND, Headquarters Com- 
panjy ^th Marines: 

' During gas alarm on the morning of June 6, while on 
duty at Regimental P. C, was notified that the 8th Ma- 
chine Gun Co., with the 17th Infantry Co. following, 
could not find the route to go into action. Finding the 
8th Machine Gun Co., with the Infantry Co., Lieutenant- 
Colonel FELAND led them through CHAMPILLON, 
which was being shelled, and sent them in. Finding the 
Infantry was not the 17th Co. but part of the 66th, he 
returned through CHAMPILLON, found the 17th Co., 
took them in according to plan of Battalion Commander. 
He then went to the P. C. of the 1st Battalion Command- 
er, volunteered to perform any duty that would help, 
which assistance was of great value, displayed a high type 
of courage. 

Major JULIUS S. TURRILL, Commanding ist Bat- 
talion, jth Marines: 

For his extraordinary heroism and splendid example in 
an attack made by the ist Battalion, on the morning of 
June 6th. He exposed himself to danger constantly, kept 
his command in hand at all times, and displayed the qual- 
ities of leadership of a very high type. 


Captain LLOYD W, WILLIAMS, 51st Company , 5M 

Led his Company fearlessly, advancing over heavy fire, 
reached his objective, organized it and secured it to left 
front of the ist Battalion and aided materially in holding 
the ground taken; he was killed. 

Captain ROSWELL WINANS, 17th Company, sth Ma- 

Rendered distinguished services in leading his company 
through a woods of considerable depth, cleaning the way 
before himself, ^nd coming up on the right (of the 49th 
Company) where he held steadfastly and well organized 
his position, meantime standing some counter-attacks. 
Captain WINANS' Company was in support in the first 
stage, and then took an active part. His skill, fortitude, 
and high personal courage contributed loyally to our suc- 

Captain PETER CON ACHY, 45th Company, sth Ma- 
Showed extraordinary heroism leading his company, 
carrying out the orders of his Battalion Commander cheer- ' 
fully, coolly, and courageously. Captain CONACHY'S 
performance of duty during this trying period has been 
most excellent. During the occupation of the town of 
BOURESCHES received a gun-shot wound and was evac- 
uated to hospital. 

1st Lieutenant JAMES A, NELMS, Sth Company, ph 

1st Lieutenant J. H. NICHOLS, Sth Company, jth Ma- 

Although both were wounded while leading their re- 
spective platoons under trying conditions, had their 


wounds dressed on the field and remained with the Com- 

1st Lieutenant GILDER D. JACKSON, i8th Companyy 
£th Marines: 

2nd Lieutenant W. W, ASHURST, i8th Company, j/A 

2nd Lieutenant H, A. ZISCHEX, i8th Company, 5th Ma- 

2nd Lieutenant CHESTER H. FRAZER, i8th Company, 
^th Marines: 

These platoon commanders displayed exceptional brav- 
" ery, coolness, and ability in handling men and showed dis- 
regard of personal danger during the enemy attack of 
June 7-8-9, and led their men fearlessly against machine 
gun positions. 

2nd Lieutenant ERNEST TOOMEY, 20th Company, sth 

2nd Lieutenant PERCIVAL L, WILSON, 20th Company, 

^th Marines: 

Showed extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty 
during the movement of their platoons, both being badly 
wounded during an attack. 

2nd Lieutenant MERWIN H, SILFERTHORN, 20th 
Company, 5th Marines: 

Who on June 13th, received his commission as 2nd Lieu- 
tenant, continued in the attack after being wounded. 

2nd Lieutenant HAROLD T, PALMER, 5th Marines: 

Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant June 13th, displayed ex- 
ceptional bravery in handling section under heavy ma- 
chine gun and artillery fire during an attack. 


2nd Lieutenant BERNHARDT GISSELL, U, S, R,, 17th 
Company, ^th Marines: 

He has shown high qualities of leadership and personal 
bravery in command of his platoon and led them under 
heavy shell-fire in repulsing a counter-attack of the en- 
emy, June 6. 

2nd Lieutenant EARL W, GARVIN, iph Company , ^th 

He showed great courage and daring when, after repel- 
ling two counter-attacks, he led his platoon in a brilliant 
charge against a machine gun position, captured the gun 
and crew and immediately turned the gun against the 
enemy. Later he captured another machine gun. 

Lieuunant RALPH McN. WILCOX, sth Marines: 

Who rendered most valuable service making reconnais- 
sance, performing other services which required great per- 
sonal exposure to danger. 

Lieutenant BALL, §th Marines: 

Who rendered most valuable service making reconnais- 
sance, performing other services which required great per- 
sonal exposure to danger. 

Lieutenant MAX GILFILLAN, 66th Company, jth Ma- 

Who was badly wounded while leading his men into 

Passed Assistant Surgeon PAUL T, CROSBY, U. S. N,, 
Sth Marines: 

His untiring energy, extraordinary display of bravery in 
the performance of his duty in giving assistance to the 
wounded, and his constant application to his work, labour- 


ing unceasingly for four days and nights with but Httle 
sleep during the days of attack, he was responsible for sav- 
ing many lives. Dr. CROSBY worked under all condi- 
tions and in many cases in the front lines with a disregard 
for personal danger, inspiring to his men. 

Pharmacist Mate CHARLES B. ROBERTS, U. S. N.y 

8th Company, Marines: 
Private DEWEY MANNER, 8th Company, 5th Marines: 
Private JOSEPH /. McQUEENEY, 8th Company, 5th 

Private ANDREW HICKEY, 8th Company, 5th Marines: 

Showed extraordinary heroism under heavy machine 
gun fire volunteering to cross open field to bring in wound- 
ed who were calling for help, on the night of June 7th, 191 8. 

Chaplain JOHN J. BRADY, U. S, N., Headquarters, 
jih Marines: 
For his devotion to duty and his coolness under fire, 
carrying out his duties as Chaplain, exposed himself fear- 
lessly, made a complete tour of the front line twice, carry- 
ing cigarettes to men who would not have an opportunity 
otherwise to get them. 

ist Sergeant THOMAS J. McNULTY, 116583, 66th Com- 
pany, 5th Marines: 
Badly wounded while leading and encouraging men of 
his company. Displayed courage of the highest order. 

Quartermaster Clerk THOMAS DORNEY, Headquarters, 

4th Brigade, M. C. {Warrant Officer, 30 Years Enlisted 


For displaying remarkable bravery and coolness in the 

performance of his duty in loading ammunition truck and 

accompanying it along shell swept roads at night. 


S^rg^ant PHILLIP H. KNOWLES, M. C. R,y Head- 
quartersy 4th Brigade: 

For displaying courage and coolness in the performance 
of his duties and driving an automobile under heavy shell- 
fire upon several occasions. 

Corporal GEORGE W. DAME WOOD, Headquarters, 4th 
Brigade, M. C.: 
For courage and coolness under fire, and for driving 
motorcycle with side car containing an officer along shell 
swept roads, upon several occasions. 

Corporal HUGH C. FAN AMBURGH, Headquarters, 
4th Brigade, M. C: 

For courage and coolness under fire, and for driving 
motorcycle with side car containing an officer along shell 
swept roads, upon several occasions. 

Corporal GEORGE W. RIDER, Headquarters, 4th Brig- 
ade, M, C: 
For courage and coolness under fire, and for driving 
motorcycle with side car containing an officer along shell 
swept roads, upon several occasions. 

Sergeant HARRY T, BURNS, i6th Company, Sth Marines: 

While in charge of ration carrying party was struck in 
the head by a shell fragment and knocked down, rendered 
unconscious. As soon as he recovered, he reorganized his 
party and brought in the rations. 

Trumpeter JAMES C. TONER, i6th Company, 5th Ma- 
Trumpeter DAVID RUFF, i6th Company, sth Marines: 

Both made trips carrying messages under heavy shell- 
fire, showed extraordinary heroism, never failing to de- 
liver messages promptly and properly. ' 


Gunnery Sergeant WILLIAM H. MACK J, 20th Com- 
pany ^ ^th Marines: 

Showed extraordinary heroism in attacking machine 
gun nest in the face of murderous fire. When his platoon 
commander was wounded, he took charge of the platoon 
and led it successfully. 

Private HOLLIS E. EMPEY, 5^A Marines: 

Made a very courageous attempt to pick up wounded 
from in front of machine gun nest. 

Private J J RON K, SHERRITTA, 20th Company y 5th 

After being wounded he refused to be evacuated, re- 
mained with his platoon throughout entire attack. Later 
sent to the hospital. 

Private GEORGE 0. BISON ETTE, 20th Company, jth 

Continued in the attack after being wounded and fought 

Private ROY C. LASHER, 4^th Company, ^th Marines^ 
Private SIDNEY STREETY, 4Sth Company, 5^A Ma- 

Private HARRY WULFMULLER, 45th Company,. sth 

For extraordinary heroism in carrying messages through 
enemy barrage, keeping liaison from battalion to com- 
pany open at all times. 

Corporal VICTOR M. LANDBRETH, 47th Company, 
^th Marines: 

Private PHILIP B, WILKIE, 47th Company, sth Ma- 


Private WALTER MORRIS, 47th Company y s^h Marines: 
Private CHARLES H. LEWIS, 47th Company, s^h Ma- 

For four days went under heavy bombardment and 
machine gun fire, carrying messages between Company 
and Battalion Headquarters, performing their tasks with 
an eagerness and daring, and seeming almost impossible 
for human beings to pass through the beaten zone. 

Private NORMAN A. SIMKINS, s^st Company, sth 
Displayed extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, 
carrying messages under heavy machine gun fire. 

1st Sergeant GEORGE STOKES, sist Company, sth Ma- 
Personal bravery and devotion to duty under heavy ar- 
tillery bombardment during attack on the BOIS DE 

Sergeant RAYMOND H, GORDON, 51st Company, 5th 
For extraordinary heroism and personal bravery during 
the attack on the BOIS DE BELLEAU. 

Gunnery Sergeant LAWRENCE C. SVESEY, sist Com- 
pany, 5th Marines: 

Although wounded himself, he assisted in taking care 
of others while under heavy bombardment. 

Private EDWARD C. TOMPSON, 45th Company, 5th 

During an attack went through extremely heavy bom- 
bardment, to transmit important information that the 
enemy were massing in the wood to the front. 


Sergeant WILLIAM R. CLEVELAND, 51st Company, 
§th Marines: 

Showed extraordinary heroism in looking after his sec- 
tion during hea\^ bombardment during an attack, keep- 
ing them together and cheering them on at all times. 

Corporal DAVIS SEVERCOLL, 51st Company, sth Ma- 

While a bombardment was still on, after being knocked 
down and dazed by a bursting shell near him, he assisted 
a wounded man of his squad to a safer place and returned. 

Gunnery Sergeant RICHARD S, ROSS, ^ist Companv, 
^th Marines: 

While suffering from shell shock, he dressed wounds of 
mem.bers of his platoon, while under heavy artillery bom- 

Sergeant LESTER L, HOGDON, jist Company, S^h Ma- 

Private EDWARD DORSET, sist Company, 5th Marines: 
Corporal EDWARD W. HALLER, sist Company, ^th 

Private ARTHUR ASH, jist Company, sth Marines: 

Have shown extraordinary heroism in dressing wound- 
ed and placing them in places of comparative safety, while 
under heavy bombardment. 

Sergeant DAVID A, R. THOMPSON, 51st Company, 
£th Marines: 

Went forward in the open, in plain vie^v^ of the enemy, 
during an attack and carried water and food to a wound- 
ed man, too severely wounded to be moved until dark. 


Gunnery Sergeant NICOLAS CLAUSONy 51 ^^ Company , 
^th Marines: 

During the attack on June 6, under heavy machine gun 
fire and not knowing how strongly the objective point was 
held, he reached same with five men and opened fire on a 
machine gun found there. 

Sergeant EDWIN RUNQUIST, Headquarters Company, 
^th Marines: 

private BRUCE MERRY, Headquarters Company, ^th 

Private NORMAN DUBERVILLE, Headquarters Com- 
pany, §th Marines: 

Private WILLIAM M. FEIGLE, Headquarters Company, 
^th Marines: 

Private CHARLIE MITCHELL, Headquarters Company, 
^th Marines: 

Private CLIFFORD EVANS, Headquarters Company, ^th 

Private HARRY HOBBS, Headquarters Company, ^th 

Private FRED MILLER, Headquarters Company, ^th Ma- 

All regimental runners and motorcycle orderlies who 
have shown conspicuous bravery and heroism in carrying 
messages at all times, day and night, during most trying 

Privau OWSE KAPARSTANSKI, 51st Company, sth 

Although severely wounded, carrying a heavy ammuni- 
tion clipbag, continued to advance with his auto-rifle under 
heavy machine gun fire, reached the objective and pro- 
tested against being sent to the rear for treatment. 


Sergeant ANDREW M. PERISH, 51st Company, 5^/1 
While under heavy artillery bombardment, showed ex- 
traordinary heroism and attended the wounded members 
of his platoon until he himself was wounded 

Sergeant JAMES W. SUTHERLANDy 5th Marines: 

After the wounding of Gunnery Sergeant, he took 
charge of platoon, displayed marked bravery and cool- 
ness in handling platoon under heavy artillery fire and 
very trying conditions. 

Gunnery Sergeant CECIL A, WILLI AMS, 51st Com- 
pany, 5th Marines: 
Although wounded, ably assisted his platoon command- 
er in conducting advance under extremely heavy machine 
gun fire. 

Privau JOSEPH F. WRUK, S^st Company, stk Marines: 
Painfully wounded, carried a comrade to the rear on 
his back. 

Private LEO GLADSTONE, 51 st Company, sth Marines: 

Although shot through the arm, cheerfully assisted in 
the dressing of other wounded while under heavy fire. 
Refused to go to the rear to have his own wound dressed. 

Sergeant GEORGE LAMBETH, sist Company, 5^^ Ma- 
Corporal FRED HIMMELBERGER, 51st Company, 5tk 

Corporal WALTER HAY BRIGHT, 51st Company, ^th 

Private CALVIDE W, SCHWA BE, 51st Company, S^ 



Private JOHN /. McCORMICK, ^ist Company y s^^ ^^- 

Brought in wounded under heavy bombardment by ar- 
tillery and machine guns. 

Sergeant FRANK GREY, ^ist Company, Sih Marines: 

Although detached on special duty, he volunteered for 
duty with platoon when sergeants of that platoon were 
all wounded, took charge of the men, carried on his duty 
with marked coolness and bravery. 

Sergeant J. H, PARONS, 5th Marines: 

During a violent bombardment, one man of his group 
was wounded. He with two other enlisted men removed 
the wounded man through heavy shell-fire, during which 
time the wounded man was killed, and the two men with 
him were wounded. On June 5th he brought in two se- 
verely wounded Germans under heavy shell-fire. 

Private L, COOMBS, 43rd Company, ^th Marines: 
Private WILLIAM T. HAY DEN, s^st Company, 5^A 

Assisted in carrying in wounded; both men were struck 
by shrapnel bullets and both returned to duty after hav- 
ing wounds dressed. 

Sergeant VINCENT M. SCHWA BE, 8th Company, sth 

While in performance of his duty, while in charge of 
section of machine guns, was killed. 

Gunnery Sergeant CHARLES F, M cC A RTHY, 17th Com- 
pany, sth Marines: 

After his lieutenant had been wounded and evacuated 
to the rear, he took charge of his platoon and continued 


to encourage and lead them into position, even after he 
himself had been wounded. 

Private W. T, B, GREERy iph Company, 5th Marines: 

Conspicuous for his bravery and coolness under fire. 
Has rendered invaluable service to his company com- 
mander in delivery of messages under difficult circum- 

Private P. W. DURR, 17th Company, 5th Marines: 

Showed extraordinary devotion to duty and after being 
wounded while acting as runner and gas sentry, called his 
relief in person and remained on post until properly re- 

Sergeant JOHN G. O'LOUGHLIN, 17th Company, sth 

Showed bravery and coolness under fire. After his lieu- 
tenant and gunnery sergeant had been wounded, he as- 
sumed command of his platoon and led it throughout 
the battle. He personally disposed of a great many 
snipers who were shooting our men. 

Sergeant A, E, RATCHFORD, 17th Company, 5th Ma- 

Volunteered to complete liaison with the 51st Company 
and did so, crossing a shell swept area without regard for 
personal danger. 

Sergeant PAUL J. ROBIN ETTE, 17th Company, 5th 

Displayed extraordinary courage and bravery under 
fire, directing the digging in and consolidating of position 
under heavy shelling, until wounded. 


Corporal W. A. MEYERSy 17th Company, jth Marines: 

Displayed remarkable courage and disregard of per- 
sonal danger by running a gauntlet of snipers to obtain 
valuable information from another unit, on June 6. 

Corporal HAROLD McL, MADY, 17th Company, 5^A 

Was wounded in the performance of his duty in deliver- 
ing a message through a shell swept area and made con- 
siderable part of the distance after having been wounded, 
on June 6. 

Private ERNEST E. BORAH, 17th Company, 5th Ma- 

Displayed great courage and devotion to duty in deliv- 
ering messages upon numerous occasions through severe 
shellfire and on June 6th volunteered to bring up ammu- 
nition for a captured German gun and exposed himself to 
machine gun fire. 

Gunnery Sergeant W, HILLMAN, i8th Company, 5/A 

He displayed exceptional coolness and braveiy under 
fire during enemy attacks on June 7-8-9. Disregard- 
ing personal danger, he rescued a number of wounded 
under severe shellfire. 

Private HAROLD J, DEMARS, Headquarters Company, 
^th Marines: 

For coolness and bravery, after being wounded, refused 
to go to the rear until after all the eneriiy were taken from 
their machine gun nest which he with others were charg- 


Sergeant J. F, SEEWERKER, i8tk Company, 5th Ma- 
Showed exceptional coolness and bravery under heavy 
enemy bombardment and machine gun and rifle fire dur- 
ing enemy attack of June 7-8, encouraging and inspiring 
his men by his utter disregard for personal danger. 

Corporal J. A. STOVER, 18 th Company, 5th Marines: 

Showed exceptional bravery during the enemy attacks 
of June 7-8-9, in conducting and encouraging the men in 
his squad, displayed a disregard to personal danger which 
was an inspiration to his men. 

Private A. R. DAHL, iSth Company, Sth Marines: 

Although himself wounded, he assisted in rescuing 

others, more severely wounded near him, doing so under 

a violent shellfire. 

Sergeant F. P. MOVICK, iSth Company, Sth Marines: 
Displayed great bravery in rescuing wounded during 

the shelling of June 5th. 

Hospital Apprentice GLENON, U, S. N., i8th Company, 
5th Marines: 
He displayed greatest zeal, bravery, and efficiency in at- 
tending the wounded during the enemy attack of June 
7-8-9 and when he worked continuously for two nights 
and days under heavy shellfire. 

TrumpeUr F, W. WATSON, j8th Company, sth Ma- 

Private W. E, AUMAN, i8th Company, sth Marines: 
Private R. C. LARKER, i8th Company, sth Marines: 

These men displayed great bravery and devotion to 
duty in delivering important messages through enemy 


shellfire and machine gun fire, making long and dangerous 
trips through dense woods, the nights of June 7-8-9. 

Gunnery Sergeant M, W. SCOTT, i8th Company, ^th 

He displayed exceptional bravery and coolness during 
the enemy attack of June 7-8-9 in handling the men of his 
platoon while exposed to severe shell and machine gun 

Sergeant GUY C. STRICKNEY, i8th Company, 5th Ma- 

Sergeant ELLSWORTH D. WORKMAN, i8th Company, 
^th Marines: 

Sergeant ANTHONY A. WOJCZYNSKI, iSth Com- 
pany, 5th Marines: 

Corporal LANGDON C, RICKETTS, iSth Company, 5th 

These men displayed exceptional coolness and bravery 
during a heavy enemy bombardment of their company 
sector, June 7-8. They continually and fearlessly exposed 
themselves to heavy shelling, in order to maintain liaison 
between scattered groups, under most difiicult and dan- 
gerous circumstances. 

Private RICHARD P, WILLETT, 18th Company, sth 

After being wounded, during enemy bombardment, 
June 7-8, he showed great fortitude and continued in 
action against the enemy until exhausted, cautioning the 
men who went to his aid not to expose themselves to the 
enemy fire. 


Private DORIS J EPSON, i8th Company y sth Marines: 
Private WILLIAM F. FISHER, i8th Company , sth Ma- 
Private LOUIS HILL, i8th Company, 5th Marines: 
Private ALFRED P. HOLMES, iSth Company, sth Ma- 
Bandsman STANLEY BURWELL, iSth Company, sth 

These men on the night of June 9-10 displayed excep- 
tional bravery and devotion to duty in going the entire 
length of three platoon sectors under severe bombard- 
ment, part of the time while an enemy 77 was playing 
along the top of the parapet. This in answer for calls for 
stretcher bearers to evacuate wounded. 

Private PAUL D. BROWN, iSth Company, sth Marines: 

Private HENRY W, GREBBIEN, iSth Company, sth 

These men displayed great courage in carrying a mes- 
sage of vital importance through a terrific enemy barrage 
in rear of the front line trenches. 

Gunnery Sergeant MIKE WODAREZYK, 43rd Company, 
Sth Marines: 

On June 5, while commanding the 4th platoon, he saw 
about 200 of the enemy deployed on his front in a ravine. 
He placed his platoon in fighting position and forced the 
enemy to retire, although outnumbered about four to one. 

Private WALTER COOK, 43rd Company, sth Marines: *' 

On June 2nd, he was detailed as a sniper and crawled 
out in front of our lines to this work and killed and wound- 
ed twelve of the enemy at great danger to himself. He 
showed remarkable courage and bravery. 


Dr. LYNN T. WHITE, Y. M. C. J, Secretary, at- 
tached to the jth Marines: 

His highly rendered service, during trying periods, work- 
ing day and night, has made a place among the men that 
would be hard to fill. He has shown extraordinary hero- 
ism, going to the absolute front lines at all times, crawling 
along under fire, reaching men on isolated positions, sup- 
plying them with cigarettes and chocolate and cheering 
them up. His services cannot be too highly praised. 

Major F. E. EVANS, Adjutant, 6th Marines: 

During the trying events of the early part of June, 1918, 
this officer carried the administrative burdens of his regi- 
ment with great efficiency. His untiring efforts, constant 
diligence, and intelligent transmission of orders from the 
Brigade Commander during a number of days when his 
Regimental Commander was in an advanced headquarters 
and not always in communication, contributed in no small 
degree to the successful part played by this regiment in 
the operations against the enemy from the 1st to the i6th 
of June, 1918. 

Captain EDWARD C. FULLER, Company B, 6th Ma- 

Killed in action at his post of duty, after exposing him- 
self fearlessly to a terrific artillery barrage in order to 
superintend personally the assurance of shelter to his men. 
In action he proved a leader and his cool demeanour under 
fire and incessant labours for the comfort of his men con- 
tributed in great measure to the successful operations of 
his battalion. His action is supreme proof of that extraor- 
dinary heroism which unhesitatingly exposes itself as an 


example to hitherto untried troops, and which has result- 
ed in stemming the enemy's advance in this region and 
thrusting it back from every position occupied by this 
Brigade from the 2nd to the 14th of June. This on the 
1 2th of June, 191 8. 

Captain JOHN F. BURNSy Company A, 6th Marines: 

Mortally wounded at his post of duty on the 12th of 
June, 191 8. He was a tower of strength in his command. 
An officer of more than fifteen years' experience, he was 
assigned to important missions, and under terrific shell 
fire completed the disposition of his platoons with the 
coolness and courage that steadied his men while under 

Captain DWIGHT F, SMITH, Company /, 6th Marines: 

In the engagement with the enemy on the 8th of June 
he was conspicuous for his gallantry and energy in con- 
ducting the attack against strongly fortified machine gun 
positions. Under terrific machine gun fire he held on un- 
til he was wounded and evacuated. This on the 8th of 
June, 1918. 

Captain RANDOLPH T. ZANE, 6th Marines: 

While in command of American forces in a captured 
town at midnight, June 7-8, he was attacked by heavy 
machine gun fire and by infantry. His successful han- 
dling of the defence and his personal example of bravery 
and coolness inspired the garrison to resist with such ef- 
fect that, although the infantry were at one time within 
30 feet of the town, the town was held and the enemy 
repulsed with heavy losses. The garrison sustained com- 
paratively few casualties. 


First Lieutenant CHARLES A. ETH BRIDGE, ist Bat-- 

talion Intelligence Officer, 6th Marines: 

From the loth to the 13th of June, 1918, with com- 
bined skill and disregard for danger, he repeatedly made 
reconnaissance in the woods that proved invaluable in 
our operations against the enemy. He carried out this 
work in the face of artillery and machine gun fire, and on 
one occasion, finding a gap in the lines on the night of 
the 1 2th of June, posted himself with eight members of 
the Second Engineers in this gap, and either killed or cap- 
tured twelve of the enemy attempting to filter through to 
our rear. As a scout officer, assuming the duties after his ' 
predecessor had been evacuated, he showed inborn abil- 
ity, cool courage, and unerring judgment. 

First Lieutenant JAMES McB, SELLERS, Company G, 
6th Marines: 

Carried a message through heavy artillery fire, with 
gas shells, and delivered the same, although seriously 
wounded, making a report of value at a critical stage of 
the action, in our operation against the enemy. This on 
the 6th of June, 1918. 

First Lieutenant P. H. HURLEYy Infantry U, S. R., 6th 

During the engagement on the night of the 6th of June, 
with coolness and excellent judgment, he advanced his 
platoon to a position within 200 yards of the divisional 
objective assigned his battalion. This officer showed utter 
disregard of danger throughout the engagement and was 
afterwards evacuated wounded. 


First Lieutenant ALFRED H. NOBEL, Company K, 6th 

Conspicuous for his gallantry and coolness in handling 
his company in attack against strongly fortified machine 
gun positions, and repeatedly showed rare judgment, his 
ability to inspire his men to efforts against superior odds, 
and personal courage. This on the 6th and 8th of June, 

First Lieutenant CHARLES D, ROBERTS, Company /, 
6tk Marines: 

In the engagement against the enemy on the 6th and 
8th of June he showed rare courage, and repeatedly led 
his platoon to the attack against an impregnable machine 
gun position. After losing the greater part of his men 
and being severely wounded himself, he returned to the 
action and pleaded with the battalion commander to give 
him reinforcements which he proposed to lead in further 
attack against the machine gun positions whose capture 
was necessary to the safety of the command. 

First Lieutenant JULIUS C. COGSWELL, Company G, 
6th Marines: 
Although wounded in a bombardment, he refused to be 
evacuated but remained with his company and conducted 
his platoon with marked bravery and skill in an assault 
on a formidable machine gun position until seriously 
wounded. This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

First Lieutenant JAMES F. ROBERTSON, Company 
H, 6th Marines: 

Displayed marked courage and resourcefulness in the 
capture of a town with one platoon of his company. He 
entered the tow^n through a heavy machine gun barrage, 


organized it and withstood all attempts to dislodge him 
until reinforcements arrived. His action while out of 
touch with the rest of his command required prompt de- 
cision, and his handling of the situation resulted in mate- 
rially strengthening the lines on our front. This on the 
night of the 6th of June, 191 8. 

First Lieutenant CHARLES L MURRAY, Company F, 
6th Marines: 

Displayed conspicuous bravery and efficiency during 
the attack upon a town on the night of June 6th. In ad- 
vancing through the enemy's heavy machine gun barrage 
he was shot through both arms, which were broken. 
When no longer able to advance he walked to the rear 
without assistance and with marked coolness. 

First Lieutenant FREDERICK C. WHEELER, Com- 
pany D, 6th Marines: 

Displayed conspicuous bravery in remaining in action 
after being twice wounded. He refused to be evacuated 
until wounded a third time and then endeavoured to re- 
turn to his command. This on the 5th of June, 1918. 

Second Lieutenant JAMES S, TIMOTHY, W, S., at- 
tached to 6th Marines: 

Displayed the tenacity and fortitude which character- 
ized his entire service with this regiment. Weakened by 
gas poisoning while serving with the French in the VER- 
DUN Sector, he resisted the advice of medical officers 
and served two months in the trenches. Throughout the 
operations against the enemy on our front from the ist 
to the 15th of June he served with distinction until in- 
stantly killed by a high explosive shell. 


Second Lieutenant WILLIAM A. EDDY, Regimental In- 
telligence Officer, 6th Marines: 
In charge of an observation post located in a tree from 
which movements of enemy troops and our own artillery 
fire could be observed, he transmitted information to 
higher authorities which resulted in heavy punishment to 
the enemy. His post was located between two batteries 
and was not only in the line of heavy artillery fire but 
had to be temporarily abandoned when the target of more 
direct fire. Throughout the operations he proved to be 
the medium of most accurate observation, although abso- 
. lutely without cover from deadly fire. He also performed 
conspicuous service daily in personally delivering and se- 
curing from points in the front lines vital information 
both to the Hnes and to our artillery. His conduct was 
distinguished to a degree by unerring judgment, immedi- 
ate action, and a remarkable sangfroid. This from the 
6th to the i6th of June, 1918. 

Again, on the night of June 4th, at a great personal 
risk, he led a reconnoitring patrol of two men into the 
enemy's lines and established the location of those lines. 
At one time he and his patrol were between two bodies of 
the enemy, remaining there for more than an hour. The 
information which he brought back proved of great value 
in determining the disposition of the enemy, and he was 
in imminent risk of capture during the greater part of his 

Second Lieutenant CLARENCE A. DENNIS, Company 
G, 6th Marines: 
Killed in action in the capture of a town from the en- 
emy on June 6th, after displaying high courage in leading 
his platoon through artillery and machine gun fire and 
keeping his firing Hne supplied with ammunition. 


Second Lieutenant LOUIS F, TIMMERMAN, JR., 
Company Ky 6th Marines: 
Having advanced his platoon beyond all other elements 
of his battalion in an attack on enemy machine gun posi- 
tions in the woods on the 6th of June, he led his men in a 
bayonet charge against superior numbers at a critical mo- 
ment and captured two enemy machine guns and seven- 
teen prisoners. This young officer displayed remarkable 
qualities of heroism and initiative, and by seizing his op- 
portunity and attacking without hesitation against appar- 
ently insurmountable odds, inflicted severe damage upon 
the enemy. Wounded in the face by shrapnel, he re- 
mained at his post inspiring his men, performing all du- 
ties required of him, and also carrying on his duties for 
twenty-four hours after his battalion had gone into re- 
serve position before he would consent to be evacuated. 

Second Lieutenant RALPH W. MARSH ALLy 3rd Bat- 
talion Intelligence Officer, 6th Marines: 
Demonstrated conspicuous bravery and coolness in con- 
tinually risking his life to secure information as to the 
changing situation of the engagement in the woods on 
June 6th and 8th. He was fearless in his operations under 
heavy fire from machine guns, rifles and hand grenades. 
The accuracy of his information was of material advan- 
tage in extricating Companies I and K from dangerous 

Second Lieutenant WILLIAM B. MOORE, Company M, 
6th Marines: 
After the capture of a town by our forces on the night 
of June 6th, he volunteered to take a truck load of am- 
munition and material into the town, the trip being in 
the darkness, over a road broken by shell holes, and under 


artillery and machine gun fire. When the ammunition 
and material arrived it was of vital assistance in the con- 
solidation of the town by its garrison. He also brought 
back valuable information covering the situation. 

Surgeon WREY G. FARWELLy U, S. iV., 6th Marines: 

When his Regimental Commander was wounded by a 
sniper's bullet he personally supervised his evacuation 
across a field exposed to fire from machine guns and 
snipers. Gas shells had exploded in the vicinity, further 
endangering the life of this wounded Colonel. Successful 
evacuation under these trying and dangerous conditions 
proved his ability to meet an emergency quickly and com- 
pletely. This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

As Regimental Surgeon his work in caring for and evac- 
uating many wounded between June 1st and June 8th, 
demanded the qualities of self-sacrifice and fidelity to 
duty, much of which was performed under heavy shell 

Assistant Surgeon W. H. MICHAEL, U. S. iV., 6th 


Displayed unusual courage under heavy shell fire when 
he established a dressing station in the open, exposed to 
both shell and machine gun fire. Under these conditions 
he worked for several hours evacuating a large number of 
men from the 5th Marines, then attacking in the vicinity. 
Major EDWARD B. COLE, commanding the 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion, subsequently mortally wounded, re- 
ported these facts to the regimental surgeon and informed 
him that he would report the conspicuous conduct of Sur- 
geon MICHAEL. Throughout the operations this officer 
rendered valuable service regardless of personal danger. 
This on the morning of the 6th of June, 191 8. 


Dental Surgeon WEEDON C. OSBORNE, U, S. N., 

6th Marines: 

Risked his life to aid the wounded when the advance 
upon the enemy of June 6th was temporarily checked by 
a hail of machine gun fire. He helped to carry Captain 
DONALD F. DUNCAN to a place of safety, when that 
officer was wounded, and had almost reached it when a 
shell killed both. Having joined the regiment but a few 
days before its entry into the line, and being new to the 
service, he displayed a heroism worthy of its best tradi- 

Assistant Surgeon JOEL T. BOONE, U. S. N,, 6th 

Throughout the period of operations against the enemy 
from June ist to loth he rendered conspicuous service in 
the treatment and evacuation of w^ounded. He was under 
heavy shellfire for days, when the Regimental Aid Station 
was struck and men were killed in the immediate vicin- 
ity. He showed rare fidelity and devotion to duty and 
through his shining example urged officers and men to 
renewed efforts, and displayed a high type of executive 

Assistant Surgeon 0. D. KING, U. S. N., 6th Machine 
Gun Battalion: 

Performed valuable service at the Regimental Aid Sta- 
tion of the 6th Marines between the 6th and loth of June. 
Without regard for personal risk he worked incessantly 
under heavy shellfire and through his coolness and excel- 
lent judgment in the care and evacuation of the wounded 
set an example to his men in the performance of duty 
under trying conditions. 


Sergeant Major JOHN H. QUICK, 11967Q, Headquar- 
ters Company, 6th Marines: 

Volunteered to assist Second Lieutenant WILLIAM 
B. MOORE in taking a truck load of ammunition and 
material into a town captured by our troops, to assist in 
the consolidation and defence of that town, making the 
trip in the darkness over a road broken by shell holes 
and under heavy artillery and machine gun fire. Ser- 
geant Major QUICK already holds a Medal of Honour. 
This on the night of the 6th of June, 1918. 

Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class OSCAR S. GOODWIN, U, 

S. N., 6th Marines: 
Sergeant SYDNEY COLFORD, JR., 6th Marines: 

At the imminent risk of their lives, under shell and 
machine gun fire, were instrumental in removing the Regi- 
mental Commander when he was struck down by a 
sniper's bullet early in the operations which resulted in 
the capture and occupation of our objective on the 6th 
of June, 1918. These men removed the Regimental Com- 
mander from further danger regardless of the fire sweep- 
ing the point where he fell, meeting a sudden crisis 
promptly and completely. 

Gunnery Sergeant JOHN F. KRAKER, Headquarters 
Company, 6th Marines: 

Corporal SHERMAN ROBERTS, Headquarters Com- 
pany, 6th Marines: 

Corporal GUY D. OLCHESKI, Headquarters Company^ 
6th Marines: 

Private HOWARD M, PAINTER, Headquarters Com- 
pany, 6th Marines: 

Private PAUL F. MAHER, Headquarters Company, 6th 


Private ADOLPH L. SCHLINKER, Headquarters Com- 

panyy 6th Marines: 
Private EVERRETT TOWN SEND, Headquarters Com- 
pany, 6th Marines: 
Private HARRY WALLACE, Headquarters Company, 6th 

Private HANSEN A. SMITH, Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 
Private JOHN R. WHEELER, Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 
Private CHARLES H, ZORN, Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 
Private JAMES W. HANNA, Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 
Private FAUREST F. WILSON, Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 
Private WILLIAM C, SADLER, Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 
Private DE WITT W, DAVIS, Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 
Private CHARLES I. GEORGE, Headquarters Company^ 

6th Marines: 
Private LLOYD MAYFIELD, Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 

The seventeen men above named dfsplayed conspicuous 
daring and gallantry under heavy fire in broad daylight, 
supplying ammunition to troops on the line and rations 
to the battalion whose supply was exhausted. On the 
evening of the same day this carrying party continued 
their work under fire with little sleep or rest for a con- 
tinuous period of 36 hours until the needs of the troops 
in line had been satisfied and a reserve supply of ammu- 
nition and rations had been assured. No greater services 


could have been rendered to their comrades in line than 
was given by these self-sacrificing and daring men. This 
on the 7th and 8th of June, 191 8. 

On the 6th of June, immediately after the capture of a 
town by a small force of our men, in order that the posi- 
tion might be consohdated and supplied with rations and 
ammunition to hold it against imminent counter-attack 
by a powerful enemy force, it was necessary to rush a 
truck loaded with engineer tools and ammunition into the 
town over a road swept by heavy shell and machine gun 
fire and lighted by enemy flares. The men who volun- 
, teered for this duty showed a fine disregard for personal 
danger and a high sense of fidelity to their handful of 
comrades who had performed the briUiant exploit in cap- 
turing the town. They were Corporals ROBERTS and 
ZORN and DAVIS, mentioned above, and the three fol- 
lowing named men: 
Sergeant WILLIAM H. PL ATT, Headquarters Com- 

-pany, 6th Marines: 
Corporal JAMES P. KANE, Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 
Primte EDWARD H. BUERKLE, Headquarters Com- 
pany, 6th Marines. 

Privau MORRIS F. FLEITZ, Headquarters Company, 
6th Marines: 
Showed extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty in 
the face of great danger, at one time remaining on duty 
for 36 hours without rest in order that he might supply 
the battalions in line with rations and ammunition during 
the operations of the 9th and loth of June. On the 9th 
of June he made two trips with a Ford delivery car loaded 
with ammunition for the battalions in line, in broad day- 


light, in plain view of the enemy and under their fire. He 
made various other trips carrying ammunition to the 
troops in line, in dayhght under enemy fire, completing 
his tasks by carrying ammunition across the field under 
shellfire, during the course of our attack upon the enemy. 
On the night of June loth he recovered rations from the 
carts that had been wrecked by enemy shellfire, and at all 
times showed absolute daring and remarkable coolness in 
bringing aid to his comrades when it seemed impossible to 
aid them. 

Private ALVIN H. HARRIS^ Headquarters Com^^av^^ 
6th Marines: 

Was a member of the gun-crew with a one-pounder gun 
on the 6th of June during the attack upon the enemj'^'s 
positions which later fell into our hands, and stood by his 
gun until entirely incapacitated by fourteen wounds from 
a high explosive shell, keeping his gun in action with rare 
courage that almost cost him his life. 

Private RONALD T. CHISHOLM, Headquarters Com- 
pany, 6th Marines: 

Was a member of the one-pounder crew that partici- 
pated in the capture of a town on the 6th of June, and 
although wounded stuck to his gun until the capture of 
the position was assured and reinforcements arrived be- 
fore he would be evacuated. 

Private HERBERT Z). DUNLAFY, 122898, Company 
H, 6th Marines: 

Showed conspicuous courage in capturing a machine 
gun single handed during street-fighting when our forces 


captured a town on the night of the 6th of June. In the 
repulse of a midnight attack by the enemy the following 
night he was killed. 

Private WILLET A, STAIR, iigSSSy Headquarters Com- 
pany, 6th Marines: 

Private MERL C. ROCKWELL, 119685, Headquarters 
Company, 6th Marines: 

These two men, led by Second Lieutenant WILLIAM 
A. EDDY, formed a reconnoitring patrol which risked 
imminent capture in a successful effort to determine the 
exact location of the enemy's lines. At one time they 
were between two parties of the enemy and remained 
within the German lines for more than an hour, gathering 
valuable information. This on the night of the 4th of 
June, 1918. 

Private EARL BELFRY, Company H, 6th Marines: 

Displayed great courage in the capture of a town on 
the 6th of June, entering the town after being wounded 
and taking a leading part in causing the machine guns of 
the enemy to evacuate. 

Private JAMES W, CARTER, Company H, 6th Ma- 

Private ALFRED EARLANDSON, Company H, 6th Ma- 

The two men above named assisted in the capture of a 
town on the 6th of June, after being wounded, and dis- 
played remarkable energy and courage against superior 
numbers of the enemy. They engaged in street-fighting 
and were of material assistance in driving out the 


Corporal JOSEPH A, GARGES, Company K, 6th Ma- 

Corporal BENJAMIN TILGHMAN, Company AT, 6th 

Corporal HOWARD CHILDS, Company K, 6th Marines: 

Private HERMAN McLEOD, Company AT, 6th Marines: 

The four men above named were prominent in the at- 
tack upon an enemy machine gun position in the woods 
on the 6th and 8th of June, were foremost in their com- 
pany at all times, and acquitted themselves with such 
distinction that they were an example to the rest of the 

Hospital Apprentice 1st Class JOHN E, JUSTICE, U. 

S. N.y Hospital Corps, 6th Marines: 
Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class JOHN H. BALCH, U. S, 

N., Hospital Corps, 6th Marines: 

The two men above named were conspicuous for their 
coolness and the value of their work under shellfire, evac- 
uating wounded men at the risk of their lives, during our 
attack upon the enemy on the night of the 6th of June. 

Private MARTIN A, BENDER, Marine Corps Reserve, 
Headquarters Company, 6th Marines: 

Acting as stretcher bearer, displayed great coolness and 
executed with great reliability the performance of many 
difficult missions while under shellfire during operations 
against the enemy. This on the 6th and 8th of June, 


Gunnery Sergeant JOHN GROFF, 122041, Company K, 
6th Marines: 

In the operations against the enemy on the 6th and 8th 
of June in the woods, charged an enemy of unknown num- 


bers at the head of six men, dispersed them, inflicted loss- 
es upon them, and throughout the engagement showed 
exceptional coolness and personal bravery. 

Sergeant DAREL J. Mc KINNEY, 1 22061, Company K, 
6th Marines: 

Severely wounded in the engagement in the woods on 
the 8th of June, he refused to go to the rear for treat- 
ment, continuing to lead his platoon to the attack after 
the officer in charge had been wounded. Through qual- 
ities of remarkable tenacity and courage, despite his 
wounds, he was a factor through which material losses 
"were inflicted upon the enemy. 

Corporal RAYMOND GIBSON, 12208 1, Company K, 
6th Marines: 

In an engagement against the enemy on the 8th of 
June, he handled alone a Chauchat rifle with such accur- 
acy, in the face of an extremely heavy fire, that his pla- 
toon was thus enabled to move against the enemy ma- 
chine gun positions. 

Corporal CHARLES W. BROOKS, 122073, Company K, 

6th Marines: 

In an engagement against the enemy on the 8th of 
June, he passed repeatedly through heavy machine gun 
fire carrying messages with fine courage and absolute dis- 
regard for personal danger.' 

Private HUGH S. MILLER, 12211, Company K, 6th 

In the engagement with the enemy in the woods on the 
6th of June, he captured single-handed two of their num- 
ber. Ordered back to the rear three times by his com- 


manding officer, he immediately returned to his post, re- 
fusing treatment while sick. 

Private JOHN WORRELL^ 123274, Company M, 6th 

In the engagement of June 6th, carried wounded men 
across a field swept by artillery and machine gun fire 
until he himself was wounded. 

Private LEON D. HUFFSTATER, 27146Q, Company M, 
6th Marines: 

In an engagement on the 6th of June, he carried 
wounded men across a field swept by artillery and ma- 
chine gun fire. 

Private CLINTON S. LINDSEY, 12 1953, Company /, 
6th Marines: 

In an engagement on the 6th of June, carried a wound- 
ed officer off the field to safety under heavy machine gun 
fire. He was killed in action on the 8th of June, 191 8. 

Corporal BEN CONE, 121817, Company /, 6th Marines: 

Conspicuous for his bravery and coolness during the 
engagement of the 6th of June, in attempting to advance 
with automatic rifle on position which was defended by 
enemy machine guns. He was killed in the performance 
of this duty. 

Private ANDREW K. AXTON, 121856, Company I, 6th 

Conspicuous for his bravery in the engagement of the 
6th of June. While attempting to advance upon an en- 
emy machine gun position with automatic rifle he was 


Sergeant GEORGE P. FRANK, Company /, 6th Ma- 

With great bravery and coolness he took charge of a 
platoon whose commander had been killed, and person- 
ally led it in an attack upon a strongly fortified machine 
gun nest which he reached and held. He captured one 
machine gun and destroyed another before being ordered 
to retire with his depleted force. This on the 8th of 
June, 1918. 

Corporal RAYMOND W. BOONEy Company F, 6th Ma- 

After receiving three wounds he continued in the ad- 
vance upon the enemy. He was sent to the rear but re- 
turned close to the advance lines where he assisted in 
bringing in the wounded. This on the 6th of June, 191 8. 

Corporal HARRY B. FLETCHER, Company F, 6th 

After being severely wounded in the attainment of the 
objective on the 6th of June, he refused to go to the rear 
for treatment, remaining at his post and urging on his 
men to renewed efforts. 

Corporal DAVID L. SPAULDING, Company F, 6th 

After being sent to the rear with a severe wound, he 
returned to the front lines and encouraged his men in the 
advance. This on the 6th of June. 191 8. 

Private ALBERT E. BROOKS, Company F, 6th Ma- 

Conspicuous for his heroic action in placing his body 
in front of his platoon leader, while under heavy machine 


gun fire, in order to dress the latter's wounds. He was 
shot twice in the hip while shielding his platoon leader. 

Private JOHN FLOCKEN, Company F, 6th Marines: 

Twice hit in the leg during the capture of the objective 
on the 6th of June, he dragged his automatic rifle 200 
yards forward, opened fire on the enemy machine gun 
and silenced it. 

Private ERIA C. HUFFSTEDLER, Company F, 6th 
Severely wounded during the occupation of a town by 
our forces, he refused to go to the rear, but remained and 
assisted with the care of the wounded, giving his canteen 
of water to one of them. This on the 6th of June, 191 8. 

Corporal HAROLD /. RANDLES, Company G, 6th Ma- 
Corporal DONALD R, SHEAFF, Company G, 6th Ma- 
Voluntarily chose the most direct route, through a ma- 
chine gun barrage, in order to deliver to the Artillery 
Commander information which prevented the bombard- 
ment of positions that had just been occupied by our 
forces, choosing the path of danger in order to save their 
comrades. This on the 6th of June, 191 8. 

Sergeant GRAVER C. O'KELLEY, Company G, 6th Ma- 
Proved himself a non-commissioned officer of sterling 
worth in the operations against the enemy on the 6th and 
8th of June. Cool and skilful under, fire, he was a tower 
of strength to his command during the assaults on ma- 
chine gun positions against great odds. This brave sol- 
dier was killed in the performance of his duty. 


Corporal JOHN J. INGALLSy Company G, 6th Marines: 

Wounded in an assault on machine gun positions, he 
refused to be evacuated. He assisted in the rescue of the 
wounded and rendered invaluable assistance to his bat- 
talion commander. This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

Corporal ROY W. CHASE, Company G, 6th Marines: 

Assumed command of his platoon after it had been de- 
pleted by losses in an attack on enemy machine gun posi- 
tions. His men captured two machine guns and killed 
their crews. He did not retire from action until all his 
men had either been killed or wounded. This on the 8th 
of June, 191 8. 

Corporal FRANK A, VIAL, Company K, 6ih Marines: 

Repeatedly carried messages between his battalion com- 
mander and Regimental Command Post, although ex- 
posed to fire from strongly fortified machine gun posi- 
tions. In the face of heavy machine gun fire he volun- 
teered and brought to its position a detachment which 
had been left to hold a point while companies were being 
reorganized. This on the 8th of June, 1918. 

Corporal FRED W, HILL, Headquarters Company, 6th 

Regardless of personal danger he showed conspicuous 
bravery in carrying ammunition from the battalion dump 
into the actual fight in the face of a heavy machine gun 
and rifle fire. When in charge of the dump he learned 
the necessity for hand grenades in the assault against 
strong enemy gun positions, and without waiting for or- 
ders or assistance carried hand grenades to the point of 
danger. This on the 8th of June, 1918. 


Sergeant ROBERT IL DONAGHUE, 12 17 94, Company 
/, 6th Marines: 

In the engagement of June 8th, he reorganized his men 
and attacked an enemy machine gun position. He killed 
or wounded seven of the enemy with his rifle, ran another 
through with his bayonet, and only left the field after be- 
ing exhausted from the loss of blood from his wounds. 

Major JOHN A. HUGHES^ ist Battalion, 6th Marines: 

In the operations of his battalion from the loth to the 
13th of June, he showed himself a gallant, courageous, 
and determined commander of men. Inflicting severe 
losses on the enemy, capturing many prisoners, twenty 
machine guns, six minnenwerfers and other booty, the 
brilliant success of this battalion was in a great measure 
due to his coolness in all crises, unfailing good humour, and 
accurate judgment. He led his men superbly under most 
trying conditions against the most distinguished elements 
of the German Army, administering to those organiza- 
tions their first defeat. 

Major THOMAS HOLCOMB, 2nd Battalion, 6th Ma- 

Commanded the battalion which captured a town on 
the 6th of June, strengthened his position, and successful- 
ly resisted strong counter-attacks by the enemy in an ef- 
fort to retake the town the following night. He showed 
rare ability as a leader of troops and inspired his officers 
and men to unceasing efforts by his devotion to duty and 
fearlessness in the face of heavy machine gun and artillery 
fire. This on the 6th and 7th of June, 1918. 

He led his men superbly under most trying conditions 


against the most distinguished elements of the German 
Army, administering to those organizations their first de- 

Major BERTON W. SIBLEY, 3rd Battalion, 6th Ma- 

Commanded his battalion in its attack upon enemy 
machine gun positions from June 6th to 8th, personally 
leading the attack on June 8th at a critical time in the 
engagement. Confronted by tremendous odds, his excel- 
lent judgment and personal bravery inspired his men to 
redoubled efforts. When all the officers of Company I 
had been wounded he advanced with that company and 
displayed fine courage and dash throughout the action. 

He led his men superbly under most trying conditions 
against the most distinguished elements of the German 
Army, administering to those organizations their first de- 

Captain ARTHUR H. TURNER, ist Battalion, Adju- 
tant, 6th Marines: 

He was at all times foremost in the operations against 
the enemy from the loth to 13 th of June. Under terrific 
shellfire, the insuring of liaison and the execution of or- 
ders were carried out under his personal supervision, con- 
tributing materially to the success of the attack upon a 
strongly entrenched enemy. 

Captain BAILEY M, COFFENBERG, Company G, 6th 

With but two of his officers left, he moved his company 
out of a bombarded area with rare courage and efficiency. 
This on the 8th of June, 191 8. 


Captain W. H. SITZy Headquarters Company y 6th Ma- 


First Lieutenant WESLEY W, WALKER, Signal Officer, 
6th Marines: 

First Lieutenant WILLIAM RADCLIFFE, Supply Com- 
pany, 6th Marines: 

These three officers gave their services freely and un- 
ceasingly, in many cases going outside of their line of 
duty, labouring without rest in order that the fighting 
men might function. Their untiring and efficient efforts 
contributed in no small degree to the success of the oper- 
ation of the 2nd Battalion during the early part of June, 

First Lieutenant THOMAS S. WHITING, Company G, 
6th Marines: 

His absolute devotion to duty and courageous bearing 
under fire was a splendid example to his men, and even 
after receiving eight shrapnel wounds, he inspired his men 
by his high courage. 

First Lieutenant HAROLD D. SHANNON, Company G, 
6th Marines: 

Having recently returned to his regiment from the 
TOUL Sector, where he was poisoned by gas, he distin- 
guished himself by his coolness and initiative. Regardless 
of his personal safety, he led men out of a bombarded 
area, demonstrating qualities of great bravery and devo- 
tioh to duty until wounded by enemy fire. This on the 
4th of June, 1918. 


First Lieutenant W. LEONARD, Infantry, U. S, R,, 6th 

Displayed conspicuous bravery m handling his platoon 
in the operations which resulted in the capture of his bat- 
talion's objective. This on the night of the 6th of June, 


First Lieutenant CLARENCE W. SMITH, Company Z), 
. 6th Marines: 

Assumed command of his company after the evacua- 
tion of the Company Commander and next in command. 
" His cool handling of the enemy*s attack upon his lines on 
the night of the 2nd-3rd of June, was of such marked 
value that his platoon voluntarily united in recommend- 
ing him to his Regimental Commander for appropriate 
reward. In the coolness with which he met the situation 
in holding men in line and so controlling their fire that 
the German advance upon that part of the line was 
broken up, he demonstrated that he was able to meet a 
great emergency, and exhibited qualities of coolness and 
decision in a highly commendable manner. 

First Lieutenant MACON C. OVERTON, Company C, 
6th Marines: 

With great brilliancy, led and carried out an assault 
upon a supposedly impregnable machine gun nest which 
had resisted the most determined attacks. The attack 
was carried out under heavy fire from machine guns and 
hand grenades, over a terrain which greatly favoured the 
enemy, and its success against tremendous odds gave the 
enemy the severest single blow that it suffered through- 
out the operations in that vicinity. Assuming command 
of the company on a moment's notice, he proved himself 


a soldier of distinguished ability, tenacity and fearless 

First Lieutenant DAVID BELLAMY, 3rd Battalion Ad- 
jutant, 6th Marines: 

Rendered conspicuous service in assembling and reor- 
ganizing Company I under terrific machine gun fire dur- 
ing an engagement with the enemy, when all the officers 
of that company had been wounded and evacuated. This 
on the 6th and 8th of June, 1918. 

First Lieutenant CHARLES B. MAYNARD, Company 
L, 6th Marines: 

Received severe wounds while leading his platoon 
against the enemy. He showed rare gallantry in remain- 
ing with his command and endeavouring to perform his 
duties as its commander until relieved by another officer. 
This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

Second Lieutenant JAMES P. ADAMS, Company E, 
6th Marines: 

Suffering from gas-poisoning, he continued to command 
his platoon with fine devotion to duty during the remain- 
der of the operations. This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

Second Lieutenant JOHN L CONROY, Headquarters 
Company, 6th Marines: 

Conspicuous in his services to the battalion in line, per- 
formed his duties at a point which was a storm centre of 
bombardment by high explosive, shrapnel, and gas shell. 
He continued to supply the troops in line with ammuni- 
tion, water, rations and engineer stores with tireless en- 
ergy, marked executive ability, foresight, and absolute 
fearlessness at all hours of the day and night. He never 


failed in a crisis and only bulldog tenacity and nerves of 
steel made it possible for him to discharge his multifarious 
duties. When an ammunition dump was exploded by 
enemy fire, his energy and coolness confined the damage 
to a minimum. This from the 6th of June to the i6th of 
June, 1918. 

Second Lieutenant WILLIAM M, RJDCLIFFE, Supply 
Company, 6th Marines: 

Organizing and perfecting the system of supply to the 
battalions in line, he worked with an energy, judgment, 
and fidelity to duty that contributed materially to the 
efficiency of the fighting men. Through the driving force 
of his personality he coordinated the services of supply 
and infused his assistants with a zeal and determination 
that surmounted difficulties and dangers. 

Second Lieutenant CLIFTON B. GATES, Company H, 
6th Marines: 

Showed conspicuous bravery in handling his platoon 
under heavy fire during the advance on the enemy on 
the night of June 6th, 1918. 

Second Lieutenant MORGAN P. MILLS, Company D, 
6th Marines: 

In the course of a determined enemy attack, his com- 
pany being weakened by the loss of its Company Com- 
mander and next in command, he controlled two platoons 
with rare judgment and coolness. The attackers were 
beaten back by the accurate rifle fire of the company and 
splendid morale was maintained among the men during 
this trying period through the untiring efforts of Lieuten- 
ant MILLS. This on the night of the 2nd-3rd of June, 


Second Lieuunant JOHN G. SCHNEIDER, Company G, 
6th Marines: 


Conducted his platoon with conspicuous bravery and 
absolute devotion to duty in an assault on machine gun 
position under terrific machine gun fire. This on the 6th 
and 8th of June, 1918. 

He rendered great aid to his company commander in 
leading volunteers to bring in officers and men wounded 
during the shelling on the support position held by his 
company, showing utter disregard for personal danger. 
This on the 8th of June, 191 8. 

Chaplain HARRIS F. DARCHE, U. S. N., 6th Ma- 

In the operation against the enemy from the 1st to the 
14th of June, 1918, he rendered service difficult to meas- 
ure. His efforts in searching for and burying the dead, in 
giving cheer and spiritual comfort to the fighting troops, 
in handling working parties and in aiding surgeons, were 
tireless and fruitful of fine results. His post, when not at 
the front, was under heavy shellfire daily, and he per- 
formed the last rites of the Church under enemy fire. 

His undaunted and cheerful spirits were a daily boon 
to the wounded and fatigued. 

Chaplain JAMES D, McNAIR, U, S, N., 6th Ma- 

In the operations against the enemy from the 6th to 
the 14th of June, 191 8, he performed his services in daily 
risk of death from enemy fire. His labour in locating and 
burying the dead and in giving comfort to the wounded, 
were given with fidelity to duty under all conditions. 


Second Lieutenant CHARLES H. ULMER, Company G, 
6th Marines: 

Rejoining his command while it was at the front, he 
immediately brought his platoon into action with initia- 
tive and bravery. He conducted himself as a brave lead- 
er until he fell seriously wounded. This on the 8th of 
June, 1918. 

Second Lieutenant WILLIAM A. FORWARD, Infantry, 
U. S. R.y Company K, 6th Marines: 

Was prominent throughout the attack upon the enemy 
on the 6th and 8th of June, contributing marked qualities 
of courage and judgment to the work of his company. He 
was wounded before the conclusion of the action on June 

Second Lieutenant SAMUEL J, GILMORE, Infantry, 
U. S. R., Company L, 6th Marines: 

Showed conspicuous gallantry in the capture of a town 
from the enemy on the 6th of June. After being severely 
wounded by machine gun fire he remained with his pla- 
toon and directed its fire until evacuated to the rear. 

Gunnery Sergeant GEORGE W. HOPKE, Company £, 
6th Marines: 

Assumed command of his platoon upon the death of 
the platoon leader and performed his added duties with 
fidelity and efficiency under trying conditions. This on 
the 4th of June, 1918. 

Gunnery Sergeant FRED W. STOCKHAM, Company H, 
6th Marines: 

Displayed marked courage and ability as a leader dur- 
ing the attack on the enemy on the 6th of June, 191 8. 


Gunnery Sergeant FORREST J. ASHWOOD, 122544^ 
Company Z), 6th Marines: 
Was commanding his platoon at 3 145 A. M. while a re- 
lief was in progress. The relief had been barely accom- 
plished when a terrific machine and artillery barrage was 
laid down on their position at the edge of the w^oods. 
The enemy in small columns was seen advancing behind 
the barrage 500 yards from the position. He immediate- 
ly placed his platoon back on the Hne and by his ener- 
getic efforts contributed materially to the repulse of the 
attempted attack, which was so well frustrated that our 
losses were held to a minimum. The relief was then ac- 
complished in excellent order. At the time of this attack 
the company had lost two officers and the duties of an of- 
ficer then fell upon Gunnery Sergeant ASHWOOD, who 
acquitted himself with great credit. This on the morning 
of the 6th of June, 1918. 

Gunnery Sergeant PETER MORGAN, i22S75y Company 
Dy 6th Marines: 
Conspicuous for his distinguished conduct on the night 
of the 2nd-3rd of June while the French were withdrawing 
from a position and passing through the American lines. 
He controlled the fire of his platoon upon the advancing 
enemy lines and upon patrols who approached within 200 
yards of our lines. Through his energy and maintenance 
of the morale of the men under these conditions, the at- 
tack of the enemy was abandoned and they retired well 
to the rear with their patrol activities completely stopped. 

Sergeant JOHN J. NAGAZYNA, 122522, Company Z), 
6th Marines: 
Was in command of his platoon at 3 145 A. M. while a 
relief was in progress. The rehef had been barely accom- 


plished when a terrific machine gun and artillery barrage 
was laid down on their position at the edge of the woods. 
The enemy was seen advancing behind the barrage in 
small columns 500 yards from the position. He imme- 
diately placed his platoon back on the line and by his 
energetic efforts contributed materially to the repulse of 
the attempted attack, which was so well frustrated that f 
our losses were held to a minimum. The relief was then 
accomplished in excellent order. This on the morning of 
the 6th of June, 191 8. 

Corporal HERBERT C. RICE, Company E, 6th Ma- 

Made repeated trips between the front line and his bat- 
talion headquarters under shellfire with great devotion to 
duty. This between the 2nd and the 9th of June, 1918. 

Pharmacist Mate 2nd Class CLIFFORD WHISTLER, 
Hospital Corps, U. S. N., attached to Company E, 6th 

Repeatedly gave aid to the wounded while under artil- 
lery fire. This between the 2nd and the 9th of June, 

Sergeant MORRIS E. BARNETT, JR., Company H, 
6th Marines: 

Corporal JOHN L. DORRELL, Company H, 6th Ma- 

Displayed quaUties of leadership and coolness under 
fire in leading patrols to post through heavy machine gun 
fire during a counter-attack by the enemy on a town 
taken by our troops the night before. This on the 7th of 
June, 1918. 


Sergeafit JOHN J. McAMIS, Compafiy C, 6th Marines: 

Showed absolute fidelity to duty under especially heavy 
shellfire during operations in the woods on June 12th, in 
assuring liaison between his battalion headquarters and 
the companies in line. 

Sergeant J. A. BRODERICKy Headquarters Company^ 
6th Marines: 

Corporal S. /. MADDENy Headquarters Company, 6th 

Corporal A. 0. TESTER, Headquarters Company, 6th 

Private J. P. ELWOOD, Headquarters Company, 6th Ma- 

Private EUGENE H. LONG, Headquarters Company, 6th 

Private M. C. ROCKWELL, Headquarters Company, 6th 

The six men above named, of the Regimental Intelli- 
gence Section, are deserving of high distinction for their 
invaluable work in the course of the operation from the 
6th to the 1 2th of June. They carried on their work from 
an observation post located in a tree in an exposed comer 
of the woods a short distance behind our lines. Located 
between two batteries, it was frequently under fire and 
six times appeared to be the target of enemy artillery. 
Their task required continued exposure during bombard- 
ment and attack when their comrades were enabled to 
take advantage of cover. The observation secured under 
these conditions proved many times indispensable to 
the carrying on of operations and the protection of our 


Pharmacist Mate ist Class PERCY V. TEMPLETON, 
U. S. N.J 6th Marines: 

Hospital Apprentice ist Class JAMES L. WEDDING- 
TON, U. S. N., 6th Marines: 

During extremely heavy shellfire, these two men car- 
ried wounded for several hours, loading them into ambu- 
lances, assuring their safety at the risk of death to them- 
selves. This on the loth of June, 1918. 

Pharmacist Mate ist Class EMMETT C. SMITH, U. 

S. N., 6th Marines: 
Hospital Apprentice 1st Class ARTHUR L. FIFER, U. 

S. N., 6th Marines: 

In the course of operations which resulted in the cap- 
ture of a town from the enemy, these two men dressed 
and evacuated wounded from a wheat field swept by 
heavy artillery and machine gun barrage. At a time 
when the losses threatened to prevent the success of the 
operation, the heroic conduct of these men steadied the 
line and spurred the attacking platoons on through the 
barrage fire. This on the 8th of June, 1918. 

Sergeant Major CHARLES A. INGRAM, 2nd Battalion^ 
6th Marines: 

Set a fine example to his men during the attack on a 
town occupied by the enemy on June 6th, which fell into 
our hands that night. He led volunteers to bring in the 
wounded during the bombardment of a farm on the 8th 
of June, showing fine coolness throughout. 

Gunnery Sergeant JOSEPH C. GRAYSON, Company F, 
6th Marines: 

Rallied his men after their platoon leader was severely 
wounded and displayed great courage and coolness under 
heayj^ machine gun fire. 


Gunnery Sergeant AUGUST T. ZIOLKOWSKI, Com- 
pany Fy 6th Marines: 

Rendered conspicuous service in the advance on and 
capture of a town by our forces, and through his personal 
bravery gave efficient first-aid to the wounded when his 
platoon was temporarily checked in the advance. This 
on the 6th of June, 191 8. 

Chief Pharmacist Mate GEORGE G. STROTT, U. S. 
N., 6th Marines: 

Rendered valuable services as chief aid at the Regi- 
mental Aid Station in the care and evacuating of many 
wounded from the ist to the loth of June. Although at 
times under heavy bombardment he performed his labours 
without faltering, and by rare fidelity to duty preserved 
accurate record of all officers and men of the various or- 
ganizations which passed through the aid station. He 
showed himself a courageous and faithful man. 

First Sergeant SIMON D. BARBER, Company F, 6th 

Conspicuous for his personal bravery throughout the 
operations leading to the attack and capture of the town 
on the 6th of June and its defence until relieved on June 

Gunnery Sergeant WILLIAM J. KIRKPATRICKy Com- 
pany F, 6th Marines: 

Conspicuous in the operations of the 6th of June re- 
sulting in the capture of the town from the enemy, rally- 
ing his men under heavy machine gun fire and giving en- 
couragement to the entire line. 


Sergeant ARTHUR T, GOETZ, Company F, 6th Ma- 

Conspicuous for the manner in which he handled the 
men of his platoon while advancing under heavy fire and 
during the capture of a town from the enemy. This on 
the 6th of June, 1918. 

Sergeant JOHN P, MARTIN, Company F, 6th Marines: 

The only remaining sergeant in his platoon during the 
capture of the town from the enemy, although seriously 
wounded, he performed valuable services and carried on 
until properly relieved. 

Sergeant ROMEYN P. BENJAMIN, Company F, 6th 

Conspicuous for his gallantry in action, wounded dur- 
ing the capture of a town by our forces, he remained at 
his post throughout the operation. This on the 6th of 
June, 1918. 

Sergeant VERNON M, GUYMON, Company F, 6th Ma- 

Delivered a message through heavy machine gun fire 
which resulted in the arrival of reinforcements and mate- 
rially aided in holding a captured position against great 
odds. This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

Sergeant JAMES McCLELLAND, Company F, 6th Ma- 

One of the most conspicuous figures in the capture of 
the town from the enemy on the 6th of June, with his 
battalion depleted by heavy losses, he conducted an auto- 
rifle party through the line, placed his gun on the flank of 
the town where he opened a deadly fire and entered the 
town with the first troops. 


Sergeant GEORGE ERHJRDT, JR., Company G, 6th 

Sergeant ARTHUR H, KING, Company G, 6th Marines: 

Corporal ALVIN W, POP PEN, Company G, 6th Ma- 

Private EARL H, RECHERy Company G, 6th Marines: 

The four men above named moved forward under 
heavy fire in an engagement in the woods on the 6th of 
June and killed four of the enemy who were searching the 
bodies of dead comrades for identifications. Under guid- 
ance of Sergeant ERHARDT these men later displayed 
marked bravery and coolness in gathering information 
from the Germans which determined the fact of the with- 
drawal of the enemy. 

Sergeant MOSS GILL, Company G, 6th Marines: 

Assumed command of his platoon after his chief had 
been shot, and with great gallantry and courage led his 
men into action, handling them with skill until wounded 
three times bv machine gun fire. 

Sergeant FRANK A. LAUTERBACK, Company G, 6th 

Notable for his initiative and courage in leading his 
men into action in the engagement in the woods on June 
6th, rendering splendid service until seriously wounded. 

Sergeant ROBERT D. JOHNSON, Company G, 6th Ma- 

Led his men into action with great gallantry until 
wounded by an enemy bomb, in the operations in the 
woods on June 8th. 


Sergeant J. E. DONAHUE, 121057, Company Ey 6th 

Sergeant H, P, KIDDER, 1213000, Company F, 6tk Ma- 

Sergeant D. V, PARADIS, 121556, Company G, 6th Ma- 

Sergeant H, W. ANDERSON, 122794, Company H, 6th 

Private JACK KELLEY, 121285, Company E, 6th Ma- 

Private E, /. AUBER, 121101, Company E, 6th Ma- 

Private H. S. BROWN, 121560, Company F, 6th Ma- 

Private D. S. MALA BY, 121455, Company F, 6th Ma- 

Private JOSEPH FANS, 121635, Company G, 6th Ma- 

Private PRESTON SLACK, 121765, Company G, 6th 

Private A. T, ROMANS, 122978, Company H, 6th Ma- 

Private L. B. MALUGEN, 122940, Company H, 6th Ma- 

Private LE ROY HOLMES, 121 176, Company E, 6th 

Private H. C. CRONK, 122879, Company H, 6th Ma- 

The fourteen men above named showed great courage 
and daring in continuous carding of messages to ad- 
vanced positions under artillery and machine gun fire for 
nine days, and particularly so in the operations of the 
6th of June. This from the ist to the 9th of June, 1918. 


Corporal HAROLD POWELL, Company H, 6th Marines: 

Corporal G. R. PAWSON, Company G, 6th Marines: 

Corporal RAY JOHNSON, Company F, 6th Marines: 

Private B. L. TAYLOR, Company F, 6th Marines: 

Private LAWRENCE A. MILLIGAN, Company F, 6th 

Private R. H. PAGE, Company G, 6th Marines: 

Private ALFRED FRANK, Company G, 6th Marines: 

Private V, J. HERMAN, Company E, 6th Marines: 

Private C. B. HUSE, Company E, 6th Marines: 

Private C. E. WHIPPIE, Company E, 6th Marines: 

Private C. M. SELLARDS, Company H, 6th Marines: 

Private R. G. PATTON, Co^npany H, 6th Marines: 

Private 0, A. THORPE, Company H, 6th Marines: 

Private W. W. AKEMAN, Company G, 6th Marines: 

Private F, J. CALHOUN, Supply Company, 6th Ma- 

Private F. J. BOWERS, Supply Company, 6th Marines: 

Private W. B. KONTUR, Headquarters Company, 6th 

Private J, J, BOURKHALTZ, Headquarters Company, 
6th Marines: 

Private D. F. GRANT, Headquarters Co^npany, 6th Ma- 

The nineteen men above named, attached to 2nd Bat- 
talion Headquarters, runners, intelligence men, cooks and 
orderlies, carried ammunition for a distance of over a 
mile, under heavy fire, to a town which had been cap- 
tured by our forces and was the objective of an enemy 
<aounter-attack. This on the 8th of June, 1918, 


Gunnery Sergeant JACK CARLIN, 122040, Company Ky 
6th Marines: 

Displayed notable coolness and courage in the actions 
against the enemy on June 6th and 8th. By his untiring 
efforts, and constantly exposing himself to machine gun 
fire, he manoeuvred his platoon into effective positions 
from which they successfully fought against superior odds. 

Gunnery Sergeant RALPH C. JUDD, i2i'/go, Company 
/, 6th Marines: 

Led his platoon against a strongly fortified machine 
gun position. Assuming command temporarily at a time 
when all the officers of his company were wounded, he 
demonstrated marked qualities of leadership. This on 
the 8th of June, 1918. 

Corporal WALTER E. LUC AS, 121827, Company /, 6th 

Private JAMES Y, SIMPSON, 122003, Company I, 6th 

Corporal SETH D. ABBOTT, 121810, Company I, 6th 

Private LEROY SONGER, 122006, Cornpany I, 6th Ma- 

Private ROY E. LILE, 121Q52, Company I, 6th Marines: 

Private ELMER D. TAFF, 122014, Company I, 6th Ma- 

Private RICHARD C. HAWKINS, 121924, Company I, 
6th Marines: 

Private GEORGE F. LEDGER, 121951, Company I, 6th 

The eight men above named took part in the attack on 
a strongly fortified machine gun nest which was captured 


and held. The platoon was in charge of Sergeant 
GEORGE P. FRANK, who assumed command when 
the platoon commander had been wounded. One ma- 
chine gun was captured and another was destroyed before 
Sergeant FRANK was ordered to retire with his depleted 

Corporal LUCAS and Private SIMPSON were killed. 
Corporal ABBOTT and Privates SONGER, LILE, LED- 
GER, TAFF and HAWKINS were severely wounded. 
This on the 8th of June, 1918. 

Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class JOHN Q. WILLIAMS, Hos- 
pital Corps, U. S. N., 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines: 

Rendered conspicuous service in attending the wound- 
ed on the field under heavy machine gun fire. This on 
the 6th of June, 191 8. 

Hospital Apprentice ist Class WILLIAM B. EFANS, 
Hospital Corps U. S. N., Company M, 6th Marines: 

Showed rare devotion to duty and courage in caring 
for the wounded under fire in the capture of a town by 
our forces. This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

Corporal NEIL S. SHANNON, 123286, Company M, 
6th Marines: 

Showed rare coolness and heroism under heavy fire and 
while badly wounded, in the capture of a town from the 
enemy. This on the 6th day of June, 1918. 

Private ARLA W. HARRISON, 122184, Company Ky 
6th Marines: 

Displayed unusual qualities of courage, steadiness, and 
aggressiveness in the engagement with the enemy on June 
8th. He was constantly active in placing comrades in 


positions where they could give sniping fire against enemy 
machine gun positions, repeatedly exposing himself to 
enemy fire. 

Private PETER P. BYMERS, 122123, Company K, 6th 

In an engagement with the enemy in the woods, he 
killed six of their number with his accurate rifle fire and 
displayed remarkable courage and steadiness in a trying 
situation. This on the 6th of June, 191 8. 

Private EDWARD J. STEIN METZy 122267, Company 
Ky 6tk Marines: 

In an engagement with the enemy on the 6th of June, 
he brought down two enemy snipers who were inflicting 
losses upon his comrades. Throughout the engagement 
he showed remarkable qualities of aggressiveness and abil- 
ity to work himself into positions from which he could 
successfully carry on his work of sniping. 

Private CHARLES HENRY, 122174, Company K, 6th 

In an engagement with the enemy in the woods, in a 
terrain where the enemy had located strong machine gun 
positions, through his personal efforts and disregard of 
danger, he located a machine gun emplacement which 
was later captured. This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

Private IRA 0. ARBUCKLE, 272110, Company K, 6th 

In an engagement with the enemy in the woods on the 
6th of June he displayed noticeable courage and was con- 
spicuous in the capture of two machine guns. He was 
later wounded in action. 


Pfivau EARL HOYTy 122179, Company K, 6th Ma- 

In an engagement with the enemy in the woods on the 
8th of June he inspired his comrades Hke a veteran sol- 
dier and handled his rifle with great skill, inflicting severe 
damage upon the enemy 

Privatf WALTER L. BURROUGHS, i23iS2y Company 
My 6th Marines: 

Rendered conspicuous service in attending wounded 
m'^n on the field under heavy machine gun fire. This on 
the 6th of June, 1918. 

Private BENJAMIN Mc, THOMPSON, 123092, Com- 
pany K, 6th Marines: 

In an engagement with the enemy on the 6th of June, 
he rendered aid to the wounded men in the field under 
heavy machine gun fire, personally carrying a number of 
wounded oflF the field. 

Private WILLIAM R, CASSADY, 123155, Company M, 
6th Marines: 

During an engagement with the enemy on the 6th of 
June, although wounded and suffering from shell shock, 
he refused to leave the field and advanced with his pla- 

Private WILLIAM T. N APPIER, 123237, Company M, 
6th Marines: 

During an engagement with the enemy on the 6th of 
June, he showed especial coolness and heroism in his ser- 
vices to the wounded on a field swept by enemy fire. 


Private PAUL S. DREYER, 12307 1, Company M, 6th 

In the capture of a town from the enemy he showed 
rare coolness and heroism under heav}'^ fire while caring 
for the wounded. This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

Corporal WINN I FIELD 0, BARRETT, Company F, 
6th Marines: 

Displayed great coolness in handling his auto-rifle sec- 
tion under heavy machine gun fire during the advance 
upon a town which later fell into our hands. This on the 
6th of June, 191 8. 

Corporal LLOYD E. PIKE, Company F, 6th Marines: 

Stuck to his auto-rifle when all the men of his crew had 
been wounded, and kept it in action until its withdrawal 
was ordered by his platoon commander. He was conspic- 
uous for his coolness under fire. 

Corporal JOHN L. McSWEENEY, Company F, 6th Ma- 

Corporal JOSEPH L. MOODY, JR., Company F, 6th 

Corporal CHAUNCEY 0, WIN TON, Company F, 6th 

Private LEWIS T, HUMPHRIES, Company F, 6th Ma- 

Private NATHAN L. PIZER, Company F, 6th Marines: 

Private JOSEPH S. WILKES, Company F, 6th Marines: 

The six men above named delivered messages through 
intense machine gun fire from the front line to their bat- 
talion commanders, going and returning with important 
messages at the risk of their lives, during the capture, oc- 


cupation, and defence of an enemy town. This on the 
6th of June, 1918, and subsequent thereto. 

Private LEO A, MILLAR, Company F, 6th Marines: 

Severely wounded at the capture of a town from the 
enemy on the 6th of June, he was evacuated to the dress- 
ing station where he assisted in giving first-aid to the 
wounded throughout the night with fine disregard of his 
own condition. 

Private GEORGE CAYGILL, Company F, 6th Marines: 

Displayed great bravery under fire during the capture 
of a town on the 6th of June, and when he was wounded 
and put out of action he encouraged his comrades to ad- 

Private WALLACE M. O'REILLY, Company F, 6th 

Conspicuous for his work of relaying messages under 
heavy machine gun fire between a captured town and his 
battalion post of command, continuing his duties after 
being shot in the wrist. This on the 6th of June, 191 8. 

Private JOHN TUSKIE, Company F, 6th Marines: 

Conspicuous in the delivery of messages under heavy 
machine gun fire between his company in possession of a 
captured town, and his battalion post of command. 

Private LUTHER A. ERFLAND, Company F, 6th Ma- 

At constant risk of his life, he rendered first aid to the 
wounded under heavy machine gun fire after the advance 
of his platoon upon an enemy position had been checked. 
This on the 6th of June, 1918. 


Private HJALMAR 0. SIMONSONy Company F, 6th 

Conspicuous for his utter disregard of heavy machine 
gun fire, and for his constant encouragement of his com- 
rades in the attack on and capture of an enemy position. 
This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

Private JOE B, WARREN, Company F, 6th Marines: 

When his corporal and three men had been killed by 
the explosion of a shell in a trench which they occupied, 
he took charge of the remaining men of his squaJ, and 
with great coolness held his position in spite of the bom- 
bardment. This on the 8th of June, 1918 

Corporal WILLIAM M. E. HESS, Company G, 6th 

Brave as a liaison messenger through heavy fire, skil- 
ful in reconnaissance on enemy positions, he rendered in- 
valuable assistance at all times in operations against the 
enemy on the 6th and 8th of June. 

Corporal GERALD E. GREENWOOD, Company G, 6th 

Showed rare fidelity to duty in the carrying of mes- 
sages through heavy barrages in the operations against 
the enemy on the 6th and 8th of June, 1918. 

Private ELMER C. MAXSON, Company G, 6th Ma- 

Performed his duties as company liaison agent in the 
face of heavy fire after his two assistant agents had been 
shot down by his side. By his rare quality of tenacity he 
rendered invaluable assistance to his company at a most 
critical time. 


Private STEWART L, II ART WELL, Company G, 6th 

Conspicuous in the performance of his duty as liaison 
agent in the operations against the enemy on the 6th and 
8th of June, 191 8. 

Private ERNEST J. COLLEY, Company G, 6th Ma- 

Not only performed his duty as Haison agent under 
heavy fire with fidehty and skill, but assisted to unload 
bombs and ammunition for his company in the line under 
artillery fire during operations against the enemy in the 
woods on the 6th and 8th of June, 1918. 

Private JOE W. EANES, Company G, 6th Marines: 

Notable for his coolness and courage under fire in the 
delivery of important messages during the operations 
against the enemy in the woods on the 6th and 8th of 
June, 1918. 

Private PETER J. KRAMER, Company G, 6th Marines: 

Wounded and rendered temporarily unconscious by 
machine gun fire, he later rushed to the aid of his com- 
rades and gave invaluable assistance in aiding the wound- 
ed during operations against the enemy on the 8th of 
June, 1918. 

Private HAROLD E. DEWAR, Company G, 6th Marines: 
Private ALBERT CAMPBELL, Company G. 6th Marines: 

As platoon liaison agents they never faltered, and dis- 
played great coolness under fire. 


Private JOHN PATRICK O'BRIEN, Company G, 6th 

Under heavy artillery fire, he gave first aid to his pla- 
toon commander, before completing which task he was 
seriously wounded, and although in an exhausted condi- 
tion, persisted in giving aid to his wounded comrades, re- 
fusing to have his own injuries attended to until he could 
no longer work. 

Private JAMES R, HOOFER, Company K, 6th Ma- 

V While acting as battalion scout, he showed great cool- 
ness under point blank fire of machine guns, also while 
acting as guide and liaison agent in attack on machine 
gun nest. This on the 8th of June, 1918. 

Corporal WILLIAM 0. CAMPBELL, Company B, 6th 

In his duties as gas non-commissioned officer he was 
conspicuous for his services during a bombardment of our 
positions on the night of June 12th, fearlessly exposing 
himself to their fire in order to secure information vital 
to his comrades. 

Private JAMES A. TUCKER, Headquarters Company, 
6th Marines: 

During a terrific bombardment of the ist Battalion 
lines, he delivered messages between the battalion and 
the Regimental Post of Command, his path lying over 
terrain swept by enemy fire, risking his life on every trip. 
This on the 12th of June, 191 8. 


Corporal WILLIAM J. BROWN, Company C, 6th Ma- 

PriJaU WILLIAM M. RICHARDS, Company C, 6th 
Delivered messages in the course of terrific enemy bom- 
bardment on the Unes of the 1st Battahon, performmg 
their duties with dispatch and accuracy, at the risk ot 
their Uves. This on the 12th of June, 1918. 
Pripau WALTER E. GROSS, Headquarters Company, 
6th Marines: 
As a member of the one-pounder gun-crew that partici- 
pated in the capture of a town from the enemy s forces on 
the 6th of June, he showed conspicuous gallantry in 
maintaining the supply of ammunition in the f^ce of heavy 
machine gun fire and artillery fire directed upon his piece. 
Corporal CARLOS E. STEWART, Headquarters Com- 
pany, 6th Marines: 
He was chiefly instrumental in placing a one-pounder 
crew in such position that they inflicted severe damage on 
stronply fortified enemy machine gun position from which 
fire was being directed upon the platoons advancing to 
the capture of the town that fell into our hands on the 
6th of June. With great coolness and contempt for dan- 
ger, he spurred on his crew to its work m the face of a 
hail of fire. 
Private WALTER E. RIDER, Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 
Private EDMUND T. SMITH, ^Headquarters Company, 

6th Marines: 
During the attack of our forces upon an enemy strong- 
hold which culminated in its capture, these two men car- 


ried ammunition forward to their one-pounder guns 
through heavy machine gun and shell fire, enabling the 
gun-crew to destroy two machine gun emplacements. 
This on the 6th of June, 191 8. 

Private ALTON H. VANLANINGHAM, Headquarters 
Company, 6th Marines: 

Conspicuous for his coolness and gallantry in placing a 
one-pounder gun, himself a member c^ the gun-crew, in 
position in the face of heavy fire during the attack and 
capture of an enemy position. This on the 6th of June, 


Private ALVA C, TOMPKINSy Headquarters Company y 
6th Marines: 

Conspicuous for his valour while placing a one-pounder 
gun in position to inflict severe damage on enemy ma- 
chine gun emplacements in the face of heavy machine gun 
and shellfire. This on the 6th of June, 1918. 

Private WALTER G. WOOD, Company E, 6th Marines: 

Made repeated trips between the front line and his 
Battalion Headquarters under shellfire, with great devo- 
tion to duty. This between the 2nd and the 9th of June, 

Private EDWARD C. SEVERANCE, Company £, 6th 

Performed valuable services as a sniper while a mem- 
ber of an auto-rifle crew, and was constantly on the alert, 
displaying great courage under fire. This on the 8th of 
June, 1918. 


Private OGLE L. WAGGONERy Company E, 6th Ma- 

Displayed his ability as a sniper, dislodging several 
enemy snipers who were firing on our front line. This on 
the 7th and 8th of June, 1918. 

Private RAYMOND ROSS, Company H, 6th Marines: 

After the capture of our objective on the 6th of June, 
having been wounded three times, he remained on his 
post for two and one-half hours until properly relieved. 

Private MAX R. HOWARD, Company H, 6th Marines: 
Private EDWARD K. CHAPIN, Company i/, 6th Ma- 

Private JAMES L. GARFEY, Company H, 6th Ma- 

Private PHILIP P. PARI! AM, Company H, 6th Ma- 

Private JOHN H. GREGS, Company H, 6th Marines: 

The five men above named continually carried mes- 
sages through heavy artillery and machine gun fire in the 
attack on an enemy stronghold on the 6th of June, 1918, 
which our forces occupied that day. 

Private WILLARD E. PAULEY^ 15th Company, 6th 
Machine Gun Battalion: 

During heavy shelling with high explosive shells, \\€ re- 
mained at his post in an open field to keep visual signals 
with the firing line. He was knocked down by shell ex- 
plosions and showed utter disregard of all danger by re- 
maining at his post. At this time visual signalling was 
the only means of communication between headquarters 


and the company on the firing line. He remained at his 
post for several hours under circumstances which called 
for the greatest determination and courage. 

Captain HARLAN E. MAJOR, i^th Company, 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion: 

Captain AUGUSTUS B. HALE, 77th Company, 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion: 

Captain JOHN P. McCANN, 23rd Company, 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion: 

Captain ALLEN M. SUMNER, 8ist Company, 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion: 

The four officers above named were untiring in energy 
and continuous fortitude from the ist to the nth of June, 
leading their companies through all the phases of the bat- 
tle and showing undaunted courage and coolness under 
heavy fire, both artillery and infantry. 

Captain LOUIS R, DE ROODE, 77th Company, 6th 
Machine Gun Battalion: 

He was untiring in his energy and continuous fortitude 
from the ist to the 6th of June, when he was wounded in 
action. He led his company through all the phases of the 
battle, showing undaunted courage and coolness under 
shell and machine gun fire. 

Captain MATTHEW H. KINGMAN, 15th Company, 
6th Machiv-e Gun Battalion: 

Untiring in his energy and continuous fortitude from 
the 1st to the 6th of June, when he was wounded in ac- 
tion. He led his company through all the phases of the 
battle, showing undaunted courage and coolness under 
shell and machine gun fire. 


Captain JOHN P. HARVIS, Headquarters, 6th Machine 
Gun Battalion: 

Through his untiring energy the troops of this battalion 
were kept suppHed with rations and ammunition under 
heavy shelling during the battle. 

First Lieutenant LOTH A R R. LONG, Headquarters, 6th 
Machine Gun Battalion.- 

Through his untiring efforts the liaison, both telephone 
and visual signal, was kept open during all the phases 
of the battle. Day after day he made sketches of posi- 
tions in the front line under heavy fire that proved in- 
valuable to our success. His coolness, good judgment, 
and courage were the admiration of the battalion. 

First Sergeant OLIVER P. JACKSON, 304481, Head- 
quarters Detachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Sergeant EDGAR A. METLER, 10S006, 8ist Company, 
6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Sergeant CHARLES H. SCHMACKEL, 108306, 77th 
Company, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Corporal HAROLD E. CURTIS, 108358, isth Company, 
6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Corporal EDWARD R. KIVLIGHAN, 107975, Head- 
quarters Detachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Corporal WALTER W. LI ND BERG, 107973, Headquar- 
ters Detachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Corporal JOHN W. CUMMINS, 107984, Headquarters 
Detachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Corporal EARL L. ABBOT, 107958, Headquarters De- 
tachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Corporal CHARLES A. SMITH, 107968, Headquarters 
Detachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 


Corporal MANNING M. BOOTH, 107980, Headquarters 
Detachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Corporal WILLIAM A, WINSTON, 107962, Headquar- 
ters Detachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Corporal ALPHEUS R. APPENHEIMER, 107960, 
Headquarters Detachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private ALLEN F. WYATT, 107961, Headquarters De- 
tachment, 6th Machine Can Battalion: 

Private GEORGE L. ZIMMERMAN, J07999, 8ist Com- 
pany, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

The fourteen men above named showed undaunted 
"courage and disregard of danger to themselves night after 
night dehvering rations and ammunition to the dumps of 
the battahon from the 2nd to the nth of June under 
heavy shell fire. On three occasions high explosive shells 
destroyed a ration cart and two gun carts, killing three 
animals and wounding the drivers. 

Private THOMAS A. GARRETT, 108246, 77th Com- 
pany, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private FRANK R. THORNTON, 108206, 77th Com- 
pany, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private HAROLD B, SIMMONS, 108311, 77th Com- 
pany, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private CHARLES B. FERGUSON, 108091, 8ist Com- 
pany, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private JOHN R. SULLIVAN, 108137, 8ist Company, 
6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private ELLIOT H. WIGHT, 108160, 8ist Company, 6th 
Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private HOB ART L. CLARK, 108064, ^i^^ Company, 
6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private MARVIN R. BROWN, 108332, isth Company 
6th Machine Gvn Battalion: 


Private DAVID A. DE LIMA, 108561, 23rd Company, 

6th Machine Gun Battalion: 
Private ULRIC D. ROBERTS, 108611, 23rd Company, 

6th Machine Gun Battalion: 
Private WILFRID WHITE, 107963, Headquarters Coin- 

pany, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

The eleven men above named were conspicuous for 
their untiring energy and continual fortitude in keeping 
open all communication and liaison the length of the sec- 
tor covered by the battalion from the ist to the nth of 
June, 191 8. Under heavy shell-fire they had to locate 
and repair breaks in the telephone lines again and again in 
plain view of the enemy. 

First Sergeant JOHN McNULTY, 6th Machine Gun Bat- 

Corporal CEBE W. DONALD, 6th Machine Gun Bat- 

Private THOMAS B. WILKINSON, 6th Machine Gun 

The three men above named showed especial bravery 
under heavy shell-fire in leaving their shelter and dressing 
the wounds of wounded comrades. This on the nth of 
June, 1918. 

Hospital Apprentice ist Class HERSHEL I. CON- 
VERSE, U. S. N., 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Hospital Apprentice ist Class LLOYD H. FEN NO, U. 
S. N., 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Hospital Apprentice ist Class CHARLES W, BATE- 
MAN, U. S. N., 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class WILLIAM C. GRAHAMy 
U, S. N., 6ih Machine Gun Battalion: 


Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class MILTON C, OLSON, U. S. 

N., 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

The five men above named showed commendable brav- 
ery and diligence under fire, particularly Private CON- 
VERSE, who completed the first aid treatment of a 
wounded man after being wounded himself. 

Sergeant Major OSCAR A. SWANy loygsi. Headquar- 
ters Detachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Displayed undaunted courage in receiving and sending 
messages day and night under severe shelling by high ex- 
plosive, shrapnel, and gas shells, from June ist to nth, 

Corporal WILLIAM H. FURY, loypsSy Headquarters 
Detachment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

During heavy shelling with high explosive and shrap- 
nel he remained at his post almost continuously night 
and day for several days alone, making coffee for the 
wounded being evacuated to the rear. 

Corporal OSCAR A. VOLLRATH, 108026, Company Z), 

6th Machine Gun Battalion: 
Private HAW LEY WALDRON, 108151, Company D, 6th 

Machine Gun Battalion: 
Private JOHN W, WIN FORD, 107993, Company D, 6th 

Machine Gun Battalion: 
Private SAMUEL E. DOREMUS, 108083, Company D, 

6th Machine Gun Battalion: 
Private GEORGE C. VOORHEES, 108149, Company D, 

6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

The five men above named gallantly remained at their 
gun in an unprotected position under heavy shell-fire 


after one member of the crew had been killed and three 
wounded. This on the 3rd of June, 1918. 

Corporal VOLLRATH was killed in action on June 9, 

On the 9th of June, Privates WALDRON, WINFORD 
and VOORHEES gallantly remained at their gun under 
heavy shell-fire after three men, including their gun cap- 
tain, had been killed and one wounded at their position. 

PHvate EARL J. VREDENBERG, 108150, Company D, 
6th Machine Gun Battalion: 

Displayed gallantry in action and coolness under fire in 
assisting the company commander to rally an ammuni- 
tion party and lead it forward under shell-fire when all 
others but one had taken cover after one of them had 
been seriously wounded. This on the 6th of June, 191 8. 

Sergeant NORMAN V. CLARK, ijth Company, 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion: 

Corporal CO LB URN SHORE R, ijth Compa^iy, 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion: 

Corporal STANLEY A. SMITH, 15th Company, 6th 
Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private AMBROSE J, BERTH, istk Company, 6th Ma- 
chine Gjin Battalion: 

Private GEORGE A. GUSTAFSON, 15th Company, 6th 
Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private JOSEPH W. PAULAK, 15th Company, 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion: 

Private CECIL N, MAXIM, i^th Company, 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion: 

Private HERBERT H. SANDERS, i^th Company, 6th 
Machine Gun Battalion: 


Private FRED 0. BROWN, i^th Company, 6th Machine 
Gun Battalion: 

Private HENRY IL Y EPSON, J 5th Company, 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion: 

Private BENTLEY A. MITCHELL, ijih Company, 6th 
Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private ALBERT S. HAMMOCK, i^th Company, 6th 
Machine Gun Battalion: 

Private EDWARD BISCHOFF, isth Company, 6th Ma- 
chine Gun Battalion: 

The thirteen men above named are worthy of the high- 
,est commendation for the splendid manner in which they 
conducted themselves under fire during the operations 
against the enemy from June ist to nth, 1918. 

First Lieutenant FRANCIS G. HENDRICK, M, R. C, 

Ambulance Company No. i: 

This officer was on duty at the ist Battalion Dressing 
Station of the 5th Marines from the afternoon of June 6th 
until reHeved on the night of June nth, during which 
time, in spite of terrific bombardment by shrapnel and 
high explosive shell from enemy batteries, he worked un- 
ceasingly night and day, performing his duties in the care 
of the wounded fearlessly and without regard for personal 
safety or comfort. 

Captain THIBOT LASPIERRE, ist Regiment, Tirail- 

This gallant French officer has been attached to the 
6th Marines for many months, during which time he 
gave it the best of his high talents and military experience 
gained on the fields of Africa and France, contributing 
largely to its success in recent actions against the enemy. 


He was at the side of Colonel CATLIN, 6th Marines, 
in the action of the 6th of June when the latter was 
wounded, and without regard for personal risk assisted in 
carrying the wounded officer to a place of safety. On his 
way across a bullet-swept field to report to the next senior 
officer on the field he received shell shock from the explo- 
sion of a large calibre shell in the immediate vicinity. 
By Command of Major General Bundy: 

Colonely General Staff, 

Chief oj Staff, 


William W. Bessell, 
Adjutant General, 

The above is an extract copy of G. O. 40, Second Divi- 
sion, A. E. F., insofar as it refers to Marine officers and 
Marines, and is reprinted by authority of Headquarters, 
Marine Corps. 





D500.C3 W5 1 GC 
With the help of God and