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(title page) History of the 113th Field Artillery 30th Division
A. L. Fletcher
262 p., ill.
Raleigh, N. C.
Published by The History Committee of 113th F. A.
Call number C970.9 F61 c.2 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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COLONEL ALBERT L. COX
[Title Page Image]
To our comrades who were killed in action, or who died of wounds or disease in hospitals, this book is reverently and affectionately dedicated
Insignia of Organizations With Which the 113th F. A. Served
The Victory Medal
The Victory Medal will be awarded to all persons who served on active duty in the army of the United States at any time between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918, provided that their service was honorable. The ribbon of the medal will bear clasps indicating the service of the individual. Members of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery will be entitled to four such clasps, and to four stars on the service ribbon, when worn without the medal. These are as follows: Service in the First Army Area between August 30, 1918 and November 11, 1918; the St. Mihiel Offensive, September 12, 1918 to September 16, 1918; the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, September 26, 1918 to November 11, 1918; service in the Second Army Area between October 12, 1918 and November 11, 1918.
The battle-flag of the One Hundred and Thirteenth, now in the Hall of History at Raleigh, N. C., bears ribbons denoting honorable service in these various offensives, awarded by General Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the A. E. F., and officially bestowed by Brigadier General Samuel L. Faison, commanding the Thirtieth Division, on April 16, 1919, at Charlotte, N. C.
THIS brief history of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery has been written under difficulties. Owing to the fact that he held an exacting and extremely difficult job that required his undivided attention for every working hour of the day, the Historian was able to give to the history only such spare time as could be found in the evenings and on holidays. Because of this it has taken a long time to finish the work.
While the regiment was at Le Mans, France, it was decided to raise a fund for the publication of a history of the regiment and a History Committee was selected, composed of the following:
Colonel Albert L. Cox, Lieutenant Colonel Sidney C. Chambers, Major L. P. McLendon, Captain Robert P. Beaman, Chaplain B. R. Lacy, Jr., Captain Kenneth M. Hardison, Regimental Sergeant Major Kenneth J. Nixon, Battalion Sergeant Major Marvin M. Capps, Sergeant George Graham and Sergeant Liston L. Mallard.
On June 1, 1919, the Committee selected Captain A. L. Fletcher, of Raleigh, N. C., to write the book, officially bestowed upon him the title of "Historian" and turned over to him such records, pictures and miscellaneous papers as had been collected.
It has not been easy to "write up to" this regiment of ours. The Historian knows that he has not done it justice and no one knows better than he how far short he has fallen in the effort to do it justice.
There has been no effort to write a solemn, ponderous chronological history modeled after the text-book variety of history. The reader will find the book written, rather, in newspaper style, or in something approaching that. In telling the story the Historian has adhered strictly to the cardinal rules of the newspaper game and has sought to exaggerate nothing, to write nothing in malice, and to be fair to everybody.
There will be many who will criticise. Among these will be some who did all they could to help the Historian to make the book what it should have been, and it is their right to criticise if they so desire. There will others--and they will be in the majority--who have no right to utter a word of complaint, for they were called upon for help and they would not help. It was always so. Good as the regiment was, it was not perfect, for this element existed throughout the regiment's history. They kept hands-off when others were blazing new trails, or undertaking new things, never lending a hand to help and never putting in a friendly word, but they were wonderfully free with criticism, condemnation and censure afterwards. This paragraph is to remind them, when they are holding a postmortem on this little history of their regiment, that they were asked to help make it a history worthy of the regiment and they would not.
The Historian desires, also, to forestall those who would lay blame for the shortcomings of the book upon The History Committee. This committee
was composed of busy men, who had businesses to rebuild after discharge from the service, obligations of all sorts to meet and important things to do all the time. They could not meet often and they could not spare time to supervise the work. Consequently, they were forced to leave it to the Historian and he accepts entire responsibility for it and offers himself as a target for whatever brickbats may be hurled.
The Historian desires to make grateful acknowledgment of the assistance given by Chaplain Lacy, Captain Beaman, Major McLendon, Sergeant George Graham, Sergeant Liston L. Mallard, and others who helped by contributing pictures, maps and other material for the book. Elsewhere in the book will be found various special articles, among these being:
"An Appreciation of the One Hundred and Thirteenth," by Lieutenant Jacques J. L. Popelin, of the French army; "Carryings-On About Carrying On," by Sergeant George Graham, of Headquarters Company, the "regimental humorist"; "A Brief Story of the Operations of the Thirtieth Division in Belgium and France," and individual battery and company sketches, some of them written by the organization commanders and signed by them and others prepared by the Historian from sketches written by various members of the organization.
There appear also the organization rosters as of February 1, 1919, which were made up for Headquarters 30th Division shortly after arrival in the Le Mans area and before the regiment was split up to form the various casual detachments; a complete roster of the regiment by county and State, with the home address of every man as shown on his "locator" card; a chronology of the regiment, and many other features.
Because scant mention has been made of them, it is not to be considered that the other units of the 55th Field Artillery Brigade--the 114th Field Artillery, the 115th Field Artillery, the 105th Ammunition Train, the 105th Trench Mortar Battery, and the 105th Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop, were unworthy of mention. The One Hundred and Thirteenth felt no little pride in its sister organizations of the brigade and found them always faithful to every obligation and equal to every emergency, but the telling of their stories is left to their own historians.
THE HISTORIAN.Raleigh, N. C., February 12, 1920.
Here's to their memory--here's their Good Luck
On from the General down to the Buck--
On from Sevier to the last hills of France,
Holding their drive through the final advance;
St. Mihiel knew them--and when they were done
On to the Argonne with caisson and gun,
Taking each highway that led to the Hun!
Slogging along through the mud and the flame,
On to the finish still playing the game,
Playing the game as the game should be played--
Here's to the 55th F. A. Brigade!
(By permission of Lieut.-Colonel William J. Bacon, editor of the History of the 55th F. A. Brigade)
THE FRENCH 75
This picture in an enlargement from a kodak picture made by Captain Reid R. Morrison, of Battery F. The One Hundred and Thirteenth was equipped with 24 of these wonderful guns.
AN American statesman, famous for his opposition to militarism and preparedness, has been much ridiculed of late years for his proud boast that standing armies are not necessary for this land of ours because "a million men would spring to arms overnight to protect her should any danger threaten." In the organization of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery, which was accomplished with record-breaking speed and enthusiasm, may be found some justification of his faith.
When the United States declared war against Germany there was not even the nucleus of a field artillery organization in the State of North Carolina. There was not even a single field artillery officer. The War Department at that time was in doubt as to the best course to pursue and its whole National Guard program was still in process of incubation. Nobody knew what the outcome would be. Nobody was willing even to hazard a guess. April passed and May and it was well along in June before the War Department announced that it would accept a regiment of field artillery from the State of North Carolina. The Adjutant General of North Carolina, Major General Beverly S. Royster, notified the War Department that the regiment would be furnished and the work started.
North Carolina's response to the call issued by the Adjutant General was immediate and confined to no one particular locality. It came from every part of the State. Eager and enthusiastic towns all over North Carolina wanted batteries in the new regiment. Two regiments might have been organized in the State almost as quickly as one and with infinitely less embarrassment to the Adjutant General.
North Carolina had already done well in the matter of furnishing man-power for the Great War. She had offered her full quota and more for the regular army, the navy and the marines, and in addition a full infantry brigade, a squadron of cavalry, six companies of coast artillery, an ambulance company, a field hospital and other National Guard units of proven efficiency. There were many who said that the Old North State had done all that could be expected of her in the matter of furnishing volunteers for the World War and these predicted that the proposed artillery organization would never materialize. To their great astonishment they found that North Carolina was capable of doing even greater
things than had been asked of her and the whole State thrilled with pride when it was announced that the new regiment had been raised in less than thirty days and was ready for instant service wheresoever the country needed it.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sidney C. Chambers.
Just how it came about will always be a mystery even to those who were at the head of the movement. There were no hard drives for recruits. It was not necessary to bring pressure to bear on men to bring them into the new regiment. It appeared to fit their needs and to be just what they had been waiting for, and they came by ones and two and by squads. Those towns first to move for the formation of organizations secured allotments and those towns that were unsuccessful immediately proceeded to furnish recruits for the lucky towns nearest them, and when the organization was mobilized for service, eighty-nine out of the hundred counties in the State, were represented in the regiment. It is believed that no other organization that represented North Carolina in the World War was so thoroughly representative of the State and so typically "Tar Heel" throughout. Later the regiment was to receive replacements from thirty-seven States, the District of Columbia and seven foreign countries, but it began its existence as a Tar Heel outfit, officered by Tar Heels, and with every section of the Old North State represented in its make-up.
Major Thaddeus G. Stem, Commanding the First Battalion.
Major Alfred L. Bulwinkle, Commanding the Second Battalion.
In personnel, both commissioned and enlisted, the regiment ranked high. The men were always just a little proud of their status as volunteers. They had not been drafted, nor had they been let in for service in the World War because of peace-time National Guard affiliations. They were 100-per-cent volunteer! They had joined up after the declaration of war and their participation in the war was in no sense the result of accident or chance.
Every trade, profession and calling that exists in North Carolina was represented in the regiment. There were lawyers, teachers, doctors, preachers, farmers, merchants, mechanics, accountants, bankers, manufacturers, engineers, scientists, clerks, students, stenographers, typists, newspaper men. It was an aggregation, a combination of brains, skill and enthusiasm such as this world has seen but rarely and which it may never see again for the reason that the circumstances that called it into being may never occur again. Bad men manage to creep into all large organizations, and it will always be so, but the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery, collectively and to its last individual, is prepared to assert and to back up the assertion that within its ranks there were fewer undesirables than any regiment of its size ever carried.
In organizing the eastern part of the State got away to a little better start than the western. This may be explained partly by the fact that the organization commanders selected for the eastern batteries were old and experienced soldiers, fully alive to the needs of the service and experienced in recruiting, while only one of the western captains had had previous military service. Battery A, at New Bern, with Captain John H. Weddell commanding, was the first to recruit up to strength required by the War Department, with Battery B of Washington and Battery C of Durham following close in the order named. Battery B was commanded by Captain Wiley C. Rodman of Washington, who had filled every rank in the old Second North Carolina Infantry from private to colonel. Battery C was commanded by Captain Lennox P. McLendon, of Durham, who had held a commission as 1st lieutenant in the Third North Carolina Infantry for many years. Captain Weddell had had twenty years' service in the National Guard and had served as an officer of volunteers in the Spanish-American War. Captain Rodman enlisted his first man on June 13th. Captain McLendon took in his first on June 16th and on June 27th both were ready for Federal inspection and so was Weddell. The first battalion of the "First North Carolina Light Field Artillery," as it was then called, was ready for business.
In the western part of the State there was great rivalry among many good towns for batteries and this rivalry was so strenuous that it delayed the work of organizing. Finally Wadesboro and Monroe combined to form the "Bickett Battery," or Battery D, naming it in honor of Governor Thomas W. Bickett, of North Carolina, who was born in Union county, near Monroe. Kenneth M. Hardison, of Wadesboro, was the leading spirit in the organization of this battery and he became its captain.
Major Claude L. Pridgen, Regimental Surgeon.
Major Louis B. Crayton, who commanded Battery E until promoted in February, 1919.Battery E went to the mountains of the northwestern section of the State and was composed of a sturdy bunch of mountaineers from the counties of Ashe, Caldwell, Watauga, Alexander and Wilkes, with Buford F. Williams, a well-known lawyer of Lenoir, as its captain. Battery F was organized at Mooresville, by Reid R. Morrison, a physician and soldier of long experience, who had held a first lieutenancy in the First North Carolina Infantry. All of these organizations went over the minimum, the dead line set by the War Department, early in July. From the enlistment
Major Lennox P. McLendon, who commanded Battery C throughout its service at home and in France until promoted in February, 1919.
Major Robert M. Hanes, in command of Battery A until promoted in February, 1919.
of the first recruit on June 13, 1917, to the completion of the regiment, a little less than four weeks had elapsed.
On July 13, 1917, the First North Carolina Light Field Artillery was officially recognized by the War Department and on that date Governor Bickett formally commissioned Judge Albert L. Cox, of the North Carolina Superior Court bench, colonel of the new regiment. (S. O. 202 AGO N. C.) By Special Order on the same day, Captain Thaddeus G. Stem, commanding the machine gun company of the Third North Carolina Infantry, was transferred to the regiment, promoted to major and assigned to the command of the First Battalion. By the same order Captain Alfred L. Bulwinkle, of Company B, First North Carolina Infantry, was transferred to the regiment, promoted to major and assigned to the Second Battalion. Batteries A, of New Bern, B of Washington and C of Durham were officially designated as the First Battalion and Batteries D, of Wadesboro and Monroe, E of Lenoir and F of Mooresville, as the Second Battalion. (S. O. 206 AGO N. C.)
On that day, also, commissions were issued to Captain John H. Weddell, of Battery A, New Bern; Captain Lennox P. McLendon, of Battery C, who was transferred from the Third North Carolina Infantry in the same order; Captain Reid R. Morrison, Battery F, Mooresville, who was transferred from the First North Carolina Infantry; Chaplain Benjamin R. Lacy, Jr., with the rank of captain; Dr. Claude L. Pridgen, of Wilmington, to be regimental surgeon with rank of major.
On July 14, 1917, Matt H. Allen, lawyer and legislator, of Goldsboro, was commissioned captain and assigned as adjutant of the regiment, and A. L. Fletcher, of Raleigh, was commissioned as captain and assigned as regimental supply officer. By the same order he was directed to proceed to the organization of a Supply Company.
On July 17, 1917, Wiley C. Rodman, of Washington, was commissioned captain of Battery B; Buford F. Williams, of Lenoir, captain of Battery E and Kenneth M. Hardison, captain of Battery D.
On July 18, 1917, Erskine E. Boyce, of Gastonia, was commissioned captain and adjutant of the Second Battalion and two days later William T. Joyner, of Raleigh, was commissioned captain and adjutant of the First Battalion. On July 21, 1917, the last organization commander was named, this being Captain Rufus M. Johnston, of Charlotte, who was assigned to the command of Headquarters Company. The same order transferred him from the First North Carolina Infantry.
On July 27, 1917, Major Sidney C. Chambers, of Durham, a battalion commander in the Third North Carolina Infantry, was transferred to the First North Carolina Light Field Artillery and promoted to lieutenant-colonel. (S. O. 255 AGO N. C.)
The organization of the Supply and Headquarters Companies was not undertaken until after the six batteries had been practically completed. If the regiment had failed of organization in its entirety there would not have been need for either company and their organization was delayed
Captain Gustaf R. Westfeldt, Jr., Regimental Adjutant and Operations Officer.
Captain Kenneth M. Hardison, Adjutant of the First Battalion.purposely. On July 14th, Captain Fletcher of the Supply Company, was told that he had nine days within which to complete his organization. The Adjutant General had designated Raleigh as the home station of both the Supply Company and Headquarters Company and the outlook for recruiting at Raleigh was not bright. Raleigh had already furnished a big infantry company, a full coast artillery company, a machine gun company, big detachments for the regulars, the navy, the marines and the various training camps, and recruiting officers who had been over the field said that there was no chance of forming two additional companies in Raleigh and scant hope of a single one. Just as other doubters had done when the regiment was first proposed, they failed to take note of the spirit that was abroad in the land and they based their predictions on their previous experiences and failures. The same spiritual uplift that "put over" the six batteries of the regiment was still strong enough to
Captain Robert P. Beaman, Adjutant of the Second Battalion.
Captain Alfred W. Horton, Regimental Personnel Officer.
put over the two remaining companies. Seventy-nine men applied for enlistment in the Supply Company alone. The full strength of an artillery supply company at that time was thirty-eight men. The over-flow was sent to other organizations of the regiment. Both of the companies went over the limit within a week and were ready for muster-in.
On July 25, 1917, the President called the National Guard into Federal service and along with the other North Carolina units the First North Carolina Light Field Artillery responded. The organizations assembled at home rendezvous and began training. Every organization had a nucleus of old soldiers, many of them experienced infantry non-commissioned officers, and these men under the supervision of the battery commanders set about the task of teaching the raw recruits the mysteries of the squad movement, military courtesy and the thousand and one things that a soldier should know.
The first monthly return of the new regiment, dated July 31, 1917, showed the strength of each organization and named the commissioned personnel as follows:
Regimental Headquarters: Three officers present, these being Colonel Albert L. Cox, commanding; Captain Matt H. Allen, adjutant and Captain Benjamin R. Lacy, Jr., chaplain. Lieutenant-Colonel Sidney C. Chambers was reported at the Infantry School of Musketry, Fort Sill, Okla.
Headquarters Company: Captain Rufus M. Johnston, commanding; First Lieutenant William P. Whittaker. Enlisted strength, 92 men.
Supply Company: Captain Arthur L. Fletcher, commanding; First Lieutenant Percy B. Perry. Enlisted strength, 38 men.
First Battalion Headquarters: Major Thaddeus G. Stem, commanding; Captain William T. Joyner, adjutant.
Battery A: Captain John H. Weddell, commanding; First Lieutenant W. B. R. Guion; Second Lieutenants Beverly S. Royster, Jr., and David R. Morris. Enlisted strength, 164 men.
Battery B: Captain Wiley C. Rodman, commanding; First Lieutenants Enoch S. Simmons and William E. Baugham; Second Lieutenants Robert H. Lawrence and George S. Dixon. Enlisted strength, 148 men.
Battery C: Captain Lennox P. McLendon, commanding; First Lieutenants Samuel M. Gattis, Jr., and Frank L. Fuller; Second Lieutenant Thomas J. Craig. Enlisted strength, 170 men.
Second Battalion Headquarters: Major Alfred L. Bulwinkle, commanding; Captain Erskine E. Boyce, adjutant.
Battery D: Captain Kenneth M. Hardison, commanding; First Lieutenants Frank B. Ashcraft and Julian E. Moore; Second Lieutenants Harry B. Covington and Herman H. Hardison. Enlisted strength, 136 men.
Battery E: Captain Buford F. Williams, commanding; First Lieutenants Sanford A. Richardson and Claude B. McBrayer; Second Lieutenants Wade V. Bowman and Eugene P. Jones. Enlisted strength, 158 men.
Battery F: Captain Reid R. Morrison, commanding; First Lieutenants
First Lieutenant William P. Whittaker, Regimental Gas Officer.
First Lieutenant Christian E. Mears, Regimental Radio and Telephone Officer.ants Louis B. Crayton and George A. Morrow; Second Lieutenants Eugene Allison and Gowan Dusenberry, Jr. Enlisted strength, 173 men.
Sanitary Detachment: Major Claude L. Pridgen, commanding; First Lieutenants Gabe H. Croom and Joseph A. Speed, medical corps, and First Lieutenant Thomas L. Spoon, dental corps; Second Lieutenant Simeon A. Nathan, veterinary corps.
Caring for the men for the period intervening between July 25th, the date of assembly at company rendezvous, and the day the regiment was
Chaplain Benjamin R. Lacy, Jr.
First Lieutenant Joseph Lonergon, of the Supply Company, Regimental Munitions Officer.
ordered to mobilization camp, proved to be a task of considerable difficulty. Headquarters and Supply Companies were well taken care of at the North Carolina State A. & E. College, at Raleigh, this great college turning over its splendid dormitories and fine grounds to the National Guard organizations of Raleigh without cost. The men were furnished the best of board at the college dining room for the government allowance of seventy-five cents per day per man. The matter was not so easily handled in other towns and organization commanders were hard-pressed to find desirable quarters and proper food for their growing organizations.
It was here that the new captains got their first experience with old General Red Tape, that tough old army bird that was to roost on their necks for many a weary day and many a toilsome night. Their first difficulty was in solving the mysteries of "ration return" and it was a solid month before a single ration return reached the office of the Supply Officer in proper shape. This is no reflection on the officers making the returns, as a brief glance at the method of procedure, as outlined in the "Manual for the Quartermaster Corps" will readily show. Those who think it easy are invited to try it once.
If you wake up some fine morning feeling that the world is your oyster and longing for a job that will keep you busy mentally, physically and spiritually twenty-four hours per day and seven days in every week, permit some power to wish off on you the job of supply officer of a young, ambitious, impatient, growing regiment of field artillery. If you stay on the job you will never, like Alexander, sigh for other worlds to conquer. You will be kept eternally busy, keeping just one jump ahead of the deluge--studying A. R., G. O.'s, S. O.'s of the regiment, brigade, division, corps, department, War Department, files of bulletins from these various H. Q.'s the Q. M. Manual, the "Table of Fundamental Allowances," and like publications; requisitioning again and again for equipment your regiment is howling for; checking payrolls and rations savings accounts; explaining "by indorsement hereon" why you haven't secured a pair of No. 14 "Shoes, Heavy Field" for a giant private in Battery D and a pair of No. 2½ of the same for petit Private Bill Jones of Battery C.
August and September were months of stress and strain to the regimental supply officer in particular and to the various organization commanders in lesser degree. The United States Government had undertaken a big task and equipment was lacking. It was several weeks before any sort of equipment could be secured and every organization was calling for everything. The United States Property and Disbursing Officer at Raleigh finally managed to secure uniforms and other equipment. As fast as the equipment was turned over to the Supply Officer it was apportioned to the batteries and shipped out. By the first of September every soldier in the regiment had one cotton uniform, two suits of underwear, two shirts, flannel O. D., one hat and one pair of canvas leggings. Later slickers were secured and before the regiment left for camp it was beginning to look like a military organization. Blankets, bed-sacks and iron
cots sufficient for every man, were shipped out from Raleigh and the handling of 1,500 heavy iron cots and many tons of other equipment in the hottest part of the hot season, served to give the Supply Company a foretaste of what was coming to it.
Along about the first of August, 1917, it was definitely announced that the National Guard of North Carolina would form part of the 30th Division and that the other units of the division would come from Tennessee and South Carolina. A little later it was announced that Camp Sevier, at Greenville, S. C., would be the division's training camp. Reports drifted up from Greenville that work on the new camp was progressing slowly and representatives of the regiment were sent down to see. They reported that there was evidence in the woods near the little town of Paris, six miles from Greenville, that a military camp would eventually be established there, but that it was still far off. They failed utterly in locating the artillery section of the camp, all of that section being in a dense forest of pine and oak. The divisions of the camp that had been selected for the infantry organizations, the engineers, ambulance companies and field hospitals, contained much open land.
On August 27, 1917, Battery F, of Mooresville, was ordered to camp to help in clearing the camp site and getting things in readiness for the regiment. Though hampered by the lack of equipment, this battery did splendid work in clearing the forest, laying out streets, and many other things necessary in carving a home for the regiment out of the wilderness. When the remainder of the regiment arrived, the men of Battery F were hardened veterans, and, to them, watching their newly-arrived comrades, fresh from two soft and easy months at home station, buckling down to the hardest variety of manual labor, was a source of pleasure unalloyed.
The period of waiting at home stations was trying in the extreme. It was pleasant to be close to home folks. It was good to know all of the people they met on the streets. It was good to be fed on home cooking and the men of the regiment appreciated it. But it was not what they had enlisted for. They were too far from the Western Front. The men knew a long, arduous course of training lay between them and active participation in the World War and they were anxious to get at the job.
Finally, after many delays and after many false rumors of moving, orders came from the Headquarters of the Southeastern Department, Charleston, S. C., directing that the regiment entrain for Camp Sevier and the movement started Saturday night, September 14, 1917. All of the organizations reached their destination Sunday afternoon. This Sunday proved to be the first of a long line of Sundays that found the regiment moving. As luck would have it, almost every important move the regiment made during its existence, began or ended on Sunday.
AT this stage of the game Camp Sevier still lacked much of being a real camp. After much difficulty guides were found on that momentous Sunday afternoon who could find the artillery camp by following a blue print sketch and the men were marched down a winding trail through the woods to the spot, where they found nine long frame mess-halls standing in the woods. Just enough trees had been cut away to give the buildings standing room. No regimental or battery streets had been cleared. There was a line of latrines and bath-houses in the rear of the space reserved for the erection of tents and the laying out of the streets. Regimental Supply Sergeant John P. Bolt had been on the ground for two weeks and he had secured field ranges and provided plenty of rations. The organizations had their own cots and bedding and before night fell there were enough "tents, pyramidal, large" up to shelter most of the men. The remainder slept in the mess-halls.
The task that lay before the regiment on that "Blue Monday" following its arrival in camp, was a big one, viewed from any angle. A bare start had been made at getting the camp ready for human occupancy and that was all. Ahead of the men lay the job of clearing away a tangled forest, grubbing thousands of oak and forest pine stumps, draining acres of marshy ground and moving tons of dirt. Armed with axes, mattocks, picks, saws, shovels, ropes and other equipment the men went at it and week followed week, in dreary, monotonous grind. It was grub stumps, pile brush, rake trash all day long and the bugle called you again early the following morning to start it all over again.
"Pap" Martin, horseshoer in the Supply Company, looking disgustedly at the neat horseshoe on his sleeve that marked his rank, said that he was going to see the Supply Sergeant and ask him if he hadn't made a mistake in issuing him such insignia.
"Seems to me," said "Pap," "I ought to have a grubbing hoe on my sleeve, 'stead of this thing."
All of the men felt the same way about it but they stuck to the task with true Tar Heel grit. Rivalry developed among the organizations, each striving to have the most attractive street and this helped wonderfully.
Camp of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery, Camp Sevier, S. C., with the regiment in the foreground.Blistered hands and aching muscles were forgotten in the effort to outdo the other fellow.
Meanwhile the regiment was being merged into a larger organization, the 55th Field Artillery Brigade of the 30th Division. The regiment was no longer known as the "First North Carolina Field Artillery" but was now designated the "One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery." Beside it in the artillery area of the camp was the 114th Field Artillery, of Tennessee, also a light artillery organization, and farther on, over the hill, was the 115th Field Artillery, a heavy outfit, also from Tennessee.
These three organizations, with the 105th Trench Mortar Battery and the the 105th Ammunition Train, made up the 55th Field Artillery Brigade. In command was Brigadier General George G. Gatley, one of the best artillery officers in the United States Army.
Gradually more equipment began to trickle in. The Supply Company picked up a bunch of escort wagons, borrowed some harness from the 105th Engineers, and drew a few good teams of mules from the Remount Depot. A month passed and the Remount Depot began to issue horses. It was several months before the regiment had its full quota of horses and mules, but they came at last and they were all that could be desired. No finer bunch of horses and mules were ever assembled anywhere and it was the regiment's greatest sorrow that it was not permitted to take these animals to France.
After the work of clearing away the stumps and trees from the battery streets had been completed and after the forty acres that composed the corrals were likewise shorn of trees and fit for the habitation of mules and horses, a sigh of relief went up from the regiment. Everybody was happy, but it was not to last. One morning General Gatley called Colonel Cox over to his headquarters and pointing to a spot on the camp blue print said:
"Your parade ground will be there."
"There" proved to be the area directly north of the regiment's camp, every inch of which was covered with trees, briars, thorns and vines.
Camp of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery, Camp Sevier, S. C., with the regiment in the foreground.A Chatham county rabbit would have hesitated long before trying to make his way through it and Chatham county rabbits are famous throughout North Carolina for their daring and intrepidity. In spite of all this, General Gatley remarked careless-like, almost nonchalantly:
"Your parade ground will be there."
"Yes, Sir," said the Colonel and he departed to pass the news on down to his organization commanders, who, in turn, passed it on to their top sergeants, who broke the news to the men raspingly:
"Outside! Parade ground grubbing detail for the morning will consist of the following men, etc. File by the supply tent and get your pioneer equipment."
For the benefit of the uninitiated let it be understood that "pioneer equipment" is just another name for the outfit used for clearing new grounds and it meant just axes, saws, picks and mattocks and all of this was now old stuff to the men, who went at it again with dogged determination. It was Christmas before all of the grubbing was finished but they got it cleared in time to make room for their first real guns, a battery of American 3-inch guns, all of them many years old.
Supplies of all kinds, except food, continued scarce. The rough work of clearing up forests proved to be very hard on army clothes. Men tore their uniforms into shreds. Overalls lasted only a few days. Shoes were ripped and snagged and the bottoms burned off around the brush fires. Hats lost their shape and leggings were frayed and torn. The Division Quartermaster was sitting on the lid, holding it down tight. He had 30,000 men to care for and not equipment enough for half the number. Consequently, he made life a burden to all supply officers, and his own existence during those trying months was doubtless troubled. Winter came on and there were no winter clothes. The weather was bitter cold before the men could be furnished with winter clothes and a fourth of winter was past before the first overcoats arrived. It was hard lines, but there was no help for it. Uncle Sam simply did not have the stuff. True, there seemed to be no lack of warm winter clothes, fine heavy
"Call this soldiering if you want to!" Men of the regiment clearing away the forest to make a parade ground.overcoats and good shoes at National Army camps, those camps de luxe where the selective service men lived luxuriously in steam-heated barracks, but those articles were sadly lacking in at least one National Guard camp, where 30,000 of the finest soldiers the world has ever seen lived under canvas through the worst winter the South had experienced since 1898. Mumps and measles broke out in camp and, naturally as night follows day, grippe, pneumonia and kindred ailments came and seized upon the victims, who, weakened by mumps, measles and exposure, died in great numbers. Other organizations lost a great deal more heavily than did the One Hundred and Thirteenth and this immunity from disease was thought by the surgeons to be due to the gradual hardening of the men, beginning in the warm days of the early fall and continuing practically through the winter. Certain it is that the regiment never lacked for the hardest of manual labor at any time during the fall and winter of 1917-1918 and the men really were as "hard as nails." The few members of the regiment who died were mainly replacements from National Army camps at Camp Jackson, S. C., and Camp Gordon, Ga. These men came to the regiment late in the fall and they were not prepared for the hardships that came upon them. It is worth noting here that those twin scourges, mumps and measles, and that other disease, most dreaded of all, meningitis, were practically unknown at Camp Sevier until the big contingent of drafted men arrived from Camp Jackson. The commanding general of the 30th Division reported these facts to the War Department and a searching investigation was made. The result of the investigation was never made
At Drill with wooden guns. This is Battery D.known, but the surgeons of the 30th Division will bear witness to the fact that the epidemics that swept over the camp came in the wake of the influx of drafted men from Camp Jackson and were directly traceable to them.
Later the division learned to quarantine incoming recruits from National Army camps long enough to see whether they were harboring deadly germs or not and there was no further trouble along this line.
While the severe weather, scanty clothing, cold tents and frozen bath-houses were unpleasant and hard to bear with cheerfulness, the situation had its compensations. The men developed hardihood and character while struggling with stumps, logs and underbrush, displaying the same fortitude that later characterized them on the field of battle and won for them undying fame. The lessons learned on the icy hills around Camp Sevier helped the division to break the Hindenburg Line and aided no little in the making of its splendid record.
Shortly after the arrival of the regiment at Camp Sevier there were changes in the Tables of Organization for practically all branches of the service. The strength of a light field artillery regiment was increased by the addition of four men to each battery. Headquarters Company was increased to 167 men and the Supply Company from 38 to 120 men, including an ordnance detachment of 12 men.
The commissioned personnel also increased considerably, the increase being in Headquarters Company and including radio, telephone, gas and other specialists. According to the Tables of Organization, Headquarters Company should have had 14 officers but there was never a time when
Battery C drilling with wooden guns. It takes imagination to see it, but this picture shows a 3-inch American gun and gun limber.the company had more than half that number. The regiment was always short of officers.
Because much has been said about it here, it should not be understood that clearing away the "forest primeval" was the only thing under way at Camp Sevier. It was the biggest thing going on for several weeks but at the same time the men were beginning to learn things about their new trade. While half of a battery was out in the woods hard at work, the other half would be at standing gun drill or doing "squads east." No time was lost. Each organization provided itself with wooden guns, there being no real guns available, and drilled faithfully. These guns were made out of pine logs, either mounted on old wagon or buggy wheels, or on forks set in the ground. The first battery to secure enough buggy wheels to mount its four guns was much envied. The others followed suit and with true Tar Heel ingenuity provided various substitutes for instruments needed in their work. In spite of the difficulties training went forward remarkably well. A great national weekly magazine, "Leslie's Weekly," heard of the regiment's wooden guns and sent a famous war correspondent all the way from New York to look the regiment over, photograph its wooden guns and watch the earnest and aspiring artillerymen work without equipment. Later these pictures were used to preach a strong sermon about our nation's unpreparedness and they created a profound impression.
The arrival of real guns created much excitement in camp. They came after many promises and many delays, and while they were aged
and uncertain in action, they were highly prized. The regiment secured four of them, four others going to the 114th Field Artillery. The guns were placed on the parade ground and a regular schedule for gun drill was prepared by which each organization got its turn at the guns with regularity and every gun was in use every working hour. Rain or shine, no organization missed its drill period. The winter was unusually bitter but it made no difference with the One Hundred and Thirteenth. There were only a few days when the snow was too deep and the weather too cold for outdoor drill and on those days the men were carried to the mess-halls and instruction continued there. No outfit ever worked harder than did the One Hundred and Thirteenth. The game was new to every member of the regiment, from the colonel down, and every member of the regiment determined to master every detail of it.
Let it be recorded here that the officers of the regiment worked. It was up to them to keep several jumps ahead of their men and it took earnest, persistent, grinding labor, through long hours, to do this, for the enlisted personnel was of a variety that absorbed artillery education with astonishing ease.
When retreat sounded in the afternoon, the enlisted man could "call it a day," except perhaps for a little detail work. Ordinarily he was free to visit the city, or call on friends in other parts of the camp, but not so with the officer. There was officers' school from seven o'clock until nine, and after school he had a whole hour to study the work of the coming day, check up on his paper work, square himself with the various inspectors who had picked flaws in his battery street, his mess-hall, latrine, or bath-house and had demanded explanation "by indorsement hereon." That man was considered some worker who could get through with his labors by taps and turn in with the blissful consciousness that he had nothing to do but sleep until reveille.
Not all of the officers of the regiment made good and it is not to their discredit that they failed. With few exceptions, every man tried his level best. Not every man can be an artilleryman. There is no royal road to an artillery education and men of matured minds and settled habits, many years removed from the school room, find it extremely difficult to master anew the complexities of higher mathematics, a thorough knowledge of which is absolutely essential. There are men who can never be good mathematicians, just as there are men who can never be good lawyers, good surgeons, or good preachers. In any other branch of the service, the same amount of energy and devotion to duty might have brought success to these men who failed to make good as artillery officers. It is to their credit, too, that they needed no "benzine board," as the well-known military efficiency board is popularly called in the army, to suggest resignations. Without exception they recognized their own inability to master the game and having the good of the regiment at heart, they stepped down and out with no bitterness in their hearts.
As rapidly as it could be arranged, the battalion commanders and
adjutants and the various organization commanders, were sent away to the great U. S. Army Artillery School at Fort Sill, Okla. Lieutenant-Colonel Sidney C. Chambers was first to go, returning to the regiment after Christmas. He had taken the Fort Sill course and an additional course at the school for field officers in Texas. On December 1st, Colonel Cox went to Fort Sill. Major Stem, of the First Battalion, was also among those who went early. His adjutant, Captain Joyner, was retained at Fort Sill as an instructor, after he had finished the course and did not rejoin the regiment until it was about to sail for duty overseas. In the absence of the other field officers, Major Bulwinkle commanded the regiment until relieved by Lieutenant-Colonel Jacob A. Mack, of the regular army, who reported for duty on December 31st. Lieutenant-Colonel John T. Geary, C. A. C., regular army, was at first assigned to the regiment but owing to his preference for the "heavies" he was transferred to the 115th Field Artillery. Lieutenant-Colonel Mack had just returned from France, where he had seen service with the 7th Field Artillery, U. S. A., and he remained with the regiment until Colonel Cox had completed his studies at Fort Sill and at the field officers' school in Texas.
In September the regiment received the following new officers:
Second Lieutenants U. S. R. C., George R. Holmes, Ralph W. Harrison, Robert P. Beaman, Hamilton S. F. Greene, Wilbur F. Brooks, Rufus G. Roberts, Christian E. Mears, Francis L. Harris, Harry C. Williams.
First Lieutenant Dental Reserve Corps, Wallace D. Gibbs.
In October Second Lieutenant William O. Hughes, Veterinary Reserve Corps, was assigned to the regiment from the Remount Depot of the camp.
In November First Lieutenants Medical Reserve Corps, Burmah D. Moore, Eugene P. Ledford and William H. Goldstein joined the Sanitary Detachment, the three coming from Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. Goldstein remained with the regiment about a month and was transferred to a base hospital in New York. Moore and Ledford were transferred in February, 1918, to the 118th Infantry of the 30th Division.
In November there were many changes among the officers of the regiment, among these being the transfer of Captain Erskine E. Boyce from adjutant of the Second Battalion to Regimental Adjutant, succeeding Captain Matt H. Allen, who was transferred to the department of the Judge Advocate General on November 19th with the rank of major; Captain Rufus M. Johnston, of Headquarters Company, was relieved of his command and made adjutant of the First Battalion, succeeding Captain William T. Joyner, who was transferred to Headquarters Company.
There were also many promotions in the regiment in November. Sergeants Owen S. Robertson, Leroy C. Hand, John W. Moore, Lemuel R. Johnston, Regimental Sergeant Major William B. Duncan, Color Sergeant Henry A. McKinnon and Ordnance Sergeant Jesse E. Carpenter became second lieutenants. Second Lieutenants Beverly S. Royster, Jr., Christian E. Meares, Wade V. Bowman, Robert P. Beaman and Wilbur F.
Brooks were made first lieutenants and all assigned to Headquarters Company.
In December Captain Buford F. Williams of Battery E became adjutant of the Second Battalion. First Lieutenant Louis B. Crayton, of Battery F, succeeded him in command of Battery E and was promoted to captain on December 22d. During the month Sergeant Frank B. Davis, Sergeant Owen H. Guion, Regimental Sergeant Major Caleb K. Burgess and Battalion Sergeant Major Zack D. Harden were made second lieutenants. Second Lieutenants Eugene P. Allison and William B. Duncan were promoted to first lieutenants. First Lieutenant Robert M. Hanes reported for duty and was assigned to Battery E. He was later to become captain of Battery A. First Lieutenant Frank K. Borden and Second Lieutenant Emmett H. Bellamy, O. R. C., joined the regiment during this month. Lieutenant Wilbur F. Brooks was transferred to headquarters 55th F. A. Brigade and Lieutenants Goldstein, Holmes and Williams were transferred to other camps.
During December many difficulties were encountered. Practically all of the month was extremely cold. There were many heavy snows and to make a bad situation worse, the measles and mumps epidemics already referred to, were at their height. For a large part of the month the regiment was in quarantine and only those who have experienced a camp quarantine know just how deadly dull and trying it is. There were days when drill at the guns could not be held and on these days the regiment took long practice hikes, covering all of the territory around Camp Sevier. At this time the regiment had about 1,000 head of horses and mules, and feeding and grooming these animals under the weather conditions that prevailed was a tremendous task. To make a bad matter worse, the accumulations of soiled bedding and manure from the corrals had to be hauled out daily and delivered in accordance with the instructions of a Greenville contractor, who had contracted for the whole output of the camp at the low price of twenty-five cents per load, delivered under anywhere within eight miles of camp. The Supply Company delivered under this contract an average of twenty loads daily for many months, with an average haul of twelve miles. This Greenville contractor collected $1.50 per load from the farmers of the surrounding country. An effort was made to ascertain the name of the brilliant quartermaster who made this contract but the effort was in vain. Nobody wanted to father the deal and the buck was passed with much speed whenever it was mentioned.
No other organization of the regiment will begrudge the Supply Company a few words of praise for the work they did during that long hard winter. In addition to keeping the corrals clean they had their other labors to perform, a regiment to feed and clothe and with this foolish contract to carry out, it required seven days of hard labor every week. There was no rest for the Supply Company. When a rare half holiday came along, down would come a memorandum from headquarters, reading about as follows:
CAMP SEVIER SCENES
(1) Regimental Street under snow. (2) A Detail engaged in Flooring Tents. (3) Battery C's Rolling Kitchen, completely covered with Cooks and K. P.'s. (4) "Danger," the famous Pit Bull Mascot of the Supply Company at "Attention." (5) Snapshot of the Officers' Club House. (6) A Section of the Camp. (7) Looking up Regimental Street toward Headquarters. (8) Lining up for Chow. (9) "Asa," the Mascot of Battery A, saddled and ready for action.
"Class B men, all organizations, will report to the Supply Company for policing corrals."
"Class B men" being men who by misconduct of one kind or another had forfeited the rights usually accorded enlisted men.
One of the Supply Company "mule-skinners" was heard to remark to his corporal one snowy day:
"Say, Corp, I know now who put the 'S' in 'S. O. L.' "
And he put his finger on the big letter S that showed on his collar ornament.
Nevertheless, he and his fellows worked faithfully and cheerfully in all kinds of weather. When the wagons of the Supply Company stopped rolling it was because they had encountered a division inspector who had declared the roads too bad for traffic. Nothing else could stop them and the result was that when bad weather was over, the corrals of the One Hundred and Thirteenth were as clean as a new pin and the Supply Company was able to respond to a frantic plea for help from the Supply Company of the 114th which had found the weather too bad for it. The company did this with real pleasure, too, for there was a great deal of good-natured rivalry between the two organizations and this calling for help was proof positive that the Tar Heel outfit had the edge on their Tennessee rivals.
And that was some winter, too! The people of Greenville said that there had been no such weather there since the Spanish-American War. They resented no little the many uncomplimentary things that were said about their climate and they spoke enthusiastically about the balmy winters they usually served to all comers. This was received with jeers and scoffing by the majority and with polite skepticism by the rest.
Whatever the usual thing may be in the way of Greenville winters, the fact remains that the winter of 1917-18 was altogether bad, exceedingly uncomfortable, and more like the variety one would expect in the far north. It was marked by terrible blizzards and high winds. Much of the tentage used by the regiment had seen service on the Mexican border. Several tents bore old markings of Pershing's expeditionary force. All of it was old and the winds ripped it to shreds. Sparks from the Sibley stoves fell on the sides of the tents and burned great holes in them. Many were destroyed completely, and there were no new tents to be had and no canvas for patching the old.
Organization commanders will remember this season of trouble and worry. The Commanding General while roaming through the regiment one day, caught sight of a row of tents in one of the batteries that was worse, far worse, than any of the others. He sent an aide to tell the captain of the battery to mend his ways, also his tents, at once. The captain made every effort to secure canvas to do the mending but there was none to be had. The following day, a cold and snowy Saturday, the General passed through again on his regular Saturday tour of inspection and he remembered the message he had sent to the battery commander.
The General, always a fluent talker, surpassed himself that day and the things he said to that luckless captain doubtless make his ears burn to this day, for the General is noted for a blistering tongue, a caustic and copious flow of language and picturesque, highly-colored phraseology.
He promised that luckless captain that he would find every one of those neglected holes--and there were scores of them--in his efficiency record and he forthwith confined the captain and all of his officers to camp until every hole had been mended.
But that sort of thing was all in the day's work. It was nothing to lose sleep over. It is the way of generals to find things to kick about and the vast majority of them kicked promiscuously and with great frequency from the rising up of the sun to the going down of the same and no man dares say them nay. Just why it is necessary for higher officers of the regular army--generals in particular--to raise Cain all the time, never dropping a word of commendation, is a deep, dark mystery to the unprofessional soldier. Their system seems to work fairly well but the same results might be obtained in a much more pleasing way.
Having mentioned Greenville, right here is as good a place as any to speak of that long-suffering, much-enduring town situated in the suburbs of Camp Sevier. It has been the experience of most towns that landed cantonments after long and earnest effort, that the cantonment was not always an unmixed blessing. The soldier receives a warm welcome at first but when he begins to fill the streets and stores and jam the street cars and jitneys, the inhabitants of the city he is gumming up grow weary and grumble. If Greenville ever felt this way about the 30th Division, she hid it wonderfully well. Greenville merchants and landlords may have profiteered a bit, for the opportunity was there and they were human, but in the main the finest feeling prevailed always between the people of the town and the soldiers. Greenville, like charity, suffered long and was kind.
Officers will remember their Saturday night visits to Greenville as orgies of saluting. Anywhere on Main street in the city of Greenville on Saturday night an officer walking or standing still, was required to execute thirty salutes per minute. When his right arm could stand the strain no longer he would hail a jitney and get off the street, or take refuge in a picture show.
Officers and enlisted men in great numbers will also remember Greenville for the hospitality shown their wives and children. Hundreds of soldiers brought their families to Greenville and kept them there during the long months of training. This was a source of much comfort to all concerned.
In the various Liberty Loan drives that marked the fall of 1917, the regiment did its part exceedingly well. In the drive ending on November 2, 1917, the regiment subscribed for $55,750 of bonds, 751 officers and men subscribing. This was distributed through the regiment as follows:
Battery F led in the number of subscribers, having 149. Battery B was second with 134 and Battery A third with 120.
The men did well also in the matter of making allotments to their families, practically all of them showing an earnest desire to take advantage of everything offered them by the War Department. The regiment experienced a great deal of trouble with allotments. There seemed to be a complete breakdown in Washington and it took months to get simple little questions answered and small mistakes cleared up. In scores of cases there were wives, children and dependent parents at home sorely in need of the amount allotted to them and it was extremely difficult to get the allotments going. If you want to get a rise out of the average soldier, say something about that famous organization, the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, that had charge of the matter. No government agency ever looked better on its face or failed more completely than did this one.
The men of the regiment seized the opportunity to take the insurance offered by the government with great enthusiasm. When the campaign was over and the time limit set by the government had expired, 1,479 officers and men of the regiment had subscribed for war risk insurance totalling $12,500,000, making the regiment full 100 per cent. insured.
The official record of the insurance drive published in a memorandum from regimental headquarters on February 13, 1918, was as follows:
|Organization.||Actual Strength February 13.||No. of Policies.||Amount of Insurance.||Per cent. of Men|
Average amount subscribed for--$8,440.65.
The regiment will always be proud of this record. Not many organizations in the service equalled it and none excelled it. It drew special commendation
from the division commander. Adding the insurance taken by the remainder of the officers of the regiment, it was insured for a total of approximately $12,500,000.
The insurance idea was one that grew on the men as the months went by, as is indicated by the number of policies taken in each organization. Men who started with one policy of $5,000, subscribed for another, going the full limit.
But, as has been hinted at heretofore, a most exacting and rigid course of instruction in all phases of artillery work was carried out despite the fearful weather and the various Liberty bond and insurance campaigns. Nothing, no matter how praiseworthy, was allowed to interfere with the work of making artillerymen out of the men and officers of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery. The progress made was phenomenal, considering the difficulties encountered in the way of lack of equipment, lack of trained instructors, and, as has been mentioned, extremely bad weather. Whatever else they may have lacked, nobody ever accused the men of the regiment of lacking energy, grit, initiative and enthusiasm and they stuck to the work with unwavering determination.
In the matter of instructors, the regiment might have fared worse. It was extremely fortunate in having a one third interest in Lieutenant Jacques J. L. Popelin, a brilliant young French artillery officer of rare tact and understanding. He came to the 55th Field Artillery Brigade about December 1, 1917, just as Colonel Cox was leaving for the Fort Sill Artillery School. Lieutenant Popelin had served for nearly four years on the front and he knew the game from the ground up. He did not laugh at the crudeness of things as he found them. Never once did he sneer at well-meaning efforts of inexperienced, but terribly-in-earnest, soldiers to do things they were ordered to do. He was always willing and anxious to help, always properly sympathetic and always patient, no matter how helplessly the student floundered. He was just as ready to spend hours helping a hopeless bone-head master a problem as he was to help the more brilliant, and that is what won for him the respect and admiration of the entire brigade. Elsewhere in this book Lieutenant Popelin tells in his own way of the training period and of his experience with the regiment. He writes as he speaks and his letter will serve to recall to all of the officers of the regiment his delightful lectures.
Another Frenchman was attached to the brigade for several months, Marechal des Logis Boree, also an experienced fighter and a very helpful instructor. Boree supervised the construction of four gun emplacements, very much on the order of the gun emplacements the regiment was to find all along the front in the St. Mihiel sector.
Lieutenant-Colonel Jacob A. Mack, of the regular army, who assumed command of the regiment on January 1, 1918, believed strongly in shifting his officers around, "breaking up happy families" as he expressed it. His contention was that no officer should command his home company for the reason that it would be very difficult for the officer to avoid having favorites
among his men and "playing" these favorites, too; that officers and men were prone to get into a rut and lose interest in their work, if they associated too long together. Therefore, he set about the task of shaking up the regiment and when he got through with it there was "nobody home" in any outfit except the Supply Officer and the Regimental Adjutant. These two were not moved.
During the month of January the following transfers and other changes took place among the officers of the regiment:
First Lieutenant William P. Whittaker transferred from Headquarters Company to Battery D; First Lieutenant J. E. Moore, from Battery D to Headquarters Company; Sergeant James P. Dodge, Jr., promoted to second lieutenant and assigned to Battery F; Second Lieutenant E. H. Bellamy, Battery F, transferred to Chickamaugua Park; Second Lieutenant Thomas J. Craig, Battery C, to Headquarters Company; Second Lieutenant Robert H. Lawrence, Battery B, resigned; First Lieutenant David R. Morris, Battery A, to Headquarters Company; First Lieutenant Claude B. Mc-Brayer, Headquarters Company, resigned.
In February Captain Gustaf R. Westfeldt joined the regiment and was assigned to Headquarters Company. He assumed command of that organization on February 21st. First Lieutenant Horace C. Bennett also joined the regiment and was assigned to Headquarters Company. First Lieutenant Sanford A. Richardson, Battery E, was transferred to Headquarters Company and later resigned. First Lieutenant P. B. Perry, Supply Company, transferred to Headquarters Company and resigned on February 20th. First Lieutenant Robert P. Beaman, transferred from Headquarters Company to Battery B; First Lieutenant Christian E. Mears, Headquarters Company, to Battery E; Second Lieutenant Jesse E. Carpenter, Headquarters Company to Battery A; Second Lieutenant Zack D. Harden, Headquarters Company to Battery A; Captain John H. Weddell, Battery A to battalion adjutant, First Battalion; First Lieutenant William B. R. Guion, Battery A, to Battery C; Second Lieutenant Richard D. Dixon, Battery A, to Battery E; Second Lieutenant Frank B. Davis, Battery A, to Battery D; Captain Lennox P. McLendon, Battery C, to Battery B; First Lieutenant Frank B. Ashcraft, Battery D to Battery B; Second Lieutenant H. B. Covington, Battery D to Battery B; Second Lieutenant John W. Moore, Headquarters Company to Battery B; First Lieutenant William E. Baugham, Battery B to Supply Company; Captain Rufus M. Johnston, from adjutant of First Battalion to Battery F; First Lieutenant Enoch S. Simmons, Battery B to Battery F; First Lieutenant Frank L. Fuller, Battery C to Battery F; Second Lieutenant H. H. Hardison, Battery D to Battery F; Captain Reid R. Morrison, Battery F to Battery D; First Lieutenant George A. Morrow, Battery F to Battery D; First Lieutenant Eugene Allison, Battery F to Battery C; Second Lieutenant Eugene P. Jones, Battery F to Battery C; Second Lieutenant James P. Dodge, Jr., Battery F to Battery A; Captain Wiley C. Rodman, Battery B to Battery E; Second Lieutenant Owen S. Robertson, Battery C to Battery E: First Lieutenant
S. M. Gattis, Battery C to Battery D; First Lieutenant Robert M. Hanes, Battery E to Battery A; Second Lieutenant G. S. Dixon, Battery B to Battery D; Second Lieutenant Leroy C. Hand, Battery E to Battery C; Captain Louis B. Crayton, Battery E to Battery C; Second Lieutenant Eugene P. Jones, of Battery C resigned on February 7th.
Practically all of the transfers in February were made in one order, R. S. O. No. 21, dated February 1, 1918. Officers and men will long remember this particular order, for it came without warning and completely upset the old and established order of things.
In March there were also many changes, though not so many as in February. Battery A reported no changes. In Battery B, Leroy C. Hand, Battery C, promoted from second lieutenant to first, was in command of the outfit in the absence of Captain McLendon, who was at Fort Sill. Second Lieutenant Russel N. Boswell, commissioned from sergeant and transferred from Battery C, and Second Lieutenant Henry A. McKinnon, transferred to Battery B from Headquarters Company, were the other new officers in Battery B. First Lieutenant John W. Moore and First Lieutenant Frank B. Ashcraft were transferred, the first to Battery E and the latter to Headquarters Company. Lieutenant Ashcraft resigned during the month. First Lieutenants Frank L. Fuller and Enoch S. Simmons were transferred from Battery F to Battery C and Second Lieutenant Francis E. Liles, newly commissioned from sergeant, was assigned to Battery C. First Lieutenant William B. R. Guion was transferred from Battery C to Battery A and First Lieutenant William P. Whittaker to Battery F.
In Battery D, First Lieutenant George A. Morrow resigned and First Lieutenant Richard D. Dixon, promoted during the month from Second Lieutenant, was assigned to the battery from Battery E. In Battery E, there was only one other change during the month. Second Lieutenant Marshal S. Barnett, commissioned from sergeant, was assigned to the battery on March 13th. Battery F was unchanged, except that Ordnance Sergeant Edwin B. Haynes, Supply Company, was commissioned second lieutenant and assigned to the battery. Headquarters Company showed two changes in March, one being the resignation of First Lieutenant Frank B. Ashcraft and the assignment to the company of Second Lieutenant J. P. Bolt, commissioned from regimental supply sergeant on March 13th. In the Sanitary Detachment Second Lieutenant W. O. Hughes, veterinary corps, was made first lieutenant, First Lieutenants Burmah D. Moore and Henry P. Ledford were transferred to the 118th Infantry.
In April the regiment lost for a time eighteen of its officers who were sent overseas with the advance school detachment of the 30th Division. From Headquarters Company First Lieutenants David R. Morris and Julian E. Moore were transferred to the Aviation Concentration Camp at Fort Sill. Second Lieutenant Henry A. McKinnon was transferred to Battery A, Second Lieutenant John P. Bolt to the Supply Company, and First Lieutenant William B. Duncan to Battery E. Second Lieutenant Zack D. Harden was transferred to Battery A. Second Lieutenant Harry B.
Covington resigned from Battery B. First Lieutenant Eugene Allison, of Battery A, was assigned to Battery C on April 24th and Captain Louis B. Crayton of Battery C, was assigned to Battery E on April 13th. On the same date Captain Reid R. Morrison, of Battery D was reassigned to his old battery F, and Captain Rufus M. Johnston, of Battery F, was assigned to Battery D. Second Lieutenant Edwin B. Haynes, Battery F, was assigned to Battery E. First Lieutenant William P. Whittaker was transferred to Headquarters Company. Captain John H. Weddell, adjutant of the First Battalion, resigned.
About the middle of May nine new officers reported to the regiment, all coming from the field artillery replacement camp at Camp Jackson, S. C. They were: Captain Nugent B. Vairin, Jr., First Lieutenants Charles H. Wood, Allan W. Douglass, Lewis M. Smith, Jr., Maitland Solomon; Second Lieutenants Richard S. Schmidt, Daniel T. Roberts, Ernest W. Hinchcliffe and Kip I. Chace. Two of these, Lieutenant Douglass and Lieutenant Schmidt, were assigned to Battery A. Second Lieutenant James P. Dodge, Jr., was transferred from Battery A to Headquarters Company and Second Lieutenant Jesse E. Carpenter, of Battery A, resigned. First Lieutenant Charles H. Wood and Second Lieutenant Daniel T. Roberts were assigned to Battery B. Second Lieutenant Ernest W. Hinchcliffe was assigned to Battery C. Captain Nugent B. Vairin, Jr., was assigned to Battery D, succeeding Captain Rufus M. Johnston, who resigned. Second Lieutenant Kip I. Chace was also assigned to Battery D. First Lieutenant Maitland Solomon and Second Lieutenant Richard S. Schmidt were assigned to Battery F. First Lieutenant Lewis M. Smith was assigned to Headquarters Company and First Lieutenant William E. Baugham, relieved from duty with the Supply Company, was also assigned to Headquarters Company. First Lieutenant Frank K. Borden was transferred from the Headquarters Company to the Aviation Concentration Camp at Fort Sill. First Lieutenant Joseph Lonergon was transferred to the regiment from the Quartermaster Corps and was attached to the Supply Company on May 1. He was assigned to the Supply Company on May 22d. Captain Martin Olthouse, veterinary corps, was assigned to the regiment during this month.
In April the regimental staff was increased by the addition of another officer, a personnel adjutant. First Lieutenant Alfred W. Horton, of the 30th Division Staff, was selected for this place and he was transferred to the regiment, soon thereafter being promoted to captain. This new office, it was announced, would relieve company commanders of the onerous labors of making out pay rolls and writing miles of reports. While all of the dreams engendered by the news of the new departure failed to come true, it did serve to greatly lighten the burdens of all organization commanders. The Personnel Officer took from the shoulders of the Supply Officer the burden of handling the regiment's pay account and his records, carefully card indexed and filed, made instantly available the regiment's every asset in the way of specially trained man-power.
While these changes were taking place among the officers of the
regiment, many changes were taking place among the enlisted men of the regiment. By slow degrees every man found his place. Men who had come to camp, privates, demonstrated their fitness for places of responsibility and in many cases men who had come to camp wearing the stripes of a corporal or of a sergeant again found their way back to the ranks. The changes were too numerous to be chronicled here. In March, April and May of 1918, there were many calls for specially trained men for service overseas and elsewhere in the United States. French speaking soldiers were taken in one group and sent to Camp Greene, N. C., for immediate service in France. Another time the call was for railway mechanics for the A. E. F. and the regiment lost heavily. Truck drivers and auto mechanics went out in a body, leaving a big gap in the ranks, and so it went. Organization commanders were sorely tried during these months, for they knew not the hour when an order would come down calling for their very best men. A good private is a precious possession and one to be cherished, but a good non-com is worth his weight in gold. It takes long, hard, sustained effort to develop one and to have him trailed down to your outfit by a card index hound and snatched away without so much as "by your leave," is one of the things that makes war what Sherman said it was.
In January the following soldiers were sent to the Third Officers' Training Camp at Camp Stanley, Leon Springs, Texas:
Sergeant Major W. A. Allen, First Sergeant W. F. Danielly, Sergeants Fred M. Patterson, Paul B. Scott, Michael H. Jones and George B. Hellen, Headquarters Company; Corporal Leland C. Shepard, Supply Company; Sergeant John G. Hudgins, Battery A; First Sergeant W. A. Blount, Battery B; Sergeant C. B. Wills, Battery C; Sergeant Nero T. Bobbitt and Corporal Percy H. Wilson, Battery D; Sergeant C. J. M. Blume, Corporals Leland White, Jr., and Mitchell F. Orr, Private John L. Bell, of Battery F.
Many other men were transferred to other branches of the service. The Signal Corps took quite a number and the Quartermaster Corps called for trained accountants and men experienced in the handling of supplies. By means of the card index of the personnel officer these men were located easily and taken away in droves. There was never a time when the regiment was unable to furnish the kind of men called for. Every variety of skilled labor and most of the professions were represented in the regiment.
As these men went, others came to fill their places. They came from National Army camps at Camp Jackson, S. C., Camp Gordon, Ga., and Camp Funston, Kan. The men received from Camp Funston, Kan., were of an unusually high order and well trained in field artillery work. Those received from Jackson and Gordon were green. The Camp Funston men were out of the 89th Division and almost without exception proved to be good soldiers. A search of the records would show that the Camp Funston detachment furnished the regiment a number of non-commissioned officers out of all proportion to the size of the detachment.
These men were all from the west. Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska were well represented as were the Dakotas and Colorado.
The War Department changed its policy of promoting men from the ranks in the spring of 1918, requiring thereafter a course in some training camp. The number of officer candidates alloted to each regiment was very small and this was very discouraging to the ambitious. The One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery possessed "officer timber" in large quantities. No regiment ever boasted an enlisted personnel ranking higher in intelligence and soldierly qualities in general than that of the One Hundred and Thirteenth. There was no disposition on the part of the officers of the regiment to keep any of their men from attending the officers' training camps, though it was discouraging to the last degree to train a non-commissioned officer up to a point where he was almost indispensable and then lose him. On the other hand, they pulled hard for their best sergeants and the selection of the monthly list of candidates was always fraught with rivalry.
Meanwhile, those who were left in the regiment were fast getting an artillery education. Officers began to report back from the great Artillery School of Fire at Fort Sill in January, Lieutenant-Colonel Chambers being first to return, and these brought new ideas and new methods of instruction. The 3-inch guns were worked all day long and the old wooden guns lost their bark. The men kept on the jump all the time. Lieutenant-Colonel Mack began to instruct the officers in new French methods which he had acquired with the 7th Field Artillery in France. They learned that firing cannons was no longer a simple matter, but that they must take into consideration the density of the air, the temperature of the powder and various and sundry meteorological facts and circumstances. Lieutenant Popelin was an expert along this line and was of great assistance to Lieutenant-Colonel Mack.
Lieutenant Popelin was ordered to Fort Sill in February, but returned to the brigade in March, just as the regiment was getting ready to start to the artillery range at Cleveland Mills, about twenty miles north of Camp Sevier. This period of practice firing, the first the men had, was one of unusual interest to them. For months they had been going through the motions of loading, aiming and firing. They had stood gun drill until they were letter perfect in the execution of every command and the gun squads moved like well-oiled machines. The men wondered if they could handle "live" shells as smoothly as they handled the wooden shells, and if the report of the guns would rattle them; and they were possessed of a great and burning curiosity to see their officers work under conditions approximating actual warfare. They could hardly wait to get on the range and at work.
The First Battalion, with about half of the Supply Company and the battalion detail out of Headquarters Company, left for the range on the 30th day of March, arriving the following day. The First Battalion spent a week in target work and was relieved by the Second Battalion and the other halves of Headquarters and Supply Companies, these returning from the
range on April 15th. The work of the officers and of the men was satisfactory throughout and very pleasing to the instructors.
Very soon after the return of the regiment from the artillery range rumors of moving began to stir and soon they were coming thick and fast. Equipment was checked and rechecked and property accounts carefully audited. The Division Quartermaster had scoured the nation for equipment for his division and at the final check-up it was found to be in fairly good condition. The Assistant Division Quartermaster announced in April that according to his records the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was the best equipped regiment in the division, leading all other outfits by a margin of 9 per cent. in quartermaster property. In the matter of ordnance signal and engineer property, the outfit was sadly lacking, and these classes of property were not received in abundance until the regiment reached France.
On April 19, 1918, Colonel Cox was directed by the Division Commander to name 18 officers and 30 enlisted men as an "advance school detachment" to precede the regiment to France for instruction. This detachment left the regiment on April 30th and sailed from New York on the steamship George Washington on May 8th. They landed at Brest, France and reported at the U. S. Artillery School at Camp de Valdahon, France. This detachment rejoined the regiment at Camp de Coetquidan, France, on June 22, 1918. It consisted of the following officers and men:
The departure of these men stirred the regiment to fever heat. The whole outfit, both officers and men, were wild to be on the move and eager to get at the foe. The news from Europe at that time was not cheering. Germany had launched the first of her five big drives in March. The result had been disastrous to the allies. In April Germany again smashed through the allied lines for big gains and it began to look like the war would be over before the eager warriers of the One Hundred and Thirteenth could reach the scene of action. Bare thought of such an ending, such a blasting of all their hopes, wore the patience of the waiting soldiers threadbare and when things began to look like real action was in prospect, great was their enthusiasm.
The infantry outfits of the division were first to move, and they moved swiftly when they started. Within a week from the time the movement started, all of the big camp, except the area occupied by the 55th Field Artillery Brigade and a few scattering units, was vacant. Then began another period of depression that lasted for ten days or more. Rumors again flew thick and fast and the most persistent of them had it that no artillery outfits were going to France for many months, as the Allies were well-fixed with artillery but needed infantry and machine gun outfits.
On May 8th a telegram from Adjutant General McCain was received directing the movement of all remaining units of the division to the Port of Embarkation, Hoboken, N. J., and this dispelled all doubt. Hurry-up orders came down for the turning in to the Remount Depot of all animals and there was great scurrying around in all quarters to clear up property accounts. The regiment checked out exactly in the matter of animals, much to the delight of everybody concerned. The 3-inch American guns were shipped to Camp Jackson for the artillery replacement division there and the battery of British 75 milimetre guns, which the regiment received late in the spring and used but little, were shipped to the 37th Division at Camp Sheridan, Ala. Hundreds of packing boxes were made and the work of packing and marking equipment was carried through without a hitch. The regiment was ready for moving at the hour appointed for it, with nothing left undone. There was not a single "hang over" left to worry about and no Camp Sevier ghosts rose to haunt the regiment afterwards.
The regiment boarded train on Sunday, May 19, 1918, and on the day following. Headquarters and Supply Companies and the First Battalion
left Sunday on trains No. 48 and No. 49, with Lieutenants Whittaker and Barnett as train quartermasters. On Monday train No. 50, with Lieutenant Bolt as train quartermaster, carried the Second Battalion. Trains No. 48 and No. 49 reached Camp Albert L. Mills, Long Island, N. Y., on Tuesday, May 21st, and the remaining units reached camp late the same day, marching into a camp area only partly equipped in pitch-black darkness and in a driving rain.
The regiment spent the remainder of the week at Camp Mills and a busy week it was for everybody. Orders were to turn in every piece of equipment and draw new equipment and this involved tremendous labor. A flock of inspectors descended upon the regiment and every article of equipment was scrutinized as closely as if the fate of the world depended on its good condition. The great city of New York just across the Sound, beckoned in vain. There was no opportunity for the officers to get any recreation or relaxation and the majority of the non-commissioned officers were bound down to their tasks in the same way. The big job was to get the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery ready for duty overseas.
On Sunday morning, May 26, 1918, the regiment marched from Camp Mills and boarded a ferry-boat and was carried to its loading pier, where it found the Armagh, a big British freighter waiting to receive it. This boat had been constructed for carrying beef from Australia and new Zealand to England and was, no doubt, admirably adapted to that sort of business, but as a transport for soldiers it left much to be desired. The boat had been converted hastily into a transport and the quarters provided for the men were the last word in discomfort, extremely hard to keep even half clean and very poorly ventilated. About 2,500 soldiers were crowded into the Armagh. It held all of the One Hundred and Thirteenth except about fifteen officers, who were assigned to the 115th Field Artillery for the voyage; the 105th Field Signal Battalion, under Major Van Dusen; Headquarters 55th Field Artillery Brigade, with General Gatley in charge, and a few other scattered units.
The Armagh sailed on the 27th of May and it struck nasty foggy weather before it was well out of the harbor. Thirteen other ships and one lone battleship slipped out of the mist and joined the Armagh on the morning of the 28th and throughout the long voyage the convoy kept in regular formation day and night.
For more than a week, as the ship labored on, there was small thought of dangers lurking near, for it took that long to get within what was then called the "danger zone" and it is just as well that nobody on board knew that German submarines were operating at that time just outside New York harbor. Everywhere on the broad Atlantic in those days there was danger. The regiment was on the water at the time when the first news of submarine operations along the coasts of the United States startled the country and it caused much uneasiness among the people at home. No member of the regiment knew about it until after the Armagh had reached Liverpool.
THE voyage was devoid of incident, except that there was a submarine scare. The ship's second officer on watch one night was very positive that he saw the wake of a torpedo as it passed close astern of the nearest ship in the convoy and shot on across the bow of the Armagh. The convoy speeded up and when daylight came several of the ships were found to be out of position. They drifted back into formation and the voyage continued as before, the ships zig-zagging across the ocean after a scheme agreed upon. In the office of the navigator, high on the bridge of the ship, a little clock gave a signal at regular intervals and the big ship obeyed it instantly. Every other ship in the convoy changed course at exactly the same moment.
The voyage was monotonous in the extreme. The eternal sameness got on everyone's nerves. Hundreds of the soldiers, both officers and men, were getting their first taste of the sea and "mal de mer" claimed them for its own. Fog settled down on the sea like a blanket and the ship's whistle sounded night and day. Inspection followed inspection and life-boat drill was the only thing that broke the monotony, and even that palled on the men after the first week. "Craps" was interesting until the crew had been relieved of all of their money. The wily Britishers proved an easy mark at this game, but they came back at the Yanks with a game of their own that easily recouped all their losses. The game flourished until news of it came to the ears of some officers of the regiment and it was stopped.
The Armagh and her sister ships of the convoy took the northern route. None who traveled with that outfit will deny that the convoy went north. It grew cold and colder and everybody looked for icebergs. In fact, the opinion was freely expressed that the north pole was not far off and every man wore his heavy overcoat and was glad that he had it. The life-belts were fine chest protectors. The majority of the men had the padded jacket variety, with a heavy collar that stood up around the ears. These were worn after the ship reached the so-called "danger zone."
To make things worse, there was the British grub and British cooking. It was all good, from a British standpoint, but exceedingly disgusting to American stomachs. There was mutton. Few Americans like mutton, but the Britisher holds it second only to his beloved roast beef. The Armagh seemed to be stocked up heavily on mutton and anxious to get rid of it, for there was mutton every day and very often mutton twice a day.
Then there was that other evil-tasting mixture that the Britishers called "orange marmalade." This came on the menu with sickening regularity. The men hated the stuff and more than one can of it went overboard. In fact, so much of it went that way that guards were set to watch out for such "wanton waste of comestibles." The men could hardly figure just how the stuff came to be considered a "comestible," for it was not palatable. When warned not to destroy more of it they readily desisted, one man stating it clearly in these words:
"The stuff ain't fit for a human being to eat and according to my way of looking at it, overboard is the place for it, but if there are people in the world foolish enough to eat it, I say let's save it for them."
Potatoes, boiled in their jackets, were on the bill of fare for every meal, and so it went. There was never any lack of food and the food was undoubtedly nourishing, but it didn't suit the American soldier. The men longed for their own "mess line" again, with their own mess sergeants presiding over the "eats" and their own cooks and "K. P.'s" dishing them out with generous hands. They promised themselves that "if they ever got back to good old U. S. A. rations again" they would kick no more and their loud lamentations were music to the ears of the aforesaid mess sergeants and cooks, all of whom had suffered long and grievously at the hands of the lamenters. Suffice it to say that these promises, though earnestly made, were not kept. The American soldier is never satisfied.
The voyage made a deep and lasting impression on the minds of the men. The nights were particularly solemn and depressing. The big gray ship, dark as a tomb from end to end, plunged along through the darkness, with not a sound except the throb of the engines. The men were not permitted to smoke a cigarette for fear that the lighted end might cast a glow that would catch the sinister eye of a German sub lurking out there somewhere in the darkness. The long days, when the fog covered the face of the waters and blotted out the outlines of even the closest ships of the convoy, were almost as solemn as the nights. Altogether such a voyage as the men of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery experienced is not to be sought after. One is quite enough for an ordinary lifetime.
Somewhere far out in the Atlantic, northwest of the Irish coast, the men woke one morning to find the big gray American battleship that had been escorting the transports gone, and even as they scanned the horizon for it they saw a strange sight. Out of the misty distance there came a fleet of destroyers, long, rakish little vessels, with big guns mounted on them, and they came on with surprising speed. There were fourteen of them and they swarmed all over the sea, darting in and out among the ships of the convoy, rising now on the tip of a big wave and now plunging down almost out of sight. These were the foes most dreaded by the sub, these the men who daily flirted with death and at great peril kept the sea lanes open. It was a sight to stir the blood.
On the night of the twelfth day out, late watchers on the decks caught the beams of a lighthouse on the coast of northern Ireland. The news
spread through the ship and everybody was happy. The ship had followed the extreme northerly course. In fact, it had gone so far north that for part of the time there was not more than three hours of night out of the twenty-four. On the following morning the men woke to see before them the beautiful green fields of "Old Erin" and quaint little towns hugging the shore at the base of steep cliffs. Overhead several dirigibles floated lazily, guarding the convoy and keeping a sharp look-out for subs. Swift aeroplanes darted through the air, all on the same mission. The fleet of fourteen destroyers was still on the job and it had been supplemented by a score or more of smaller craft, tiny little trawlers and all sorts of little boats. Many of these had guns mounted on them that were out of all proportion to the size of the boat and one wondered just how high out of the water one of those plucky little fellows would be kicked if the gun were ever fired.
The convoy was closely guarded in this way all the way through the Irish Sea, the very happy hunting grounds of the sub. At frequent intervals there were pointed out grim reminders of the work of the sub. The tops of the masts of the transport Lincoln were to be seen jutting out of the water and along the course other wreckage was in evidence. It was a beautiful day, the only beautiful day of the long voyage, and the scene that met the eye was one of such rare loveliness and peacefulness that it was difficult for the men to realize that the "jackal of the sea" had stealthily sunk stately ships on that very course and that even at that moment one might be waiting for the Armagh.
When the day ended the Armagh had completed her voyage and the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was "tied up at the dock" in Liverpool. The regiment had been aboard the Armagh for thirteen weary days. It was June 7, 1918.
Early on the morning of June 8th the work of debarking began. The main body of the regiment was ordered to Knotty Ash, the American camp in Liverpool. The men made a fine appearance on their march through the streets of Liverpool and were greeted with the wildest enthusiasm all along the line. It was a great experience to all of them.
The unloading of the baggage, transferring it from the docks to the train and loading, was completed in less than half a day. Captain Fletcher, of the Supply Company, with his own men and details from the batteries, aggregating 287 men, was directed to proceed to the American Rest Camp at Winnall Downs, near Winchester. These men did not accompany the remainder of the regiment to Knotty Ash but got away for Winnall Downs about three o'clock in the afternoon, arriving there before midnight. The remainder of the regiment arrived at Winnall Downs on the next day, June 9th.
The regiment remained at Winchester until June 11th. The men were made fairly comfortable and they spent every moment exploring historic Winchester. They were shown the spot where Cromwell's artillery took position for shelling Winchester and many other things of equal interest. Probably the most interesting relic they saw was King Arthur's
Round Table on display in the great hall of the Castle of Winchester.
Here at Winchester the men found their liberties much curtailed because of trouble that other American troops had experienced in Winchester. The American soldier never had any trouble with the Canadian, the Australian, or the New Zealander and very rarely with the Frenchman, but there was trouble in plenty when "Yank" met "Tommy Atkins." Ask any veteran of the World War what he thinks of the typical British Tommy and you will hear distinctly unflattering comment.
The Tar Heel artillerymen of the One Hundred and Thirteenth had small opportunity of mingling with the Tommies but they had enough. Months later, when they had rejoined the 30th Division, they were to learn that their brethren of the 30th who served with the British never learned to like the British Tommy, but that they did greatly admire the Canadians and the "Aussies."
The British officers were no more likable than their enlisted men. There is something about the British officer that just naturally rubs an American the wrong way. The officers of the One Hundred and Thirteenth, almost without exception, disliked those they came in contact with. They found them unbearably egotistical, blind to everything save their own national greatness, stubbornly opinionated and vain beyond description.
Watching these Britishers of high and low degree, listening to their talk, observing the conditions under which they lived, and picking up information concerning them here and there as they went along, the men of the regiment began to feel a new pride in the United States of America, for it dawned upon them that the American branch of the Anglo-Saxon family had climbed to heights which the English branch had not as yet dreamed of scaling. In fact, they found it extremely difficult to believe that old England is young America's mother.
The world is coming at least to realize that the World War was practically over in June, 1918 and that Germany had won. At this time, when American forces were being hurled across the seas and every energy bent on getting American fighting men into the front lines, the great German machine was driving everything before it. The British could not stop it and the armies of Britain and France were falling back. It was the darkest hour of the war and the gloom that had settled like a black cloud on the fighting forces along the Western Front had spread over all England.
Chaplain Lacy, of the One Hundred and Thirteenth, who was educated at Oxford, England, and who could get closer to the average Britisher than any other man in the regiment, talked with a great many men in Winchester and elsewhere and the prevailing opinion among them was that the war was over and that they had lost.
"We are glad that you have come," one English leader said to Lacy, "but you have come too late. There is nothing that you can do now that will save us."
His was the attitude of the whole country but both he and the country
were wrong. They underestimated the wonderful fighting ability of their new forces and at the very moment when he was speaking, the doughboys of the First, Second, Third, Thirty-second, Forty-second and Seventy-seventh divisions, A. E. F., had been thrown into the fray to steady the wavering lines, with immediate visible results. A few weeks later, at a little town less than forty miles from Paris, a handful of American Marines of the Second Division and a machine gun battalion out of the Third, met the German onslaught at its exact center and stopped it with a suddenness that surprised the world. From that day on, Germany never gained a foot of ground, but, step by step, was driven back.
But it was a gloomy people that the men of the One Hundred and Thirteenth looked upon in England. Nothing was pleasing except the landscape and that was pleasing only in an artificial way. All England looked like one great park, wonderfully trimmed and kept, but as a place in which to make a living, the farmer lads of the regiment shook their heads and voted solidly for the less ornamental acres of the Old North State. They were interested in it all, for here their forefathers had made history. Every organization sent out sightseeing parties, but there were too many things to be done in camp to admit of much exploring. One whole precious afternoon of the regiment's stay at Winchester was taken up with a review in honor of the Duke of Connaught, uncle of King George.
The regiment got away on June 11th for Southampton, there to take boat for France. The crossing of the Channel was uneventful. The outfit had heard much of the roughness of the seas in these quarters and was totally unprepared for the untroubled expanse of water that greeted them.
On the morning of June 12th the regiment woke to hear, dim and far away, the rumble of heavy guns. They were in Le Havre. The baggage was transferred from the hold of the ship to waiting trucks and put aboard freight cars and the men carrying all equipment, were hiked up hill for five weary miles to another rest camp, where the accommodations were hardly half as good as those found at Winnall Downs and Knotty Ash and those were bad enough. Here the men were assigned twelve to a tent about half the size of the regular pyramidal tents. There were no cots and no floors in the tents. The men lay on the ground and stacked their legs around the tent pole. The officers fared no better.
Now that the war is over and there is leisure for such pastime, it would be well for some one to make a search for the humorist who first named that variety of camp a "rest camp." No man ever left one in as good condition as he was when he entered it. This one at Le Havre was the worst any member of the One Hundred and Thirteenth had seen up to that time and no camp thereafter surpassed it in general cussedness.
Thanks to unusual good luck, the outfit got away from that rest camp on the following day, June 13th. They boarded a train at 6:00 p. m. for Camp de Coetquidan, near Guer, France. Twenty-four hours later they had landed at their destination and the regiment had entered upon the third stage of its history, its period of training in France.
The Twin Water Towers that decorated the hill-top and never furnished an adequate supply of water. Al the left an observation tower. The Regimental Guard-house, a stone structure built by Napoleon I, a few feet off to the right, was mercifully left out of the picture.
The Entrance of the Camp. Here a watchful M. P. outfit looked them over going and coming. This picture was taken before the era of American Occupation, as the ornaments in the foreground plainly show.
Snowing the street back of the men's quarters. These stone
barracks were built by Napoleon I. The first building was part of Headquarters Company's territory, with Battery A next and running on down to the building at the end of the street which housed the Supply Company.
The interesting part of this picture is the structure at the right with many glass windows, known as the "Officers' Club," where officers not fortunate enough to have company messes existed on French rations, vin rouge and blanc, et cetera.
CAMP DE COETQUIDAN, in the province of Morbihan, Brittany, was one of the best artillery training camps in France. According to the French who lived there, this camp was established by Napoleon I, who selected the location because of its great natural advantages. He built the old stone barracks that housed the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery. The camp is located on a hill overlooking a vast stretch of country to the west and south. Since the beginning of the war in 1914 the French had made large additions to the camp, and that part of it lying to the east and slightly below the crest of the ridge was composed of much more modern buildings than those found in the older section of the camp on the western edge of the camp, but the old buildings were comfortable, fairly easy to keep clean, and the men were well pleased with them.
Here the United States had been training artillery units for about one year up to the time of the arrival of the One Hundred and Thirteenth and the other units of the 55th Field Artillery Brigade. The school was turning out an average of one artillery brigade every thirty days and the average period of training was about sixty (60) days.
No time was lost in getting down to hard work. The camp authorities were on the job, the instructors were good men and willing workers, and within two days the regiment had settled down to a training schedule that called for sixteen hours of hard work every day in the week except Sunday. There were schools of every variety and the officers of the regiment were assigned to various special branches of work, according to the capabilities they had shown. The schools were all well equipped and fitted out for the work to be done. Instruments and other equipment that the men and officers of the regiment had read about and heard of vaguely in the States were there ready for their use and they entered upon this stage of training with vast enthusiasm. Only those who have tried to "make brick without straw" know just how discouraging a task it is. Learning to be an artilleryman with none of the tools of the trade to work with was just as trying an experience as anyone can imagine, and it was delightful to find here at hand in Camp de Coetquidan everything they needed.
There was some uncertainty about the guns of the regiment and for a few days it was feared that there would be delay in getting them. The camp ordnance officer, a North Carolinian, Major Gallimore, promised full
equipment within two weeks, but to the regiment's great delight they came in less than a week, twenty-four slim camouflaged French 75's, brand new, right out of the factory. The regiment had no horses and trucks were secured to haul them from the railroad station at Guer to camp, a distance of about three miles. The guns were quickly distributed among the batteries and the training of the gun squads began again with a rush. Every organization had its own full equipment. Nobody had to wait for anyone else to "get off the guns." There were guns for all.
After five weeks of classroom work, work began on the target range. The Coetquidan range is one of the best in the world. The high ridge extending to the south of the camp offers the finest opportunity of observing the effect of fire and the accuracy of aim. The broad terrain, marked by sunken roads, ruins of deserted villages and patches of woodland, affords a wide range of targets and the students have every opportunity of viewing with their own eyes the actual effect of the fire from their guns. This is of great importance in the training of artillerymen.
The work of both officers and men was surprisingly good and it was commended frequently by both the American and French instructors. Lieutenant Popelin remained with the brigade and there were many other French officers and non-commissioned officers among the instructors. Except as it afforded a foundation for the work at Camp de Coetquidan in giving the men self-confidence, all of the training in America had been of little good to the regiment. Everything they had learned about the handling of guns had to be "unlearned" and a system entirely different substituted for it. The French 75-millimetre gun is unlike any other gun on earth and just about as far removed from the American 3-inch gun as it is possible for a gun to be. They are not alike in any feature of operation, and the men had to begin again at the bottom and come up. How they managed to attain proficiency in the art of handling this new weapon in the course of a few short weeks will always remain a source of wonder, even to those officers who were closely associated with them and who watched their work day by day. Inside of a month these Tar Heel lads were showing speed in the operation of their guns that astonished the French, and before their period of training was over there was not a French gun squad in camp who could execute an order with the speed of these new men who six weeks before had never seen a 75.
Horses began to arrive by the last of June and by the middle of July the regiment had 1,105 horses. A horse-buying detail had been sent out into Normandy, in charge of Lieutenants Beaman, Duncan, Schmidt and Bolt, to work with a French commission, and horses began to arrive in great numbers. They were fine horses, but the service they gave was not satisfactory. There has been much criticism of the French for the class of horses they furnished the A. E. F., but much of it is unfounded. In France the horse is an honored and a pampered member of the family. He lives behind the same walls that shelter the family and if he ventures abroad when it rains his shoulders and neck are protected by a fur robe that completely
covers the collar and his back is sheltered by a waterproof blanket. Small wonder then that when he joins the American Army, stands out on a picket line with nothing but a leaky sky to cover him, and does the hard work that he is called upon to do, he contracts pneumonia and lies down to die. The regiment lost scores of horses at Camp de Coetquidan, and later it was to lose them by hundreds. Every effort was made to "season" these animals by degrees and thus fit them for the hard work they were forced to do, but in those days the call was for speed and more speed and there was not time for seasoning raw animals. They were treated as the men were accustomed to treat American horses and they could not stand up under it.
The regiment waited long and in vain for the arrival of its equipment, boxed with so much care at Camp Sevier and consigned to the transportation department at Hoboken. Some of the boxed equipment arrived but the majority of it did not arrive. A car-load of new American artillery harness came and the regiment received orders to turn it over to another outfit and draw all French harness. Its complete outfit of fine escort wagons reached St. Nazaire but never reached the regiment and instead it was furnished with the same number of "Fourgon" wagons, a typically French invention of small hauling capacity and easy to smash and hard to repair. The men hated those wagons at first sight and the hatred grew as the months passed. They were introduced to yet another contrivance of evil, the "chariot du parc," a heavy, cumbersome wagon of tremendous storage space but the hardest thing to move over bad roads that anyone every saw. This vehicle was popularly called a "slat wagon" and the organizations they were issued to, quietly ditched them or salvaged them along the line as opportunity was afforded. They were horse-killers. Most of the other French equipment drawn was satisfactory. Later the regiment was to encounter much of its old Camp Sevier equipment, still bearing the lettering of the regiment, in the Argonne and at other points along the front. Its equipment reached France all right but was reissued to other outfits. The ration carts and water carts were French and the rolling kitchens American.
The regiment was well fed at Camp de Coetquidan. The Camp Quartermaster at all times had a bountiful supply of good American frozen beef, good bread, plenty of jam, sugar, coffee, bacon, beans and other eatables. Furthermore, the regiment received its pay promptly on the first of every month and this was very pleasing to the men, who found plenty of places in and around the camp where francs could be spent freely. Like all French camps and villages, Coetquidan abounded in little wine shops and drinking establishments with restaurants as a sideline. The men fell for vin rouge, vin blanc, cognac and other concoctions, mixing them indiscriminately. This proved disastrous to their stomachs and to their records and the infirmary and guardhouse did a rushing business. By and by they came to realize that France was not threatened with an
alcoholic drought and that there would always be plenty of the stuff around and, to quote their own slang expression, the men "laid off of it."
Meanwhile, in the evening and on Sundays the men were learning much about the French. They found much in the little towns around camp to amuse them and much more to admire. They could never get enough of the delicious French dishes that were set before them at the little eating houses around camp and they wished that they might be able to carry back home with them the French secret of making an omelet and of making soups.
A thing that never failed to amuse them was the French custom of sheltering the horse, the cows, the pigs and the chickens under the same roof that covered the family. The manure and other accumulations of rubbish from the stalls was dumped in one big pile in front of the house and on the size of this pile one could readily gauge the standing in the community of the man who lived there. The cow stalls usually open off from the kitchen and are, therefore, readily accessible to the housewife in all sorts of weather. The American housewife would hardly tolerate this commingling of domestic and stable odors, but it must be admitted that the system has its good points. Any boy who has risen at early morn to break a trail to the barn and pig-pen through six inches of snow, will readily see its advantages.
The houses were all of stone in this part of France and they were invariably as clean as could be. The floors were scrubbed to a polish and there was never a trace of dust anywhere. Those who have not slept in a real French bed have something yet to live for, because they are the last word in solid comfort. Always you find on the middle of the bed, on top of the snowy white counterpane, a little feather mattress, about four feet square, very light and puffy and usually covered with red silk. The bed linen is always beautifully embroidered by hand. In fact, the French bed-room leaves nothing to be desired, except that the French seem to have a serious aversion to fresh air and ventilation is always poor.
Rennes was the closest big town and men and officers were permitted to visit Rennes on Saturday evenings and Sundays. It was about fifty kilometers away and it was reached by a narrow-gauge railway, the "Ille-et Vilaine Chemin de Fer." This little road was a curiosity to the men, who never tired of watching its tiny "coffee pot" engines and dinky little coaches. One of its trains looked for all the world like the familiar picture of "The First Railroad Train in the United States." The fare to Rennes was one franc, fifty centimes, or about twenty-seven cents.
Rennes is a beautiful old town of about 100,000 people. It is the chief city of Brittany, and was the old capital of Brittany before the provinces were united to form the kingdom of France. There were good hotels and restaurants, amusements of various kinds, one of the most wonderful city parks in the world, the "Jardin des Plantes," a museum worth crossing the ocean to explore and many other things distinctly worth while. The people of Rennes were kind and hospitable, and much
interested in American soldiers. Officers and men, the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery loved Rennes and never missed an opportunity of going there.
Just at the moment when the regiment had caught its stride and was going good, the brigade lost its commander, General George G. Gatley. He was transferred to the 42nd ("Rainbow") Division, and assigned to the command of the 67th Field Artillery Brigade. He had been with the 55th Field Artillery Brigade from its organization and he had ruled it with a rod of iron. He was sharp of tongue, impatient and quick of temper, bubbling over with nervous energy and at all times bordering on an explosion. Nervous young officers compelled to hang around in reach of the General had all of the sensations of a man walking over a volcano that had just erupted and was due to erupt some more at any moment.
General Gatley was an artilleryman of unusual ability, one of the best in the United States Army, and it was he who gave the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery and the 55th Brigade, of which it was part, the foundation upon which it built its fine record. There were times when General Gatley was not exactly popular in the regiment, for his method was to chasten without mercy and then chasten some more. He was chary of praise. Rarely did he drop a word of commendation. He permitted officers who were really doing fine work to believe that they were on the ragged edge of failure, ready to topple over. This kept those who had the backbone to stick, on their mettle all the time and made real officers out of them, but it did not engender love in their hearts for the brigade commander. The "Old Man" was the last man on earth to care for this, however, for his only concern was efficiency and his methods produced it.
Brigadier General J. A. Shipton, who succeeded General Gatley, was a coast artillery officer. His "big gun" training failed to meet the needs of light field artillery fighting and he was relieved of command when the brigade was in the Argonne, reduced to his former rank as a lieutenant-colonel of coast artillery, and assigned to duty elsewhere.
The regiment completed its course of training with the highest honors. Army inspectors who watched the men work pronounced it one of the best outfits in the A. E. F. The training period was wound up with a great brigade operation, in which the three regiments, ammunition train and other units, operated under conditions simulating actual warfare. There were regimental operations in which each regiment practiced work of trench and wire demolition, protective barrages and offensive barrages. It was a wonderful sight to stand on the crest of the ridge on the outskirts of the camp and watch the bursting of the shells. From headquarters directing the operations would come an order stating that a body of troops was moving along a certain sunken road and giving the coordinates of their position. A few quick commands to a battery commander out of sight beyond the hill and back would come the answer "Battery --
on the way." A few seconds later and four little white smoke balls would appear in the air, about thirty feet above the spot designated. They would be using shrapnel. Another time concentrated fire on an enemy gun position would be called for and in a few seconds high explosive shells would be crashing around it, all in plain sight of the observer on the hill. It was a wonderful show.
The day on which the brigade operation was carried out will never be forgotten. Up to that time it was the biggest artillery operation any member of the regiment had ever taken part in or had ever heard. Seventy-two guns were in action and the things they did to the terrain that day beggar description. It sounded like all of the Fourth of July celebrations the United States had ever had, rolled into one. Every specialist in the regiment was on the job. The machine gunners were in position in front of their batteries holding off imaginary Germans. The signal details were stringing wires and the wireless was chattering away, transmitting orders from the general to his regiments and orders from the colonel to his battalions, reports of observers, and reports from the firing batteries. Up overhead aeroplanes practiced observation work and reported on the accuracy of the firing. It was a big day for the regiment and for the brigade and the work throughout was very satisfactory. Everybody was pleased.
The brigade operation was carried on into the night. The signal details were sent out into "no man's land" with instructions to send up rockets and flares just as they were handled on the front and at some time during the night to call for a barrage that would put every gun into action. All kinds of rockets, red, green, yellow, each meaning something, and each calling for some sort of action on the part of the waiting artillerymen, were sent up at intervals. It was the brigade's first experience with night work and it was very interesting. Though they were destined to see much action on the most active sectors of the Western Front, the men of the regiment never saw a more spectacular "show" than the one pulled off on the range at Camp de Coetquidan that night when the brigade barrage was called for and every gun in the brigade responded. The guns were hidden behind the hills but over on the target range every shell-burst could be seen, while overhead the shells shrieked and whined.
This show completed the course of firing. The regiment was pronounced fit for any duty on any front and was so reported to General Headquarters of the American Expeditionary Forces. While waiting for orders the regiment made several practice marches, covering many kilometers around camp, bivouacing on the outskirts of the range at night. This practice in road work and making camp was very valuable, for there was much of it ahead of the regiment.
When moving orders finally came they were very disappointing. The 30th Division, the regiment knew, was even then under the shadow of Kemel Hill and the regiment's orders called for Toul, on the extreme eastern end of the French front. They had hoped to rejoin their own
division when the training period was over but that was not to be. They were destined to see service with six different divisions, in the First, the Second and the Third American armies, with the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth American Army Corps and with the Second and Seventeenth French Corps, but they never encountered their old division until just before they returned home. The 30th remained with the British. Failing to rejoin the 30th was a big disappointment to both officers and men, but it is just as well that it happened as it did, for this resulted in the grand old division being represented in every big offensive in which Americans played any large part, with the single exception of the Marne.
Changes in the officer personnel were frequent at Camp de Coetquidan. As officers showed special fitness for certain branches of work they were assigned to that sort of work and many changed organizations. First Lieutenant Gabe H. Croom, of the Sanitary Detachment was transferred to the Camp Hospital and his place was filled by Captain Adelbert F. Williams. Lieutenant Joseph Lonergon, of the Supply Company, was detailed as regimental munitions officer. Second Lieutenant Edwin B. Haynes, of Battery D, was transferred to Headquarters Company and later to the 105th Ammunition Train. First Lieutenant William P. Whittaker was transferred from Headquarters Company to regimental headquarters and made gas officer of the regiment. Sergeant William A. Crenshaw of Headquarters Company was promoted to second lieutenant and assigned to Battery B. Sergeant Leslie L. Taylor, also of Headquarters Company, was given like promotion and attached to Battery D. These two men were graduates of the Third Officers' Training Camp. Lieutenant Taylor was later transferred to the ordnance corps. Second Lieutenant Ernest M. Hedden reported from the Saumur Artillery School and was assigned to Battery B. Second Lieutenant Albert H. Stackpole, a graduate of the same school, joined the regiment and was assigned to Battery A.
In August the regiment suffered the loss of eleven of its officers in one detachment, who were returned to the United States to instruct other artillery units, and two others were assigned to the U. S. Artillery School at Bordeaux, France. Those returned to the United States were:
All of these officers received promotion to their next highest grade and the regiment saw them no more. Men and officers heard with deep
regret of the death in the United States of Lieutenant Harden, who fell a victim to "flu" soon after his arrival in the United States.
Two other officers, First Lieutenant LeRoy C. Hand, of Battery B, and First Lieutenant Enoch S. Simmons, of Battery C, were detailed as instructors at the Bordeaux school. They rejoined the regiment after the armistice. First Lieutenant William B. Duncan, of Battery D, and Second Lieutenant Richard S. Schmidt, of Battery F, were attached to the 158th Field Artillery Brigade and left at Coetquidan, later rejoining the regiment on the front. First Lieutenant W. O. Hughes, veterinary corps, was transferred to the 115th Field Artillery. When the regiment left for the front on August 23, 1918, its officer personnel, as assigned, was as follows.
The regiment began entraining for the front on the morning of August 23, 1918. It moved in three trains, the horses, guns and full equipment of each unit going on the same train as the men of the unit. The table of moving, showing the number of men, officers and animals was as follows:
|Unit||Officers||Men||Horses||Order in which movement will be made.|
|Supply Company||3||124||109||These to go first.|
|Regimental Hdqtrs||5||0||0||These to go first.|
|Hdqtrs. Company||8||167||107||These to go first.|
|1st Battalion Hdqtrs||2||0||0||These to go second.|
|Battery A||6||192||141||These to go second.|
|Battery B||7||192||146||These to go second.|
|Battery C||6||192||135||These to go second.|
|2d Battalion Hdqtrs||2||0||0||These to go third.|
|Battery D||7||191||138||These to go third.|
|Battery E||6||191||121||These to go third.|
|Battery F||5||190||129||These to go third.|
|Sanitary Detachment||3||23||18||1 officer, 5 men, Regimental Hdqtrs.; 1 officer, 9 men each, Battalion Hdqtrs.|
|Veterinary Detachment||1||6||7||With Regimental Hdqtrs.|
|Dental Detachment||2||2||0||With Regimental Hdqtrs.|
THE regiment arrived at Toul after a journey of two days and one night. While nothing of particular interest occurred on the way, the whole journey was interesting to the men of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery. France was a nation at war. Literally every form of activity throughout the nation was centered on war and all along the road there were great munitions factories, aerodromes, artillery parks covering acres of ground and thousands of other evidences of war activities. When the train had borne them away from Coetquidan and out of peaceful Brittany, there was no mistaking the fact that there was a war going on. Train after train bearing wounded Americans and French passed them and scores of hospitals, tent and frame, met their gaze. As they drew near the front the sound of heavy guns could be heard faintly above the noise of the train and very plainly at the stops. The One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was drawing near to war.
In their excitement and interest the men forgot the discomfort under which they traveled and were as jubilant a bunch as ever traveled toward the front. They made the journey in the familiar French box cars, every car bearing the inscription, "Hommes 40--Chevaux 8 (en long)," meaning that the capacity of the car was forty men, or eight horses, provided that the horses were placed side by side, facing the ends of the cars. The odor of the horse was there and there were other drawbacks, but there are worse ways of traveling, as the regiment can testify.
Colonel Cox commanded the brigade during the movement to the front. General Shipton had gone ahead through the country in his car and Lieutenant-Colonel Chambers was in command of the regiment.
The first train bearing regimental headquarters, Headquarters and Supply Companies, arrived at Toul early in the afternoon of August 25th. They were met by Captain Westfeldt, Lieutenant Whittaker and Lieutenant Lonergon, who had preceded the regiment from Coetquidan to act as a billeting detail. The detraining was completed in less than fifty minutes. At the moment of their arrival in Toul the regiment was welcomed with a very pretty exhibition of anti-aircraft battery work. There was a Boche plane high over Toul and several batteries situated on the hills around the town were "feeling for him." It was a beautiful afternoon and there were planes everywhere.
This picture was taken at a point near Flirey. The road sign intruding at the left directs the traveler to Essey, Fresnes en Woëvre and Beney, all of which were in German hands when Americans began to travel this road.
There was much uncertainty about a billeting area for the regiment. The billeting detail had a tale of woe to tell that would have melted a heart of stone. They had billeted three or four towns around Toul in succession, only to be told after the billeting was completed and after they had completely exhausted themselves mentally and physically trying out their almost-forgotten college French on the natives, that that village had been pre-empted by some other outfit. Lieutenant Lonergon had gone so far as to move a tremendous quantity of rations and horse feed to one of the villages in anticipation of the regiment's going there. Some other outfit eventually profited by his hard work, for the One Hundred and Thirteenth never saw it. Finally orders came for the outfit
to move to the outskirts of Toul, take shelter as best they could along the edge of the road, and wait for night. This they did.
Men and animals were very tired but several hours of rest and a big supper for the men and a heavy feed for the animals, put the outfit in fine condition for the long hike that was before them. When darkness fell they got under way toward the front, now less than twenty miles away.
The men of the regiment will never forget that long night march out from Toul to the "Foret de la Reine." When they had cleared the crest of the high hill that lies north of Toul, the country lay open for miles toward the north and east. As the battle lines then stood they could see along twenty miles of the fighting front and the things they saw that night will be fresh in their minds as long as they live. Above the rumble of their wagons and caissons and the rattle of the harness and equipment, they could hear the steady roar of the guns, very much like distant thunder. Now and then there was a louder noise, indicating that some battery not many miles away was firing, and a bright flash would light the sky, but in the main the firing was far off but very impressive, for all that. All along the line rockets were shooting heavenward and now and then a flare would go up, indicating that some nervous doughboy was growing apprehensive, fearing a raiding party in No Man's Land, or that some Boche was likewise perturbed. It was a beautiful sight and indescribably thrilling to these raw men who had spent a solid year dreaming about these things and longing with all of their souls to be in the great war and doing their part. Those rockets, those bright flares and the steady roar of the guns told them, too, that men were dying out there in front of them and there came the realization that probably death awaited them also out there. It was a solemn experience to all of them.
Here the regiment's fine training in road work proved its value. Road discipline was perfect. Orders were that no lights were to be permitted, not even a lighted cigarette, and the column moved forward in the darkness. Heavy trucks, passenger cars, wagon trains and all sorts of traffic swept by them going the other way. Ambulances plunged along without a light and with horns silent. At the front the sound of the automobile horn meant one thing and one thing only, "gas." Any sounding of a klaxon horn might result anywhere in a gas scare and much confusion, so the drivers carried small whistles to warn pedestrians and slower wheeled traffic. Later they were to experience a great deal of this, but it never impressed them as did this first night on the road from Toul to Sanzy.
The outfit arrived in the edge of the "Foret de la Reine" after midnight, having traveled about twelve miles. The moon was rising and its light helped the men to get settled. Picket lines were stretched between the trees and the men unrolled their packs, stretched their "pup tents" and were soon asleep. The following day was spent in putting the camp in order, arranging for the best possible cover for rolling kitchens, the animals and wagons, and alloting space to the various organizations. The
French Dug-outs near Flirey, on the St. Mihiel sector.remainder of the regiment arrived at Toul on the 26th of August and came out to camp on the night following. The regiment will always be thankful for that never-to-be-forgotten week of beautiful weather that followed. When rain finally came it stayed and existence became a nightmare, but the first week was delightful. The "Foret de la Reine" is a beautiful stretch of woodland, full of mighty oaks and beeches. It afforded the finest cover in the world for the regiment, so long as the rains came not.
The regiment was attached to the 89th National Army Division. This division was one of the best divisions in France. It was composed of western men and was trained under Major General Leonard Wood at Camp Funston, Kan. This division's artillery was not yet out of training camp. Division Headquarters and Brigade headquarters were at Loucey.
The regiment had heard much about the shortage of drinking water on the front and began to experience it there in the "Foret de la Reine." The drinking water had to be hauled from Sanzy and it was punk water at the best. Here they became acquainted with chlorinated water, a beverage that was to remain with them through the long, weary months they were to spend along the front and in the Army of Occupation. Death lurks in all water in France that is not treated with chemicals or boiled and the Regimental Surgeon and his assistants watched this closely. How the people of France live on the water they have will always remain a mystery to the American soldier. Their wells are shallow and they receive surface drainage every time it rains and that is rather often. Major Pridgen, the regimental surgeon, tells a story that illustrates well
Entrance to a hidden Concrete Machine Gun Nest on the St. Mihiel front.the conditions that prevail in certain parts of France. He said that in one town in which the regiment was billeted he had the many manure piles in the streets treated heavily with chloride of lime. This disinfectant, mingling with the floods that were at that time descending, reached the wells and introduced therein a taste not pleasing to the French palate and there came up to headquarters a formal note of protest from the mayor of the town, in which he stated that the drinking water of his people was being polluted most terribly by American chemicals.
Water for the animals was also very scarce and of very poor quality. This condition continued throughout the whole of the regiment's tour of duty along the front. The animals drank mainly from swamps and morasses and from shell holes. Water for the men had to be hauled for many miles. A thirsty man will drink anything wet and reckless drinking of water caused more than half of the regiment's sickness.
The regiment's stay in the "Foret de la Reine" was not altogether unpleasant, though the last week of it was horribly wet. The regiment moved over further into the woods after a week on the outskirts, in order to get better cover. The soil was of a loose variety and with fifteen hundred men and a thousand horses tramping over it in the rain, its condition became exceedingly trying to the flesh and to the spirit. With all of its discomforts the men were soon to look back upon their stay in the "Foret de la Reine" with longing and deep regret, for there on the very edge of the forest was Sanzy, where two Salvation Army lassies kept open house and baked the most delicious pies and doughnuts the men had tasted since leaving home. The "Y" had a well-stocked hut there, too, and the
Division Quartermaster had a regular honest-to-goodness bath-house where there was hot water in plenty and clean clothes and soap.
The batteries lost no time in getting into action. Beginning two days after their arrival in the "Foret de la Reine," two batteries were at all times occupying positions along the front and doing as much firing as they were allowed to do. To Battery F belongs the honor of firing the first gun at the foe for the One Hundred and Thirteenth and this battery and Battery E were the first batteries to occupy positions at the front. The St. Mihiel salient at this time was very quiet and it furnished almost perfect conditions for the seasoning of raw troops. There was just enough action to give the officers and men self-confidence. This part of the front had not changed materially in four years of war at the time the One Hundred and Thirteenth came upon the scene.
In 1914 the victorious German hordes smashed their way south until stopped at Verdun and the line east of Verdun bulged southward until it had encompassed the quaint old town of St. Mihiel and rested there on the banks of the Meuse. The French had tried in vain to push the Germans back and straighten out the salient. In one tremendous effort they took Mont Sec, the great stronghold that completely dominated the whole sector, only to lose it in less than an hour, leaving 20,000 dead on the field of battle. After this the French made but little effort to gain on this part of the front and it came to be known as a "quiet sector," a place for seasoning raw troops and patching up shattered divisions and there seemed to exist a sort of agreement between the belligerents not to stir up strife.
At the time the One Hundred and Thirteenth arrived things were beginning to liven up a trifle in this peaceful sector. The French were beginning to complain with some bitterness that the Americans were stirring up trouble and with some cause. The front line trenches had been taken over by American doughboys, full of pep and eager to start something. Back of them were American artillerymen, fresh from long training on target ranges, spoiling for action. Consequently, when the doughboy called for artillery assistance, his American brethren in the rear could not be restrained. All of the cherished traditions of the St. Mihiel sector were smashed time and again, to the great dismay of the French, who feared German retaliation and the destruction of Toul and Nancy.
For nineteen days the regimental echelon was in the "Foret de la Reine." The firing batteries occupied positions along the front near Beaumont, Ansauville, Hamonville, Flirey and Limey. All of these were old French positions, the location of every one of which was known to opposing German batteries, and it was necessary to use the utmost caution in going to and from the positions and in the matter of making trails or other signs about the positions that might be visible to the all-seeing eye of the aerial observer and his camera. The Boche airman was very active along the St. Mihiel salient at that time. It was in easy reach
of the big flying fields of the Germans at Conflans and Metz and for the first two weeks of the regiment's stay in the woods, the Boche came very near having things his way in the air. The men never tired of looking at the air fighting and watching the work of the "archies" as the anti-aircraft guns were called. They witnessed many a stirring fight high over their leafy shelter, saw many observation balloons shot down and sought cover from hostile airmen many times. Orders were to get off the roads, take all possible cover and remain as still as possible when any sort of aeroplane came within hearing and buglers were put on watch to sound a warning call.
The regiment had been well trained in the matter of gas defence before leaving Camp de Coetquidan. There the men had practiced wearing their masks at work for an hour and two hours every day for several weeks and they knew all of the fine points about the handling of their masks and the masks of their horses. In the "Foret de la Reine" there was opportunity of putting their knowledge to the test under conditions that were very realistic. The "Foret de la Reine" was too far from the front for there to be any very serious danger of a gas attack, but the majority of the men did not know this. Masks were worn at all hours under all sorts of conditions and men slept with them under their heads. With the men keyed up to the highest pitch all the time, gas alarms naturally had to happen. If a truck driver or an ambulance driver forgot and sounded his klaxon horn on the road, or if a motor backfired, the chances were that a gas alarm would start, provided that it happened at night. Real gas alarms, sounded in the front line trenches, were taken up by klaxon, pistol fire and other means and spread rapidly over the back areas sometimes to a depth of ten miles or more, in incredibly short time. The country for many miles back of the lines was packed with troops, camp infringing on camp and their lines often overlapping. Gas guards, always alert and anxious to protect their sleeping comrades, were afraid to take chances and spread the news energetically, preferring to arouse their camps with a false alarm rather than to run the risk of permitting a gas attack to creep up on them.
It was in the "Foret de la Reine" that the men of the regiment first heard the sound of enemy shells. The firing batteries had had their baptism of fire and knew what it was like but the remainder of the regiment, comprising fully half of it, had not had the experience. Late one afternoon, just before sundown, German shells began to shriek overhead. Not far from the regimental echelon, near the village of Roymaieux, there was a great American ammunition dump and it was this dump that the Germans had spotted and were trying for. For this special occasion they had run a big gun out in position some twelve or fifteen miles away and every shell fired dropped near the dump. Shells fell with clock-like regularity, always with the same interval, for twenty minutes. At the end of that time the great dump was in flames. Two million dollars worth of American ammunition was destroyed that evening. The
This point was headquarters of the 89th Division during the St. Mihiel offensive for a time and it also served as headquarters of the 55th F. A. Brigade during the same engagement. It was near Flirey.firing came from an uncharted position, a position where there had been no enemy battery before and from which there was no future activity, and it was believed that the Germans ran a single gun out for the project and removed it on the night following.
On September 10, 1918, the regiment "graduated." It was pronounced a finished, efficient, dependable fighting unit and it was moved forward to "offensive" positions which had been reconnoitered with great care, in preparation for the real fighting that was just ahead of them. The work of the men in defensive positions had been all that could have been desired and both officers and men awaited the developments of the future without fear or misgiving. They knew that the regiment was just as good as they had hoped for and prayed for and that it would make good upon any mission entrusted to it.
For many nights prior to the regiment's moving forward to these advanced positions there had been evidence that something big was going to happen. Nobody knew exactly what it was. Some said that it was a big drive on Metz. Certain it was that something was going to happen, for the forests for miles and miles back from the front were jammed full of Americans of every branch of the service. Men plunging along through the dark with a supply train or a caisson train bound for the front, encountered every variety of traffic known to the western battlefront. On September 8th, 9th and 10th the roads were full of tanks. Always
there was artillery and more artillery. The man who was not privileged to see and to take part in the tremendous work of preparation for the first "All-American Offensive," can never realize how thrilling it was. There was something electric in the air. Every man and officer felt it. There was something in describably thrilling in the endless streams of traffic that toiled along through the darkness, starting at nightfall and covering every foot of the roads for twenty miles back of the front until daylight and then mysteriously disappearing. Caissons loaded with shells; 75's and 155's rumbling along; wagons loaded with rations and horse feed; ambulances creeping along; dispatch riders on motorcycles; truck trains loaded with soldiers; big tanks and little tanks; the creak of leather and the rattle of chains; monster G. P. F. 6-inch rifles, tractor drawn, dimly seen in the night; long, long lines of doughboys slogging along in the mud; machine gun outfits with their mule-drawn carts; the odor of tired, sweating horses; darkness, deep and dense, with never the flare of a match or the glow of a cigarette. The American army, young, zestful, full of faith in itself and with enthusiasm unbounded, was gathering itself for its first leap at the throat of the Hun, was preparing for the furious onslaught that knew no lessening of fury until the German hosts had been hurled back across the Meuse and that part of the famous "Hindenburg Line" known as the Kriemhilde-Stellung, so long impregnable, was only a memory.
On the night of September 10th, Colonel Cox moved his headquarters, or "P. C.," as the station of the C. O. is always called in soldier language, to the little battle-scarred village of Noviant. The regimental echelon remained in the "Foret de la Reine," with Lieutenant-Colonel Chambers in command. Major Stem established his P. C. just north of the Bois de Voisange, which appears on the map on page 58, and his batteries A, B and C, were nearby. The Second Battalion, under Major Bulwinkle, was southwest of the same piece of woodland. These batteries occupied old French positions. Lieutenant Lonergon, regimental munitions officer, hauled with his caisson train 24,000 rounds of ammunition, delivering it at dead of night at these battery positions.
On the morning of September 11th, Colonel Cox, Lieutenant-Colonel Chambers, the battalion commanders, Majors Bulwinkle and Stem, and the operations officer, Captain Westfeldt, were called to Brigade Headquarters at Loucey for the last conference preparatory to the launching of the big All-American drive on the St. Mihiel salient. They learned that the American General Staff had decreed the smashing of the German lines on both sides of St. Mihiel, the taking of that most formidable of all German strongholds, Mont Sec, and the complete straightening out of the salient. Approximately ten days had been allotted for the undertaking, it was said, but there was nothing in the orders indicating that that much time must be consumed in completing it. "D" day, or the day of attack, and "H" hour were not given. The first plans called for only twenty minutes of artillery preparation in the way of wire-destruction
before starting the rolling barrage that was to precede the infantry. The One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was designated to support the 177th Infantry Brigade of the 89th Division.
While nothing definite was announced the general impression got abroad that "D" day was at least two days off, and quick action was not expected. Nevertheless, there was a conference of the battery commanders on the afternoon of the 11th in which the plans were carefully studied and every move for the drive carefully mapped out. Battery E was designated as "accompanying battery," meaning that it was their mission to advance with the doughboys, ready to smash machine gun nests or other German impediments at close range when encountered.
At 23:00 o'clock, as the French call it, or at 11:00 p. m. in American, word came to regimental headquarters that "D" day was September 12th and at 11:30 p. m. came news of an entire change of program. Instead of twenty minutes of fire preceding the rolling barrage, firing was to begin at one o'clock in the morning and there was to be fire for preparation, harassing fire, gas shelling and every other variety of trouble-making for the enemy. These new plans had to be assimilated hastily, data worked out, and everything made ready for the big show less than an hour and a half away. Some of the batteries received their new orders less than three quarters of an hour before the time set for the firing to begin, but they got ready. When the hour came the One Hundred and Thirteenth was "all set."
The night was pitch-black. Rain fell steadily. Rockets and flares continued to go up occasionally and there was an occasional rumble of firing far off but in the area out ahead of the One Hundred and Thirteenth everything was quiet.
While nobody was going over the top on that rainy morning at one o'clock, officers and men were keyed up to the highest nervous tension they had ever experienced. It seemed that the hour would never come. Watches had been carefully synchronized so that every gun, large and small, on that entire front would fire at the same instant. Out there in the rain the gun squads took their positions, the battery executive ran his pocket flash light furtively over stacked ammunition, noted that every man was in place, dipped under cover for a last look at his data and instructions, slipped back to speak a reassuring word to the eager artillerymen, broke away to listen to last minute admonitions from his battery commander at the other end of the telephone line. The minutes crept by on laggard feet. Would the hour never come? The battery executive with eyes glued on the luminous dial of his watch, counted the seconds. Finally it came.
"One o'clock," he called, "let her go!"
And there came an explosion that shook the very earth, rocked the giant oaks of the forests for miles around and lit up the heavens so brilliantly that one could have read a newspaper for miles back of the roaring, crashing front. More than two thousand American guns, ranging
One o'clock on the morning of September 12, 1918 on the St. Mihiel front. In the four hours following American guns fired more than one million rounds of ammunition.from the 75-milimetre gun on the fiery edge of battle to the giant naval guns on railway trucks, miles back of the lines, took part in this mighty bombardment, the greatest artillery concentration in the history of the world. During the action designated as the battle of St. Mihiel, these American guns fired a total of 1,000,000 rounds of ammunition in approximately four hours. The magnitude of this battle may be emphasized by comparison with the Battle of Gettysburg, in the war between the States, in which the Union forces fired 33,000 rounds of ammunition in three days of fighting.
Not all of the firing on this memorable morning was done by American guns. Many French batteries were in action, including many French heavies, which had been in position for many years, waiting patiently for this opportunity. A battery of French 10-inch guns in the "Foret de la Reine" had been there so long that vegetation had covered even the gun pits, so that the batteries were entirely invisible even to persons passing along the road ten feet away from them. These and hundreds of others joined in the chorus, the little artillerymen in horizon blue, who had not fired their big guns in many months, taking huge delight in the performance.
Once started, there was no let-up in the firing. Every gun was worked at top speed. The steady flare of the guns furnished enough light for the handling of ammunition and the eager artillerymen kept it pouring into their guns in a steady stream, hour after hour.
The infantry climbed out of the trenches promptly at five o'clock in the morning. They found the enemy wire in front of them ripped into
Before daybreak on the St. Mihiel front on the morning of September 12, 1918. All of the light for the making of this photograph came from the flashes of guns.shreds, their trenches caved in, their machine gun nests deserted or the gunners dead at their posts. The artillery had done a beautiful job of it.
And the artillery was still on the job. Ahead of them, "as per schedule" rolled a protective and offensive accompanying fire. They encountered "pill-boxes," as the concrete machine gun nests were called, that had been missed by the artillery and these they took with the bayonet, if it could be done without too great loss of life. If the "pill-box" could not be flanked, or cleaned out with grenades, the doughboys sought what shelter the terrain afforded and sent back for a 75. Here was where the artilleryman found a task to his liking and up across the fields and through the woods on a dead run would come a gun section, the men clinging for dear life to the bouncing carriages and lying low over the necks of their horses. In less time that it takes to tell it, the 75 would be in position and spouting death and destruction in the direction of the obstacle that had held up the advance and in a few minutes the doughboys would go on again.
It will be hard for those who did not see them in action that September morning, or encounter them later in the heat of the day, or mingle with them when the heat of battle had subsided but slightly, to
realize the exultation that swept through the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery. No obstacle could stop them. When deep trenches and wrecked roads and bridges confronted them in what had been No Man's Land and in the territory back of the old German lines, the horses were unhitched from the carriages and led, pulled and shoved across, while willing hands seized the guns and caissons and carried them over places that looked to be impassable. There was no time to wait for the engineers to build roads and time and again on that memorable day the regiment did the impossible, or what would have been the impossible under any other circumstances.
It was a day of fast action. Starting at 5:00 A. M., at noon on September 12th, half of the work that the American General Staff had allotted ten days for, had been accomplished. More than half of the distance between the bases of the salient had been covered and thousands of Germans had been made prisoners. The roads from the front back to the prison pen at Sanzy were full of them. The military police had all they could handle and more, and slightly wounded doughboys who were able to walk back to the rear, were given squads of captured Huns to take back with them.
Mont Sec, almost impregnable to frontal attack, had been virtually pinched off by noon of the first day and hardly a single American life had been sacrified in its taking. This stronghold was raked by artillery fire from base to summit, but the main strength of the American thrust
Fast action in the St. Mihiel drive, when there was no time to think of concealment.
BURIAL OF LIEUT. ALLAN W. DOUGLASS
Lieut. Allan W. Douglass, of Battery E, was killed near Limey on the morning of September 12, 1918. He was buried not far from where he fell. Colonel Cox and his orderly were the only members of the regiment present. The German prisoners in the picture dug the grave. A passing Y. M. C. A. man conducted the funeral service.was at the bases of the salient and less than twenty-four hours after the drive started, those two veteran divisions, the First and the Twenty-sixth, met at Vignuelles, the Twenty-sixth coming from the west and the First from the east. The St. Mihiel salient was no more.
It was about eleven o'clock on the morning of the first day of fighting that the regiment suffered its first casualties. Battery E had fired with the rest of the regiment for four hours and in carrying out its mission as accompanying battery, was following close behind the infantry. At a point north of Limey, in what had been No Man's Land, on the road to Thiacourt, Boche shells began to fall around the battery. The entire battery behaved admirably under fire. First Lieutenant Allan W. Douglass, in charge of two platoons, was one of the first hit, but he continued to direct his men. Another shell struck one of the teams killing four of the six horses and disabling the other two and then came the shell that killed Lieutenant Douglass and Private William B. Melton and wounded Sergeant Fred M. Patterson, Sergeant Walter R. Minish, Sergeant
Edward J. Poe and Private Rom D. Kirby. Private Kirby later died of his wounds. Sergeant Patterson lost a leg. Sergeant Poe's wound was not serious. Two other men of Battery E, Corporal George R. Bowman and Private Ervin S. Baker, were slightly wounded.
On the afternoon of the 12th, the remainder of the regiment went forward and continued to advance on the 13th, following close after the infantry and performing many important missions. The objective of the 89th Division was Thiacourt and Boullionville and by the afternoon of the 13th the division had overrun both and was occupying positions beyond, where it met with stiff resistance. The 14th found the regiment in position near Boullionville, the First Battalion east of Boullionville and the Second Battalion southwest of that town and near the Thiacourt-Xammes road. Here six more casualties occurred. Three men of Battery C, Private First Class Percy J. Parrish, Sergeant Luther Barbour and Corporal McForrest Cheek, and three men of Battery B, Privates James C. Lucas, Fred G. Hill and Charles A. Boyd, were wounded by shell fire.
The regimental train got under way on the afternoon of the 12th and established itself at Noviant on the night of the 12th. The rain had ceased and the sun came out driving the mists away. Aeroplanes in great numbers were overhead, patrolling every foot of the front for many miles. American and French flyers were assisted during this drive by several units of crack British airmen and these Britishers were wonderful fighters. They kept the air free of Boche aviators for the duration of the drive.
The most striking thing that met the eye on the way to the front that day was the hustle and bustle on the roads, the same roads that had been deserted by day and traffic-laden only at night. There was no longer any pretense at concealment. Wagon trains, caisson trains, truck trains, artillery--horse-drawn and motorized, tanks, balloon trucks, long lines of infantry, hundreds and hundreds of ambulances with their loads of wounded, jammed the roads for miles.
Boche prisoners were coming back in great companies, with happy, grinning doughboys and military police in charge of them. The Boche looked happy, too. They were glad that the war was over for them and they had already tasted American rations and American tobacco. Very few looked sullen and disgruntled. They were of all shades and sizes, old and young, whiskered and smooth-shaven--a motley crew. They had discarded their heavy helmets and only a few still carried their gas masks. Hairy little "poilus" in their faded blue uniforms, paused to watch these strange processions, to shout "Vive l'Amerique!" and to hurl witticisms and uncomplimentary epithets at the prisoners. They never tired of informing them that the road they were traveling then was, indeed, the road "nach Paris," alluding to the German slogan made famous in the first great drive of the war and in succeeding drives that had promised success. It was a great day for the French as well as for the Americans.
Here it was that the regiment first began to suffer because of its
A typical German cemetery. This one is near Boullionville in the St. Mihiel sector.lack of transportation. The French Fourgon wagon is a poor cargo carrier, lacking space, and as has been related the Chariot du Parc is in itself a load for four horses. Much of the regiment's equipment, all of it sorely needed in later operations, was left in the "Foret de la Reine," under guard. At Noviant there was necessity for cutting down further the load of equipment carried in the wagons and large quantities of equipment were stored under shelter for the salvage department to claim later. The regiment's horses were breaking down under the strain and it was with the utmost difficulty that enough were found to move the guns, caissons and wagons. None of the equipment stored at Noviant and in the "Foret de la Reine" was ever recovered by the regiment, for orders came directing speedy movement to other fields. The salvage corps moved in and took it over and the guard detail that had been left with it, after weary weeks of wandering, regained the regiment.
But there was nothing anybody could do about it. There were no more horses and it was up to the regiment to conserve those it had, strip down to the lightest possible marching order and keep going. On September 13th the regimental train again took the trail north, through Limey, to a position close to the firing batteries near Boullionville and Thiacourt. The 89th Division's ration dump had been moved to Flirey and half of the Supply Train was diverted to this place at Limey and after waiting a whole day for an issue of rations, got away at nightfall and struck Limey again in time to run into an entire division headed toward the front as rapidly as it could travel.
Those who have never sat by the roadside in the cold, damp drizzly atmosphere that envelops northern France in late summer and fall, waiting for an American division to pass, can never realize how big a thing a division is. Day was breaking as the train got under way on the morning of September 14th and it was late in the afternoon when it located the regimental echelon, snugly tucked away under the base of a hill and "sitting on the world" in so far as rations and horse-feed were concerned. They had found a happy valley where the Boche had long lived in perfect content, with immense gardens full of cabbage, tomatoes, beans, turnips, potatoes and other stuff and every outfit's mess was profiting by it. A great stack of the finest hay afforded a bountiful feed for the tired horses.
The firing batteries had been without what they called "regular food" for two days, having had to depend on their iron rations, but here in the valley they had made up for all their deprivations and it did not matter seriously to them whether the Supply Train ever caught up or not. They found some cows, hogs, rabbits and chickens that the Germans had left and they feasted.
Two of the cows joined the regiment, Major Stem and Major Bulwinkle each getting one, both big fine animals. Major Stem was destined to lose his in a gas attack on the night of September 14th as the regiment was being withdrawn from the St. Mihiel sector. In the excitement the man in charge of the cow sought vainly for a gas mask to protect her but there was none to be had. Major Bulwinkle's cow remained with the regiment through the remainder of the war, marching with the major's battalion detail and never far from the major. She furnished his table with milk with unfailing regularity through all of the hard months that followed and was finally sold to a citizen of Luxemburg province and her price furnished a banquet for the Second Battalion detail.
Here it was that the regiment got its first glimpse of German life at the front. There were fine concrete dug-outs for both officers and men. The officers' dug-outs were palatial, compared with those the French lived in on the other side of the old battle line. There was one with a fine piano, many with beautiful furniture, feather beds, bathrooms with hot and cold water, electric lights, a tiled dairy, rabbit warrens, poultry yards, bowling alleys, summer pavilions with rustic tables and seats. It was war de luxe.
On the hills around these positions the Germans had made preparation to do much fighting. There were countless numbers of machine gun positions. Every ridge had scores of them, and every clump of bushes hid a machine-gunner's lair. It was here that a German machine gun of the Maxim pattern was salvaged and packed in one of the wagons of the Supply Company. It was carried with the regiment through all of its wanderings and finally brought home and presented to the North Carolina State Hall of History, where it may now be seen.
On the battle-scarred hills above Limey and on to Boullionville and Thiacourt, the regiment saw war in its most revolting aspects. American
dead and German dead lay everywhere in the fields. The burying details were not able to keep the fields cleared. The roadsides were lined with dead horses, many killed by enemy shell-fire but the majority dead from overwork and exhaustion.
Late in the afternoon on September 14th, as German dug-outs and bomb-proof shelters were being made ready for a night of rest, moving orders came. It was fortunate for the regimental train that this order came, for it had not completely cleared its camp area when Boche shells began to fall on the hills about it. Members of the regiment who saw the area next day, reported that it was badly torn by shell-fire and that there would have been many casualties if the outfit had remained there.
The line of march was through Boullionville, Euvezin and Essey to Rambecourt and it was a night of much stress and strain. The roads were blocked by traffic of all kinds. It developed that many artillery brigades were on the move, going in the same general direction as the 55th, and every outfit had to make a regular schedule or there was the devil to pay at all road crossings. Things were badly messed up that night many times and no one envied the M. P.'s their job of unsnarling the mix-ups.
To add to the excitement and general interest of the movement, the Boche kept hammering away at the road all night long. Boche aeroplanes were overhead at almost every stage of the journey. Several times they swooped down and cut loose on the moving column with machine
A Regulation German "Pill-Box." This one was captured by the Americans at St. Mihiel before the Boche had been able to complete it and camouflage it.
Ruins of the old church at Flirey, on the St. Mihiel sector.guns. The regiment was caught in a traffic jam at Essey and while it stuck there, unable to move, the village was bombed by Boche aviators and Boche artillery dropped many shells into the village, both gas and high explosive. Many horses were hurt, several being killed, but not a man was injured. The regiment learned that night just how much nerve it takes to "sit steady" under such trying conditions as these were. It is the experience of all fighting men that as long as there is movement and plenty of it, they can stand almost anything, but that the most trying situation is to be caught as the regiment was caught, without shelter and absolutely unable to move, on a road on which the Boche had almost perfect range. Even this can be borne better than having a Boche aeroplane overhead maneuvering for position, its motor droning as all Boche aeroplane motors do, with its peculiar rising and falling note. The regiment had both that night.
The regiment was to have taken shelter in a piece of woods near Rambecourt for the 15th. The position had been selected on the map and no reconnaissance had been made. Two batteries marched into the woods and found it a quagmire. The remainder of the regiment was warned in time and went into the town of Rambecourt, where there was less shelter but more comfort. Food for the men was bountiful but there was great scarcity of horse feed. The brigade was no longer attached to the 89th Division and arrangements for keeping in touch with supply dumps were exceedingly poor.
The One Hundred and Thirteenth suffered less, perhaps, than any
other unit of the brigade for the reason that the regiment had managed to get away from the St. Mihiel sector with one of the big Packard trucks of the 89th Division. This truck had been assigned to the regiment for service in the St. Mihiel drive and it was away on a mission when moving orders came. It reported to the Regimental Supply Officer on arrival at Rambecourt, having picked up the regiment's trail during the night, and it remained with the regiment until it was almost worn out. The Supply Company provided three shifts of drivers and these men kept the truck operating full twenty-four hours every day. When finally an order came down by way of First Army Headquarters and reached the regiment, directing the immediate return of the truck to the 89th Division, the truck had practically "run its course," having served faithfully in the long hard hike from St. Mihiel to the Argonne and for nearly two weeks in the hardest fighting of the Meuse-Argonne offensive.
After a day of rest in Rambecourt the regiment got under way with orders to proceed to Mecrin. This proved to be another eventful night, though not as full of excitement as the night before. There was a full moon and those who have had experience along any part of the battle front know what that means. Moon-lit nights are delightful, under certain sets of circumstances but not along the front, for it was on such nights as the one here referred to that aviators took wing and traveled far and near, their planes carrying racks of bombs. On dark nights the aviator does not venture out on such missions. On this night Boche aviators started early. Within a mile of Rambecourt the regiment ran into an
Ruins of the "Gare" at Jaulny, a little town near Thiacourt, not far from the positions occupied by the First Battalion on September 15, 1918.
One of the Batteries of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery seeking a billet in a ruined French village on the long hard hike from the St. Mihiel Front to the Argonne.air-tight traffic jam. The macadam road gleamed like silver under the light of the moon and the regiment offered a fine target, strung out there along the road for three miles. Within ten minutes after the long column had stopped, the men heard the unmistakable hum of a Boche motor. To the men beneath, it seemed that that plane hovered over them for an hour and scores of them expressed a desire to have the Boche "drop his pills and get it over with." This he finally did, three striking the ground in a soft, slushy field one hundred and fifty yards to the right of the column, making a terrific noise but doing no damage. He flew on toward the head of the column, turned and came back, dropping two on the other side of the road. All this time American search-lights were looking for him and American and French planes were up hunting for him. Finally the lights found him and outlined him against the sky like a huge white moth. The black crosses were plainly visible on his wings. Then from all points of the compass, converging on the Boche, came the allied planes, their tracer bullets cleaving the air. The wily Boche side-slips, plunges, dips, does a back-flip and drops out of the light, making a clean get-away. It was quite a thrilling show.
The regiment pulled into Mecrin on the banks of the Meuse on the morning of September 16th. Here the outfit remained for thirty-six hours. There was good grazing for the horses in the meadows around the little village and while the buildings were badly shot up, there was shelter in plenty for the men, and the halt was very pleasant. Practically every man in the regiment enjoyed a swim in the river, the first real bath they
had had in ten days and the last they were to get for many days. The area they were approaching was not equipped with such comforts as bath-houses and there was great scarcity of water fit to bathe in.
On the night of September 17th the regiment crossed the Meuse at Mecrin and journeyed past Rupt-devant-St. Mihiel to the town of Nicy, an attractive little village that had not suffered noticeably in the war. On the following night the march was resumed by way of Pierfittes, Longchamps, Chaumont, and Selancourt, to Deuxnouds. Leaving Deuxnouds on the night of the 19th the regiment passed through Ippecourt, Jubecourt and Rarecourt to a camp in the Bois de Blaulieu, just south of Auzeville, where it remained until September 22d.
Fair weather had ceased on the night of the 17th and the sun was not seen again for weeks. It rained every day and every night. The bottom dropped out of the roads. Only a few of the macadam roads "stood up" under the traffic. Part of the regiment was quartered in cootie-infested shacks. The remainder pitched shelter tents in the wet woods and even at that, fared better than their brethren in the buildings. On the night of September 22d the regiment moved to the Bois de Brocourt just east of the village of the same name, and went into camp in wooden shacks. Here the regiment began to make preparations for the part it was to play in the greatest battle American soldiers ever took part in, the Battle of the Argonne.
It is as well to state right here that nobody in the regiment knew what was being pulled off. It was generally believed that the objective of the St. Mihiel drive was the fortified city of Metz and the hard fighting of September 12th and 13th pushed the American lines to a point where the American long range cannon could reach the fortifications of the town. When orders came without warning for the withdrawal of the regiment and immediate movement to another sector, there was great disappointment. Officers expressed the opinion freely that some one had blundered and that the brigade had incurred the displeasure of the General Staff. True, they could not put their fingers on any particular fall-down or misplay. The brigade had performed every mission entrusted to it, so far as their observation went, but, they argued, "there's bound to be something wrong somewhere, for here we go, away from the biggest scrap of the war, just as we were getting a good start."
Thus they mourned, not knowing as they knew later, that the St. Mihiel drive had accomplished its purpose, which was to uncover Metz. As originally planned, the American campaign of the year was to end at this point. It was designed to afford valuable training for several new divisions, with the tried and tested old divisions present to stiffen the army's backbone and give the blow proper force. With this over the plan was to dig in along the new lines, spend the winter in training and in the spring launch a great offensive that would clear the "Foret de Argonne" and cause the collapse of Metz.
It is known now that the Allied high command did not at first take
seriously the promise of General Pershing to smash the St. Mihiel salient. A noted British general is quoted as saying that the new American First Army would be massacred in its attempt to take the strong positions of St. Mihiel, which had remained unshaken for four long years. A well-known French observer, attached to 89th Division Headquarters for a time, was asked what he thought of the prospects of success for the American plan of driving the Germans out of the St. Mihiel salient in ten days. He is reported to have used that expressive, inimitable, typically French gesture, or combination of gestures, that involves simultaneous movement of ears, nose, eyes, shoulders and hands and said:
"In six months--perhaps."
And there was much stress on the perhaps. They all felt that way about it. Nobody was confident except the men and officers of the First American Army. It never entered their minds that failure was even remotely possible.
It is good to be able to record that the One Hundred and Thirteenth proved itself worthy of the best traditions of the Old North State. The Battle of St. Mihiel, as it is generally called, will always be one of the high lights in American history and in this battle the men of the regiment fought valiantly and effectively. When it was over and the regiment had moved on to other fields, there was nothing left to regret. The regiment had stood the test and was a dependable fighting machine.
The doughboys of the two fine regiments that the One Hundred and Thirteenth supported, the 353d and the 354th, never let slip an opportunity of praising the artillery that backed them up in the St. Mihiel drive. Advancing behind the "curtain of steel" that the regiment furnished them, they found the way well-cleared and the fields and woods pitted by shell-fire, the holes set in checkerboard fashion and so close together that it was easy to understand why every Boche who had a shell-proof dug-out, remained in it until invited outside by the victorious American infantrymen.
Major General W. M. Wright, commanding the 89th Division, showed his appreciation of the work of the brigade by addressing a letter to Brigadier General Shipton, in which he said:
"I have heard nothing but praise from the officers and men of the Division for the way the Artillery was handled and conducted itself and I want to thank you for your cheerful and willing compliance with all of my wishes."
The result of the drive must have been very gratifying to the Commander-in-Chief. Its complete and overwhelming success disclosed the fact that there was not back of the German front the force, the stamina and the morale with which the Germans had been credited. General Pershing had long contended that this was the case and he proved his faith by striking boldly, defences that had long been acknowledged impregnable.
The Commander-in-Chief was to be thrilled later by other triumphs of American arms in the course of the World War, but it is doubtful if any of them brought the joy and satisfaction that the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient brought to him. He put into words his appreciation of the work of his men in General Orders No. 238 issued December 26, 1918 and reading as follows:
France, Dec. 26, 1918.
It is with soldierly pride that I record in General Orders a tribute to the taking of the St. Mihiel salient by the First Army.
On September 12, 1918, you delivered the first concerted offensive operation of the American Expeditionary Forces upon difficult terrain against this redoubtable position, immovably held for four years, which crumpled before your ably executed advance. Within twenty-four hours of the commencement of the attack, the salient had ceased to exist and you were threatening Metz.
Your divisions, which had never been tried in the exacting conditions of major offensive operations, worthily emulated those of more arduous experience and earned their right to participate in the more difficult task to come. Your staff and auxiliary services, which labored so untiringly and so enthusiastically, deserve equal commendation, and we are indebted to the willing co-operation of the veteran French divisions and of auxiliary units which the Allied commands put at our disposal.
Not only did you straighten a dangerous salient, capture 16,000 prisoners and 443 guns, and liberate 240 square miles of French territory, but you demonstrated the fitness for battle of a unified American army.
We appreciate the loyal training and effort of the First Army. In the name of our country, I offer our hearty and unmeasured thanks to these splendid Americans of the 1st, 4th and 5th Corps and of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 26th, 42nd, 82nd, 89th and 90th Divisions, which were engaged, and of the 3rd, 35th, 78th, 80th and 91st Divisions, which were in reserve.
This order will be read to all organizations at the first assembly formation after its receipt.
JOHN J. PERSHING,
General, Commander in Chief.
ROBERT C. DAVIS,
While the regiment left the St. Mihiel sector, proud of the record it had made and seeking "other worlds to conquer," its personnel keyed up to the highest pitch, its efficiency had been seriously impaired by the losses it had sustained in the way of horses. The regiment had entered the St. Mihiel fight with 1,051 horses. Several hundreds of these had been received only a few weeks before the regiment entrained at Coetquidan for the front and there had been no time for seasoning and hardening them. The hard work of preparation for the St. Mihiel drive had worn the horses to the bone and sapped them of their vitality. The Regimental Munitions Officer delivered to battery positions for this action a total of 24,000 rounds of ammunition, a tremendous amount, when it is considered that the work had to be done in a steady downpour of rain and over muddy
trails that made it difficult to haul even an empty caisson. Then when the Germans broke and ran, the dogged chase across twelve kilometres of trackless country, accidents and shell-fire completed the work of destruction. They died by scores.
To make it worse, some misguided quartermaster cut down the feed allowance in both hay and oats almost a third. The men in charge of issuing the feed, taking their cue from this penurious and short-sighted quartermaster, short-changed the regiment and the remainder of the brigade as well, on every issue.
In the main, the regiment was treated well while it was with the 89th Division, but in this one matter of feed for the horses, the 89th's quartermasters won the undying hatred of 1,500 Tar Heel artillerymen, who watched their horses waste away and die in the harness at a time when horses were woefully scarce and great things were at stake.
The regiment, through its Colonel, went on record many times in protest against this policy, but to no avail. The Brigade Commander, the only person who might have brought about better conditions, did not seem to care.
Without horses to move the wagons the regiment was forced to leave at its echelon in the "Foret de la Reine" a great deal of valuable equipment. Without horses, the regiment was in serious danger of falling down on missions of the highest importance. Without horses, there was serious danger also of food shortage. It was not a very hopeful situation, to say the least, for there were no more horses to be had anywhere.
It was a common saying in the 55th Brigade that any one of the three regiments of the brigade could be tracked to its position by following the trail of dead horses it left behind.
IT is known now that the Battle of the Argonne, the greatest battle ever staged by American arms and in many respects the greatest that the world ever saw, was not scheduled to be fought in the months of September and October, 1918, but all of the well-laid plans of the Allied High Command went into the discard as the result of the showing which the First American Army made at St. Mihiel and were readjusted in record time so as to put over in the fall of 1918, the great drive that had been set for the spring of 1919. With the Germans staggering from the blow they had received, Marshal Foch saw his opportunity and he immediately took steps to hurl against the crumbling German lines all of the forces at his disposal, with these hard-hitting, never-quitting American fighting men to do the heavy work and bear the brunt of the fighting.
Be it remembered that this was the season of the year when, according to custom, fighting virtually ceased along the Western Front. The belligerents established their positions, enlarged their dug-outs and made themselves as comfortable as possible for the winter and laid plans for the next spring drives. Nobody thought of fighting in midwinter. It was altogether too messy and uncomfortable. However displeasing the new order of things may have been to the rest of the allies, it was distinctly pleasing to the American fighting man, who finds it extremely trying to play a waiting game. The American is a good trench fighter but he is an infinitely more efficient fighter when action is called for and the whole American army welcomed the opportunity afforded by the change of plans to bring the game to a crisis and risk everything on one gigantic movement. It had no stomach for a miserable winter spent in the mud and slush of the trenches but it thrilled at the idea of a war of real action.
Realizing that speed was all-essential, Marshal Foch set "D" day for September 25, 1918, and that was just thirteen days after "D" day of St. Mihiel. In thirteen days, the American army, scattered over a wide area, was to move all of its available forces and the tremendous amount of equipment required, arrange for ammunition and supply dumps big enough to take care of a million soldiers and 100,000 horses, and get fifteen combat divisions in shape for the task. The divisions that had fought at St. Mihiel, the best trained and best fitted for the task, could not be used to open the
Looking down on Recicourt from the hill at the south. A section of the town at the right. Structures along the white macadam road were used as regimental headquarters October 8-9, 1918. Battery B will long remember the shelling it underwent on the road leading up over the hill as it was going into position for the Battle of the Argonne.fight for the reason that they had suffered heavily at St. Mihiel and needed time to get in condition again.
It was necessary, therefore, to call new and inexperienced divisions from quiet sectors for the undertaking. At least two of the divisions that "jumped off" on the morning of September 26th had never been under fire before and only two of them could be classed as veterans, these being the 28th National Guard Division, of Pennsylvania, and the 77th National Army Division, of New York City.
As the One Hundred and Thirteenth made its way toward the Argonne those who feared that the regiment was on the way to some quiet sector had their fears allayed, for there was something electric in the air. Wherever the regiment went there was sound of movement by night and as had happened during the tense period that preceded the St. Mihiel drive, the feeling that something big was under way gripped everybody. Night after night the regiment encountered at road crossings the "markers" of other artillery brigades and all of these organizations, according to the information secured, were headed toward the Argonne.
How the American army carried out this movement in the limited time allotted for it is past explaining. The impossible was accomplished. Even those men who were on the ground and watching it happen were unable to tell how it was done. Orders said go and the American Army went. The achievement will always remain a mystery to the Germans, who had thought the force of the American blow spent at St. Mihiel and
On the march in the Argonne. German prisoners resting by the road-side.who looked for no further movement before the spring of 1919. The American army was in position before sunrise on the morning of September 25th and ready for action.
The attack was not launched on the morning of the 25th, however, but it was not delayed on account of American failure to come up to the scratch. The French Fourth army that was to have position on the American left was not ready for action and there was a delay of twenty-four hours.
The delay, however, did not come amiss. It served to give the raw divisions that were being hurled into bloody action a chance to calm down, regain their wind and renew their energies that had been jaded by long forced marches under the worst possible weather conditions.
The One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery and the other units of the 55th Brigade, were on the job three days before the opening of the great battle that was to smash the Hun's strongest defenses and put a speedy end to the war.
On September 23d the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery went into position on the northern edge of the Bois de Esnes, southeast of the village of Avocourt. Battery B was caught on the road by shell fire and had four casualties, Private John T. Jones and Privates First Class Caddest Winfield, John L. Meekins and Heber G. Boyd being wounded. Three horses were killed and several others injured. Batteries A, B, C and F took position east of the Esnes-Recicourt road and Batteries D and E west of the road. The regimental P. C. was between the battalions and on the west side of the road. Lieutenant Lonergon, regimental
munitions officer, and his caisson train took up their arduous labors and began to deliver ammunition at the selected battery positions.
Difficult as had been their work at St. Mihiel, they found it doubly difficult here at the opening of the Battle of the Argonne. Here there were only two roads that could be used and a half dozen divisions had to be supplied and fed over these two roads. It meant long and hard hours, full of heart-breaking delays on the roads, and further loss of horses. The horses had been poorly fed on the long hike to the Argonne and now when food was more plentiful and only time was needed to build them up again, the orders were to "spare neither man nor beast." As one staff officer put it when an officer of the regiment protested, "if you kill every one of them and by so doing advance our battlefront a kilometre or so, it's worth it."
Final plans for the opening of the great Battle of the Argonne were received at 10:00 o'clock on the evening of September 25th and the artillery preparations began the following morning, September 26th, at 2:00 o'clock. The regiment found itself attached to the 37th Division, Ohio National Guard, and supporting the 73d Infantry Brigade. The doughboys jumped off at 5:30 o'clock in the morning, from positions along the road running almost east and west through the ruins of Avocourt. These Ohioans showed the finest pluck and daring, attacking fearlessly and driving the Huns before them, tackling machine gun nests with the bayonet and fighting on, no matter how strong the resistance.
The progress of the first day was surprising. It became increasingly evident as the day wore on that the Germans had been caught napping and the doughboys pressed their advantage. Everywhere through the forest they found evidences of hasty retreat, machine guns left on their tripods, complete batteries of 77's and larger guns, anti-aircraft batteries, trucks and wagons still loaded with supplies.
On the afternoon of the 26th, in order to keep in touch with the fast-moving infantry and be in position to afford the maximum of protection for them, the First Battalion moved forward through Avocourt and into the Bois de Malancourt, where firing was continued steadily through the night of the 26th. On the 27th the First Battalion again moved forward to new positions that had been reconnoitered on the northern edge of the Bois de Montfaucon, in plain view of the ruined town of Montfaucon, and was joined here by the Second Battalion.
Here it was that enemy resistance stiffened. The Germans had hurried up new divisions from other parts of the front. Prisoners taken on the 28th and 29th identified six new German divisions that only a few days before had been reported on the British front. Around Montfaucon the tide of battle ebbed and flowed. There was desperate hand-to-hand fighting in the wrecked streets of the little village. Time and again the place was cleared of Germans, only to have them re-form and come back in overwhelming numbers. By the afternoon of the 27th the place was definitely and finally in the hands of the American army and the One Hundred and Thirteenth established an observation post on the crest of
Familiar type of German Concrete Machine Gun Nest in the Argonne Forestthe ridge at Montfaucon close to the house where the German Crown Prince had his famous periscope with which he watched his great armies dash themselves to pieces against the fortress of Verdun. This periscope ran from a concrete dugout, deep under the ground, up through a tall chimney and it commanded a wonderful view of the country. Here the Crown Prince could keep an eye on operations and run no risk to his precious person.
It was here that Chaplain Ben Lacy won fame as an artillery officer. Near the regiment's position on the edge of the Bois de Montfaucon there was a complete battery of German 77's, with large quantities of ammunition stacked at the guns, ready for action. Chaplain Lacy had taken the full artillery course of instruction with honors, and he knew how to run a battery. The situation was critical and every available gun ought to be working. Here was a battery of idle guns. He went to Colonel Cox with the proposition that he be allowed to select the necessary gunners from the various batteries of the regiment and put the ex-German battery into action. His request was granted. From a German dugout nearby he dug up a quantity of German range tables, maps, firing data and instructions, and as he reads German well, it did not take him long to learn how to handle his guns and to teach his men. In a very short while he had that battery facing toward the "Vaterland" and hurling German ammunition into the ranks of the slowly retreating Germans.
On September 30th, the 37th Division, battle-worn and tired, was withdrawn. The Division had suffered terrible losses in killed and wounded.
The Road to Avocourt that leads to Montfaucon.
It went into action in the Argonne without previous battle experience and despite the fact that its leadership left much to be desired, its record in the Argonne is one to be proud of. These sturdy Ohioans fought their way through the tangled wilds of the Bois de Malancourt and the Bois de Montfaucon where every point of vantage bristled with Maxims. There were machine gun nests everywhere and snipers' boxes tucked away in the tops of thousands of trees.
The 37th is officially credited with eleven days of service in active sectors and exactly half of this time was spent in the Argonne. Of the thirty kilometres it gained in action against the enemy, ten were gained in the Argonne, where the going was hardest. The One Hundred and Thirteenth will always be proud of having had the privilege of supporting the 37th at this time. The regiment will always be glad that its man power and horse power were adequate and that it was always able to respond to every demand made upon it. It was in serving the 37th that the horses of the One Hundred and Thirteenth fell by the wayside by ones and twos and threes, until only a few hundred remained, but there was never lack of ammunition, nor of mobility, while the regiment served the 37th. Except for a few hours, that seemed an eternity, when the batteries were struggling to get through the "bottle-neck" at Avocourt, the One Hundred and Thirteenth and the remainder of the 55th Field Artillery Brigade, were always ready to respond to every call for artillery assistance. The One Hundred and Thirteenth fired a total of 14,253 rounds in support of the 37th.
Much has been said about the "failure of the 37th Division to capture Montfaucon" and there has been some controversy about the question of who captured the town finally. Salvage and burial squads who followed in the wake of battle reported that they found dead of the 37th and 79th Divisions in the town. The point was an important one and it was hotly contested and the place was taken by the American forces not once but several times and its final capture appears to have come about through a "pinching off" process, a movement typically American, in which the 37th bore to the left and passed around north of Montfaucon, and the 79th connected up with the Ohioans after passing to the right.
The 37th Division lost heavily in the Argonne. During its experience in active sectors, lasting eleven days, the division left 977 dead on the field, and had 4,266 wounded, and most of these losses were incurred in the Argonne. When the first rush was over and the Germans had recovered in part from their first moment of surprise and panic, resistance stiffened and the fight they put up was nothing short of masterly. The Huns knew that American success at this point would mean disaster to them and they brought to bear against the 37th Division every available resource.
The 37th was relieved by the 32d National Guard Division from Michigan and Wisconsin. The new division came in with much enthusiasm and confidence, fresh from victories on other fronts. It was one of the
All that was left of a once important village after American artillery had finished with it. It was one of Germany's most formidable strongholds.
A stretch of No-Man's Land between Ivoiry and Montfaucon.veteran divisions of the A. E. F. and had served with great credit with the French. Talk went the rounds that "the 37th had done creditable work, considering that this was its first experience in hard fighting" but that it took veterans to handle a proposition of the general toughness and roughness of the Argonne. The 55th Field Artillery Brigade was not withdrawn with the 37th but passed to the incoming fighting unit. The One Hundred and Thirteenth was assigned to the 63d Infantry Brigade, 32d Division, which was composed of the 125th and 126th infantry regiments.
The 32d spent six days in the Argonne. The division did a great deal of hard fighting around Cierges and Gesnes, two little towns that the 37th had failed to take, and when the division was withdrawn both had been taken and the American lines had been advanced a few hundred yards beyond the point where the 37th had been relieved.
This does not mean that the 32d did no fighting. On the other hand, the fighting was constant, day and night. On a single day, October 4th, the One Hundred and Thirteenth was called upon to fire a total of 5,719 rounds and there was almost as much action every day of the six that the 32d spent there. The Hun was doing his utmost to stop the American advance at this pivotal point and it was this that made advancing slow and costlv.
Some idea of the action here may be gained from the daily intelligence reports issued by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul B. Clemens, G-2 of the 32d Division. One of these dated "October 3 to October 4, 1918, 12 h. to 12 h.," is fairly representative of them all. It was as follows:
Ruins of the Fine Old Cathedral at Montfaucon.
Visibility poor. In accordance with the plan of attack our troops moved forward at H hour behind a rolling barrage. Our lines were subjected to a heavy counter preparation fire of H. E. and gas, supported by heavy enemy machine gun fire. Enemy aviation much more active and aggressive than our own.
Our front line extends from F4010 to F4612, along rivulet GESNES to F5315 to F6820 to F6820. The enemy front line cannot be defined, but he still occupies the BOIS de LA MORINE and the village of GESNES.
Prisoners were taken from the 169th Regiment, 52d Division, at 8:00 o'clock, 500 meters southwest of GESNES. These prisoners belong to the support battalion of their regiment and went into position last evening. This places one battalion of the 169th Regiment in the sector formerly occupied by the 3d Grenadier Guard Regiment.
Activity confined almost entirely to machine gun action, supported by groups of snipers.
A terrific bombardment with H. E.'s and gas began at 3:00 o'clock this morning and continued for half an hour. Several bursts of 150's were directed on main roads. The efficiency of the enemy's artillery fire was aided by the regulage of his planes.
Usual circulation of individuals and small groups behind the enemy's lines.
Nothing noted further than the strengthening of his positions.
During the entire period of 24 hours the enemy had superiority of the air. Five enemy planes were brought down, one by anti-aircraft fire south of NANTILLOIS, one by machine gun fire one kilometer west of MONTFAUCON and one by machine gun fire one kilometer south of MONTFAUCON, the location of the other two indefinite. In addition to observation and registration of artillery fire the enemy used his aeroplanes to combat our planes and fire upon our front line troops.
At 5:25 o'clock our troops attacked the enemy lines and succeeded in advancing about a kilometer.
At the close of the period 36 prisoners had been reported by organizations of the Division. No report on captured material.
On October 2d, Brigadier General Shipton, commanding the 55th Field Artillery Brigade, was relieved of command and Brigadier General A. S. Fleming of the 158th Field Artillery Brigade, succeeded him. He was in command of the brigade for only five days but in that time he made a fine impression on everybody.
The 32d was taken out of the lines on October 6th and the 42d (Rainbow)
National Guard Division succeeded it. Again the 55th Field Artillery Brigade remained in position. It was intended that the brigade should support the 42d and perhaps other divisions both to the right and to the left of the sector which the 32d was giving up, but a survey of its horse equipment convinced those in command that the brigade should be relieved. On October 7th came orders for the movement of the brigade to the Woëvre sector to take over the missions of the 51st Field Artillery Brigade, 26th National Guard Division.
On the eve of departure for the Woëvre, General Fleming was relieved of command and his place was taken by Colonel J. W. Kilbreth, Jr., who was soon thereafter promoted to the rank of brigadier general.
Two weeks of desperate fighting, day and night, following close on a long, forced march and the exhausting experiences of the St. Mihiel drive, had worn the One Hundred and Thirteenth down considerably but it had not dulled its fighting spirit. The regiment was quite ready to remain in the Argonne another two weeks, or four, so far as the men and officers were concerned, but the regiment's horses were gone. Out of the original 1050 that went in at St. Mihiel, the morning report of October 7th showed 247 classed as "serviceable." The other two regiments of the brigade were in equally bad condition. The brigade was no longer mobile, and this Battle of the Argonne being a battle of action, it was necessary that the artillery units engaged be able to move speedily. No other animals were available to take the places of the dead and disabled. The guns and other equipment were carried to the new sector in trucks.
Considering the dangers the regiment had faced in the Argonne it got away with very few losses. On September 25th, Private James W. Pittman, of Headquarters Company, was killed by a shell fragment. On October 3d Battery E lost four men by shell-fire, Privates Robert L. Alston and George G. Barnes, and Privates First Class Robey F. Campbell and John W. Melton. On October 5th Private George H. Frady, of Battery B, was killed. Those seriously wounded in the Argonne were:
Second Lieutenant Frank C. P. Drummond, of Battery D, who was wounded October 6th; Private First Class Ira J. Culpeper, of Battery A; Private Glenn Cawgill and Private First Class Raymond A. Case, of Battery B; Corporal Daniel C. Boney, of Headquarters Company; Private Almond C. Weeks, of the Sanitary Detachment.
Nine men were gassed and twenty-one others received slight wounds.
It is impossible to chronicle here the many deeds of bravery that stand to the credit of men and officers of the One Hundred and Thirteenth on the books of the God of Battles. There was no thought of glory, no attempt at the spectacular, no playing to the grandstand. From highest to lowest, every man saw his duty clearly and did it. The hardships and dangers they were called upon to face in the bloody jungles around Montfaucon and out along the shell-swept Montfaucon-Ivoiry highway, brought out the best that was in them and submerged every mean and selfish impulse.
STRUGGLING ON THROUGH THE ARGONNE
Every man who served in the regiment will have many pictures like this in his mind--trucks, caissons, fourgons and "slat wagons" struggling along through the mud and long, straggling lines of engineer and pioneer infantry lads carrying German shell baskets full of rocks and dumping them into the mud-holes.
There were situations that called for the utmost fortitude, not only on the front but back along the crowded lines of communication where men of the transport sections stuck doggedly to the task of getting up food and ammunition. No man can appreciate the work of the men who provide the food for the men and for the guns unless he has seen with his own eyes such scenes as were every day and every night occurrences in the Argonne--grim, mud-encased American boys, knee-deep in slush and slime, tugging at the wheels of caissons or wagons sunk deep in the mud, often under shell-fire and always a favorite target for the machine guns of Boche airmen.
Chaplain Lacy, in one of his sermons preached at the front, paid just tribute to these men who labored back of the firing batteries, who never knew the thrill of actual combat, who never pointed a gun or pulled a lanyard, but without whose constant effort there would have been no victory. He had had experience both with Supply trains on the open roads--roads on which the Boche artillery always had almost perfect adjustment, and with the firing batteries in position and at forward observation posts. He
gave it as his experience that it took courage of as high order to stand the strain of bringing up supplies and munitions as it did to stand firm at battery positions under enemy fire. He said that he had found it "easier to be at a place than to go to it," for there was usually protection of some kind around battery positions but there could be no protection on the roads.
Two occasions stand out clearly above the rest and both illustrate the stick-to-it, do-or-die tenacity that characterized the work of the regiment from its inception to its demobilization.
The first of these was when reports came down from the corps intelligence section that a big German counter-attack was coming. The regiment was in support of the 37th Division and less than 2,000 yards from the front line. It was the regiment's fourth night in the Argonne. If the counter-attack materialized as reports had it, there was no hope for successful resistance at that point. The infantry would be pushed back for a distance of several kilometres and the artillery would be left high and dry, with no protection. The infantry could not hope to find cover behind which to re-form closer than the trench system north of Avocourt.
Facing this situation, it was proposed from Brigade Headquarters that if the attack came and the infantry fell back, that the One Hundred and Thirteenth should retire, leaving their guns in position. When this was suggested Colonel Cox, he flatly refused to do it or even to consider it. Giving up his guns without a struggle seemed to him a shameful thing to do. The French artillery officers attached to the brigade and division headquarters urged that abandoning the guns would be the only wise thing
to do, explaining that this was a thing that happened often in the stress of battle, and they told how in their experience they had often abandoned their guns, only to retake them. Often guns had changed hands in this manner many times in a single battle.
With his own mind fully made up about it, but anxious to get the views of his field officers and organization commanders, Colonel Cox hurriedly called a conference and put the matter before them without suggestion on his part. He was not surprised to find every officer in the regiment opposing the abandonment of the guns and plans were laid for secondary lines of defense that would have proved extremely difficult for the Boche had he attempted the attack. Every battery's two Hotchkiss machine guns were mounted so as to cover the area over which the enemy was expected to advance with two lines of fire. The gun crews, carefully picked, were to operate the 75's to the last possible moment, using direct fire if possible, and when it was no longer possible to withstand the onslaught, to try to get away with the guns. Under such cover as was available, stood the cannon limbers, with the horses hitched to them, and there they remained the whole night through, drivers at their sides, ready for instant action. If the gray-green hosts of the Kaiser had broken through the front lines on that memorable morning, the reception they would have received at the hands of these Tar Heel artillerymen would have been a warm one. If the guns had to go, the regiment determined that there would be considerable fighting first.
Perhaps the French officers were right. Perhaps the decision of these North Carolina artillerymen was foolish, a bit of obstinate short-sightedness, a quixotic notion. The French certainly thought so, as their looks and gestures plainly showed, but it was an exhibition of spirit that made North Carolina "first at Bethel, farthest at Gettysburg and last at Appomattox." North Carolina will not think any the less of them for it.
The other occasion came a day or two later, when Major Stem with his First Battalion had moved into new positions on the Montfaucon-Ivoiry road, just back of the infantry. This battalion remained in position here for four long days of the bitterest fighting. The Second Battalion, still in position in the northern edge of the Bois de Montfaucon, knowing what their brethren of the First were facing up at the front, were eager to join them, but for some reason to this day unknown, the Brigade Commander refused to allow the Second Battalion to advance.
There were times when it seemed impossible for this position to be maintained. At one time a runner came back to the regimental P. C. with the information that there were less than 100 rounds of ammunition on hand for the entire battalion. At this critical juncture Lieutenant Lonergon, the munitions officer, had the good fortune to encounter on the crowded road south of Montfaucon, eight truck-loads of shells, all intended for another regiment, and by means little short of grand larceny he diverted them to the First Battalion.
It would not be amiss to state in passing, for another opportunity
Forward Observation Post used by the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery on the top of the ridge at Montfaucon.
may not present itself, that no regiment ever had a better munitions officer than Lonergon. His work at this time kept the First Battalion in action when the hard-pressed infantry needed help most. How Lonergon got through the traffic jams with his ammunition trains, will always remain a mystery. He possessed in an unusual measure the happy Irish faculty of making friends. He could cajole the arm-band and pistol off of the most hard-boiled M. P. in the American army and he always got there.
On this occasion there is no disputing the fact that things looked black. It did not seem possible for the hard-pressed infantry in the fox-holes and shell craters northwest of Montfaucon to hold on. If the Germans had known how woefully weak was the line at that point, disaster might have resulted, but the Germans did not know. Everybody back of that thin fighting line knew. The commanding general of the 55th Brigade knew and that is perhaps the reason why he refused to send the Second Battalion of the One Hundred and Thirteenth forward to aid the First.
When Major Stem and his First Battalion moved up on this occasion to support the 146th Infantry, Colonel Pickering commanding the 146th, told him that the situation was indeed critical and that unless something was done immediately to afford his regiment some measure of protection, he would be forced to withdraw. Major Stem offered all he had, a fighting battalion of proved efficiency, and it proved sufficient. It is often that the destinies of nations hang on matters of comparatively small moment and that the outcome of great battles is materially affected by the work of a small organization. It was so in this case. For four days this one battalion of artillery was the sole support of this regiment of infantry and it was this battalion's work that steadied the wavering line and saved the day.
So serious was the situation and so important the holding of the positions the division had gained here, that Major General Farnsworth, the division commander, visited in person and conferred with Major Stem. Plans were laid for drawing the 75's to the crest of the ridge in front of the battalion and using direct fire if occasion demanded. The men made ready for a desperate hand-to-hand mix-up with the Hun. Pistol and machine-gun ammunition was brought up in large quantities and the men salvaged army rifles all over the battlefields where they had been dropped from hands that could no longer hold them. The Boche would have found this outfit extremely hard to take if he had managed to shove the infantry back far enough to run up against it.
What would have been the result if the American drive had been halted and thrust back at its center, is past conjecture. No one knows. The One Hundred and Thirteenth will always be proud of the fact that it was its good fortune to be there and serve effectively when service counted for most.
It was while holding these advanced positions near Ivoiry and Gesnes that most of the regiment's casualties occurred and they were very few
Looking toward Cierges across the shell-pitted fields where many hundreds of American soldiers died.considering the conditions under which the regiment fought. Major Stem, in writing about it, said:
"I have never understood how we stayed in one place for eight days and nights, continually under shell fire, with so few casualties."
It was here that Captain Boyce, of Headquarters Company, won a citation for bravery while serving as liaison officer with the 146th Infantry and Chaplain Lacy was cited for bravery in attending to wounded under fire. Private Walter N. Perry, of the Sanitary Detachment won a citation for bravely caring for the wounded of the battery to which he was attached and one of the infantry regiments the battery was supporting. These citations, and others, appear elsewhere in this book.
When the regiment was finally relieved and withdrawn from the Argonne, it had fired a total of 23,557 rounds in the support of the 37th and 32d Divisions. Its connection with the 42d Division was mostly "on paper," as there was a lull in the fighting at this stage and the 42d's own artillery came in on the heels of the remainder of the division.
The regiment advanced a total of ten kilometres in the Argonne and changed positions three times.
Occasionally orators speak of days and periods of stress and storm that "try men's souls." To those men who fought in the Argonne that expression will always bring back their experiences in the long, hard drive that began September 26th and lasted until the last Boche had been driven out of the "Foret de Argonne."
This historic forest has been the clashing ground for warriors through
all the ages, and here some of the mightiest conflicts of ancient, mediæval and modern history have been fought. Here the German Crown Prince lost more than 1,000,000 men and here the flower of France fell in the first two years of the war.
There was hardly a square yard of earth that had not been plowed up by bursting shells, not once, but many times. The fields above Avocourt, at the edge of the Bois de Avocourt, had been turned over and over by high explosives so many times that the very earth had been turned a yellowish green color. Pitiful stumps of giant oaks and beeches bore marks of shell, rifle and machine-gun fire.
The Argonne is a great cemetery from one end to the other. Everywhere there were to be seen little white crosses marking French and German graves, and, after the drive was under way, an increasing number of newer crosses, marking the last resting-places of many brave Americans.
General Pershing said in his official report of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, under date of November 20, 1918, that the object of the offensive was to "draw the best German divisions to our front and consume them." This is exactly what happened. Every American division that could be brought into action was brought into action and the Germans were forced to pit against them every available division they had. When the finish came, the American divisions had consumed the German divisions.
Early in September it was reported that Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, was occupying the area in front of the British with seventy-six divisions at his command. Before the first of October the number had dwindled to thirty. They had been withdrawn to meet the American menace in the eastern end of the battle-line. Carrying out his plan to smash the staggering foe at every possible place, Marshal Foch put the British wing of his army into motion and for the first time in many months the British army found itself able to make headway against the Hun.
In this action, which started on September 29th, three days after the Battle of the Argonne began, the 30th Division, of which the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was a part, won eternal fame. At Bellicourt, France, the Division broke the Hindenburg Line at its most strongly fortified point and in following up its victory set a pace that kept the British army on the run. When they were plugging along in the Argonne, fighting grimly and doggedly, the men of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery were aiding their brethren of the 30th Division in their brilliant advance against the Boche, just as truly as if they had been at their backs with their death-dealing 75's, for the advance on the British front would never have been made, had not the First American Army dealt its terrific blow at St. Mihiel and in the Argonne.
The importance of the Battle of the Argonne is hard to estimate. It was such a tremendous undertaking, conceived and carried out in such a big way, that the mind of the average observer cannot compass it. When the world has gotten a little farther way from it and there is opportunity of gathering up and putting in place the thousands of details that went
to make up this mighty achievement of American arms and American manhood, perhaps some great historian may rise who will be able to do the thing justice. Certain it is that no one can do it now.
The American objective was the Sedan-Mezieres railway, the German main line of supply for the entire western front. With this railroad in the hands of the Americans, the Germans would be forced to retire immediately from all northern France and Belgium. Moreover, they would have to give up the great Briey iron fields, where much of their iron came from. Realizing this, the Germans fought desperately and when, after forty-seven days of continuous battle, the American army reached Sedan, they quit, knowing that further resistance was useless.
There is no disputing the fact that the Battle of the Argonne was the greatest battle ever fought by American troops and there are many military experts who declare that there have been few, if any, greater battles in the history of the world.
Colonel Leonard P. Ayres, chief of the statistics branch of the General Staff, United States Army, in a recent report presents the following statistics of the engagement:
General Pershing's estimate of the difficulties encountered by his men and his appreciation of their achievements, are admirably set out in General Orders No. 262, Headquarters American Expeditionary Forces, dated December 19, 1918, in which he said:
"It is with a sense of gratitude for its splendid accomplishment, which will live through all history, that I record in General Orders a tribute to the victory of the First Army in the Meuse-Argonne battle.
"Tested and strengthened by the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient, for more than six weeks you battered against the pivot of the enemy line on the western front. It was a position of imposing natural strength, stretching on both sides of the Meuse River from the bitterly contested hills of Verdun to the almost impenetrable forest of the Argonne; a position, moreover, fortified by four years of labor designed to render it impregnable; a position held with the fullest resources of the enemy. That position you broke utterly, and thereby hastened the collapse of the enemy's military power.
"Soldiers of all of the divisions engaged under the First, Third and Fifth Corps--
the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 7th, 26th, 28th, 29th, 32d, 33d, 35th, 37th, 42d, 77th, 78th, 79th, 80th, 82d, 89th, 90th and 91st--you will be long remembered for the stubborn persistence of your progress, your storming of obstinately defended machine-gun nests, your penetration, yard by yard, of woods and ravines, your heroic resistance in the face of counter-attacks supported by powerful artillery fire. For more than a month, from the initial attack of September 26th, you fought your way slowly through the Argonne, through the woods and over hills west of the Meuse; you slowly enlarged your hold on the Cotes de Meuse to the east; and then on the first of November, your attack forced the enemy into flight. Pressing his retreat, you cleared the entire left bank of the Meuse, south of Sedan, and then stormed the heights on the right bank and drove him into the plain beyond.
"Your achievement, which is scarcely to be equalled in American history, must remain a source of proud satisfaction to the troops who participated in the last campaign of the war. The American people will remember it as the realization of the hitherto potential strength of the American contribution toward the cause to which they had sworn allegiance. There can be no greater reward for a soldier or for a soldier's memory.
It is worthy of note that while the regiment was not privileged to serve at the front with its own beloved division, it did serve effectively and satisfactorily with some of the finest divisions in France. As has already been noted it served in the Argonne with two of the divisions cited above, the 37th and the 32d divisions; on the St. Mihiel front with the famous 89th and on the Woëvre with the 79th and the 33d.
As the regiment was being withdrawn from the Argonne it witnessed what was doubtless the greatest aerial demonstration of the war when 361 American and French planes carried out a daylight raiding expedition designed to discourage a threatened German counter attack. If the Germans really contemplated a counter-attack, this raid must have changed their minds, for it did not materialize. It was a wonderful exhibition of aircraft. The heavens seemed to be filled with planes as far as the eye could see and the hum of their motors blended into one mighty roar as the airmen swept across the line toward their objective in absolutely perfect formation.
Leaving the Argonne, with its din of battle, its terrible strain and commotion, and entering upon its duties in the Woëvre sector, northeast of Verdun, it seemed to the battle-scarred One Hundred and Thirteenth that they had entered upon another existence, where war's alarms were no more. True, there was action and a great deal of it coming, but it was as child's play, after the Argonne.
WITH only 247 serviceable horses left, the regiment found itself unable to move to its new scene of action without help. Trucks were provided by the 105th Ammunition Train and the 105th Trench Mortar Battery and the guns, caissons and other heavy equipment were loaded on and moved. No time was lost in getting the regiment into position on the new front. The march to the Woëvre started on October 9th and was by way of Dombasle, Senonocourt and Troyon to positions along the Grand Tranchee. By the night of October 12th every battery was in position, having relieved the 101st Field Artillery.
At Dombasle there was a big salvage dump and here the regiment got rid of much heavy equipment in the way of battery and store wagons, chariots du parc and a great deal of harness. Two hundred disabled horses that had been assembled at Recicourt and pastured there were turned over to a veterinary hospital unit.
The men made the journey to the new sector afoot, just as the most of their journeys about France were made, and there was not a doughboy outfit in the A. E. F. that could out-hike them. They liked hiking. It was better than lying out in the woods in the rain and they were always good-natured on the road.
"Join the army and see the world," some one would yell down the line, quoting from an inscription on a famous recruiting poster. Back would come in accents ironical that other slogan made famous when the regiment was being recruited back home in North Carolina:
"Join the artillery and RIDE!"
It would be well to take account here of the changes that had taken place in the regiment's officer personnel during the St. Mihiel and Argonne campaigns. Captain Erskine E. Boyce had been relieved as regimental adjutant and assigned as captain of Headquarters Company, Captain Westfeldt, of Headquarters Company, going to the regimental adjutancy and becoming also regimental operations officer.
First Lieutenant Horace C. Bennett was transferred to headquarters Fourth Army Corps, where he operated the corps flash and sound ranging stations. First Lieutenant Lewis M. Smith became ill in the Argonne and was evacuated.
Eight new Saumur artillery school graduates, all second lieutenants, joined the regiment as it was marching toward the Argonne. These were:
Herbert T. Hand, who was assigned to Headquarters Company; William C. Adler, assigned to Battery B; Charles E. Works and Andrew J. Chapman, Battery C; W. T. Chiles and Frank C. P. Drummond, Battery D; Urban T. Bowes, Battery E; Earl C. Hamilton, Battery F.
First Lieutenant Robert P. Beaman, adjutant of the Second Battalion, was promoted to captain and Second Lieutenant Caleb K. Burgess to first lieutenant and regimental intelligence officer.
Regularly every month the regiment had been furnishing its quota of officer candidates from the enlisted personnel for the Saumur Artillery School, Saumur, France. The regiment is justly proud of the records these men made. Every candidate finished the course creditably and those who graduated in the earlier classes received their commissions. Those who graduated in November and December, 1918, did not receive their commissions in time to see active service in the war, but they received their commissions later. Their names follow:
The first battery positions on the Woëvre sector were on the heights overlooking the plains of the Woëvre, with the ruined villages of Dommartain, St. Maurice, Hannonville, St. Remy and Vigneulles in view. Far off across the plains lay the German positions. At that time the Germans were in possession of St. Hilaire, Marcheville, Saulx-en-Woëvre, Fresnes, Champlon and Wadonville and nearly all of these towns could be seen from the regiment's forward observation posts. The Germans held the heights behind all of these towns, commanding every approach across the plains.
The One Hundred and Thirteenth and the other units of the 55th Brigade went into this sector in support of the 79th National Army Division, the division that had served on the right of the 37th Division in the Argonne. Brigade headquarters was at Troyon. Regimental headquarters
A snugly hidden, well-camouflaged battery position on the Woëvre sector.was in the Foret de la Montagne, in a beautiful log bungalow that had been the headquarters of a German brigade commander. All through the woods, as in the territory around Boullionville and Thiacourt, the regiment found that the enemy had established himself in comfort. There were deep concrete dug-outs, comfortable houses, good stables, and beautifully camouflaged walks everywhere. Most of the walks were paved with broken stone.
There had been a complete water system and an electric light plant. All of the houses and dug-outs were wired, but the Hun had taken care to remove the motors and generators that furnished the current and the Americans were unable to make use of what had been left behind.
The 79th Division was relieved on October 25th and the 33d National Guard Division from Illinois succeeded them. The 55th Field Artillery Brigade passed to the 33d and the One Hundred and Thirteenth was assigned to the support of the 66th Infantry Brigade. A little later the Second Battalion was assigned to the 65th Infantry Brigade, the First Battalion remaining with the 66th. The regimental front at this time was 4,800 metres long, or about three miles.
The 33d Division, commanded by Major-General George Bell, proved to be a live organization and its infantry was always stirring up some sort of action all along the front. The regiment was called on for every bit of fighting skill it had, not once but many times. There was much harassing fire to be done at night and always there were raiding parties
SCENES ON THE WOËVRE SECTOR
One of the thousands of stacks of German ammunition left at old battery positions in the Foret de la Montagne by the Boche when he left that area hurriedly on September 12, 1918. This stack was near the Grand Tranchee.
View of a section of Verdun. Many officers and men of the regiment visited this famous town after the Armistice. The regiment was only 40 kilometres away from Verdun while on the Woëvre, or Troyon sector.
One of the best-preserved buildings in Vaux, a little French village half way between the regimental positions in the Foret de la Montagne and Troyon. Vaux, St. Remy, Dommartain, Herbeuville and Hannonville were almost completely demolished.
The beautiful log bungalow used as regimental headquarters on the Woëvre sector. Colonel Cox and Lieutenant Colonel Chambers in the picture. This building had been used by a German brigade commander, prior to the American invasion.
to be protected and special missions to be carried out. Roving guns on the plains did effective work at times and the batteries took turns at occupying position on the plains. Battery B, while engaged in one of these missions on the plains, had the unique distinction of occupying a position well in advance of the infantry's front line and without even the protection of an infantry patrol.
The Boche was not asleep. He was carrying on similar operations all the time. Every night German guns would be run out to positions on the plains and there would be lively bombardments in which all of the back areas, cross roads and dumps, as well as the battery positions, would be fired on. These guns would be withdrawn before daylight. The Boche kept this up with monotonous regularity and true German method. The firing started at the same hour every night, the length of the bombardment never varied five minutes, and all of the points singled out for attention received practically the same number of shells every night.
The Boche was particularly active in the air in this sector. The black cross planes came over every day and on moonlight nights, the droning of the Boche motor drove sleep away. The utmost care had to be exercised in the matter of lights.
Here on the Woëvre the regiment had opportunity of putting into practice all of the fine arts of fighting it had learned with so much effort from its French and American instructors at Coetquidan. The St. Mihiel drive and the long, hard fight in the Argonne, offered small opportunity for using the "fine points" of the artillery game.
Now that opportunity was afforded, the intelligence section and operations department got in fine work. The corps flash and sound ranging section was called upon for aid and responded admirably. The handling of munitions was systematized and there was considerable improvement in the matter of getting up supplies of all kinds, the latter being due to the use by the Americans of a fine system of narrow-gauge railroads that the Germans had built and left there. Several whole trains and enough engines to operate the trains had been captured.
The 105th Ammunition Train for the first time found itself able to function satisfactorily. The roads were good and their trucks found no difficulty in delivering shells at the battery positions. The ordnance and quartermaster departments of the division were efficient and anxious to help and the regiment quickly improved in appearance and in comfort. The 33d Division treated the 55th Field Artillery Brigade exceedingly well. It was treated all the time exactly as if it belonged to the 33d and was not merely "attached."
While here the process of re-equipping the regiment with horses was undertaken, with the view of getting ready for the great advance on Metz, that was scheduled for the middle of November. There was an abundance of feed for the animals and the few the regiment had were rapidly put in good condition, now that the trucks of the 105th Ammunition Train were available for making long hauls of ammunition.
The November advance was to be a Second American Army affair and the objective of the 33d Division was Conflans. With the view of getting properly set for the jump-off the Division Commander worked out a number of movements, designed to ascertain the enemy's strength at strategic points and to prepare to take care of these points when the actual advance began. One of the first of these was a raid on Chateau de Aulnois, on November 7th, by the 65th Infantry Brigade, with the First Battalion of the One Hundred and Thirteenth, and other artillery units in support. This involved a preliminary bombardment, box barrage, rolling barrage, smoke screen and covering fire, and was executed perfectly.
On November 8th the 66th Infantry Brigade conducted a successful raid on St. Hilaire, involving the same tactics as the raid of November 7th, with the Second Battalion and other units in support.
The attack on Marcheville at daybreak on November 10th, was the biggest action of this series of preparatory engagements, and brought in the entire regiment, with the exception of Battery D, which had a mission of its own. The 65th Infantry Brigade attacked this strongly held point which was the keystone of the Bretelle position, connecting Mihiel I and II.
Marchville had been taken and retaken many times after the Battle of St. Mihiel. The Germans hung on to it with bull-dog tenacity, for it was vital to their scheme of defense of Conflans and Metz. The attack this time was entirely successful and placed Marcheville and several other important positions under permanent American control. The 17th French Corps, in a bulletin issued on the day of the engagement, had the following extract in regard to it:
"The capture of Marcheville and of the Harville Woods, places in our hands two important elements of the principal line of resistance of the enemy (Pintheville, Riaville, Marcheville, Harville and the Harville Woods). Each of these two points was held by one battalion.
"In provision for our attack the enemy had reinforced the zone of protection by means of some of the troops forming the reserve of the regiment.
"Owing to the precision of the American artillery fire, it was impossible for most of the enemy to make use of their arms in good time. Several groups were overpowered in their shelters. The whole garrison of Marcheville has been killed or captured (93 prisoners including 6 officers)."
That the work of the regiment and other units of the brigade was appreciated by the infantry, is shown by the following letter received by General Kilbreth shortly after the armistice was signed:
"France, 16th November, 1918.
From : Commanding General, 65th Infantry Brigade.
To : Commanding General, 55th Artillery Brigade.
Subject: Cooperation of Artillery.
"1. Now that active operations in this sector are temporarily suspended, I desire to express to you, on behalf of myself and the officers and enlisted men of the 65th Infantry Brigade, appreciation of your cheerful and effective cooperation in all the work which you carried out while in this sub-sector.
"2. Everyone of your command has responded promptly to all demands, and all our people developed the utmost confidence in your ability.
"EDWARD L. KING,
"Brigadier General U. S. A."
From a personal note to General Kilbreth, written by General King shortly after the Marcheville attack, the following extract is taken:
"Just learned today that the barrage which your people put down in front of Marcheville during the 10th of November, when the Boche counter-attacked, had a wonderful effect. One officer told me that he saw two machine guns knocked to pieces, and other men and officers say that the effect on the Boche was splendid."
The regiment lost only one man killed during its tour of duty on the Woëvre. This was Private Julius L. Teterton, of Battery B, who was killed at a forward observation post on November 6th. Private Henry W. DeBrock, of Battery C, was wounded on November 7th, and many were painfully gassed on the night of November 7th-8th. Their names appear elsewhere.
It was while the regiment was occupying this sector that the men got an insight into the moral and mental make-up of the Hun hitherto denied them. The Hun, taking his cue from what the Americans were doing along the same line, started a little propaganda campaign of his own, having for its purpose the sowing of seeds of discontent among the men of the American army and inducing them to desert. Hun aeroplanes began to drop pamphlets and posters along the front line trenches and at battery positions, most of them in execrable English, and all just as illogical and unreasonable as the sample given herewith, which was dropped from an aeroplane near the headquarters of the First Battalion:
"Are you a brave man or a coward?
"It takes a brave man to stand up for his principles. Cowards stand behind leaders and die, imagining that by so doing they become heroes.
"The motive of an act is its measure. If you think the war is hell and that you as a citizen of the United States of America have no business to be fighting in France for England you are a coward to stay with it. If you had the courage to face criticism you would get out and over the top in no time to a place where there is some likelihood that you may see home again.
"WHAT BUSINESS IS THIS WAR IN EUROPE TO YOU ANYHOW? You don't want to annex anything do you? You don't want to give up your life for the abstract thing, humanity.
"If you believe in humanity and that life is precious, save your own life and dedicate it to the service of your own country and the woman who deserves it of you.
"Lots of you fellows are staying with it because you are too cowardly to protest, to assert your own wills. Your wills are the best judges of what is best for you to do. Don't ask any one's opinion as to what you would better do! You know best what is the right thing to do. Do it and save your life! Germany never did any harm to you, all the newspaper tales of wrongs were printed to inflame you to the fighting pitch, they were lies, you know you can't believe what you read in the papers.
"If you stay with the outfit ten chances to one, all you will get out of it will be a tombstone in France."
This Hunnish effort met with the reception it deserved at the hands
of the Americans. It amused them immensely, while it aroused no little disgust and contempt for a people who could harbor such sentiments.
The war ended on November 11th, just as the regiment was getting things in order for the great offensive that was to start on November 14th. At eight o'clock on the morning of November 11th orders came down to cease firing. The Boche kept on hammering away until eleven o'clock, sending over mustard gas shells mostly. At that hour all action ceased and quiet fell upon the land, a shell-wrecked, torn and terribly disfigured land, which had not known a minute of peaceful quiet for four long years. To the men of the regiment who had lived in the confusion of war, with never a day out of the sound of the guns for seventy-eight days, the silence that fell at eleven o'clock on that great morning was unreal and oppressive. To the suffering natives of the war-stricken areas of France the sudden quiet must have been even more unreal. The regiment had fired a total of 4,356 rounds on the Woëvre sector.
The regiment had been actively engaged in the zone of advance for 78 days. With the exception of eleven days, during which it was hiking across France, just back of the battle lines, changing sectors, the regiment was actively engaged every day of that time, without relief. Divisions came and went. The One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery and the 55th Field Artillery Brigade, of which it was a part, remained.
The night of November 11th will be remembered long by all who were privileged to be along the front. Lights flared everywhere in the woods, from every dug-out and from every shack, and happy soldiers wandered from post to post in the moonlight, singing songs and shouting.
All along the front, on both sides, American and German soldiers were sending up every variety of star rocket and flare in stock. The war was over and why conserve the supply? They would be no good for the next war, so let 'em burn! The happy soldiers staged a fireworks display such as the world had never seen before and will never see again.
The German hilarity over the armistice was a trifle hard for Americans to understand, for the armistice meant a shameful finish for Germany. American soldiers felt that if it had meant defeat and disgrace for American arms, they would never have been able to hold up their heads again, but the Germans did not seem to see it in that light.
On the morning of the day following the armistice there came down from General Pershing, the commander-in-chief, the following message:
"The enemy has capitulated. It is fitting that I address myself in thanks directly to the officers and soldiers of American Expeditionary Forces who by their heroic efforts have made possible this glorious result. Our armies, hurriedly raised and hastily trained, met a veteran enemy, and by courage, discipline and skill always defeated him. Without complaint you have endured incessant toil, privation and danger. You have seen many of your comrades make the supreme sacrifice that freedom may live. I thank you for the patience and courage with which you have endured. I congratulate you upon the splendid fruits of victory which your heroism and the blood of our gallant dead are now presenting to our nation. Your deeds will live forever on the most glorious pages of America's History. Those things you
have done. There remains now a harder task which will test your soldierly qualities to the utmost. Succeed in this and little note will be taken and few praises will be sung; fail, and the light of your glorious achievement of the past will sadly be dimmed. But you will not fail. Every natural tendency may urge towards relaxation in discipline, in conduct, in appearance, in everything that marks the soldier. Yet, you will remember that each Officer and each Soldier is the representative in EUROPE of his people and that his brilliant deeds of yesterday permit no action of today to pass unnoticed by friend or by foe. You will meet this test as gallantly as you have met the tests of the battlefield. Sustained by your high ideals and inspired by the heroic part you have played, you will carry back to our people the proud consciousness of a new Americanism born of sacrifice. Whether you stand on hostile territory or on the friendly soil of France, you will so bear yourself in discipline, appearance and respect for all civil rights that you will confirm for all time the pride and love which every American feels for your uniform and for you."
There were few changes in the personnel of the regiment while in the Woëvre sector. Thirty men in all were gassed and evacuated to hospitals back in the rear and many men who had been left in hospitals during the regiment's stay on the St. Mihiel front and in the Argonne, rejoined the regiment after much wandering. Lieutenant Richard S. Schmidt and Lieutenant William B. Duncan, who had been left at Camp de Coetquidan, and Lieutenant Horace C. Bennett, who had been at corps headquarters, rejoined the regiment and the following graduates of the Saumur Artillery School were assigned to the regiment:
Second Lieutenants Charles Ahlers, Earl J. Higgins, Erwin S. Supplee.
The days that followed the armistice were spent in putting all equipment in the best condition possible, securing new equipment, and outfitting so as to make a creditable appearance as a unit of the Army of Occupation. Six hundred horses and mules were drawn and issued to the organizations of the regiment and once more it was able to move without outside assistance.
In order to give surplus staff officers something to do, G. H. Q. ordained that there should be some maneuvers by the division against imaginary Boche entrenched at various old positions along the St. Mihiel sector. Two of these were held. They were very amusing to the veterans who had actually fought out the same or similar problems, over the same terrain, in real war, but the exercises were hardly worth while. General Bell, the division commander, as fine an old warrior as ever lived, expressed the sentiment of all of the soldiers, commissioned and enlisted, when, after listening to the umpire, a General Staff lieutenant-colonel, criticise everything his division had done in the maneuvers, tear to shreds every order that had been issued and junk the whole performance in a few biting, sarcastic words, he heaved a great sigh of relief and said:
"Well, Colonel, I suppose you are right. In real action my division has never failed to gain its objectives; it has thrown back the Hun every time it was started against him; it is a successful Hun-killer and it has never lost a foot of ground, but I never had any luck against you fellows. I have never been up against a maneuver umpire yet that I didn't lose."
And he let it go at that.
The regiment was called upon to police an area half as big as the average North Carolina county just prior to the movement of the 33d Division. Every square yard of it had to be covered carefully and all debris removed. It was a big undertaking.
When the Germans moved out of the sector they were required by the terms of the armistice to fire all of the mines they had laid along the roads and throughout the area occupied by the Americans. The regiment was surprised to find that it had been living and moving over deadly mines for weeks. It required nearly three weeks to get this work done. There were 6,000 mines in the area of the 33d Division.
The 33d Division was ordered to move toward Germany on December 7th and despite rumors to the contrary, the 55th Field Artillery Brigade went with it. It was reported that the division's own artillery brigade would rejoin it and that the 55th would go to the 30th Division, then reported at Le Mans, but this was not to be.
At this time General Kilbreth was ordered to General Headquarters for some special work and was relieved by Brigadier General O. L. Spaulding, who commanded the brigade during its stay in the Third Army.
On December 3, 1918, three days before the regiment left the Troyon or Woëvre sector for the long march into Luxemburg, the 105th Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop completed its work of overhauling the guns of the brigade. The unit commander was so much pleased with the condition of the guns that he addressed the following letter to Colonel Cox:
December 3, 1918.
From: C. O. 105th Mob. Ord. Repr. Shop.
To: C. O. 113th F. A., 55th F. A. Brigade.
Subject: Gun Repairs.
1. Among other duties this organization has been charged with repairing and overhauling the guns of your regiment. The guns were not only kept in good firing condition by this organization from the arrival of the division until the end of the war, but all of the pieces have been thoroughly overhauled since the cessation of hostilities.
2. Every gun received from your regiment reached our shop in first class shape, as to cleanliness, lubrication, etc. The number of guns received for repair work was remarkably small, considering the large amount of firing done and the many miles the guns were hauled over indescribably rough roads.
3. In no case do the repair records of your guns show the damage due to abuse, carelessness, lack of care, or lack of lubrication. Your men are certainly to be complimented for the admirable care taken of the material so essential in building up the enviable reputation which your regiment has achieved.
105th Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop,
DONALD E. HOLMES,
1st Lieut. Ord. U. S. A. Commanding.
Since it is true that an artilleryman is judged by the care he takes of his gun, it goes without saying that this bit of praise was very
pleasing to everybody. The men were always careful in the handling of their beloved 75's and the result was that the regiment's twenty-four guns were always ready for action at a moment's notice. One gun in one of the batteries was out of commission for twenty-four hours once, but that was all. Elsewhere appear tables showing the number of times every gun was fired and giving the number of each gun, so that a gunner will be able to show the service record of his own particular "Hun-killer."
OFFICERS OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTEENTH FIELD ARTILLERY.
Top row--left to right: 1st Lieut. J. P. Dodge, 1st Lieut. W. B. Duncan, 1st Lieut. Eugene Allison, 1st Lieut. M. S. Barnett, 1st Lieut. W. P. Whittaker, 2d Lieut. J. F. McManus, 2d Lieut. I. S. Suplee, 2d Lieut. A. J. Chapman, 2d Lieut. C. R. Dosker. 2d row--left to right: 2d Lieut. W. T. Chiles, 1st Lieut. W. E. Baugham, 1st Lieut. C. K. Burgess, 1st Lieut. W. A. Crenshaw, 2d Lieut. E. J. Higgins, 2d Lieut. E. M. Heddon. 3d row--left to right: Capt. W. V. Bowman, Capt. P. B. Smith, 1st Lieut. H. C. Bennett, Capt. E. E. Boyce, 1st Lieut. C. E. Mears, 1st Lieut. O. H. Guion, 1st Lieut. Joel W. Massey, 1st Lieut. L. C. Hand. 4th row--left to right: Capt. N. B. Vairin, Capt. R. R. Morrison, Maj. L. P. McLendon, Chaplain B. R. Lacy, Maj. L. B. Crayton, Maj. R. M. Hanes, 1st Lieut. J. G. Hoffman. Bottom row--left to right: Capt. R. P. Beaman, Maj. A. L. Bulwinkle, Maj. C. L. Pridgen, Col. Albert L. Cox, Lieut.-Col. S. C. Chambers, Maj. T. G. Stem, Capt. K. M. Hardison, Capt. R. D. Dixon, Capt. B. S. Royster.
IN telling of the march from the "Foret de la Montagne" northward toward Germany, Chaplain Lacy opened his story with these words:
"It was December 7th and not raining."
Any day when rain fell not and when there was blue sky to be seen above, was worthy of mention. Men noted it carefully in their diaries and it formed a bright spot in their lives. Always there was a scramble for a bath, clean clothes and a shave. Troubles were forgotten and even the bluest and gloomiest managed to show a smile. There was always a visible uplift of spirit and laughter and song. But sunshiny days were so pitifully few!
Until the brigade arrived at Longwy, at the portals of the Duchy of Luxemburg, Colonel Cox was brigade commander. Lieutenant-Colonel Chambers was away on leave and Major Bulwinkle was in command of the regiment. At Longwy, General Spaulding arrived to take command and Colonel Cox returned to the One Hundred and Thirteenth.
The line of march was down across the plains by way of Dommartin, Hannonville, Marcheville, Harville and Saulx. This was the very route over which the regiment had been scheduled to advance toward Conflans on the morning of November 14th and as the men saw the condition of the roads, the softness of the earth alongside the roads, and the various obstacles that had been placed in the way of mines and other obstructions, they were doubly thankful for the armistice, which had saved them from it.
Where Saulx had stood, the regiment found demolished walls, tangles of barbed wire and muddy shell-scarred fields. This town had been burned early in the war by the Germans for the failure of the citizens to pay a levy made on it.
Marcheville was in even worse condition than Saulx and it showed very plainly the effects of the One Hundred and Thirteenth's heavy shelling just prior to the cessation of hostilities. There were fresh shell holes everywhere, so close together that they almost touched. From Marcheville on, the road was beset by entrenchments of all kinds and there was a great deal of new wire strung in the fields. It was quite evident that the Hun expected to retire, fighting.
At Riauville, Dompierre and Allomont and along the road were great quantities of Boche artillery ammunition and equipment of various kinds that had been abandoned by the retreating Huns.
The Supply Company on the march in France.
Friauville, where the regiment spent Sunday, was the filthiest of all the terribly filthy villages the regiment encountered in all of its experiences in France. It had been a Boche billeting place for four years and every house was filled with Boche plunder of all sorts.
Like all other French towns in the territory occupied by the Germans, Friauville had been stripped of everything worth while. There were about fifty people there, old men, women and children. They were poorly clad, evidently poorly fed, a very abject and miserable lot of people. Their cattle, hogs, chickens and horses had been requisitioned by the Germans. Every copper vessel had been taken to make German shells and their beds had been stripped of linen to make bandages for German wounded. The people themselves had been forced to work in the fields for their conquerors and had been paid with worthless paper money, issued in the name of Lille or Douai, or some other ruined French city in the area of German occupation. They were not allowed to visit relatives. One good old woman told Chaplain Lacy that she had a daughter only fifteen kilometers away that she was not allowed to see for four years. The children were not allowed to go to school. The food allowed them was barely
sufficient to keep them alive and for three years the most of this had come from the American Relief Commission operating under the Red Cross.
The people of Friauville had many stories to tell about the weakening of the German morale toward the end. At Dompierre, they said, eight German officers had been killed by a hand grenade thrown by a soldier and in their own village the shoulder-straps had been torn from German officers by their own men and Alsatian soldiers, who had been forced to serve in the German army, broke all restraints and shouted:
"Vive la Republique! Vive la France! Las bas Prusse!"
On the morning of December 9th the regiment moved toward Joudreville. The town was not far away, over good roads, but there were bad roads the regiment had not yet seen in France, and corps headquarters, which was directing the movement, decreed that the One Hundred and Thirteenth should miss none of them. Therefore, instead of taking the good road to Joudreville the regiment traveled in a circle, going back toward Brainville and through the villages of Puxe, Jeandelize, Thurmerville, Manaville, Gondrecourt and Affeville. At noon, when the regiment halted for dinner, it was farther from its destination than it had been in the morning.
At Gondrecourt there were great quantities of German equipment. At this point the Germans had a big engineer dump and their buildings were of a substantial variety, well built and commodious. It had evidently been a big center. The town was covered with German shop signs and over one door was that famous German imprecation:
"Gott Strafe England."
In all of the villages, street names had been Germanized. Every village had its "Kaiserwilhelmstrasse" and in place of the "Y. M. C. A." or "Foyer du Soldat" signs, there appeared the German equivalent, "Soldatenheim."
At Joudreville the people had the same sort of tales to tell as had the people of Friauville. This town is exceedingly small and as it had most of its original population still, there was trouble in finding billets for the regiment. Here the regiment saw the first electric lights it had seen since leaving Toul in August. Like all other towns in the German occupied area it had been fitted up with electric lights for the convenience of the invaders and when they left the plant had been put out of commission. The plant at Joudreville had been repaired.
On the day following, the regiment marched by way of Bauligny, Baroncourt, Eton and Spincourt to Neuillonpont. The roads were as bad as can be imagined and the rain that had ceased falling for a short time on the first day, now fell steadily. The men stood the hike remarkably well, only a few falling out. It was on the hard going on the ruined macadam roads between Joudreville and Neuillonpont that Major Bulwinkle's famous cow began to show signs of distress and requisition was made on the regimental supply officer for shoes for her. The best he could do was to furnish Private Blumberg, the cow's guardian, with four stout
THE REGIMENT IN LUXEMBURG
Battery C in camp on the banks of the Moselle River, at Stradtbredimus. On the other side of the river is the German town of Palzem.
Battery C of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery, marching through historic Luxemburg city, with Capt. (later Major) Lennox P. McLendon at its head.
A snapshot of Battery D passing through a little French village on the long march toward northern Luxemburg.
Battery A man using his gun as a dinner table on the march into Luxemburg to join the Army of Occupation.
sacks and these were carefully wrapped around her sore feet and the covering renewed as often as it was needed.
At Baroncourt, a rather important railway junction, the regiment had an opportunity of noting the damage America's big guns were capable of doing. This point was under fire for several weeks prior to the armistice and great damage had been done to the railroad yards.
Neuillonpont was another Friauville, very dirty and very depressing. It had been a German headquarters and billeting town. There was a fine theatre there and the German officers had quite a comfortable and attractive clubroom which they called a casino. The piano, chairs, tables and other equipment were still in place. The men enjoyed the music they were able to extract from the piano and held quite a party there.
On December 11th the regiment hit the trail for Rehon, and it was a wet day. All of the wetness the regiment had experienced on the march was as nothing compared to the downpour they faced on the hike to Rehon. The line of march was through Rouvrais, Arramy, Beauville and Cutry. The men will never forget the lone, bedraggled woman who passed the column that day in the rain and mud pushing a baby carriage on which she was carrying her two weeks bread ration. She had to walk twenty-five kilometres to get the bread from the American Relief Commission. Every man in the regiment who saw her, wanted to offer her a "lift" but she only smiled and plodded on. The column was not traveling fast enough for her and she had almost reached the head of the line when she came to the road crossing that led to her home and she left the column.
Rehon and Longwy Bas seem to be one large industrial town. Rehon is situated low in the valley. The trail climbs up through Longwy to the ruined fort on the crest of the ridge, where was fought a sanguinary battle in 1914, which cost the Germans 8,000 lives. This old fort was built in mediæval days and had been improved through the years, and sections of it renewed as it fell into decay, so that it was hard for the Boche to take. When Kaiser Wilhelm saw the old fort and the overgrown German cemetery nearby, he shook his head and said:
"Too high a price."
The great shell-holes made by those terrible heavy German guns that so startled the world at the outbreak of the war, were still visible all around the old fort. Grass and weeds and small trees covered them, nature appearing to have done her utmost to hide war's ravages. Much of the old church from which the French flag floated defiantly during the hard fight, still remains. The Germans tried in vain to bring the banner down from the top of the steeple by machine gun fire, but were unable to do it and finally sent a soldier to the top to pull it down.
The people of Rehon and Longwy had expected ruin as the Huns began to withdraw under the steady pounding they were receiving at the hands of the Americans. The armistice had saved them this experience.
From Longwy the regiment marched north into Belgium. The first town the regiment entered in Belgium was Aubange and there was no
evidences there that there had been a war. The countryside looked prosperous. The people were apparently well-fed and happy. Men of military age were everywhere in evidence. The French in Longwy, Rehon and in other towns had told members of the regiment that Belgium had not suffered as France had suffered and insofar as the section through which it passed is concerned, the regiment can vouch for the truthfulness of this statement. It seemed to be an entirely different world and it was hard to realize that just back down the line, less than five miles away, desolation reigned supreme and poverty claimed a stricken land for its own.
On that day the regiment entered the province of Luxemburg, that strange little country, where French, German, Flemish and various other languages are spoken fluently and there are no poor people and every house is full of fat, red-cheeked babies. There are iron mines and various allied industries and the most beautiful little farms anyone ever saw. As in France, the people live in small villages, all built of stone and brick, in close communion with the pigs, cows, horses and chickens.
Be it recorded here that the people of Luxemburg treated the men of the regiment with all kindness. True, they put a stiff price on everything they had to sell and the system of financial juggling by which they kept the German mark at a premium at a time when it was headed for the cellar and going fast, aroused no little admiration. They stuck to it firmly that a mark was worth one franc and twenty-five centimes. French money was exchanged in this way, a five-franc note buying a four-mark note, and nothing else would go.
The men found it hard sledding for a while. It had not been easy to master the intricacies of the French monetary system and now right when they had begun to speak glibly of francs, centimes and sous, they were put up against the mark, whose value fluctuated and was rarely stable for more than two days at a time. It was a laborious process to take the humble pfennig, the one-hundredth part of a mark and calculate its value in French currency and then carry the French equivalent on into American money.
They were quick to learn that the thrifty Luxemburgers were short on soap and valued a cake of soap above all things else. The small cakes of bath soap issued with the rations daily by the Supply Officer, which the men had been accustomed to throw away, became suddenly extremely valuable. With eggs selling at a franc each, it was no trick at all to take one of those tiny cakes of soap and buy a dozen eggs. The big cake of issue laundry soap was valued at $5.00. The regiment's mess sergeants, who worried over the limited wood supply, found in Luxemburg plenty of wood, just as long as their soap supply lasted.
The regiment's first billets in Luxemburg were at Monerich, Reckingen, Pissingen and Ehleringen, where the men and animals got two nights and a day of much-needed rest. On December 14th the regiment marched on toward the German border, passing along the southern outskirts
of the city of Luxemburg, to billets in Syren, Contern, Medigen and Mulford. On the following day the regiment marched to the Moselle river. Regimental Headquarters and the Supply Company were billeted in Bous, just north of Remich, where Brigade Headquarters was located. The First Battalion was billeted at Stadtbredimus and the Second at Assel and Rollingen. The infantry of the 33d Division was already in Germany and the regiment was now a part of the Third American Army, the "Army of Occupation." As fortune would have it, the Army of Occupation, originally designed to have ten divisions, was reduced to eight divisions and the 33d Division was ordered to take positions in Luxemburg as part of the Army of Occupation reserve.
This called for more marching and the regiment was on the way early on the morning of December 17th. They spent the night at Weiller, Hasne and Aspelt and on the day following marched through the outskirts of the wonderful old city of Luxemburg, in a blinding snowstorm, to Wolferdingen. On December 20th the regiment again marched through a snowstorm and billeted at Colmar-Burg and Cruhdton. Two days later the regiment settled down for Christmas, with the First Battalion, Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Company at Bissen, the Second Battalion at Colmar-Burg and the Supply Company at Boevange.
Volumes might be written about the regiment's experiences in quaint old Luxemburg. The men rambled through the green fields and along the fine rock roads and visited castles that were old when Columbus discovered America. The people were kind and hospitable. So far as the regiment could learn, they were pro-French almost without exception. Luxemburg profited immensely by the war, especially during the first three years. During the last year of war the Germans had no money and the thrifty Luxemburgers began to consider them a pest. The German main lines of supply ran through this little country and they built at least one fine railroad through one end of the province. The Germans also kept up the main highways that their trucks used.
From these Luxemburgers men of the regiment got an insight into happenings behind the lines that were very interesting. These Luxemburg people, speaking the same language, had mingled freely with the German soldiery and they had stories to tell that confirmed all of the stories the regiment had heard months before about the weakening of the German morale and the gradual crumbling of the power of the military caste in Germany. The Luxemburg people said that when it was first reported that American soldiers had appeared at the front, the Germans denounced the report as a lie. They argued that it could not be true, since Von Tirpitz had closed the sea lanes with his submarines and it was impossible for America to bring troops over. When the first American prisoners were brought through Luxemburg on their way to the German prison camps, the Germans still denied the presence of American troops at the front, declaring that their prisoners were English and Canadians, in American uniforms. The German privates believed this implicitly at first
but gradually they waked up. One of them, returning disabled from the Argonne, told the schoolmaster in Bissen that they had been cruelly deceived by their leaders.
"No Americans on the front?" he exclaimed bitterly. "There are more Americans there than we can stop."
The men found much to amuse them in the attitude and bearing of petty officialdom in this petty kingdom. The province boasted at that time a standing army of 250 men. What it lacked in size the army made up in gaudy uniforms and war-like trappings. As nearly as the men could "dope it out" the army kept the peace, delivered the mail, and did like chores, in addition to being a "standing army." At the time the regiment was in Luxemburg the entire army was reported to be out on strike for higher pay. The privates of the army had been drawing about six and a half cents per day and there had not been an increase of pay in several hundred years. There were those in the regiment who felt that the demands of the strikers were unreasonable, considering the clothes they were privileged to wear, but in the main the regiment was in sympathy with the strikers and hoped that they would get the increase in pay that they asked for.
Luxemburgers are strong for rambling through the world and men of the regiment encountered scores of both men and women who had been to America and the majority of them said they were going to return as soon as things got settled down. The mayor of Boevange had lived for twenty years in America. He is authority for the statement that there are more Luxemburgers in the city of Chicago than there are in Luxemburg city. Almost every family had relatives somewhere in the United States.
One officer of the regiment will never forget a little experience he had near Wolferdingen. He was plodding along through the snow, disgusted with everything, when he caught sight of a fat, motherly woman standing in a doorway. Two children were hanging to her skirts and staring pop-eyed at the line of horses, guns and soldiers going by. The woman smiled and said, in perfectly good Americanese:
"An awful day, aint it"?
It was not just a phrase she had picked up. That woman had lived for ten years in the United States and had been caught in Luxemburg by the war during a visit to her old home in 1914.
The general mixture of languages that prevailed in Luxemburg kept the men in confusion all the time. The girls of Luxemburg were friendly. They liked the Americans, and the lonesome and homesick Americans of the One Hundred and Thirteenth responded to their friendliness as a flower opens to the sun. Lack of knowledge of the language your beloved speaks is a serious defect and one that is annoying in the extreme, but love speaks a universal language and there are many feelings a true lover may express clearly without the aid of the spoken word. "Love laughs at locksmiths," the old proverb says, and it is equally true that
he laughs at language-makers. It is related in the Bible that there was considerable labor trouble on account of the "confusion of tongues" that fell upon the workmen engaged in the building of the Tower of Babel, but it is not recorded that it had any serious effect on love-making. That ancient and honorable sport doubtless retained all of its old-time lure and fascination and was followed just as eagerly as before the general mix-up of tongues took place.
But it was hard sledding to make love with one hand clutching a dictionary, labeled "Francais-Anglais et Anglais-Francais." Every man in the regiment either experienced it, or observed it, and can vouch for the truthfulness of the statement. Every man in the regiment who has had a like experience will sympathize with that cook in the Supply Company whom his captain overheard talking earnestly to a plump and pretty Luxemburg fraulein, who spoke German and French with equal ease and had been trying both on him.
"Now listen," he was imploring. "Venn ick bin in Luxemburg three months--compree three months?--ick parley voo Luxemburg."
"Ja wohl," answered his charmer with a giggle. Unfortunately for love's young dream, the budding linguist was not to remain in Luxemburg long enough to acquire a speaking knowledge of "Luxemburg."
Luxemburg people did their best toward entertaining the men and officers during the Christmas season. They were invited to the dances that always mark the season and greatly enjoyed them. The regiment was rather hard to entertain for the reason that home ties draw a little tighter at Christmas time than at any other time of the year and North Carolina was the only place on earth that would have looked good to the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery at that particular time.
The health of the regiment while in Luxemburg was good. Very few were evacuated to the hospitals. One man, Sergeant Charles B. Wills, a popular and very efficient member of Battery C, died of pneumonia on Christmas day.
During the stay of the regiment in Luxemburg Lieutenant LeRoy C. Hand and Lieutenant Enoch S. Simmons, who had left the regiment at Camp de Coetquidan for service at the Artillery School at Bordeaux, France, rejoined the regiment and Second Lieutenants McManus, Lingle, Cobb and Dosker were assigned to it.
On January 5, 1919 came the orders that everybody had been hoping for. The artillery brigade of the 33d Division had come up and the 55th Field Artillery Brigade was ordered to march back to the Toul area, turn in equipment, and there take train for the Le Mans area to rejoin the 30th Division.
The journey back to France was devoid of incident. It was a long, hard march. There were two days when it neither snowed nor rained but for the most part it was doing one or the other all the time and often both at the same time. As in all of its previous marches, the regiment found it difficult to keep in touch with ration dumps and horse feed
Steam up and Ready to go, but no French "Pilot." This is a picture of the train that carried the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery from Trondes to Evron.was always short. Those who planned the line of march and made the schedule in corps or army headquarters, seemed to consider the question of supplies one of minor importance.
Two trucks were assigned to the regiment and it was doubtless contemplated that these should do the long hauls. The schedule makers probably took this into consideration, but it developed that the trucks were no good. Both quit cold and there were no others to be had. It was, therefore, up to the regiment to feed itself and this was accomplished by working the Supply Company overtime. The company was split into two sections, with fourteen wagons and the fastest teams in a light, quick-moving train. This train took the road every morning at four o'clock, hours before daybreak, for the ration dumps and there was never any shortage of food for the men, though bulky forage for the animals was short.
The regiment passed out of Luxemburg on January 9th, through the heart of the iron region, and into what had been German Lorraine. It crossed the Lorraine border at Rumelange and journeyed on through and into France by way of Aumetz, passing through Beuvillers, and Audon le Roman in France to Sancy. Here the regiment again encountered the desolation that follows in the wake of modern war and it was even more striking than it had been on the journey north in December for every man had fresh in his mind pictures of neat and trim Luxemburg, with its rich farms and great industries, and in Lorraine there had been no destruction. At Sancy and Beuvillers, where the regiment billeted, the people were unusually kind. Very few Americans had passed that way and the men of the regiment were hailed as deliverers and greeted with much enthusiasm.
"Hommes 40--Chevaux 8" was the familiar inscription on all French box-cars, but this is an American box-car and "Hommes 60" were crowded into it. This shows part of Battery C at Trondes waiting for the train to start toward Le Mans and home.
On January 10th the regiment marched through Tucquegnieux, near Briey, to Labry, Jarny and Hatrize. The following day was a short march, the regiment billeting at Hannonville-au-Passage and Souzemont. These towns had been close to the front when the armistice was signed and had been badly shot up and the billets were very uncomfortable. There were hundreds of German guns, big and little, and large quantities of ammunition in these towns.
The night of January 11th was the last night the regiment was to spend behind the old German lines, for, on the following day it crossed over "No Man's Land" once more to billets behind the lines it had defended for several weeks. This was the longest day's hike of the series and it was made in a heavy snowstorm. The regiment passed through Jonville, Woël, Avillers, St. Maurice, Hattonville and Vigneulles to Beuxeries and Bruexerelles at the foot of Mont Sec, where billets were found. On January 13th it reached Jouy-sous-les-Cotes and Cornieville, where it was to remain for a week, preparing for its long train journey across France to Le Mans.
When the regiment got through "turning in" equipment, it was stripped down to the clothes that the men wore and that was about all. Each man, by special dispensation, kept his helmet and gas mask, his canteen and blanket roll, but everything else was turned over to the supply departments of the Second Army at Toul, Manorville and other points near Toul.
On January 19th the regiment entrained at Trondes, near Toul, for the first lap of the journey home. The men did not find passenger coaches
waiting on the siding to carry them to Le Mans. Instead there were big American box cars and they were apportioned so as to provide one car for each sixty men. Officers and men fared alike on this journey and it did not add to their composure to see train-loads of French and Italian soldiers go by in comfortable passenger coaches while they jolted along in unheated box-cars. This thing happened not once but many times.
The beginning of the journey put everybody in bad humor. The first train had gone forward, carrying the 115th Field Artillery. The One Hundred and Thirteenth was to follow and it boarded the train on schedule time. The regiment was not one minute late. When loading had been completed the train was pulled down the track a few hundred yards and there it remained for twenty-three hours, waiting for a French "pilot" to ride on the engine with the American engineer!
The journey that ensued will always remain a painful topic of discussion, wherever two veterans of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery get together. It lasted five days and nights and fully half of that time was spent lying on side-tracks waiting for French trains to go by. The weather was as cold as weather ever gets to be in France. That journey was made endurable by one thing alone and that was the consciousness that the regiment was homewardbound and every turn of the wheels was just so much gained.
The regiment arrived in the Le Mans area on January 25th and was billeted at Evron, Neau, St. Christophe and Messanges, small towns about fifty miles west of Le Mans. Two men of the regiment, Privates Walter A. Mankins, of Battery D, and S. C. Siquerious, of Battery F, were killed in a train wreck while en route. They were left at Trondes and were picked up by the 105th Ammunition Train which was traveling on the train following. This train was wrecked and twenty-three men were killed and thirty injured.
IN the departure of the brigade from the Toul area, Brigadier General Spaulding was transferred to the 165th Field Artillery Brigade in the Army of Occupation. When the brigade arrived at Le Mans it found a new brigade commander on hand, Colonel R. S. Abernathy, who remained in charge until relieved by Brigadier General J. W. Kilbreth, Jr., who again assumed command of the brigade just before it sailed for home.
While at Evron and the smaller towns around Evron, the regiment lost by transfer to the 3d Division, Army of Occupation, Captain A. L. Fletcher, who had been regimental supply officer from the organization of the regiment, Captain Isaac R. Wagner, of the Sanitary Detachment, and First Lieutenant Joseph Lonergon, of the Supply Company, who had been regimental munitions officer. Captain Fletcher and Lieutenant Lonergon were succeeded by Captain Alfred Grima and First Lieutenant P. B. Smith, of the 10th Field Artillery. Lieutenant Smith later was promoted to captain and became regimental supply officer. Later, after the regiment had been moved to the Forwarding Camp at Le Mans, the following officers left it to enter various French universities for a two months' course of study:
Captain Alfred W. Horton, regimental personnel officer, Lieutenants Charles E. Works, of Battery C, Enoch S. Simmons, of Battery C, Earl C. Hamilton, of Battery F, Charles Ahlers, of Battery A, Samuel M. Gattis, Jr., of Battery C and Russell N. Boswell, of Battery E.
On January 30th General Pershing reviewed the 55th Field Artillery Brigade at Evron. He had previously inspected the other units of the 30th Division and his impressions are expressed in the following letter to the Division Commander.
France, February 19, 1919.
Major General Edward M. Lewis,
Commanding 30th Division,
A. E. F.
My dear General Lewis:
It gives me much pleasure to extend to you and the officers and men of the 30th Division my sincere compliments upon their appearance at the review and inspection
Officers of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery and N. C. O. regimental staff in field equipment. This picture was made at Le Mans, France.
on the 21st of January, southwest of Terlle, which was excellent and is just what would be expected in a command with such a splendid fighting record.
After its preliminary training the Division entered the line on July 16th, where it remained almost continuously until the end of October. In that time it was in the actual battle from the 30th of August and took part in the Ypres-Lys and Somme offensives. On September 29th, the Division broke through both the Hindenburg and the Le Catelet-Nauroy lines, capturing Bellicourt and Nauroy, an operation on which all subsequent actions of the 4th British Army depended. From October 7th to October 20th, the Division advanced 23 kilometers in a continued series of attacks, capturing 2352 of the enemy. Brancourt, Premont, Busigny, St. Bernin, St. Souplet and Escaufort, La Haie, Minneresse and Vaux Andigny, are names which will live in the memories of those who fought in the 30th Division. But its especial glory will always be the honor you won by breaking the Hindenburg Line on September 29th. Such a record is one of which we are all proud.
It is gratifying to see your troops in such good physical shape, but still more so to know that this almost ideal condition will continue to the end of their service and beyond, as an exemplification of their high character and soldierly qualities.
I inspected the artillery brigade of the Division later, and found the same high standard of personnel that marks the rest of the Division.
Very sincerely yours,
JOHN J. PERSHING.
Leaving Evron on February 5, 1919, under orders to proceed to the Forwarding Camp at Le Mans, the regiment fully expected to be aboard a transport within ten days, but it was not to be. A period of waiting ensued that taxed the patience of every man in the outfit. Conditions around Le Mans were not of the best from the standpoint of sanitation and there was more sickness than the regiment had experienced in all of its history. Eight men died of influenza and scores of others were afflicted with it in lesser degree. The whole brigade was under quarantine for a while in order to check the spread of the disease.
Here at Le Mans the regiment got in closer touch with the other units of the 30th Division and there were hundreds of happy reunions. For the first time since leaving Camp Sevier, the Old Hickory Division was united. The division had made a wonderful record with the British in Flanders, but there was no tendency on the part of the veteran dough-boys who broke the Hindenburg Line on September 29th to look down upon their brethren of the Old Hickory artillery who had not been fortunate enough to be there, for they had heard of St. Mihiel and of the Argonne and they knew that the artillery had done the old division credit.
The Division Commander expressed admirably the feeling of the division toward the artillery in the following letter to the Brigade Commander, General Kilbreth:
France, March 2, 1919.
From: Major General E. M. Lewis, Comdg. 30th Division,
To: Commanding General, 55th F. A. Brigade,
Subject: Service of the 55th F. A. Brigade,
1. I have the deepest satisfaction in communicating to you my appreciation of and admiration for the work accomplished by the 55th F. A. Brigade during the period
of its active operations, which I request that you communicate to the organizations of your command.
2. My knowledge of the work done is based upon reports and comments from sources other than personal observation. The information thus obtained is all of the most commendable nature, beginning with your training period and extending through the operations of the Brigade. In the course of these operations it fought under many divisions and corps, and was actively engaged from August 27th to November 11th, except for a period of eleven days when it was marching from one sector to another.
3. The 30th Division established an enviable record in service with the British and the record of its Artillery, detached to other fronts, is such as to admit it to full fellowship.
4. May you return home with a just feeling of pride and satisfaction in service well performed and receive upon arrival the tribute of a grateful people that is your just due.
E. M. LEWIS,
Major General, U. S. A.
It was while the regiment was in the Le Mans area that several well-deserved promotions were made in the brigade and the One Hundred and Thirteenth was peculiarly fortunate in securing three out of the four majorities vacant in the brigade. These fell to three of the regiment's best battery commanders, Captain Louis B. Crayton, of Battery E, Captain Lennox P. McLendon, of Battery C and Captain Robert M. Hanes, of Battery A. Three first lieutenants who had entered the regiment at the beginning as second lieutenants, were promoted to captaincies to fill the vacancies. Captain Wade V. Bowman, who had helped to organize Battery E and had been one of its second lieutenants, succeeded Crayton. Captains Beverly S. Royster and Richard D. Dixon, who had been fellow "shavetails" in Battery A, succeeded Hanes and McLendon respectively. Second Lieutenant Marshall S. Barnett, of Battery E, was promoted to first lieutenant.
Not all of those who deserved promotion got it. There were few vacancies in the higher ranks and the journey upward was slow and tedious. The regiment was always short lieutenants, a few of the vacancies being first lieutenancies and the very large majority of them seconds. There were no promotions from the ranks and the new second lieutenants that were assigned to the regiment came always from an artillery school. Colonel Cox, while at Le Mans, made many efforts to reward deserving non-commissioned officers of the regiment with commissions. Everybody in the regiment endorsed the idea, for everybody realized that the men recommended for commissions deserved them. Some of these recommendations are given elsewhere in this book. They are, in effect, regimental citations for meritorious work. The regiment's own officer candidates who were commissioned at Saumur, were always sent to other outfits. None returned to the One Hundred and Thirteenth. Those who finished the course at Saumur in November and December, after the signing of the Armistice, rejoined the regiment, but were not commissioned in it.
On Board the U. S. S. Santa Teresa, bound for home.
The time spent in the Forwarding Camp at Le Mans was time lost. The first two days were spent in getting the men deloused and clean and their equipment in good condition. After that it was a slow, tedious and tiresome wait, unrelieved by anything worth while. This is a sample of the regiment's "War Diary" as submitted to Brigade Headquarters:
"Feb. 18, 1919.
"Usual routine in the regiment. Nothing out of the ordinary to report.
"Capt., 113th. F. A., Adjt."
This was varied occasionally by reports of the depredations of the flu. The diary of February 10th reports the outbreak of the flu epidemic and at that time the regiment had 1,414 men. The following deaths are reported in the diary:
Corporal Martin K. Dixon, of Battery B, on February 14th.
Privates Houston G. Brown and Thomas Meroney, of Battery F, Alonzo Carpenter of Battery D and Thomas M. Robinson of Battery E on February 15th.
Sergeant Tom Lee Suddreth, of Battery E, on February 17th. On this date seventy men were reported as sick in the hospitals with flu.
Private Julian E. Lewis, of Battery D, on February 21st.
Private Walter McKinley Harwood, Battery D, on February 24th.
A choppy sea, viewed from the forward deck of the U. S. S. Santa Teresa.
No other deaths with flu are reported in the diary after February 24th. The diary of February 26th reports 49 officers and 1,394 enlisted men, showing that the sick were returning from the hospitals. The roads were still reported "muddy."
The men will long remember the sticky, oozy, gooey mud of the Le Mans Forwarding Camp, the mud that was with them day and night for a whole month, a month that was the most depressing month of their
At Sea. A typical view from the deck of the Santa Teresa.
Battery B on the march through the streets of Newport News, Va., with Lieut. LeRoy C. Hand in command. They are getting the "feel" of American soil again and it is good.career, with rain falling constantly and a deadly epidemic raging. They were inspected and re-inspected, bathed, deloused and disinfected, preparatory to taking train for St. Nazaire, the port of embarkation. Something would happen to delay the movement and the whole performance had to be gone over again. This happened many times and the men never got used to it. The disappointment at each failure to move seemed to grow keener and harder to bear. The movement actually materialized on March 4th and on March 6th the regiment marched up the gang-plank of the Santa Teresa, one of Uncle Sam's transports, and on the night of the same day the Santa Teresa put out to sea, headed for the United States of America.
The men were delighted with the Santa Teresa. They went aboard remembering the "mutton and spuds" diet of the Armagh and they were not prepared for the food that was dished out to them on their first line-up for chow. It was good all the way, well cooked and of pleasing variety, and the men were delighted with it.
Life aboard ship was pleasant, in the main. There were a few days when the Santa Teresa rolled and pitched in the clutches of a storm and there was considerable sea-sickness among the passengers, but the bad weather passed.
The last issue of "The Tar Baby," the little daily sheet published aboard during the voyage, contained this significant statement:
"The admissions to the Sick Bay for the past eight days bear out
READY TO WELCOME THE ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTEENTH HOME
One of the biggest crowds that ever gathered in Raleigh was there to welcome the regiment home. Fayetteville Street, with the State Capitol in the background.
Headquarters Company marching through the streets of Newport News, Va., on March 18, 1919.
Just off of the Santa Teresa.
This little paper added much to the enjoyment of the voyage. A facsimile of the first page of the last issue appears elsewhere. It carried daily the news of the world received by wireless and little items about various men of the regiment. A daily feature that created much merriment was the "Diary of a Rookie," in which the Rookie kidded the officers mercilessly, laughed at the sea-sick and extracted fun from every happening of the voyage. The following is a sample of what he irreverently handed the officers:
"Something must have got twisted today at lunch when the troops got chicken and the officers got beans--but then we're getting nearer civil life every day, which is true I guess, 'cause a certain officer give me a cigar today an' says he wonders if my pa will be takin' back his old farm hands when they're mustered out--but our old plow horse won't know what 'close up' means, I reckon."
The regiment landed at Newport News on March 18, 1919 and was quartered near that city for a period of four days. The casual companies began leaving the regiment for Camp Funston, Camp Gordon and Camp Dix. These were composed of replacements that the regiment had received from various states in the south, west and north.
It was here at Newport News that the men first felt the breaking of the cords that had bound them together through all of the days of organization,
WAITING FOR THE PARADE OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTEENTH FIELD ARTILLERY
The Reviewing Stand on Fayetteville Street, with Governor and Mrs. Bickett, Mayor Johnson, of Raleigh, and other notables in the foreground. Confederate veterans from the Soldiers' home in the background.
training, fighting and waiting. Most of those who left the regiment at Newport News were not "home folks" originally. They had come to the regiment from thirty-six different states and a half dozen foreign lands, but they had made warm friends in this Tar Heel organization and everybody was sorry to see them go.
Colonel Cox addressed the following message to the regiment just before the Santa Teresa landed at Newport News:
"The war is over. Your great adventure is finished. Your career as a soldier is closing. A great awakening is at hand. You return to your native land with a record unsurpassed in the history of the world. You return with a consciousness of duty well performed. Soon you will enter upon a new role, a role which has become unfamiliar to you during the service of the past two years; a role of great importance, however, in which it behooves you to perform with the greatest diligence. The future strength and glory of our country depend upon you and those like you, so guard well the trust imposed upon you.
"Upon your return to civil life, take with you those splendid traits of character that have proven you to be men and soldiers wherever your task took you during the past nine months, and leave behind all that would tend to narrow or circumscribe your new life. Carry with you the remembrance of those things seen and learned in the Old World that, if put into operation, will help those in the States among whom you will live.
"A wonderful opportunity has been yours, which by your spirit, intelligence and courage you have made the most of. The record of your deeds and service is an enduring one and will remain long after you have taken your departure. You have much to be proud of and many interesting occurrences to relate. Let me caution you to dwell but briefly on those acts of valor that affect you personally. It is the province of the true hero to be inherently modest. Stick up to the last for your Army, your Division, your Regiment, your Battery or Company, but let someone else tell of the part you individually played. In all your future dealings conduct yourself with that fidelity of purpose and strength of character that bespeaks the true soldier and upright man. Never fail a comrade in distress, particularly if such comrade has been crippled through his participation in the great War. Those of us who survive the conflicts with sound bodies and limbs can never adequately express our thanks to the Divine Being who guided our steps in safety. The same God who protected you in the hours of danger and strife will lead you in the ways of peace."
The regiment, less the casual companies, was ordered to Camp Jackson, Columbia, S. C., along with the remainder of the 30th Division, for muster out. It was arranged, much to the delight of every member of the regiment, that the regiment should visit Raleigh en route to Columbia and spend one night and one day in the Capital of their beloved State.
Faithful to its Sunday movement tradition, the regiment landed in Raleigh late Sunday evening, March 23d, and was met at the train by
the most enthusiastic crowd of people that ever assembled in that good old town. The people had arranged to entertain the men at their homes and they were at the Union Station waiting for their guests. Suppers were waiting for the hungry soldiers in five hundred homes and the "billets" they found prepared for them were of a variety they had not seen in all of their foreign travels. When the trains bearing the men arrived in Raleigh there was no attempt at keeping the men in any sort of formation. They were turned over to their hosts and hostesses, with instructions to assemble on the following morning in time for the parade that was to be a big feature of the home-coming exercises.
Monday, March 24, 1919, will long be remembered in Raleigh. Before nine o'clock the streets were full of people. Special trains on all of the railroads brought thousands. Thousands more came in automobiles, buggies and wagons. It was the biggest crowd ever seen in Raleigh and the happiest. People who had no relatives or friends in the regiment came for miles to greet the boys and fathers, mothers, brothers, wives and sweethearts were on hand in vast numbers.
The parade at 11 o'clock on Monday, March 24th, was very impressive. Governor Bickett and a large party of notables occupied the reviewing stand. Pictures of the parade shown elsewhere give details of the event.
After marching by the reviewing stand and encircling the Capitol, the regiment took the long road out Hillsboro Street to the Fair Ground, where a bountiful dinner had been spread. There were vast quantities of barbecue and Brunswick stew, inexhaustible stores of fried chicken, cake and ham and the men did full justice to them. Following the dinner, the men were dismissed once more and scattered all over Raleigh. They reassembled that night for entrainment and not a man was missing; not a man had been drunk or even faintly "illuminated"; not a man had been in any kind of trouble whatsoever. It was a great day for the regiment and a great day for Raleigh.
ON the night of March 24, 1919, the regiment entrained for Camp Jackson, Columbia, S. C., and arrived in Columbia on the following day. There was no parade in Columbia and no formal reception, but everybody in that hospitable city turned out and gave the boys a welcome that was second only to the wonderful welcome they had been accorded in Raleigh. Columbia homes were open to the regiment and so remained for its entire stay there.
No time was lost at Camp Jackson in getting the mustering out machinery into action and it was a question of a few days only until demobilization had been completed and there was no longer any such organization as the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery.
Colonel Cox's last order to his command was:
March 28, 1919.
To all Organization Commanders:
1. In taking leave of the officers and men of the regiment upon its muster out of service, I desire to express to them personally and individually my heartfelt appreciation of their work as soldiers and their conduct as gentlemen. During the period of training at Camp Sevier, and later, at Camp Coetquidan, through the battles and engagements in the Toul Sector, at St. Mihiel, in the Argonne forest and at the Woëvre, after the Armistice through northern France and Luxemburg and finally at the various camps preparing for return to the States and demobilization--you have at all times rendered the government its due and been true to the tradition of your forefathers. No finer set of men or truer or braver soldiers have ever fought for their homes and country. The record of your achievements and your valor will live in the hearts of men and be engraved on the tablets of time. Your future life will be enriched by memories of duties well performed on the battlefields of France. Many a pleasant moment will be spent in recalling to mind the part you performed on the fronts of both the First and Second American Armies, and your sojourn among the Luxembourgeoise while with the Army of Occupation.
Most of you are young men, many of you came into the service as boys, but all go out as men, full formed and equipped to do a man's part in whatever may be your task. There is work for you to do; much work of varied kinds; work to the performance of which you will bring many valuable ideas obtained during your service as soldiers. No State or nation can be greater than the individual citizens that
"TOPS" WE HAVE KNOWN
Group of veteran First Sergeants. Two of these, First Sergeant Blount, of Battery B, and First Sergeant Harris, of Battery A, were Saumur graduates and were attached to their old batteries. First Sergeant Tuttle, of Battery E, was the only one of the group to serve as "Top" from the organization of his outfit to demobilization. Left to right they are: Top row--Henderson, Headquarters Company; Crowell, Battery D; Bell, Battery A. Middle row--Blount, Battery B; Harris, Battery A; Hill, Battery F. Bottom row--Carroll, Battery C; Latham, Battery B; Tuttle, Battery E; Conrad, Supply Company.
Part of the Regimental N. C. O. Staff--Left to right: R. S. M. Jacob E. Lambert, Jr., R. S. M. William A. Allen, R. S. M. Kenneth J. Nixon, B. S. M. Hugh A. Pollard, R. S. M. Laudie E. Dimmette.
OTHER MEMBERS OF THE REGIMENTAL N. C. O. STAFF.
At the Top--Left to right: Bat. Sgt. Major Marvin M. Capps and Corporal E. W. Harrington. Center: Sergeant Arthur B. Corey.
At Bottom--Left to right: Color Sergeants George N. Taylor and Wilbon O. Huntley.
compose it, hence it behooves us all to carry into every undertaking--be it social, industrial or governmental--the full power of earnest effort. Be leaders in all movements which are inaugurated for the best interest of our country. You have courage, energy and self-confidence. Don't permit doubt, timidity or discouragement ever to have a part in your makeup. Keep your head up and your back straight and smash the problems of civil life in the same spirit you stormed the strongholds of the Kaiser's hosts.
Nothing can ever take the place of the pride I shall always feel in having had an opportunity of commanding such a body of men. Words cannot express my gratitude to the officers and the men for their cheerful cooperation and absolute loyalty. I hope that each of you feel that in me he has a friend and that you will never fail to afford me the opportunity of demonstrating the friendship I have for you.
May every success attend your future endeavors and may the spirit of the One Hundred and Thirteenth guard your every undertaking.
ALBERT L. COX,
Colonel, 113th Field Artillery.
2. This order will be read to each unit at its last assembly.
By order of COLONEL COX:
(ROBERT P. BEAMAN)
Captain, 113th. F. A.
With the last formalities duly attended to, the last bit of red tape adjusted, and hasty good-byes spoken, the men of the regiment turned their faces homeward, and the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery ceased to exist, save in the hearts and memories of the splendid body of men who had made it a great fighting machine, a resourceful, courageous organization. Viewed from any angle, the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was a great regiment, self-reliant and dependable because it was an aggregation of self-reliant and dependable men. No matter how trying the situation, the One Hundred and Thirteenth always stood squarely and firmly on its own feet, was always able to take care of itself and lend a helping hand to less hardy outfits. It bore no stain upon its record. There were no reprimands from high authority, no complaints, no criticisms to be explained away. It was a regiment of no regrets.
The One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was seventy-eight days at the front. Eleven days of this time was spent in hiking from one sector to another. At no time, after August 23, 1918, up to Armistice Day, was the regiment out of range of German artillery. The time spent in moving from one sector to another may well be counted active front line service, for the movement in every case skirted the American front lines.
The regiment has the unique distinction of having served longer at the front that any other North Carolina organization. The War Department officially credits the 30th Division with fifty-six days of service in active sectors. Deducting the eleven days in which it was on the march and during which no firing was done, the One Hundred and Thirteenth was
occupying active sectors and actually firing sixty-seven days, or eleven days longer than the infantry units of the 30th Division. Only two divisions, the First and the Third, are officially credited with longer service in active sectors than the One Hundred and Thirteenth experienced. Two divisions, the Second and the 77th, fall one day under the One Hundred and Thirteenth's record, each being credited with sixty-six days.
As has already been stated, the One Hundred and Thirteenth served in all three of the American armies, the First, the Second and the Third, and in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth American Army Corps. Five of the six divisions with which the regiment served are credited with making advances of thirty kilometers or more against enemy resistance. Two of the divisions it supported, the 89th and the 33d, stand third and fourth among the combat divisions of the A. E. F. in the number of German prisoners captured. The 30th Division was fifth. Two other divisions that the One Hundred and Thirteenth supported, the 37th and the 32d, also stand high among the fighting divisions in the taking of prisoners. The regiment was always fortunate in the divisions to which it was assigned and can always be "proud of the company it kept" in the World War.
VOLUME I. AT SEA, MARCH 17, 1919. NUMBER 5
The two great war machines of our country are the Army and the Navy. In the event of war, each must work harmoniously with the other to attain the desired end--VICTORY. As in a football game, a hole must be made for the man carrying the ball and, depending on the nature of the war, the Army and Navy vary as to who shall play on the line and who shall carry the ball.
Though not of a spectacular nature, the work of the Navy during the past war was of vital necessity to the country at home and to the Army abroad. A German naval victory was her greatest hope and surest salvation for a successful outcome in the war.
Thirty days after the declaration of war the American destroyer flotilla arrived at Queenstown, Ireland, and immediately took up their work of submarine patrol and convoy protection with the cry, "We are ready." Later a squadron of five of our biggest and best battleships joined the English Grand Fleet and "carried on" with the British until the grand German surrender. American submarines were sent across to assist in German submarine hunting. In the North Sea the Navy working in conjunction with the English succeeded in the establishment of an immense mine barrage which barred so far as possible, the egress of German submarines from their bases. The Naval Air Force co-operated successfully with the British and the French in maintaining a coast patrol and established at Calais one of the finest air bases in Europe. A blue jacket battery of heavy naval guns sent to the Western Front helped along the great cause.
The question of transporting troops and supplies abroad became an important one for the Navy. The Cruiser and Transport Force under the command of Vice-Ad-
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March 14.--I been readin a book that tells how the Greeks had gods for everything an its says a feller named Neptune controls the sea. I reckon Nep. must've gone into some other business before we left port.
Teresa tho is doing noble. No wave is too big for her to bust smack into but they aint no danger cause the Capn's said to be one of the best in the Navy and the other officers is regular fellers too. They sure are treatin us like passengers 'stead of just soldiers. They feed us big and they aint mentioned mutton nor O. D. gravy yet an' they don't tell us we can't stand near the rail an' they let us go all over the ship like we are human an' not just fellers that's been fightin' for their country. If we was treated better we'd think we was mustard out. And the Cap'n's got guts too. Them frogs at St. Nazaire wanted us to wait for a French pilot like we used to do three days travelin on their railroads. The Cap'n up and says,--"You get that pilot here by nine o'clock and don't send him at half past cause he won't be able to jump that far out." "No compree," says they. The Cap'n tells 'em how the Declaration of Independence sounds in French and sticks 'em with Woodrow's 14 points. They sends right around to the Cafe du Commerce and gets their best pilot that is gettin another schooner cross the bar, an he toot sweets it over and starts puttin out like a little man.
There's been some nights the Cap'n aint been to bed at all, being he had to sit with Teresa when she was took with the heaves. But he seen her thru.
The crew is all nice fellers an they dont charge us two-thirds of two months pay for cantine stuff like the Britishers did when we went across. Top o' the wave to
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Built at Cramp's Ship Yard, Philadelphia. Originally designed for a fruit boat, Grace Line, but taken over for transport. Launched July 4, 1918, completed and accepted by government November 17, 1918, commissioned following day under present commander. Santa Teresa, has made two trips to Bordeaux and one to St. Nazaire, average time for round trip 26 days. Santa Teresa is 375 feet 9 inches over all, beam 51 feet 9 inches; gross tonnage 5102; net tonnage 2971 but as arranged for transport service about 500 and she carries 900 tons ballast. Loaded she draws 24 feet, but the maximum recorded to date is 22 feet 10 inches. She is a single screw, oil burner, carrying a 2500 H. P. engine; average daily oil consumption 40-42 tons, average speed 13 1-2 knots per hour, maximum speed 14 knots. Fuel oil storage capacity of 1352 tons. The Santa Teresa has cold storage capacity of 75 tons where sufficient perishable provisions can be stored for a round trip. Fresh water storage capacity 706 tons. Equipped with a 2 k. w. radio set of 700 miles sending capacity. Carried 1 4-inch, 1 5-inch, 2 1-pounder guns, 2 Lewis machine guns and small arms. Also otter gear for mine sweeping.
At present the Santa Teresa has troop accommodation for 1826 men and 70 officers. Her own crew consists of 22 officers and 211 men.
|Total number miles St. Nazaire-New York||3250|
|Total miles covered to noon, March 16||2713|
|Total miles covered from noon, March 15 to noon, March 16||293|
Headquarters Company claimed Raleigh as its home town but in reality its home was all North Carolina. Every part of the State was represented in Headquarters Company. When it was announced that the company was ready to receive members, and this was along about July 1, 1917, good men came running to get in. The original roster of the company carried the names of many of the finest young men in the State and a very large number of them later became officers in the One Hundred and Thirteenth and in other outfits.
Captain Erskine E. Boyce, Commanding Headquarters Company.
The first commanding officer of Headquarters Company was Captain Rufus M. Johnston of Charlotte, a successful infantry officer, who did fine work in getting the company in shape for its trying experiences in training camp and elsewhere. The company felt the beneficial effect of this training and discipline throughout its whole career and there was universal regret when he resigned and left the regiment just before it left Camp Mills for duty overseas.
Lieutenant William P. Whittaker was the company's first lieutenant. When the company was organized, only one lieutenant was allowed for a Headquarters Company, and to Lieutenant Whittaker fell the honor of being "it." During the regiment's history, Lieutenant Whittaker filled every position that a first lieutenant could fill and served in practically every organization of the regiment. He is famous for his work as "canteen officer" of the regiment, in which rôle he displayed great ability as a merchant and kept the various battery and company funds fat with dividends. Later he was regimental gas officer and won high praise from the gas officer of the 33d Division for his work in the Woëvre sector.
Shortly after the One Hundred and Thirteenth arrived at Camp Sevier there were changes in the Tables of Organization that provided for fourteen lieutenants in Headquarters Company and life thereafter was just one shave-tail after another. It was a bright Headquarters lad who knew all of his lieutenants. A very large majority of the officers of the regiment below the rank of captain at one time or another saw service in Headquarters Company.
When the regiment reached the front in August, 1918, Captain Gustaf R. Westfeldt, of New Orleans, La., was its commanding officer. When the St. Mihiel drive started he was made regimental adjutant and operations officer and Captain Erskine E. Boyce, the regimental adjutant, succeeded him. Captain Boyce remained with the company until it was mustered out.
Next to being regimental supply officer, the hardest job in any regiment is that of captain of a headquarters company. A headquarters company in an artillery regiment is split into three sections. One of these is the regimental headquarters detachment, under the eagle eye of the colonel and his adjutant and two other detachments, one for each major. Equipment of all kinds, supplies and food, must be split equally and impartially among the three and usually three separate messes must be operated, all on the slender allowance provided, and everybody who has had experience in trying to make the allowance suffice with only one company mess, can imagine how difficult it is. Truly, the life of the C. O. of a headquarters company is fraught with trouble!
Headquarters Company was always equal to the many demands made upon it. It was always able to furnish well-qualified experts in radio,
Headquarters Company.telephone, visual signaling, and all other departments needed in modern warfare. Its members never shirked a duty and its commanding officer, Captain Erskine E. Boyce, won a citation for bravery in action in the Argonne.
The company had one man, Private James W. Pittman, killed in the Argonne, two wounded and nine gassed.
By CAPT. BEVERLY S. ROYSTER, JR.
Battery A was recruited from the town of New Bern and vicinity and was drafted into Federal service on July 25, 1917. In training at Camp Sevier, S. C., from September 16, 1917 to May 18, 1918, entraining on the latter date for Camp Mills, N. Y. Sailed on the British S. S. Armagh on May 27, 1918 for service overseas and arrived at Liverpool on June 7th; thence, by slow stages, the battery journeyed to Camp de Coetquidan, near Guer, in the province of Morbihan, France, arriving on June 15, 1918,
Battery A.where it remained until August 23, 1918, when it went to the front near Toul with the remainder of the regiment.
Battery A first went into position on the road between Berniecourt and Beaumont and fired its first shot at the enemy on September 1, 1918. The battery remained in position three days, and three days later returned for two more days of action, returning to the regimental echelon on September 8th.
On September 10, 1918 moved to forward positions--co-ordinates 362.530-231.937--from which it started firing in the St. Mihiel drive on the morning of September 12th. At 4:30 p.m. on the same day the battery was ordered forward and spent the night of the 12th in the Bois de Beau Villon. On September 13th the battery resumed march and took up positions close to the infantry just went of Thiacourt at about 3:30 in the afternoon, where it remained under constant shell-fire until 8:00 p. m. on September 14th, when it moved out with the rest of the regiment on the first stage of the long hike to the Foret de Argonne. The roads over which the battery moved that night were subjected to heavy shelling, much of it phosgene gas.
On September 24, 1918 the battery went into position in the Bois
Battery A.de Esnes, in preparation for the opening of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, which opened on the morning of September 26th. The battery began operations at one o'clock with harassing fire, starting the rolling barrage at 4:15. Just after noon on September 26th the battery was ordered forward. The night of the 26th was spent in the Bois de Avocourt and on the 27th the battery went into position in the northern edge of the Bois de Montfaucon, from which position it fired for two days. The march forward had been made under the worst possible conditions, over roads that were next to impassable and with the rain falling steadily. The battery lost many of its horses in this movement.
On September 29th the battery went forward as part of the First Battalion to positions near Ivoiry, on the Montfaucon-Ivoiry road, where it experienced the hardest fighting of its career. With the remainder of the battalion it was in position here eight days, four days of which the battalion was the sole support of a regiment of infantry. At one time German artillery fire became so heavy over the whole area around the battalion that the infantry and machine-gun outfits holding the front were forced to retire to cover behind the artillery. Major General Farnsworth, commanding the 37th Division, visited the battalion in person and
directed that a lookout be stationed on the crest of the ridge in front of the battalion to watch for the first wave of the German attack, so that the 75's might be dragged up and direct fire poured into their ranks.
Captain Beverly S. Royster, Jr., Commanding Battery A.
The battery did much effective firing from its position here. Observers with the infantry reported many times that the battery's fire on enemy batteries, working parties, and road traffic was very effective.
On the night of October 6th the battery was withdrawn from the Argonne and it next went into position about 1,000 metres northeast of Dommartin on October 11th. It was taken to this new position in trucks, as all but thirty-two of its horses were dead. It engaged in all of the operations of the 79th and 33d Divisions on that part of the Woëvre sector up to November 11, 1918. On November 6th the battery was heavily gassed but owing to the fact that it had to fire a barrage for the infantry, the battery could not evacuate its position and there were sixteen gas casualties.
Battery A was always in the thick of the fighting. It did its share, and more, of "accompanying battery" duty and it is the battery's proud boast that in its seventy-eight days at the front, it never fired over the heads of any other artillery unit.
By CAPT. WILEY C. RODMAN.
This battery was organized at Washington, N. C., during the month of June, 1917, and was composed largely of boys under twenty-one from the counties of Beaufort, Washington, Pitt, Pamlico, and Hyde, with a few from other counties and some from other States. The organization was accepted by the Government as of July 20th, and was formally mustered into the service on the 25th day of July, 1917.
It remained in Washington, N. C., from that time until its departure for Camp Sevier, S. C., in September and during its stay in Washington was quartered in a building on Market Street, known as the Armory.
During its stay in Washington the organization was given primary instruction in infantry drill, partially uniformed by the Government and entirely inoculated for all the ills that flesh is supposed to be heir to.
Captain Wiley C. Rodman, Commanding Battery B. Acting Adjutant First
Battalion prior to demobilization.
It was the recipient of many favors and gifts from the city and county, the citizens individually and the local societies for aiding the soldiers which had already sprung into existence and activity. Among the gifts was a Victrola, a pet coon and a Battery Flag which was carried by it throughout the war, and has been returned by it to the city of Washington as a gift.
Early in September the battery received its first pay from "Uncle Sam," squared up the many debts which had accumulated during July and August, to the great satisfaction of all concerned, and shortly thereafter departed for a long and tedious sojourn, but notwithstanding a happy one, in the State of South Carolina.
The officers of the battery at this time were:
Wiley C. Rodman, Captain; Enoch S. Simmons, First Lieutenant; William E. Baugham, First Lieutenant; George S. Dixon and Robert H. Lawrence, Second Lieutenants.
Up to the time of the departure from Washington for Camp Sevier there had been 210 men recruited for the battery, and of these there were 178 actually carried to the camp--the remainder having been discharged for various reasons. At Camp Sevier the battery was consolidated with the other batteries comprising the regiment and as a battery did the work assigned to it during the stay there. With the regiment it departed for overseas service and arrived in England at Liverpool on the 7th day of June, 1918. It arrived at Le Havre, France, on the 13th of June, and from there proceeded to Coetquidan, France, where it underwent the hardest kind of training until the 23d of August.
At this camp it was equipped for the first time with the French 75's and two Hotchkiss machine guns.
The battery arrived at Toul on the 26th of August and was immediately marched to the regimental echelon in the "Foret de la Reine." It took part in the St. Mihiel offensive, having three men wounded at Thiacourt,
Battery B.and from there marched with the regiment to its position for the Argonne offensive.
In this latter, in front of Montfaucon, it had two men killed and several wounded and gassed.
The battery took part in all the battles in which the regiment was engaged, and in front of Montfaucon it, with Battery A, was nearer to the German lines than any other batteries in the brigade of which it formed a part. After withdrawing from the Argonne it was sent with the regiment to the Meuse Plains, and while occupying positions in this sector it was for thirteen days stationed at a little abandoned French village called Avilliers. This position was nearer to the German lines than the position of any other battery in the brigade, and during this period it was constantly under observation from hostile air planes and was subjected to daily shelling by the enemy without being allowed to return the fire. It was the most dangerous position occupied by the battery during the entire war, and while no one was killed there the escapes were more than fortunate.
On the night that orders had been given to retire, the infantry got out first and for three hours this battery was the front line of the army
Battery B.at this place. The Germans in some way got wind of this and just as the battery was withdrawing subjected the position to the heaviest shelling which it underwent during the war.
The signing of the Armistice found the battery in position on the heights above the Meuse Plains and here it remained until the 7th of December, when it took up the march with the regiment for Luxemburg and the shore of the Moselle River. The battery proceeded with the regiment on its various marches and returned with it to Le Mans, France, and thence to America and was mustered out at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, on the 28th of March, 1919.
The members of the battery who were originally from Beaufort and surrounding counties proceeded to Washington, N. C., as an organization and there received from the assembled citizens of the entire surrounding country the greatest "welcome home reception" that Washington had ever witnessed. The Victory Arch erected by the citizens stands today as a beautiful tribute to commemorate the battles in which the battery participated and as a monument to the fallen heroes from the county of Beaufort.
Of the original 178 men who had departed with the battery only 110 returned to enjoy the celebration, as some had given up their lives, some
had been transferred to other organizations and many had been discharged for various reasons.
First Lieutenant LeRoy C. Hand, of Battery B. He commanded the battery while Captain Rodman was serving as adjutant of the First Battalion.
The battery had from time to time been supplied with replacements from different sections of the State, United States and the world at large, and generally it might well have been called a cosmopolitan organization.
Too much credit cannot be given to these replacements, so called, and some of the best men in the battery were thus secured.
The officers who served with the battery during its period of service were as follows:
Captains: Rodman and McLendon.
Lieutenants: Simmons, Baugham, Dixon, Lawrence, Meares, Harrison, Ashcraft, Moore, Covington, Beaman, Roberts, Wood, Taylor, Boswell, Crenshaw, Adler, McKinnon, Hand, Hedden, Suplee.
First Sergeants: Gardner, Loris W.; Hand, LeRoy C.; Blount, Wm. A. Jr., and Latham, Jesse H.
Battery Clerks: Ausbon, Clarence S.; Ramsey, Claude S.; and Goldsmith, Clarence D.
The following deaths occurred:
The battery had fifty horses killed by shell-fire.
During the time that the battery was engaged in action with the enemy the following officers served with it:
Captain Wiley C. Rodman; First Lieutenant Charles H. Wood; Second Lieutenant William C. Adler and Second Lieutenant Ernest M. Hedden.
The battery was joined a few days before the signing of the Armistice by Lieutenant Irwin Suplee.
By MAJOR L. P. MCLENDON
Battery C, of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was recruited in the counties of Durham, Orange, Chatham and Person. In addition there were five members of the battery who came from other sections of North Carolina. When the battery arrived at Camp Sevier, September
16, 1917, we had 191 enlisted men and four officers, the officers being L. P. McLendon, of Durham, captain; S. M. Gattis, Jr., of Hillsboro, and F. L. Fuller, Jr., of Durham, first lieutenants, and T. J. Craig, of South Carolina, second lieutenant. All of the men who originally enlisted with the battery were lucky enough to remain with it and be discharged from it in March, 1919, except the three lieutenants and thirty-five enlisted men. The battery only lost two men by death during its period of service. They were Stable Sergeant Willie H. Sims, of Durham, who died in January, 1918, of meningitis and was the first man from Durham County to die during the war. The other was Sergeant Charles B. Wills, of Chapel Hill, who died on Christmas Day, 1918, while the regiment was in Luxemburg with the Army of Occupation. Both of these men were splendid soldiers and their loss was deeply felt by their comrades.
Captain Richard D. Dixon, Commanding Battery C.
Of the original personnel there were only five or six who had had previous military training and consequently we had to learn the game from the beginning. No officer ever commanded a more willing battery. Their enthusiasm for work and their desire to learn and their ambition to excel was marvelous and was commented upon by every officer who served with the battery. Even during the two months we were in Durham, without uniforms or other equipment and with little incentive to work they could not be drilled enough or taught enough. This spirit characterized the battery throughout its period of service. Individually they felt a great deal of pride in the battery and in its performances, and were always loyal to the point of fighting any man who cast a reflection on their battery. They were never happier than when in competition with some other organization. To this spirit of loyalty and esprit de corps I attribute whatever success we attained in France during our period of service at the front.
I am sure there never was an organization in the American army which had a better time in the performance of our daily routine of duties, in our triumphs, in our hardships and misfortunes. Private "Red" Herndon illustrated the good-natured spirit they maintained on all occasions. He was detailed to the incinerator at Camp Sevier for missing reveille. In those days the incinerator consisted of a hole in the ground, very full of water and "slops" from the kitchen, and the duties of the detail consisted in keeping a fire going to burn this water and refuse. A lieutenant-colonel
Battery C.of the Medical Corps was making an inspection of the sanitary conditions of the camp in company with Colonel Cox. When they arrived at Battery C's incinerator they found "Red" leaning on a rake with one end of it in the incinerator, the dirtiest and blackest soldier ever seen. The inspector said: "Young man, are you detailed in charge of this incinerator?" "Red" pushed his rake through the mixture of fire and water and without looking up replied: "Yes, sir." "Well," answered the inspector, "you will have to build a bigger fire than that to burn up that water." I never heard of burning water before I got in the army," said "Red." "Maybe not," replied the inspector, "but, young man, you have got a lot to learn in the army." "You are damn tooting," was Red's answer. This answer fittingly describes the willingness of the men to admit the necessity of learning the game. This enthusiasm and loyalty never waned, but, on the contrary, seemed to increase when we arrived in France and were fully equipped for the first time. The men gave the finest demonstration of their knowledge, their loyalty and devotion to duty on the night of the opening of the St. Mihiel Battle. We had just lost all of our officers by transfer except myself. Two lieutenants had been assigned to the battery, but one of these was absent, sick, and the other one was scarcely known to half of the battery.
Battery C.No one will ever forget that night of rain and mud and darkness. We had to carry much of our ammunition by hand over quite a distance because the mud had made it impossible to unload the caissons at the guns. On the afternoon of the 12th I called the chiefs of sections to me and told them:
"The battle begins at midnight. We must not miss a shot. Put every man to work and be sure you keep plenty of ammunition on hand."
About eleven o'clock that night Bugler Carl Churchill, who was on duty as a runner, reported to me and asked if I had anything for him to do. I told him that I did not, but that I wanted him to go to sleep and rest so that he would be able to act as runner the next day on our advance. He disappeared without comment. The next morning at daylight he was one of the first men I saw, wet from head to foot, covered with mud, marching back and forth to the guns with his arms full of shells! Every man had worked that night, taking turn about, irrespective of his rank, serving the guns and carrying ammunition. After that experience I knew those men were equal to any emergency.
It was during the battle of St. Mihiel that we suffered our first casualties. At Thiacourt, on September 14th, Private Percy Parrish, a telephone operator, and Sergeant Barbour, signal sergeant, were both seriously
wounded by the same shell. Parrish was hit in the temple and knocked unconscious. Barbour, who was wounded in the back and bleeding profusely, picked up Parrish and yelled to another operator:
"Hey, Massey, bring a 'phone here. This one is shot all to pieces."
Later on Sergeant Barbour became well enough to leave the hospital, and while trying to rejoin our regiment was badly wounded and gassed in the Meuse-Argonne battle.
While our regiment was participating in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, our battery had several men wounded and on each occasion they displayed the greatest reluctance to leave the battery. On the 6th of October, in company with some of the signal detail, I was coming back to the battery from the observation station on top of the hill at Montfaucon. We met Private Walter De Brock, of Kansas, who had been sent to the battery as a replacement several months before. His left arm was hanging loosely and the blood streaming from his finger tips. As we drew near to him I noticed that he was crying and I said: "What is the matter, De Brock, are you wounded?" His answer was: "Yes, captain, I am wounded but that is not why I am crying. I am crying because I got to leave these boys."
I made him sit down and while I was bandaging his arm he told me that he never knew a single man in the battery before he joined it, but that he loved every one of them then, and he knew if he went to a hospital he would never see us again. No greater tribute can be paid to the battery than that, coming from one who lived in a different state and had been with us only a comparatively short time. His prediction was true--we never saw him again.
It is very unfair to mention any one man, but I feel that the whole battery would approve of what I say about Mess Sergeant Thompson. He was thirty-three years old when he volunteered in 1917. While the battery was mobilized at Durham he attended church one Sunday in the country community where he was reared. The preacher, unfortunately for him, took the opportunity to say some rather unpatriotic and totally untrue things about the army and, as he expressed it, "the false patriotism of the men who were enlisting." Thompson stood it as long as he could and then arose and said:
"Well, Mr. --, I am sorry to interrupt you, but I want to say that after the services are over I will have something to say about the army and I will be glad if those who care to hear me will remain."
It is needless to say that every man, woman and child, including the preacher, stayed to hear Thompson. He told them that patriotism was close kin to religion; that it was a great pity that our army as a whole and the individuals composing it should be accused of all sort of vice, sin and false patriotism; that if the soldiers were as mean as the preacher said they were, and the army as bad a breeding place of vice as he indicated, then it seemed to him that the church's duty was to try to remedy the evil rather than to keep men from performing their patriotic duty by enlisting; that he was beyond the draft age; that he was just as good
morally as any man present and that he expected to come out of the army just as good as he was then; that he knew many men in his own battery who were just as good Christians as could be found anywhere, and that it was nothing but slander to say of the army generally that it was a breeding place for vice.
The preacher was completely routed and later sought a new flock to shepherd! And from that day Thompson was a marked man in our battery. Everyone in the regiment knows that he did live just the life that he told about in the country church. He was always clean and true and loyal as a soldier, but to him duty to his nation was paramount to everything else.
Sergeant Wyatt T. Dixon, Veteran Battery Clerk of C Battery, the only man in the regiment to serve in this capacity throughout the regiment's history.
His ration cart with his familiar figure perched on it by the side of "Pie" Grady, was known to every man in the regiment and he has been seen on it at every hour of the day and night on its numerous trips with its precious load of "grub." In the Argonne he was put on the wrong road by a M. P. at night and the next morning he found himself almost in No Man's Land with his ration cart. A doughboy yelled to him and said:
"What in the H--are you doing here with that d-- ration cart?"
Thompson replied: "I am looking for my battery." The doughboy said:
"Well, you are almost in No Man's Land and your battery ain't up here and you won't be here long if you don't look out."
Thompson quietly asked for a match. Then he lit his cigar, turned his horse and cart around and drove off across the field, making the finest target any Hun ever fired upon. "Pie" Grady said that shells fell all around him and every time one would burst Thompson would say:
"Those are our shells. They are not going to hit us."
If it were put to a vote of the regiment I honestly believe that Thompson would be nominated as the best mess sergeant in the American army.
During our period of service the battery was commanded at intervals by three captains and six first lieutenants; twenty-two officers and 269 enlisted men served with the battery from first to last. Three enlisted men were commissioned from ranks and two received commissions from training camps. Thirteen in all were wounded.
Battery D was made up of young men from the counties of Anson and Union. Both Wadesboro and Monroe wanted batteries but there were not enough to go 'round and these two towns were told that they could have a partnership battery. It was named the "Bickett Battery," in honor of Governor Thomas Walter Bickett, who was born and reared in Union county.
Kenneth M. Hardison, of Wadesboro, was the battery's first captain and its last. He was transferred from the battery while the regiment was training at Camp Sevier, becoming adjutant of the First Battalion, in which position he served throughout the war, and was transferred back to the battery before the regiment was sent back to the United States. While at Camp Sevier, the battery had many changes of officers. When orders finally came for movement to Port of Embarkation, Captain Nugent B. Vairin, of New Orleans, La., was in command. He had come to the regiment from the Artillery Replacement Camp at Camp Jackson, S. C. Captain Vairin remained in command throughout the period of training in France and during the fighting.
The battery first saw action near Beaumont, where it took over a French position and began firing. Here the men got their first dug-out experience and, incidentally, their first cooties.
On September 10, 1918, the battery moved into a new position in the open fields near Noviant and began to get ready for the St. Mihiel drive. The co-ordinates of this position were: 362.840-230.390. The battery took part in the great bombardment that started at one o'clock on the morning of September 12th, and in the afternoon of the same day moved forward. On the day following the battery went into position near Thiacourt.
Many incidents worthy of mention marked this advance over what had been No Man's Land for so many years and over territory that for four years had been in the hands of the Germans. It was in the position near Thiacourt that the battery took possession of a captured German 77, in good condition and with "beaucoup" ammunition stacked around, and turned it against the retreating Huns. A sergeant of the battery took charge of it and did effective work with it.
It was here that the regiment, following fast on the heels of the infantry, over roads that were almost impassable, had its first serious transportation troubles. The supply train was blocked by incoming and outgoing
divisions at Limey and Flirey, and rations became exceedingly scarce. The "iron rations" that each man is supposed to carry were consumed and still the regular supply of grub failed to materialize. At Thiacourt the battery struck good luck, for the mess sergeant and his helpers found an immense German garden, full of cabbage, potatoes and other vegetables. Scouting around through the woods other members of the battery captured many rabbits and chickens that the Germans had left there and there was no shortage of eats for quite a long while. When the supply train finally broke through, it found the battery "sitting on the world."
Captain Nugent B. Vairin, Jr., Commanding Battery D.
The battery moved on the night of September 14, 1918, through Essey and Euvezin to Rambecourt, resting there until after dark on the day following, and was almost continually moving for the seven nights that followed, arriving finally in the edge of the Foret de Argonne, where it went into positions below Avocourt for the opening of the Meuse-Argonne offensive. This big show began at 2:30 o'clock on the morning of September 26th, and the battery was constantly engaged through the long, hard days of this great battle until October 7, 1918, when the regiment was relieved and sent by trucks to the Woëvre sector to take positions in support of the 79th Division.
On October 10, 1918, the battery once more found itself in position, ready for action against the Hun. The battery's first position in this sector was to the right of Dommartin. The battery changed positions four times while in this sector, finally returning to the first position to take part in the attack on St. Hilaire on November 7, 1918, and the attack on Marcheville on November 10th, both of which were successful.
For the remainder of its existence the regiment's history is the history of the battery and that has doubtless been told in detail. Battery D was always a modest, unassuming outfit, content to do its duty without show or bluster and to appreciate the battery's real worth one had to know it intimately and well. Battery D always delivered the goods, no matter how difficult the situation.
By CAPT. WADE V. BOWMAN
On June 27, 1917, Mr. Buford F. Williams, a prominent lawyer of the town of Lenoir, received authority from Governor Bickett to organize a battery of field artillery at Lenoir, to become part of the First North Carolina
Field Artillery, and recruiting began on that day. In less than ten days seventy men had enlisted. We heard that there was interest in the new regiment down at Chester, S. C., and Captain Williams sent me down there. I enlisted twenty-six men at Chester, and could have enlisted more, but I wanted to reserve some places for North Carolinians and I returned to Lenoir. By July 12th the battery had more than 150 men.
Captain Wade V. Bowman, Commanding Battery E.
Physical examination weeded out eighteen men, leaving us still a good margin over the minimum requirement of the War Department, and recruits continued to come in until all of the counties round about were represented. There were stalwart mountaineers from Ashe, Watauga, Alexander and Wilkes, and Catawba and Mitchell were well represented.
On July 18, 1917, commissions were received for Captain Williams, First Lieutenants Claude B. McBrayer and Sanford A. Richardson, and Second Lieutenants Eugene P. Jones and Wade V. Bowman. Ten days later the entire battery was finally inspected and mustered into the service by Major A. L. Bulwinkle and Major J. M. Wheeler, U. S. A.
There is no part of the battery's experiences at home station or at Camp Sevier that differs noticeably from the experiences of the rest of the regiment, with the possible exception of its long and tedious exile in the woods back of camp, which resulted from the death of a member of this battery from meningitis. I remained with the battery only a short while at Camp Sevier, being transferred to Headquarters Company in October. I was later with Battery C and for a time after the signing of the Armistice was away from the regiment and I returned to Battery E only after it was stationed at the Le Mans Forwarding Camp. It was the high privilege of Captain Louis B. Crayton, later promoted to major, to command the battery for the larger part of its training experiences and throughout the fighting. Major Crayton has the following to say about the battery's fighting record at St. Mihiel and in the Argonne:
"After firing for four hours, Battery E was ordered forward to accompany the infantry on the morning of September 12th. Preparations were made and the battery began its march toward Hunland shortly after 5:30 a. m.
"The going was hard and necessarily slow for roads had to be built, trenches bridged and wire cut. We were making fair progress when suddenly a shell burst toward the rear of the column. Turning, I saw two horses falling and their driver
Battery E.writhing on the ground. The shelling continued faster and faster. There was no chance for escape to the right or left because barbed wire hemmed us in on either side. I ordered the first six carriages to follow me at a trot and managed to get them through to a place of safety.
"Lieutenant Douglas was left in charge of the crippled carriage and the fourth section which was behind it, with instructions to rejoin the battery as soon as possible. Meanwhile the shelling had become so intense that it was unwise to attempt to drive through, and Douglas turned back in the opposite direction with the remaining carriages. Unfortunately he must have been sighted, for the fire followed and several shells were effective.
"In this engagement Lieutenant Douglas and Will B. Melton were killed instantly. Sergeant Walter R. Minnish and Private Rom D. Kirby were mortally wounded; Sergeant Fred M. Patterson lost his leg and Corporals Bowman, Baker and Poe were wounded. Ten horses were lost at this time.
"The men and officers are to be commended for their excellent conduct and strict obedience to orders under this intense excitement. It was in this action that Lieutenant Douglas, Sergeant Minnish, Sergeant Patterson and Private Kirby won their citations.
"In the Meuse-Argonne offensive the battery opened up with a rolling barrage on the morning of September 25th. During the firing we were shelled at irregular intervals but lost no men or horses. The next day the second battalion moved forward and took up position to the left of the first battalion southwest of Montfaucon. Several barrages were fired from this position. Although the batteries were without cover they were not fired upon here.
"A few days later, while the battery was moving through Montfaucon to take up position west of that stronghold, it was heavily shelled. By going through at a trot the battery almost miraculously came through with the loss of only two horses.
"On the nights of October 2d-3d, Battery E was shelled at irregular intervals while occupying position along the Montfaucon-Ivoiry road. Early on the morning of October 3d the battery suffered the loss of Privates Melton, Barnes, Campbell and Alston. These men were all killed at the same time and because of the continual shelling it was impossible to bury them until dusk of the following day. Private Bentley was wounded on October 3d.
"In the Troyon sector the battery fired many defensive barrages and engaged in all the offensive actions of the infantry it supported. In one raid Battery E was held responsible for having killed sixteen of the enemy and destroying a strong machinegun position by its accurate fire."
Lieutenant Marshall Barnett, who was with the battery through all of the fighting, claims that the battery put over the quickest barrage in the history of the regiment one night in the Woëvre sector in defense of an infantry patrol of the 33d Division. Plans had all been worked out for the movement and everything was set for action in case Fritz got wise to the game, and telephone lines were open from forward observation post to the battery P. C. and on down to the firing battery. At exactly 10:49 the infantry sent up a rocket calling for the barrage and at 10:50 four shells were well on their way and four more were starting.
Battery F called Mooresville its home town and its membership came largely from Iredell, Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties, with a sprinkling of men from the extreme western part of the State. The battery's first officers were:
Captain Reid R. Morrison, First Lieutenants Louis B. Crayton and George A. Morrow, Second Lieutenants Eugene Allison and Gowan Dusenbury, Jr. Morrow and Dusenbury resigned while at Camp Sevier. Lieutenant Crayton was promoted to captain and assigned to Battery E and later promoted to major. Captain Morrison and Lieutenant Allison were with the battery when it was mustered out. Lieutenant Allison had been promoted to first lieutenant.
Battery F was the first battery to go to Camp Sevier. It was chosen to precede the regiment to Camp Sevier by about three weeks, an honor which the men considered extremely dubious, because it gave them three weeks more of stump-grubbing and new-ground-clearing than the remainder of the regiment experienced.
The battery made a good record in training camps both in the United
Battery F.States and in France. Its personnel was unusually high and the men mastered the details of the artillery game with astonishing rapidity. Eight enlisted men of the battery received commissions.
Battery F was the first battery of the One Hundred and Thirteenth to fire a shot at the Hun, this taking place on the Toul front, near Beaumont, and it carried its part of the load through the weary weeks of fighting that followed and was numbered "among those present" when the last American shell was hurled toward Hunland on the morning of Armistice Day.
The battery had six men wounded by shell-fire and one by gas in action near Ivoiry, on the Ivoiry-Montfaucon road. While in the Argonne the battery suffered many hardships and privations but was always able to make good on any mission entrusted to it. It lost nearly all of its horses by shell-fire or over-work while in the Argonne.
Two men of the battery, Corporal C. C. Hope and Private First Class E. R. Bumgardner, were recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross by Captain E. E. Boyce for unusual bravery shown while on liaison duty with the infantry in the Argonne.
To Battery F belongs the distinction of capturing the only prisoners
of war that were taken by the One Hundred and Thirteenth. It seldom happens that an artillery outfit has the opportunity of taking prisoners. Sergeant Mc.L. S. Choate, of Battery F, found two Germans prowling around Hannonville and though they carried rifles and Sergeant Choate had not so much as a pocket-knife for a weapon, he slid his right hand back toward his hip swiftly--a gesture the whole world is familiar with--and the two Germans "kameraded" toute de suite.
Captain Reid R. Morrison, Commanding Battery F.
The battery was extremely fortunate in that during its entire tour of duty in the A. E. F. it lost only four men. Of these, Private James C. Brown died suddenly at Camp de Coetquidan and Private Don S. Sutton was accidentally shot by a Frenchman at Camp de Coetquidan, and two others, Private Thomas J. Meroney and Private First Class Houston G. Brown, died of pneumonia following flu at the Le Mans Forwarding Camp, just before the regiment started home.
The Sanitary Detachment of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was organized at Wilmington. Its commanding officer from the beginning to the end was Major Claude L. Pridgen, of Wilmington, who had been a National Guardsman for twenty years or more. The detachment consisted of three medical officers, two dental officers and a veterinarian, with an enlisted personnel of twenty-three men. The other medical officers were Lieutenant Gabe H. Croom, a prominent Wilmington physician, and Lieutenant Joseph A. Speed, of Durham. The detachment's first dental officer was Lieutenant Thomas L. Spoon, of Gibsonville. The second dental officer, Lieutenant Wallace D. Gibbs, of Carthage, joined the regiment at Camp Sevier. Second Lieutenant S. A. Nathan, of New Bern, was the regiment's first veterinarian. At Camp Sevier, Second Lieutenant William O. Hughes joined the regiment and, later, after the resignation of Lieutenant Nathan, Captain Martin Olthouse became the regimental veterinarian, with Lieutenant Hughes as his assistant.
The Sanitary Detachment experienced no difficulty in filling its ranks
with good men, and it got down to hard work before leaving home station. Major James Wheeler, C. A. C., mustered the detachment into Federal service on July 26, 1917, and it began immediately to serve the Second North Carolina Coast Artillery Company; Troop C, North Carolina Cavalry (later Company C of the 115th Machine Gun Battalion) and the 117th Engineer Supply Train of the 42d (Rainbow) Division. The last named outfit was stationed at Wilmington awaiting orders at that time, and the other organization were Wilmington organizations belonging to the National Guard.
While the regiment was in training in France it lost the services of Lieutenant Croom, who was transferred to the Camp Hospital, Camp Coetquidan. His place was taken by Captain A. F. Williams, who remained with the regiment through the St. Mihiel drive and the Meuse-Argonne offensive until his health failed and he was evacuated. Captain Isaac R. Wagner succeeded him and remained with the detachment until transferred to the 3d Division in January, 1919. Lieutenant Speed was evacuated on account of illness shortly after the regiment was transferred to the Woëvre, or Troyon sector, and Lieutenant John G. Hoffman succeeded him.
The enlisted personnel of the detachment changed frequently. Many of the original members of the detachment transferred to other outfits and all of them did well. At least three of these won commissions. When the regiment reached the front the detachment made a fine record for itself. Two of its members, Privates Alexander T. Gibson and Almond C. Weeks were wounded in the fighting in the Argonne while caring for the wounded. Weeks was very badly hurt. In this same action Private Walter N. Perry of the detachment was cited for bravery under fire. He was recommended for a D. S. C.
In the long, hard fight in the Argonne the detachment served not only the sick and wounded of the regiment, but the wounded doughboys of the 37th and 32d Divisions. The number of wounded was so great that the medical detachments with the infantry and the field hospital units were totally inadequate. To make a bad situation worse there were no roads and the muddy trails that existed were blocked twenty-four hours every day by new troops and ammunition crowding in toward the fighting lines. This made it impossible to get the ambulances through for the wounded and they were piled along the roads, under improvised shelters made of blankets, or with no shelter at all, waiting for transportation. Here every man in the detachment "put out" (to quote an expressive bit of army slang) to the best of his ability and when there was a call for help, never paused for an instant to learn what outfit the sufferer was from but responded instantly. It was while going to the aid of wounded doughboys in an exposed spot on the shell-swept Montfaucon-Ivoiry road that Weeks and Gibson were wounded by shell-fire.
By CAPTAIN A. L. FLETCHER
The Supply Company of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was organized at Raleigh in the month of July, 1917. Nine days were allotted for the organization of the company and we completed it with three days to spare. In that space of time seventy-nine men had applied for enlistment. As only thirty-eight men were allowed to each artillery supply company at that time, it was necessary to let the overflow go to other organizations of the regiment. Headquarters Company, which was recruiting at the same time in Raleigh, got the most of them.
Captain A. L. Fletcher, who commanded the Supply Company from organization to February 1, 1919.
Every effort was made to make the company a well-balanced organization. From those who applied for enlistment it would have been possible to have selected thirty-eight expert office men, bookkeepers, stenographers and high-grade salesmen, but that sort of company was not wanted. There was need for skilled mechanics, truck drivers, "muleskinners," cobblers, saddlers, etc., as well as for skilled accountants, and this was kept strictly in mind. When the company was completed it numbered among its enlisted personnel two men from North Carolina's biggest bank, the secretary and treasurer of a big furniture factory, the manager of a large hosiery mill, the cashier of the "telephone trust" in one of the State's biggest cities, three lawyers, two successful merchants and several others whose employment in civil life had called for business training. With these were enough skilled mechanics and rugged country-bred farm lads to take care of every line of work that the company was called upon to do.
Nine of the members of the company won commissions during the war. Six others became non-commissioned officers in other outfits of the regiment. Altogether it was an aggregation that was extremely hard to hold down and it was at all times fully able to cope with any sort of situation. The company was not able at all times to please every soldier in the regiment, but real kicks--justifiable kicks--were few and far between. Generally, the company delivered the goods "as per schedule."
Shortly after the company arrived at Camp Sevier the strength of
The Supply Company.
artillery supply companies was increased from thirty-eight to 108, and when the first drafted men arrived from Camp Gordon and Camp Jackson, seventy men were added to the company. A little later, when there had been several shifts and transfers, the company received a dozen new men from the old 1st North Carolina Infantry. Still later, the company received fifteen men from Camp Funston, Kan., who had been trained with the 89th Division. The company began early to accumulate big men, having been started that way by acquiring at the outset the tallest corporal in the whole American army, Frank S. Cline, of Concord, N. C., who was 6 feet 7 inches high without the aid of shoe heels. Corporal Cline later became sergeant and "Top." He had one full squad of "big biys" that averaged well over six feet.
Captain Park B. Smith, Commanding the Supply Company from February
1, 1919 to muster-out.
The ideal that the company struggled always to live up to was not an easy one. It did not seek glory. It did not care to attract attention. Its sole desire was to serve the regiment as the regiment deserved to be served; to keep it as well clothed, as well fed and as well supplied in every department as it was possible, and to never, under any circumstances, permit it to lack things any other regiment in the same area had. "If I do say it, as shouldn't," the company made good in this and I am prepared to prove that it did. I claim none of the credit for myself, but I do claim it for my men. I firmly believe that the two best regimental supply sergeants in the A. E. F. were Sergeants William H. Chance and George W. Whaling, Jr., and that no better men for their jobs served under General Pershing than First Lieutenant Joseph Lonergon and Second Lieutenant John Paul Bolt, of the Supply Company, One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery.
Unless you watched this company work, it will be hard for you to realize from my telling of the story here what pride the men of the company took in caring for their animals and their equipment. They did exceedingly well in the United States in the matter of caring for their mules, but it is not human nature to love a mule. When they reached France horses were issued to them and the pride they took in their horses and the love they lavished upon them simply cannot be described. It was the unfailing, never-to-be-neglected rule of the company that every driver must keep his horses and equipment in the best possible condition at all times, and hundreds of times on the long, hard marches through France I have seen my drivers dismount when the column halted and go over their harness with oiled cloths, wipe out sweaty collars, and examine their
horses' feet. I will never forget that long, long hike toward Montfaucon when horse feed was scarce and we were caught in a traffic jam south of Avocourt that held us for hours and hours. While drivers from other supply train units were lounging in their saddles, or dozing on the wagon seats, my men were out pulling grass along the roadside for their horses. They were not driven to do this. Nobody had even suggested it. They were always doing things like this.
The men of the Supply Company were never strong for form and ceremony, though they did not lack in military courtesy and they could do close order drill and other things like that in a highly satisfactory way. They never forgot that they were soldiers, serving just as effectively where they were as if they had been handling the 75's up ahead, but there were a great many things set out in F. A. D. R. that they knew not of.
One day, shortly after the Armistice had been signed, a brigadier-general from the General Staff, and a colonel of the same variety and several lesser satellites, were inspecting horse transportation along what had been the front and they came into the Supply Company's corral entirely unannounced. There were only three or four men on the job and Corporal Donovan was in charge. The general had already seen things in other outfits down the road that had displeased him and he was in bad humor. He inspected every animal carefully and there was only one that he found in bad shape and that one had lain down after his morning's grooming. He called Donovan to him and, not ungraciously--considering that he was a general--admitted that the horses looked good to him, and he proceeded to ask Donovan a lot of questions, starting off with asking if he groomed the horses "by detail."
"No, sir," said Donovan. "We do not have grooming details. Every driver and his helper looks after his team."
The general started to explain, as per F. A. D. R., what he meant by grooming by detail, but thought better of it as he saw the blank look on Donovan's face, and he started off on another tack.
"Do you have regular grooming periods as the regulations require?" was his next question.
Donovan was a little afraid that he was getting somebody into trouble, but he told the general that the Supply Company had no regular hours for cleaning its animals. He said:
"We have just one rule, sir, in this company, and that is that a driver must keep his horses as clean as possible all the time, and if he doesn't he catches hell."
The general gave it up at that and some of the men heard him say as the party moved away:
"Now, what are you going to do with a situation like that? Every outfit we have seen this morning, except this one, looks worse than hell, and every one of them did everything the drill book says do. Here's an outfit that doesn't even know there is such a publication as the Field Artillery Drill Regulations and its stock is in tip-top shape."
Incident after incident might be related to show the sort of outfit the Supply Company was, but space limit prevents the telling of them all and I will tell but one more, this illustrating the feeling of the regimental commander toward the Supply Company. It was in Hannonville-au-Passage, I think, on the way from Luxemburg to the Toul area, and some inspectors from corps headquarters were there to look over the horses of the regiment. The other outfits had been looked over and the inspecting party came to the Supply Company.
"Here," said Colonel Cox, "is the Supply Company. This is one outfit that I never worry about and that never worries me. It is a law unto itself and I let it strictly alone."
I thought, and all of the men who heard him thought that this was high praise. We had been working all along for that very thing. It had been our ambition to function so smoothly and so unobtrusively that if the regimental commander had troubles, none of them would come from the Supply Company.
I would like to set down here all that I know about the Supply Company, both the good and the bad. The showing would not lower the outfit in the estimation of any one whose opinion is worth while. This does not mean that the company's record was lily white, for it was not, as the guardhouse records will show, but the good in the company far outweighed the bad and the bad, considering the opportunities for badness and the temptations encountered, was not so bad after all. As an example of the spirit that permeated the whole company, I would cite the case of the Nash brothers, Levi and Jesse, who gave up their warm, dry shack in the Foret de la Montagne on a wet and soggy night to provide shelter for two pitiful bedraggled French refugees who had trailed into camp just at dark. Not only did these boys give up their warm beds and spend the night in a leaky wagon, but on the following morning one of them asked permission to carry the aged pair to the nearest rail-head ten miles away.
I would cite also another example, and that would be the raising of sufficient funds to adopt two French war orphans. This involved the raising of nearly $200 in cash and every member of the company contributed to it. If any other outfit in the regiment pulled a stunt of this sort, I have yet to hear of it.
After the Armistice the company was again filled up by transfers from the batteries of the regiment. It had lost no men in action, but disease brought on by overwork and exposure sent many to the hospitals. Occasionally these returned to the company but most of those who went away did not return. Two additional officers were authorized for artillery supply companies and Second Lieutenant Stackpole, of Battery A, and Second Lieutenant Lingle, of Battery F, were transferred to the company in Luxemburg.
On February 1, 1919, after the regiment had been returned to the Le Mans area in France, Lieutenant Lonergon and I were transferred to the 3d Division, at that time stationed near Coblenz, Germany. We were
succeeded by Captain Alfred Grima and Lieutenant Park B. Smith, of the 3d Field Artillery Brigade. Lieutenant Smith later became captain and supply officer of the regiment, Captain Grima taking charge of a casual detachment.
Dear Colonel Cox:
You have kindly asked me, last time I had the honor of meeting you, to write an article for the history of your regiment, which I promised to do.
But now that I am sitting at my desk, and face together a blank sheet of paper and the many recollections of my stay in America, marching up in a body, fast and disorderly, from the back end of my memory and crowding before me, I feel that it is a very difficult work. Although I will try to undertake it, I am afraid I shall not be able to line up and put in order those images of a past which is not very old yet, but seems to be so on account of the numerous and capital events which took place since the time when the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery Regiment, as well as the remainder of the 55th Field Artillery Brigade, was, may I say, just out of the egg, and preparing feverishly for its role in the world's war.
Lieutenant Jacques J. L.
Popelin, of the French Army.
I was assigned as advisor to the 55th Field Artillery Brigade, Camp Sevier (S. C.) at the end of October, 1917, a few days after my landing in the United States. But, being provisionally attached to a regiment of cavalry, I worked with that regiment, both in Vermont and in Mississippi during a month and did not report to the Commanding General of the 55th Field Artillery Brigade until November 29th, late in the evening.
General Gatley was very kind to me, asked me many questions on the war and the work of artillery, and pleased to be interested, in spite of my poor English, in what I tried to tell him.
The next day was muster day, and the General took me around the paraded regiments. That was how I met the whole One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery all lined up, its band playing the Marseillaise, which made me feel very awkward and probably look so. As I had never
been an official guest before, neither in my own nor in a foreign country, nor anything of that kind, I was not used to so much honor and courtesy, which I felt, however, very deeply.
I was very favorably impressed, that very first day, by the size and sturdy appearance of the men belonging to the One Hundred and Thirteenth. Mostly tall and slender, they looked robust and strong, and from that day on, I expected that we should have splendid results with so good a human material, when a few months' training would give them the soldierly appearance and military demeanor they still lacked.
However, I was glad to notice that they showed on their faces the best spirit in the world.
Very shortly afterwards, I inquired about the officers, watched them drill their men, and began to talk to them, asking questions, and, once in a while, giving them an advice. I found not only that they were always ready to receive my suggestions, but also that they knew as much and probably more of their work as artillery officers than those of the regular regiment I had just left.
In fact, this is what I find on the note book I kept at that time:
"By and by, I begin to realize what the officers already know. It is not very bad indeed, and I believe I will obtain good results with them."
This being said, what was left to be done?
In the modern state of warfare, an efficient artillery officer must know a terrible amout of things. He must be an expert, not only in firing his guns, but also in the care of horses and materiel, in map reading, in signaling, in topography, in field engineering, in telephone, in wireless telegraphy, in liaison, in camouflage, and to a certain extent, in drawing, in mathematics and meteorology. He must be a good observer, and therefore, possess a quick eye and ready decision. He must also know human nature and be something of a psychologist.
Many of those matters would alone fill up a man's capacity for study, and some others can be mastered only after a long and careful training.
If some were covered by U. S. Regulations (and I had not to interfere with them) some were the subject of innumerable pamphlets, which I found to be, in the whole, very poor, and contain many wrong notions and facts ill observed. It has been altogether a good thing that the officers were too busy elsewhere and could not spare enough time to read them, for many of those pamphlets were not above the class of magazine articles.
The situation was not, at first, very encouraging, because (and especially for the parts of instruction which needed more outdoor training than library study) we had nothing to work with. And this rendered the instruction of the enlisted men very difficult, and nearly impossible, the training of staff officers.
You remember as well as I do that we had at first no more than four 3" guns, without equipment, for the whole brigade; we had no maps
until the regiment of engineers could give us a pretty rough sketch of the camp, and then that map was drawn at the wrong scale. You had no or very few horses, and when you got some more, you had no harness to hitch them up and drill.
There were no instruments, not even field glasses; no telephones except the buzzer, which was of small help because of the lack of wire; no plane tables, save the regular ones, which were unfit for artillery work, with their fixed compass and loose unsquared sheet; no signaling projectors, and no good manual on liaison, on aerial observation, on the use of meteorological elements, not even correct range tables for your 3" guns you would never fire on the front; and no description of the 75 m/m gun about which you have been told so many things, which you would use "over there" and which very few officers only saw before their landing in France.
Invention and imagination had to supply the missing means of work.
You taught mounted battery drill without horses nor guns, each man walking along where he belonged to, as if he had been riding a draft horse or sitting on a limber.
You taught standing battery drill with wooden guns carrying wooden sights, and with wooden B. C. instruments.
Perhaps, at the time you were bound to use them, many an officer or man did not realize how much they did help. They looked like playthings, but every one learned an awful lot on them. The proof of that is no more to be made, we saw it plainly when the regiment started its firing at Cleveland Mills.
During that early period of instruction, the presence of Lieutenant Booth, of the Canadian forces, who was in the States on sick-leave after having taken a part in the fighting on the British front, was very helpful.
He had experienced the training of the Canadian Forces under conditions somewhat similar, and my impression was that his advice and suggestions had been very valuable.
I was very sorry to see you leave shortly after my arrival. I knew, of course, it was necessary and could not be avoided, but I feared that the training of your regiment would only suffer from the absence of the C. O. who would be in charge in the fields.
Lieutenant Colonel Mack who came early in January, 1918, was just back from France and brought very valuable information and documents.
Methods I had only heard of before sailing were now fully employed, and what he could tell about things he had seen was very interesting and very useful.
In spite of my desire to give to everybody, men and officers as much outdoor's training as possible, the bad weather at the beginning of 1918 made it impossible to ride out and make frequent and varied reconnaissances. We had to replace them by lectures not as fruitful, but I have every reason to thank Colonel Mack for the charming manner in which he greeted me every time I entered the One Hundred and Thirteenth's
lecture room, and for the many opportunities he offered me to talk to the officers, to criticize their work and lay out suggestions. I was glad also to see that they grew fond of my talking about the front, and as I have naturally very little modesty and much pride, I took a particularly high pleasure in attending very often evening parties where I was so kindly welcomed.
In the meantime, as I was pretty busy with the officers of the whole brigade and could devote but a small part of my time to the troops, Marechal des Logis Boree who had been in many hard fightings and dangerous positions on several parts of the front, and was a very competent chief of section, did everything he could to help the line officers in the instruction of the enlisted personnel; and I have to thank everybody for the attention which was paid to him and his efforts.
He supervised at the same time very intelligently, the construction of a battery position which, if not perfect, was a pretty good attempt to imitate those which were built at that time in the strongly fortified sectors--and you had opportunities to see some of that kind, later, round the Voisogne Wood and Flirey.
Before the end of February, I was ordered away to Fort Sill, and could not assist in the outdoors work that became possible with a milder temperature and better weather.
I came back, about the middle of March, just in time to set off again and start the firing at Cleveland Mills.
I have nothing but eulogies to say about the way the officers and men of the One Hundred and Thirteenth performed the firing. They did very well from the beginning to the end. Indeed they did better than I had expected a month before. And we could wait with a quiet heart for the order that would ship the regiment "over there."
Under the difficult conditions, where the One Hundred and Thirteenth had to carry its training, in want of the most important means of work, it was humanly impossible to do better and to learn more.
In France you found a full equipment and most qualified instructors; I swear you answered fully their expectation, and when you left Coetquidan for the front, they were highly satisfied with the manner in which you had worked and taken profit of their teaching.
I will add nothing more, because, as Kipling says: "This is another story," the story of your campaign. I have dwelled too long already on a subject which should have been the matter of a few lines only. I am certain you will excuse me, sir, because your kindness has no limits.
I hope you will remember me to all the officers of a regiment where everyone was my friend, and believe me
Very affectionately and respectfully,
JACQUES J. L. POPELIN,
255th R. A. C., French Army.
The Dental Corps filling a cavity under shell-fire in the Argonne.
By SERGEANT GEORGE GRAHAM, OF HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
BACK in the training days at Camp de Coetquidan, France, we wore our helmets oriented at a forty-five degree declivity on account of our baseball supremacy, but not until we were leaving our positions near Thiacourt and were moving toward Essey in the St. Mihiel drive, when a German battery got rumor of our street address, did we fully realize what becoming lids our helmets really were and how clever the milliner who designed them. It was then that the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery, like a wet town after a prohibition revival, adopted as its motto, "the lid is on"--and that for the duration. And by the time we reached the Argonne forests we began to think of our helmets and gas masks as no less than guardian angels, the former being a protection against the pillar of fire by day, and the latter against the cloud of gas by night.
Especially was this true when our batteries went into position under heavy shelling on the Ivoiry road near Montfaucon. It was here that men with bars also became men with picks, and a spade in the hand was worth two in the kitty. Here, too, the lion dug in with the lamb, and the bantam corporal slept with the "barred" plymouth rock, thus making the world a little safer for democracy. From this position, it will be recalled that Parson Ben with a telephone and a can of "corn willie" under one arm and a monocular periscope under the other, went over the mountain to see what he could see, and with the assistance of Elders Haynes, McLendon and Rodman, and Deacons Crayton, Vairin and Morrison, was soon conducting a shell-fire and damnation revival among the Boche congregations. But the personnel officer who dwelt in a far country, where the pen is mightier than the sword, knew not that it was so. In the meantime, Major Bulwinkle's cow, a souvenir of the St. Mihiel drive, which was attached to the regiment for rations only, continued to wear her gas mask and four gallons of milk in the alert position, the former for the preservation of her own life, and the latter for the improvement of the major's coffee.
Shortly after joining the Army of Occupation, the One Hundred and Thirteenth, after heavy military preparations, known as pay-day, staged its third big drive--the thirst eliminating drive of December 12th, when the regiment advanced upon Rehon and Longwy, France, having existed almost three months, with nothing more bracing than a Y. M. C. A.
lemon pop. The zero hour had arrived and the big drive was on. Cafes were successfully flanked in the champagne sector--but not without heavy casualties, which included those "half-shot" and the "dead soldiers" gathered up after the memorable "counter" attack.
We had often heard that the French were rather intemperate--having a sort of beverage inclination. We were rather surprised to find upon our arrival at Rehon, however, that they drank only in a measure--a quart measure. Hence, that number of our outfit, who while in Rehon, tried to do as the Rehons, soon found themselves imprisoned in a fiery furnace of the "cognac-to-your-shack-and-to-bed-you-go" variety.
Despite the rainy weather, high strung heel strings and army brogans (which had long since lost their brogue) we continued to "live and move and have our beans" with the Army of Occupation, and finally reaching Luxemburg, where the people speak both French and German. Their multiplicity of languages, however, only led us to wonder if the mother-tongue was losing her motherhood, for with rare exceptions, none of us
Major Bulwinkle's captured German Cow "wearing her gas mask and four gallons of milk, in alert position."
spoke German, and our French, harmonizing with our financial status, continued decidedly "broken," as did the sides of the natives who heard us attempt to speak it. Nevertheless, by getting a strangle hold on a few pet German phrases and idioms, and a half-nelson on a French-English dictionary, we succeeded occasionally in coaxing a Mona Lisa grin from a Luxemburg fraulein and managed at times to leave a French cafe--well, not altogether with the same appetite that Fatty Arbuckle would enter one. Inability to speak either of these languages, however, did not bar a soldier from the inner circle of the Luxemburg "five hundred"--it was by walking down the street with a block of soap under one arm and a pair of extra hobs under the other, as a mark of wealth in the face of the Luxemburg soap and shoe famine, that a soldier won prestige in Luxemburg, and was soon numbered among those present last evening.
Of the numerous towns in which we billeted while in Luxemburg our pleasantest memories doubtless cluster around Colmar Berg the "home town" of the Duchess, and around Bissen, for it was in these two towns that we spent Christmas and New Year's Day, together with our remaining francs. It was at Colmar Berg on New Year's eve night that one of our battery commanders after offering several libations at the shrine of Bacchus, bidding the keeper of the shrine each time to make it "Schnappy," decided also to attend the midnight mass at the royal church--the Duchess and her sister were to sing in the choir. He went, and being a little rusty in Latin, the service soon grew dull. And while he slept the vesper bells were rung and the incense was burned. The ringing of the former and the odor of the latter soon reached him. Suddenly he awakened from his dream of the Argonne with cries of, "Gas! Gas!"
The Duchess and the Princesses smiled joyously from the choir, doubtless thinking that another poor sinner had been brought to repentance, but the priest, the speaker of the occasion, who understood English, was not so enthusiastic over the apparent comment on his sermon.
It was here, too, that Captain Richard Dixon, put over his famous "smoke barrage," with Princess Hilda as his objective. Having heard of the smoking propensities of this Princess, who incidentally was the only unattached member of the royal family, and his sympathy for her having been aroused by his lack of success in attempting to smoke a Luxemburg cigarette, the ingredients of which were like the chaff which the wind driveth away, he decided he could hardly do a deed more in keeping with the spirit of the Christmas season than to present the Princess with a carton of Omar cigarettes.
So, bright and early Christmas morning a carton of Omar cigarettes, containing some 200 rounds, together with appropriate Christmas greetings, in the possession of a trusty courier, were headed castle-ward, while Captain Dixon waited impatiently for further developments--waited in vain. On the evening of the second day, however, a special messenger of the royal family hurried through the streets of Colmar-Berg, paging "Monsieur Richard," whom he eventually found in his room on officers'
"Dead Soldiers" we have known.
row in the act of playing the leading "roll" in a little tragedy entitled "Roll-your-own."
The messenger at once presented him with an ultimatum issued by the Luxemburg Chamber of Deputies which read in spirit, if not verbatim, as follows:
Monsieur Captain Dixon, Officer Americain:
Your carton of Omar cigarettes, directed to Princess Hilda, has been received and the contents noted. The Deputies of Her Majesty, the Duchess of Luxemburg, have been sitting on them for the past thirty-six hours. The question of the propriety of a Princess of the Grande Duchy of Luxemburg, a neutral country, accepting a gift from an officer of Amerique, one of the belligerents, is clearly evident, for by so doing, she might get the Duchess of the Grand Duchy in Dutch. It was this feeling which prompted the Sergeant Minor, who received the cigarettes from your courier, immediately to confer with the Sergeant Major, who in turn took up the matter with the Major Domo, the Major Domo acting on the order of the Duchess, had the Domo Ultrissimo, call an extra session of the Deputies, who between smokes, have been discussing for the past thirty-six hours not only the question of propriety which your generosity has created, but also the inimitable aroma of your Omars. Therefore with a standing army of 250 men, who are now on strike, and with five trusty (but rusty) ball bearing 73's which have been living a rather sedentary life for the past century, in issuing this ultimatum, we wish you to be fully cognizant of the fact that we do not fear the Americans, even when bearing gifts. Hence, Her Majesty's deputies and advisers have decided if Monsieur "Richard, the kind-hearted," will be more general in his liberality by presenting his Omars to the Lady in Waiting, the Deputies in Sitting, the Duchess in Smoking-jacket and not simply to Princess Hilda in particular, their diminishing remnant will be accepted with grateful gladness.
(Signed) Her Majesty's Deputies and Advisers.
"Oui, Monsieur," was all he said to the waiting messenger, as "headquarters" cut in and informed him that his smoke barrage was falling far short of its objective. Nor did he prance all over the lot with ecstatic joy on the following day when he received a note of acknowledgement and thanks from Princess Hilda, in which she stated that "the one" she got was a "pippin."
As much as we enjoyed the hospitality and warm reception given us by the Luxemburgers, the G. H. Q. order for the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery to rejoin the 30th Division in the Le Mans area, preparatory to sailing, was devoured with the same relish that a goat consumeth a parson's "biled" shirt off the line of a Saturday afternoon while the parson within, like a candle hid under a bushel, ventureth not out, for he is modest.
We reached Evron in the Le Mans area after traveling five days and nights in box cars, and if war is what Sherman said it is, then this mode of traveling was the same thing on wheels. All the berths were lowers with hardwood finish, which were so crowded that the most comfortable position in which one could sleep was to lock his feet in the chest of one of his sixty bed fellows with a half-nelson key, at the same time imploring his bunkie not to make a foot mat out of his face, as if "welcome" were written thereon.
"War is Hell" (Sherman). Ask any soldier of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery about "Hell on Wheels."
After remaining at Evron long enough for General Pershing to give us the "once over," we took the box car limited, freight paid, for the mud section of the Le Mans Forwarding Camp, where we "stuck around" week after week, impatiently waiting for sailing orders, to the accompaniment of Kozak's tinkling cymbal and sounding brass band, which jazzed the A. E. F. dirge:
"Darling I am coming back--
Silver threads among the black."
It was here that we learned why frogs in a swamp are prone to croak--we thought we would. And as all things come to those who wait, all we could do was to wait on time and tide, which wait on no man. However, after many delayed orders and many ordered delays, the time finally arrived on March 4th and we eagerly set out to meet the tide at St. Nazaire.
Though no poet was ever inspired to write an ode to a nightingale after hearing us indulge in a darky revival song, yet Apollo would have signed us up for his celestial choir and St. Cecilia claimed us for her own had they been aware of the animation, passion and tender feeling with which the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery at that glad moment while waiting for the transport, could have rendered: "Sweet Chariot, coming for to carry me Home."
As soon as our feet hit the gang plank, we were ushered into our reservations and the curtain went up, presenting a comedy entitled, "About 'steen thousand and 45 minutes from Broadway," which was booked for a twelve day run, with Santa Teresa, one of Josephus Daniels' dashing young actresses, playing the leading part. Nor was it long before things began to liven up, in fact the play commenced to get rough from the very beginning, when Miss Teresa began to cheek dance and do the Boston dip with the "old man of the sea," much to the annoyance of the audience and our latest meal. Despite her disconcerting whirligigs, however, Teresa continued to hold her audience with the same compelling grip that the whale held Jonah. And while in the very act of "vamping" her Tar Heel audience to such an extent that they were unable to look a meal ticket in the face, she was at the same time "double crossing" the ocean, her main support. It was in this act we became thoroughly convinced that there is "more truth than poetry" in Boston Baked Beans, for "truth crushed to the ground shall surely rise again."
After the first curtain fall, while the loaves and the fishes were holding a peace conference and our feet were simply itching to put the "hob" in Hoboken, it was announced in behalf of the management that as Hoboken had gone dry, we would have to go elsewhere "to hit the Port." Whereupon, as Virginia qualified under the 2¾ per cent. test, we were billed for Newport News.
The big act though was the eating act, which abounded in climaxes, prunes and more prunes. The parts played in this act, which was more
The report that Private Doe was wounded at the front was misleading.
or less of a gamble with odds against you, had all the ear marks of a baseball game of the Tidewater league variety. The batters were all there: corn meal batter, flour batter (raw but rare), chocolate pudding batter, and the other batters, with the exception of batter cakes (who played exclusively for the "majors"). And when the 2d Looey Umpire yelled "batter up" and the big doors to the mess hall diamond were swung open, the big game was on, and you were in the "line-up."
You advance toward the K. P. slingers with the appetizing determination of doing "good work at the plate." You look the first one over--it's slum! As you wait for the next one, the heaver shoots two hot ones across--spuds! A south-paw K. P. loses control of the next one--part of the coffee crosses the plate, and the rest goes up your sleeve. Just as you step up to a chocolate pudding straight, Teresa suddenly attempts the "shimmie," and you are railroaded to first by the Tidewater express. You hang around first (one thing and then another) until your ability as a slider becomes spectacular, and your impartiality in the distribution of food would qualify you to dictate to the food dictator. As you regain consciousness enough to open one eye you discern dimly a guy with a lean and hungry look spitting out your spuds with a sputter, and that your slum has gone slam into the casual compartment, causing consternation among the convalescents. You recognize your chocolate pudding pasted over a face that is beyond recognition, and your mess kit emulated the dish by running away with your spoon. Yet none of these things added
The U. S. S. Santa Teresa. This picture was taken at Newport News, Va., just before the regiment began to leave the vessel.
K. P.'S GOING INTO POSITION NEAR MONTFAUCON
Departing K. P.--"Right here, Bill, is where you and me and this here range separates. I done heard too much about them German range-finders."
one bit of nourishment to a bruised appetite. In your final desperation you take a good lead and try to steal "seconds," and are "put out."
But it was during the storm scene which followed the eating act that Teresa began to get so rough that we could hardly contain ourselves--most of us didn't. And things went from bad to worse and from worse to politics. Inwardly, the unsettled state of affairs, the spasmodic uprisings and insurrections readily branded us as Bolsheviki, while outwardly we were strong for any political party in whose platform there was a gang plank. Teresa however, soon repented and in the final scene began to grow calm and sentimental as she drew near her affinity, and the biggest hit of all was when the gang plank hit the American shore, which "brought down the audience" to American soil.
THE One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery, being almost 100 per cent. North Carolinian to start with, was naturally a hot-bed of Masonry. All North Carolina believes in the principles of the greatest of all secret orders, the Masons, and no good Tar Heel figures on living out his allotted span and dying without having been raised to the degree of Master Mason.
When the regiment had had time to get settled and there was opportunity for casting about and getting acquainted with one another the Masons of the regiment found many "brethren" and some were occupying high places, while others were holding down positions slightly lower. The brigade commander was a Mason of the most enthusiastic variety. So was the colonel, so was the lieutenant-colonel, so were all three of the regiment's majors and nearly all of the lower officers. There were Masons among the sergeants and corporals. There were Masons among the bucks of the batteries. There were Masonic cooks, mule-skinners and incinerator experts.
Some one studied out a plan for an army lodge, an organization of brothers, who could "meet upon the level" where rank is forgotten and all men are equal. It pleased everybody. A petition was circulated in the regiment, asking the Grand Lodge of North Carolina for a dispensation for the establishment of "Army Lodge A." Major Claude L. Pridgen, commanding officer of the regiment's Sanitary Detachment, was Grand Master of the North Carolina Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M., and he arranged for the dispensation. The first meeting of the lodge was held in the Masonic Temple at Greenville, January 12, 1918 and it was opened by Grand Master Pridgen.
At this meeting Sergeant Joseph H. Mitchell, of the Sanitary Detachment, was elected W. M., Brigadier General George G. Gatley, commanding the 55th Field Artillery Brigade, was elected S. W. and Colonel Albert L. Cox, J. W. The officers who served at this first meeting were:
Thomas S. Payne, of the Sanitary Detachment, was elected secretary of the lodge and Erskine E. Boyce, adjutant of the Second Battalion, was elected treasurer.
At a subsequent meeting, the following permanent officers were appointed by the W. M.:
The following standing committees were named:
The lodge meetings were always interesting, but it was the first that will linger longest in the memories of those who were present. It was the first experience of meeting on the level that the Masons there assembled had had for many months. They had been in the army for more than six months and army rank and circumstance is pretty well defined and rigidly maintained. Here for the first time in his military experience Brother Buck Private met Brother Brigadier General and Brother Colonel on perfect equality of footing and none was the worse for the experience. Brother Buck found that his Brother Brigadier was a human being, after all, and not the tyrant that he had watched from afar with fear and trembling, and he carried back to his fellows who were not members of the lodge the new impressions he had received not only as to the Brigadier General but as to many other officers. Army Lodge A was a source of profit to the regiment from its inception and the good it accomplished can never be estimated.
The first meeting of the lodge was featured by short speeches by General Gatley and Major Pridgen and the lodge's most important action was to direct the newly elected Master to go to Raleigh, N. C., for the meeting of the North Carolina Grand Lodge, and formally place before that body an application for a charter.
At the next regular meeting, which was held on January 19, 1918, the lodge was legally dedicated and consecrated and the officers elected at the first meeting lawfully installed. Grand Master Pridgen presided at the ceremonies and there were many visiting Masons present. At this meeting the first petitions for degrees were received, this being from Lieutenant Joseph A. Speed, and Lieutenant Henry P. Ledford, of the Sanitary Detachment, and Privates Aaron T. Salling and Harry B. Register, also of the Sanitary Detachment. It became necessary to ask the South Carolina
Grand Lodge for permission to confer degrees in its jurisdiction. This right was readily granted.
The lodge was much gratified to learn that the Grand Lodge of North Carolina had accorded the new organization a warm welcome and was very proud of its new offspring. Past Grand Master Pridgen brought from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina an offer to donate $500 toward a Masonic club room for the soldiers of the regiment and from St. John's Lodge, No. 1, Wilmington, N. C., a further donation of $50 for the lodge. The project met with disfavor when the camp authorities were approached and it was abandoned. It was also learned that the War Department had prohibited secret meetings within the limits of all army camps and arrangements were made to hold all meetings for secret work thereafter in the Masonic Temple at Greenville.
The lodge's first meeting in March was featured by a visit from Brother George S. Norfleet, Grand Master of North Carolina Masons, of Winston-Salem. He had been elected in January to succeed Major Claude L. Pridgen. The Grand Master took a great deal of interest in Army Lodge A and offered it every encouragement. He gave the lodge a very beautiful silk flag which was carried with the lodge throughout the war and after the regiment's return to the United States, presented to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.
Unfortunately, the minutes of the lodge were not well kept at all times. The first secretary of the lodge was transferred to another outfit and the lodge lost his services and the work was passed around from hand to hand. Such of the records as are still available record the election of the following candidates for degrees:
Liston L. Mallard, Thomas I. Graham, Eugene Allison, W. T. Dixon, J. E. Lambeth, Jr., Otway C. Fogus, Roman L. Mauldin, Hugh C. Pollard, L. W. Gardner, Thomas A. Lacy, Wilbon O. Huntley, Ferdinand D. Fink, Carey E. Dorsett, Frank W. McKeel, Walter W. Pollock, Arthur B. Corey, Sam N. Nash, Rufus C. Miller, Herbert M. Thornburg, Lewis Norwood, Charles R. Davis, Wilbur C. Spruill, John W. Brookshire.
There is also recorded at various meetings in the United States and in France and Luxemburg, the election to membership in the lodge of various Masons, among them being the following:
Sidney C. Chambers, G. N. Taylor, E. W. McCullers, W. R. Thompson, L. P. McLendon, L. B. Crayton, Thaddeus G. Stem, J. M. Lynch, J. C. Fortune, J. T. Leslie, Nelson L. Nelson, W. E. Baugham, Enoch S. Simmons, H. B. Newell, C. T. Scott, R. L. Vaughan, J. P. Bolt, A. L. Fletcher, H. G. Coleman, J. T. Gross, C. L. Gross, D. T. Moore, N. O. Reeves, J. W. McCawley, G. P. Norwood, R. L. Atwater, Zeno O. Ratcliff and Christian E. Mears.
The last regular meeting in the United States was held on May 1, 1918. Moving orders came soon thereafter and no regular meeting was held until after the regiment had completed its period of training in France and had been actively engaged in the fighting on the Toul front
for two weeks. On September 7, 1918, in the little village of Sanzy on the outskirts of the "Foret de la Reine," Army Lodge A met in special communication to initiate Thomas I. Graham, W. T. Dixon and Stewart Barnes, the first two having been elected as candidates for the degrees and the last named as a courtesy to Watauga Lodge No. 273, of Boone, N. C. This point was only a few miles from the front and the sound of the guns and the muffled roar of exploding of shells furnished a strange accompaniment for the solemn words of the Masonic ritual.
There was no regular or special communication after that until after the Armistice, when meetings were resumed in a shack in the Foret de la Montagne, on the Woëvre sector, which Headquarters Company honored with the title of "mess-hall." Here at a meeting held on November 16, 1918, the following new officers were elected:
At a subsequent meeting held at Colmar-Berg, in the province of Luxemburg, the following appointments were made:
The following standing committees were appointed:
Oxford Orphanage Committee: John E. Burriss, Chairman; John M. Lynch, Harry B. Newell.
Finance Committee: A. L. Fletcher, Chairman; Harry B. Register, Lennox P. McLendon.
Reference Committee: Alfred L. Bulwinkle, Chairman; Wm. L. Futrelle, Roy L. Vaughan.
These officers served throughout the remainder of Army Lodge A's existence.
The lodge did a great deal of work for other lodges in various states, a service which it rendered gladly. It also "kept open house" for all Masons everywhere. Comparatively few of the Masons of the regiment transferred their membership to Army Lodge A but those who did not were welcomed just as warmly to every meeting as if they had transferred, and the Masons of other regiments in the 30th Division, while in the United States, and of the various units with which the regiment served in France and with the Army of Occupation, were always invited to all meetings of the lodge and many a homesick Mason was cheered and comforted by the experience.
The book of minutes which is now the property of the Grand Lodge
of North Carolina, records meetings in various parts of France, at the little town of Bous, just a mile from the Moselle River in Luxemburg, at Colmar-Berg and at Bissen in Luxemburg and at Jouy-Sous-les-Cotes, in France, the last meeting on French soil being held on Saturday, January 18, 1919, just before the regiment entrained for Le Mans to rejoin the 30th Division.
The last regular communication of the lodge was held aboard the U. S. S. Santa Teresa, on March 15, 1919, en route from St. Nazaire, France, to Newport News, Va. It was featured by a large attendance of visiting Masons from the ship's crew and everybody enjoyed the very unusual lodge meeting aboard one of Uncle Sam's great transports, headed for home. At this meeting Arthur B. Corey, Sam N. Nash, Rufus C. Miller, Herbert M. Thornburg, Lewis Norwood, Charles R. Davis, Wilbur C. Spruill and John W. Brookshire were given the degree of entered apprentice.
With the close of this meeting Army Lodge A passed into history. It was not regularly dissolved until the regiment was demobilized but in the rush and hurry attendant upon demobilization, it was impossible to hold other meetings. Under the charter of the lodge the memberships of the old Masons who constituted Army Lodge A automatically reverted to the home lodges from which they had received dimits and the new Masons were certified to lodges having jurisdiction over them.
Army Lodge A did a great deal of good, underwent many odd and unusual experiences, and brought into the Masonic fold a fine lot of young men. It aided materially in sustaining the morale of the regiment in all kinds of trying circumstances. It helped the Masons of the regiment to keep in mind the high principles of their great order. It served to remind the officers of the regiment of the fact that officers in all armies sometimes forget that they were only men, clothed for a time in authority, but no whit better than the men under them. It served also to bring about a clearer understanding among the enlisted personnel of the heavy load of responsibility their brother officers carried and by so doing it helped to make the regiment what it was. The lodge never forgot its obligations to provide for the widows and orphans and it contributed largely to every good cause. Fifteen hundred francs, at that time equivalent to about $275, was contributed to the A. E. F. French orphans' fund.
The 30th Division was a distinctively American division. More than 95 per cent. of its personnel was of American born parents. The division was constituted of National Guard troops of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, augmented by many thousands of selective draft troops from the States of Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The division was dubbed "Old Hickory" after the warrior and statesman Andrew Jackson who was so closely identified with the history of the States furnishing the major portion of its personnel.
The Old Hickory Division landed at the port of Calais, France, on the 24th day of May, 1918, and was billeted in the Eperlocques Training Area. While in this area the officers of the division reconnoitered the Terdeghen Switch Line, south of Cassel, and complete plans were formulated for the occupation of this line by forced marches in case of emergency.
Before the completion of its training period, the division was transferred to the II British Corps, Second Army, in the Ypres sector to be in close support in case of the expected German offensive. This division, first American division to enter that kingdom, marched into Belgium on July 4th with Division Headquarters at Watou, to be in close support of the 33d and 49th British Divisions, and was employed in completing the construction of the East and West Poperinghe Defense Systems immediately in rear of these two divisions. An immense amount of trench and wire construction was done. Complete plans and orders were issued for the occupation of the East and West Poperinghe Systems by the 30th
Division in the event of a German attack and a forced withdrawal of the British divisions in the front. The division received training in the front line with the 33d and 49th Divisions, first as individuals, then by platoons, and lastly by entire battalions.
On August 17, 1918, the division took over the entire sector occupied by the 33d British Division, 60th Brigade being in the front line, 59th Brigade in support. This was known as the Canal sector and extended from the southern outskirts of Ypres to the vicinity of Voormezeele, a distance of 2.400 metres.
On August 31st and September 1st the division engaged in an offensive in conjunction with the 14th British Division on the left and 27th American Division on the right. The 30th Division captured all its objectives, including Lock No. 8, Lankhof Farm and the City of Voormezeele, advancing fifteen hundred yards, capturing fifteen prisoners, two machine-guns and thirty-five rifles. As a result of this advance the 236th Division, which was considered an average German division, was identified. During the six weeks previous to this advance, many attempts had been made by the British and our own troops to identify this German division.
On September 4th/5th the division was withdrawn from the Canal sector and placed in British G. H. Q. reserve with Division Headquarters at Roellecourt, France. While in this area the entire division was trained in attacking in conjunction with British tanks.
On September 17th the division was again moved farther south with Division Headquarters at Herissart, and on September 22d was moved to the British Fourth Army with Division Headquarters at Bois de Buire, near Tincourt, taking over a front line sector from the 1st Australian Division, on the night of 23d/24th.
On September 29th this division with the 27th American Division on the left and the 46th British Division on the right, assaulted the Hindenburg Line. The Hindenburg Line at this point curves in front of the Tunnel of St. Quentin. This was considered impregnable by the Germans for the following reasons: The Hindenburg Line curving west of the tunnel consisted of three main trench systems protected by vast fields of heavy barbed wire entanglements skillfully placed; this wire was very heavy and had been damaged very little by artillery fire. The dominating ground enabled them to bring devastating machine-gun fire on all approaches. The lines had been strengthened with concrete machine-gun emplacements. It contained at this point a large number of dugouts, lined with mining timbers, with wooden steps leading down to a depth of about thirty feet with small rooms capable of holding from four to six men each. In many cases these dugouts were wired for electric light. The large tunnel through which the canal ran, was of sufficient capacity to shelter a division. This tunnel was electrically lighted and filled with barges. Connecting it with the Hindenburg trench system were numerous tunnels. In one case a direct tunnel ran from the main tunnel to the basement of a large stone building, which the enemy used for headquarters. Other
tunnels ran from the main tunnel eastward to the City of Bellicourt and other places. This complete subterranean system with its hidden exits and entrances, unknown to us, formed a complete and safe subterranean method of communication and reinforcement for the German sector.
The 30th Division, the 60th Brigade, augmented by units of the 117th Infantry, attacking, assaulted this line at 5:50 a. m., September 29th, on a front of 3,000 yards, captured the entire Hindenburg System of that sector and advanced farther capturing the tunnel system with the German troops therein, and took the cities of Bellicourt, Nauroy, Riqueval, Carriere, Etricourt, Guillaine Ferme and Ferme de Riqueval, advancing 4,200 yards, defeating two enemy divisions of average quality (the 75th Reserve Division and the 185th Division), taking as prisoners 47 officers and 1,434 men.
On October 1st/2d the 30th Division was relieved by the 5th Australian Division and moved to back area with Division Headquarters at Herbecourt. The division scarcely reached this area when it was marched back and took over the front line in the same sector from the 2d Australian Division near Montbrehain on the night of 4th/5th.
On October 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th, the 30th Division attacked each day, advancing 17,500 yards, and capturing le Tilleul d'Archies, le Petit Cambresis, Becquigny, Mon. Sarasin, le Trou Aux Soldats, Busigny, Gloriette, le Vert Donjon, Escaufourt, le Rond Pont, Vaux-Andigny, Vallée Hasard, la Haie Menneresse, la Rochelle, le Vent de Bise, St. Souplet, St. Benin, Malassise, Geneve, half of Montbrehain, Brancourt, Prémont, Vauxle-Prêtre, Brancoucourt, Fraicourt Ferme, Bois Mirand, Butry Ferme, la Sablière Bois, Becquignette Ferme, Bois de Malmaison, Malmaison Ferme, Bois de Busigny, Bois l'Ermitage, Bois Proyart, Imberfayt and Du Guet Fassiaux Fermes, taking prisoners 45 officers and 1,889 men. The 59th Brigade began this attack on October 8th and captured all their objectives, including Prémont and Brancourt. During this operation from October 8th to 11th the 30th Division encountered units from fourteen German divisions, classified by the British High Command as follows: 34th Division, average; 20th Division, very good; 24th Division, very good; 21st Division, average; 21st Reserve Division, average; 38th Division, very good; 119th Division, average; 121st Division, average; 187th Sharpshooting Section, very good; 204th Division, average; 208th Division, average; 3d Naval Division, very good; 15th Reserve Division, average.
The 30th Division was relieved by the 27th Division on October 11th/12th, but returned on October 16th and took over a part of the same line at the same place, being the right half of the sector temporarily held by the 27th. The next attack was launched on October 17th, 18th and 19th against the 221st Division, average; 243d Division, average; 29th Division, very good, advancing 9,000 yards and capturing six officers and 412 men, and the towns of Molain, St. Martin Riviere, Ribeauville, Ecaillon, Mazinghein and Ribeaucourt Ferme.
During much of the fighting from October 8th to 11th and from 17th to
19th, difficulties of the terrain were very great, with the country greatly broken by small patches of woods, and villages, with uneven terrain and occasional large towns admirably added to the machine-gun defense of which the Germans took every advantage. The La Selle River with high banks beyond was obstinately defended. In spite of these difficulties the advance continued, often without artillery support, and was made possible only by the determination of the men and the skillful use of all arms combined with clever utilization of the diversified terrain. The 3d German Naval Division of the crack German divisions was hastily thrown in in an attempt to stop the advance.
The division was then withdrawn to the Heilly Training area, near Amiens, for replacements and a well-earned rest; Division Headquarters at Querrieu. Two weeks later, when orders for an immediate return to the front were expected daily, the armistice with Germany was signed November 11, 1918. The fighting being over, the II American Corps was released from the British E. F. with which it had been associated since its arrival in France, and transferred to the American E. F. in the Le Mans area, where the first units of the 30th Division arrived and Division Headquarters opened at Ballon on November 21st.
During the above operations the advance was so rapid and the troops withdrawn so soon, there was no opportunity to gather up and salvage a great number of guns and supplies captured, which were left for the salvage troops of the Fourth British Army. Upon a partial check by the units of the division, it is known that at least seventy-two field artillery pieces, twenty-six trench mortars, 426 machine guns, and 1,792 rifles were captured in addition to the great mass of material. This represents but a portion of the captured. In many instances field guns taken from the Germans were turned over to the supporting artillery and used by them upon the retreating enemy.
Total number of prisoners captured by this division from September 29th to October 20th: 98 officers, 3,750 men. During the same period we lost 3 officers and 24 men as prisoners; 44 officers and 4,823 men wounded (including slightly wounded and slightly gassed).
The first commanding general of the 55th Field Artillery Brigade was Brigadier General George G. Gatley, who was assigned to the brigade in August, 1917. He found it a brigade only in name. Two regiments of it were made up of new, raw recruits, most of whom had had no previous military experience. The other regiment had been an infantry outfit. Nobody in either outfit knew anything about artillery.
The situation he faced at Camp Sevier must have been a trying one for him. Very few members of his command realized this at the time. If they had realized it they might have been less resentful when the
General's patience gave out and his sharp tongue flayed them for their shortcomings. There were times when the General was a "holy terror," but looking back on the happenings of those days, one wonders at his moderation.
Brigadier General George G. Gatley, the First
Commanding General of the 55th Field
Truly, he had his troubles.
That he stuck to his task, and out of the raw material furnished him built and welded together a great fighting machine, is proof positive that he is a man of resource and of unusual ability as an organizer. When he left the brigade on July 7, 1918, it was on the up-grade and going strong. He knew then that his work had not been in vain and that his brigade would make good, and it was hard for him to leave.
The following brief sketch of his military record is taken, in the main, from the Army Register:
Born in Portland, Me., September 10, 1869. Graduated, U. S. M. A., Class of 1890 and assigned to 5th Artillery. First lieutenant 1898, captain 1901 and assigned to command 17th Battery. Organized same at Fort Sam Houston and took it to Philippines in 1903. Served two years in Mindanao, and Jolo under General Wood and Captain Pershing, in several expeditions after hostile Moros. The battery was mentioned in General Orders for "Distinguished Service" in G. O. No. 1, Dept. of Mindanao, 1905. Went to Cuba in 1906 in command of the 14th Battery Field Artillery, now Battery F, 3d Field Artillery. At the close of the second intervention was sent back to Cuba to organize and instruct a regiment of field artillery and remained on this duty over four years. Returned to United States in 1913 and joined the 4th Field Artillery at Texas City, Tex. Served on the border until October, 1915, when he was ordered to Sandy Hook Proving Ground as Field Artillery member of the Ordnance Board. Remained on this duty until August, 1917, when he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, National Army, and ordered to Camp Sevier, S. C., to organize the 55th Field Artillery Brigade. Served with this brigade during the period of organization and instruction until July 7, 1918, when he was transferred to the 67th Field Artillery Brigade, 42d (Rainbow) Division, and joined same July 9th at Vadenay Farm, North of Chalons, Champagne. Commanded this brigade during remainder of
the war, participating in the Champagne-Marne defensive, Aisne-Marne offensive, St. Mihiel offensive and Meuse-Argonne offensive. After the armistice went to Germany with the brigade and remained on the Rhine four months, leaving there April 8th and arriving in the United States April 26th.
The following is the official record of the number of rounds fired in action by the guns of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery, as submitted to the adjutant of the 55th Field Artillery Brigade on November 30, 1918:
|Gun No.||Rounds Fired||Totals|
|Grand Total for the Regiment||69,084|
France, February 8, 1919.
The following citations for acts of meritorious conduct described are published to the command.* * * * *
During the operations near IVOIRY, 26th to 31st September, 1918, this officer was on duty as liaison officer for his regiment. During the engagement he remained on duty in the front lines of the infantry, maintaining his own communications by means of salvaged German wire, in spite of loss of sleep and lack of food. Although subjected to intense shell-fire he showed utter disregard of personal safety, and by his unfailing devotion to duty inspired great confidence in those about him. His devotion to duty is worthy of the highest commendation.* * * * *
During the engagement near LIMEY, 12th September, 1918, after being struck by a shell splinter, he continued the work of removing the dead and wounded horses and moving the carriages to a place of safety. Later he was again struck by a shell and killed while in the performance of his duty. His courage and utter disregard for personal safety inspired the men of his section to continue their work successfully.* * * * *
During the operations near THIACOURT, 14th September, 1918, where several men of Batteries B and C were wounded, this chaplain rendered first aid to the wounded under intense shell-fire. Again, on 26th September, in the BOIS DU AVOCOURT, where the gun positions were subjected to heavy shell-fire and one man was killed and others wounded, he immediately rendered first aid to the wounded, disregarding his own safety. On numerous occasions he set an excellent example to the officers and men of his regiment by his presence in the most forward positions and looking after the sick and wounded.* * * * *
During the operations near LIMEY, 12th September, 1918, when a section was struck and horses and men were wounded and killed, Sergeant Patterson voluntarily took up the work of the drivers and assisted in exchanging the horses and removing the carriage to a place of safety. He continued this work until severely wounded.* * * * *
During the engagement near LIMEY, 12th September, 1918, when his section was struck by shell-fire, this non-commissioned officer took up the work of wounded drivers and assisted in exchanging the horses and removing the carriage to a place of safety. He continued his work until severely wounded.* * * * *
During the engagement near THIACOURT, 14th September, 1918, this non-commissioned officer was wounded by a shell explosion while inspecting the battery telephone system. Undaunted, he gave directions for installation of a new telephone, and although severely wounded himself, he picked up another wounded comrade and carried him to a place of safety. By his courage and devotion to duty and prompt initiative he inspired the men of the battery to continue their work on the telephone system without interruption in the work of the battery. His conduct is worthy of the utmost commendation* * * * *
During the operations on 27th October, 1918, in the ARGONNE FOREST, when in the course of the advance where the infantry had become temporarily halted by intense machine-gun fire, this soldier, who was on liaison duty for the supporting artillery, went forward alone, when others had to seek protection from the heavy shell-fire, and salvaged enemy wire within fifty to one hundred yards of the front lines and in the face of terrific machine-gun and shell-fire, and by so doing enabled the furtherance of telephone liaison with the front line troops. His devotion to duty, prompt initiative and disregard for personal safety is worthy of the highest praise.* * * * *
During the operations on 27th October, 1918, near the BOIS DE BEGUE, this soldier, on liaison duty with the infantry, went forward on his own accord, when others had to seek protection from the terrific machine-gun fire, and salvaged enemy wire within fifty to one hundred yards of the front lines, exposing himself to the heavy shell and machine-gun fire, and in so doing secured material that enabled the furtherance of telephone liaison with our front lines. His conduct was conspicuous for its daring and is worthy of the utmost commendation.* * * * *
During the operations near IVOIRY, 29th September, 1918, this soldier was on duty for first-aid work. While going into position the battery and advancing infantry was subjected to intense shell-fire from the enemy and many men became casualties.
This soldier immediately went forward and rendered first aid to the wounded. Locating a mortally wounded soldier in an exposed position, and despite the intense shell-fire, Private Perry remained with this man, dressing his wounds and rendering all assistance possible, the wounded man later dying in his arms. His devotion to duty, disregard of personal safety, is worthy of the highest praise.* * * * *
During the operations near LIMEY, 12th September, 1918, when his section was struck by heavy shell-fire, Private Kirby took up the work of wounded drivers and assisted in exchanging horses and removing the carriage to a place of safety. He continued his work until mortally wounded.* * * * *
During the operations near MONTFAUCON, 27th October, 1918, this soldier was on liaison duty with the infantry. During a period of intense shelling, when the infantry was forced to seek shelter from the terrific machine-gun fire, this soldier on his own accord salvaged enemy wire within fifty to one hundred yards of the front lines, exposing himself to the heavy fire, but by so doing he secured the necessary material to further the maintenance of the telephone liaison with our front lines, no other wire being available in their immediate advance thereafter. His prompt initiative and disregard for personal safety contributed much to the success of the operation and his conduct is worthy of the highest commendation.
By Command of MAJOR-GENERAL LEWIS.
JOHN K. KERR,
Chief of Staff.
ANDREW J. WHITE,
Lieut.-Colonel, Inf., U. S. A.
In the files of the regiment appear two official letters by Colonel Cox recommending for promotion certain junior officers and non-commissioned officers who had rendered exceptionally fine service in the regiment and richly deserved promotion. These promotions were not made for the reason that orders came a few days thereafter transferring the regiment to the United States. These letters follow:
March 1, 1919.
From: Commanding Officer, 113th Field Artillery, A. E. F.
To: Commanding General, 30th Division.
Subject: Recommendations to Fill Vacancies.
1. In accordance with verbal order, I have the honor to recommend the following officers of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery for promotion:
(1) SECOND LIEUTENANT JOHN P. BOLT--This officer was commissioned second lieutenant March 2, 1918, and has served as Assistant Supply Officer of the Regiment in training and in the field. He is thorough, efficient, energetic and careful. He is fully qualified to perform the duties of Regimental Supply Officer, which he has on numerous occasions performed, and was recommended for promotion to first lieutenant just before the Armistice.
(2) SECOND LIEUTENANT WILLIAM CRENSHAW--This officer was transferred to the Regiment in May, 1918, having completed satisfactorily course at the Third Training Camp, Camp Stanly, Texas; being recommended for commission at that camp and receiving such commission upon his arrival in France, June 13, 1918. As Telephone Officer of the Second Battalion and as Battery Officer, he has, at all times, demonstrated his ability as an officer and as an artilleryman in such manner as to make him fully qualified for commission as a first lieutenant. He was recommended for promotion to the grade of first lieutenant just before the Armistice.
(3) SECOND LIEUTENANT EARL J. HIGGINS--This officer joined the Regiment while in the Woëvre sector, and has demonstrated his efficiency as an officer and as an artilleryman. I consider him thoroughly qualified for commission as first lieutenant. His service has, at all times, been satisfactory.
(4) SECOND LIEUTENANT ERNEST M. HEDDEN--This officer joined the Regiment on September 16, 1918 and has been on duty as Battery Officer, Gas Officer and Liaison Officer. He has performed each duty well and is fully qualified for commission as first lieutenant.
(5) SECOND LIEUTENANT RICHARD S. SCHMIDT--This officer joined the Regiment just prior to departure from the States in May, 1918, and has served efficiently and well as Battery Officer, Liaison Officer and Intelligence Officer. He is thorough, careful and trustworthy, and fully qualified to perform the duties of first lieutenant of field artillery.
ALBERT L. COX,
Col. 113th F. A., Commanding.
March 1, 1919.
From: Commanding Officer, 113th Field Artillery, A. E. F.
To: Commanding General, 30th Division, A. E. F.
Subject: Recommendations for appointment of Second Lieutenants to fill vacancies:
1. In accordance with verbal directions, the following non-commissioned officers are recommended for appointment to fill vacancies in the rank of second lieutenant in the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery:
2. The first 12 men have all completed satisfactorily the course in Field Artillery at the Saumur School and hold certificates from same. Their work within the Regiment before going to this school and since their return has at all times been satisfactory, and the Regimental Commander considers them well qualified for commission as second lieutenant in field artillery.
3. Regimental Supply Sergeant William H. Chance; this man was appointed Regimental Supply Sergeant on July 15, 1917. He is alert, energetic and proficient and has performed his duties in a most satisfactory manner. He is thoroughly familiar with the many details that a Regimental Supply Officer must know and can perform each well. He is thoroughly qualified for a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Department and would be thoroughly satisfactory as a second lieutenant in that line, had he opportunity to attend a Candidates' School, which his duties as Regimental Supply Sergeant have prevented him from doing.
4. Regimental Sergeant Major Jacob E. Lambert, Jr.; Sergeant Lambert as Regimental Sergeant Major has had charge of the preparation of all pay rolls and of the personnel work of the Regiment under the supervision of the Personnel Adjutant. He is careful, intelligent, tireless and trustworthy. I know of no man better qualified for commission as second lieutenant on staff duty, than Sergeant Major Lambert.
ALBERT L. COX,
Col. 113th F. A., Commanding.
The first recruit for the One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery was received by Captain Wiley C. Rodman at Washington, N. C., on June 13, 1917. Authorization for the organization, then designated the First North Carolina Light Field Artillery, had just been received.
On July 13, 1917, the new regiment was officially recognized by the War Department, and a commission issued to Colonel Albert L. Cox, of Raleigh, N. C., as the commanding officer of the regiment.
Responded to the call of the President for service in the War with Germany and assembled at home stations on July 25, 1917.
On August 5, 1917, the regiment was formally drafted into the service of the United States, along with all other National Guard units accepted for the service.
After having spent seven weeks in training at home stations the regiment was ordered to Camp Sevier, S. C., for additional training as part of the 30th Division, arriving on September 16, 1917. Here the regiment lost its state designation and assumed the designation that was to be its own throughout its history, the "One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery," of the 55th Field Artillery Brigade.
From September 16, 1917 to May 18, 1918, the regiment was in training at Camp Sevier, S. C. On the latter date the regiment began entraining for New York for service overseas.
Arriving at Camp Mills, Long Island, N. Y., on May 19, 1918, the regiment settled down to a week of inspections, during which all equipment was carefully gone over many times and new equipment drawn and issued to replace every article that showed wear.
The regiment went aboard the British S. S. Armagh, a converted refrigerator ship, on May 26, 1918, and was landed at Liverpool on June 7, 1918.
On June 8, 1918, the regiment marched through the streets of Liverpool to the American Rest Camp at Knotty Ash.
On June 9, 1918, the regiment took train for Winchester, England, passing through Birmingham, Oxford and other interesting towns.
The regiment spent two days at the American Rest Camp at Winnall Downs, Winchester, and was reviewed on the second day, June 11, 1918, by the Duke of Connaught and other high British notables.
On June 12, 1918, the regiment left Winnall Downs for Southampton, arriving there in the afternoon, where it boarded the British S. S. St. George for Le Havre, France.
The regiment crossed the English Channel safely, arriving at Le Havre before daybreak on the morning of June 13, 1918, and spent one day and night at the American Rest Camp near Le Havre.
The regiment entrained on June 14, 1918, for Camp de Coetquidan, near Guer, in the province of Morbihan, France, where it arrived on the day following.
From June 16, 1918 to August 22, 1918, the regiment was in training at the United States Artillery School at Camp de Coetquidan, France. It completed its course of training there and entrained for the Toul front on August 22, 1918.
From August 23, 1918 to August 25, 1918, the regiment was on board trains, arriving at Toul, France, on the afternoon and night of August 25, 1918.
Following arrival at Toul, the regiment marched under cover of darkness to the Foret de la Reine, where the regimental echelon was established on August 26, 1918. The regiment was attached to the 89th Division and immediately went into positions near Ansauville, Hamonville and Beaumont, where it began active operations against the Boche in defense of the Toul sector. On September 10, 1918, the regiment went forward to offensive positions near Noviant and Limey, in preparations for the St. Mihiel drive, which started on the morning of the 12th of September, 1918.
Beginning on the morning of September 12, 1918, the regiment was continuously in action through September 14, 1918, the close of the latter day finding the regiment near Boullionville, supporting the 177th Infantry Brigade of the 89th Division.
From September 15, 1918 to September 22, 1918, the regiment was en route to the St. Mihiel sector to the Argonne Forest, arriving in the Bois de Brocourt on September 22d, where the regimental echelon was established for the opening of the Battle of the Argonne. The night of September 15th the regiment passed through Essey and Euvezin, arriving at Rambecourt on the morning of September 16th. Leaving Rambecourt after dark on September 16th, the regiment arrived at Mecrin, on the Meuse, on the morning of September 17th. The regiment spent two days and the night of September 17th at Mecrin, marching on the night of September 18th to Nicey and from Nicey to Deuxnouds on the night of September 19th. On the following night the regiment marched to the Bois de Beaulieu, where it remained two days. On September 22d the regiment arrived at the Bois de Brocourt.
From September 23, 1918 to September 25, 1918, the regiment was busily engaged getting "set" for the Meuse-Argonne offensive.
From September 26, 1918 to October 7, 1918, the regiment was actively engaged in the Battle of the Argonne, beginning this action in support of the 37th Division, from positions in the Bois de Esnes. It was shifted to the 32d Division on September 30, 1918, while in position on the northern edge of the Bois de Montfaucon and when relieved on October 7, 1918, was occupying positions on the Montfaucon-Ivoiry road.
From October 8, 1918 to October 11, 1918, the regiment was at Recicourt and en route to the Woëvre sector, near Troyon, where it was to support the 79th Division.
From October 12, 1918 to October 25, 1918, the regiment supported the 79th Division, which was relieved by the 33d Division on October 25th.
From October 26, 1918 to November 11, 1918, the regiment supported the 33d Division, taking part with credit in various actions, including the successful attack on St. Hilaire on November 10th.
After the Armistice, the regiment remained with the 33d Division, in camp along the Grand Tranchee in the Foret de la Montagne and was ordered to accompany the 33d Division to Germany as part of the Army of Occupation.
The regiment began its march into Germany on December 6, 1918, and after many wanderings, settled down for the Christmas holidays in northern Luxemburg on December 22, 1918, having been billeted in the following towns:
After trying out several villages the regiment finally found comfortable quarters in the villages of Colmar-Berg, Bissen and Boevange in upper Luxemburg, where it spent the holiday season. It was relieved from duty with the 33d Division and ordered to rejoin the 30th Division at Le Mans, France.
The regiment began its march back to France on the morning of January 6, 1919 and arrived at Jouy-sous-les-Cotes and Cornieville on January 13, 1919, where all animals and equipment were turned in to the army supply depots and personal equipment issued for the journey to Le Mans, France. The regiment was billeted during the long hike as follows:
The regiment entrained at Trondes, near Toul, on January 20, 1919 for the Le Mans area, and arrived at Evron, province of Mayenne, on January 24th.
From January 25, 1919 to February 5, 1919, the regiment was billeted at Evron, Neau, St. Christophe, Chatres and Mesenges, with regimental headquarters at Evron. It was reviewed by General Pershing at Evron.
The regiment was ordered to the "Forwarding Camp" at Le Mans, arriving there on February 6, 1919. The month that it spent here was the longest and most disagreeable month of the regiment's experience. After many delays orders came on March 4, 1919, directing the movement of the regiment to St. Nazaire for transportation home.
The regiment left the mud of the Le Mans Forwarding Camp behind and took train for St. Nazaire, where it boarded the U. S. S. Transport Santa Teresa on March 6th.
Aboard the Santa Teresa. The voyage was uneventful and Newport News, Va., was reached on March 18th.
The regiment spent four days at camps in and around Newport News and received orders on March 22, 1919, to proceed to Camp Jackson, Columbia, S. C., for muster out, along with other units of the 30th Division.
En route to Columbia, S. C. The journey was broken at Raleigh, N. C., where the regiment spent the night of March 23d and the day of March 24th, proceeding at night to Columbia, S. C. The regiment was given a great reception at Raleigh.
In process of demobilization at Columbia, S. C.
January 29, 1919.
1. In compliance with Paragraph 2, Memorandum No. 19, Headquarters 30th Division, January 27, 1919, this report is submitted in triplicate showing, from each separate organization of One Hundred and Thirteenth Field Artillery, the number of officers and enlisted men from each State represented in that organization, the same showing, also, the totals of the entire regiment.
|FIELD AND STAFF|
|District of Columbia||1||0||1|
|District of Columbia||1||0||1|
By Order of COLONEL Cox:
ALFRED W. HORTON,
Captain, Personnel Adjutant.
Note: On this date, January 29, 1919, the regiment was still approximately seventy-five per cent. North Carolinian. When called into the service on July 25, 1917, the regiment was practically 100 per cent. North Carolinian.
ROLAND F. ANDREWS, in Life.
Didn't know much, but knew something,
Learned while the other men played.
Didn't delay for commissions,
Went while the other men stayed.
Took no degrees up at Plattsburg,
Needed too soon for the game,
Ready at hand to be asked for,
Orders said: "Come!"--And they came.
Didn't get bars on their shoulders,
Or three months to see if they could;
Didn't get classed with the reg'lars
Or told they were equally good.
Just got a job and got busy,
Awkward they were, but intent,
Filing no claims for exemption,
Orders said: "Go!"--And they went.
BY WILLIAM V. V. STEPHENS E. W. MCCULLERS The lesser casualties suffered are listed in an official report submitted to G. H. Q. in February, 1919, which was as follows:
February 12, 1919.
From: Personnel Adjutant, 113th F. A., A. E. F. To: Statistical Division, G. H. Q., A. E. F. (Through 55th F. A. Brigade.) Subject: Report on Casualties. 1. In compliance with Memorandum February 9th, 1919, Headquarters 30th Division, A. E. F., the following list of casualties is submitted: Pvt. 1st Class J. W. Pittman, of Headquarters Company. Pvt. 1st Class J. W. Melton, of Battery E.
Didn't get farewell processions,
Didn't get newspaper praise,
Didn't escape the injunction
To mend, in extenso, their ways.
Work-bench and counter and roll-top,
Dug in and minding their chance.
Orders said: "First line of trenches!"
They're holding them--somewhere in France.
"WHAT ABOUT THE HOSSES?"
(11th Engineers, U. S. A.)
We had sought the sweet seclusion of an old estaminet
And the wine-cup circulated in the old familiar way.
We had fed our hearts on memories and talked as soldiers will
Of the comrades "pushing daisies" on a barren shell-marked hill.
But one Western boy was silent--never lifted up his head
Till resentment seemed to stir him, and he raised his eyes and said:
"But what about the hosses
In the roll-call of the dead?
Are they mentioned in the losses--
Has a single word been said?
Is there any simple token of their agony unspoken--
Have they any wooden crosses in the valleys where they bled?"
Our thoughts flew back like lightning, and across the brimming cup
We saw the beasts of burden bringing ammunition up--
The endless line of transport winding up across the hill,
And the starving and the dying on the fields at Aubreville--
The misery, the fortitude of those that had been gassed,
And eyes of silent sorrow, pleading patience as they passed.
Ay, "What about the horses?"
On the blazoned scroll of Fame--
The pulling, hauling horses,
And the broken, blind, and lame,
Giving every ounce of power, to the gasping dying hour--
Where's the martyr in the forces played a better, braver game?
THE HOME COMING
Battery C, 113th Field Artillery.
Along the white road winding,
O'er meadow and low lying dell,
Where once the night was blinding
And the skies red with shrapnel shell;
In crude, slow carts a-creaking,
On past the church with broken dome;
Still toiling, dawn a-streaking,
France's peasants are coming home!
Throughout quaint villas lying,
Abandoned are the marts of trade
Where country-folk were buying
Before the havoc newly made,
With wooden shoes a-clatter
Like traders in the streets of Rome,
They group and go a-scatter,
France's children are coming home!
Beneath the sunset creeping,
A ribbon of blue finely spun,
An old canal is keeping
Still the glow of the setting sun.
On endless lines a-reaching
Above decks of boats from the Somme
The week's wash hangs a-bleaching,
France's people are coming home!
OFFICIAL LIST OF CASUALTIES OF ONE
HUNDRED AND THIRTEENTH
KILLED IN ACTION
113th Field Artillery
A. E. F.
Nature of Wound
Baker, Irving M
Pvt. 1st Cl.
Sept. 12, 1918
Barbour, Luther H
Sept. 14, 1918
Bauer, Joseph E
Sept. 27, 1918
Beal, James R
Nov. 7, 1918
Beck, Norman F
Nov. 7, 1918
Oct. 3, 1918
Bobbitt, Lewis F
Pvt. 1st Cl.
Nov. 7, 1918
Boney, Daniel C
Oct. 3, 1918
Bowman, George R
Sept. 12, 1918
Boyd, Claudius A
Sept. 14, 1918
Boyd, Heber G
Pvt. 1st Cl.
Sept. 23, 1918
Brewer, Zebulon E
Nov. 7, 1918
Calloway, Jesse S
Pvt. 1st Cl.
Nov. 7, 1918
Oct. 5, 1918
Corson, Nelson N
Oct. 6, 1918
Case, Raymond A
Sept. 27, 1918
Craven, James E
Pvt. 1st Cl.
Nov. 7, 1918
Coley, John D
Oct. 4, 1918
Sept. 29, 1918
Culpepper, Benjamin F
Pvt. 1st Cl.
Nov. 7, 1918
Culpepper, Ira J
Pvt. 1st Cl.
Oct. 5, 1918
Cupp, Clarence B
Nov. 7, 1918
Davenport, John T
Oct. 8, 1918
KILLED IN ACTION
BY WILLIAM V. V. STEPHENS
E. W. MCCULLERS
The lesser casualties suffered are listed in an official report submitted to G. H. Q. in February, 1919, which was as follows:
February 12, 1919.
From: Personnel Adjutant, 113th F. A., A. E. F.
To: Statistical Division, G. H. Q., A. E. F. (Through 55th F. A. Brigade.)
Subject: Report on Casualties.
1. In compliance with Memorandum February 9th, 1919, Headquarters 30th Division, A. E. F., the following list of casualties is submitted:
Pvt. 1st Class J. W. Pittman, of Headquarters Company.
Pvt. 1st Class J. W. Melton, of Battery E.
Pvt. George G. Barnes, of Battery E.
Pvt. 1st Class Robey E. Campbell, of Battery E.
First Lieutenant Allan W. Douglass, of Battery E.
Pvt. Robert L. Alston, of Battery E.
|Name||Rank||Organization||Nature of Wound||Date|
|De Brock, Henry W.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. C||Slight||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Drummond, Frank C. P.||2d Lieut.||Btry. D||Severe||Oct. 6, 1918|
|Dunn, Walter R.||Pvt.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Eubanks, Manly M.||Pvt.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Foy, Council L.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Frady, Clyde H.||Pvt.||Btry. B||Gassed||Oct. 6, 1918|
|Garris, Ollie B.||Corp.||Btry. D||Slight||Oct. 3, 1918|
|Garrison, Loyd||Pvt.||Btry. B||Slight||Sept. 30, 1918|
|Gibson, Alexander T.||Pvt.||San. Det.||Slight||Oct. 3, 1918|
|Gibson, James M.||Pvt.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Oct. 3, 1918|
|Gurganus, John||Mech.||Btry. B||Slight||Oct. 5, 1918|
|Hand, Herbert T., Jr.||2d Lieut.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Hawthorne, Clarence E.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. F||Slight||Oct. 3, 1918|
|Heath, Paul J.||Sgt.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Oct. 3, 1918|
|Hendricks, George||Pvt.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Hill, Fred G.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. D||Slight||Sept. 14, 1918|
|Hope, Clarence C.||Corp.||Btry. F||Gassed||Oct. 2, 1918|
|Jones, John T.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. B||Slight||Sept. 23, 1918|
|Kennerly, Charles A.||Pvt.||Hdqt. Co.||Slight||Oct. 3, 1918|
|*Kirby, Rom D.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. E||Severe||Sept. 12, 1918|
|Koonce, Frank B.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Lucas, John C.||Corp.||Btry. D||Slight||Sept. 14, 1918|
|McDonald, Willie E.||Pvt.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|McLawhorne, Richard||Sgt.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Martin, Oliver||Pvt.||Btry. F||Slight||Oct. 6, 1918|
|Massey, Ira C.||Corp.||Btry. C||Slight||Oct. 2, 1918|
|Meekins, John L.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. B||Slight||Sept. 23, 1918|
|Minish, Walter R.||Sgt.||Btry. E||Severe||Sept. 12, 1918|
|Mintz, Martin N.||Pvt.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Oct. 29, 1918|
|Mullenmeister, William H.||Pvt.||Btry. A||Slight||Sept. 30, 1918|
|Murphy, Dean W.||Pvt.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Norwood, Olin N.||Pvt.||Btry. F||Slight||Oct. 6, 1918|
|Nurkin, Jack||Pvt.||Hdqt. Co.||Slight||Sept. 30, 1918|
|Pantle, Francis A.||Pvt.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Oct. 29, 1918|
|Parker, Lennie L.||Pvt.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Parrish, Percy J.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. C||Slight||Sept. 14, 1918|
|Patterson, Fred M.||Sgt.||Btry. E||Severe||Sept. 12, 1918|
|Pipkin, Will H.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Poe, Edward J., Jr.||Corp.||Btry. E||Slight||Sept. 12, 1918|
|Pollock, Walter W.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Price, Major L.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Pugh, John H.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Rector, Pender F.||Corp.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Shelton, Conrad J.||Corp.||Btry. F||Slight||Oct. 6, 1918|
|Stambaugh, Parris||Pvt.||Btry. F||Slight||Oct. 6, 1918|
|Summers, Everett L.||Pvt.||Btry. C||Slight||Sept. 30, 1918|
|Talbert, Burette||Pvt.||Btry. F||Slight||Oct. 6, 1918|
|Taylor, Raymond W.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. A||Slight||Oct. 1, 1918|
|Taylor, Walter||Pvt.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Thomas, Tore N.||Pvt.||Btry. B||Slight||Oct. 5, 1918|
|Vann, Robert W.||Pvt.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Oct. 3, 1918|
|Vaughn, Stephen E.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. C||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Walker, Fred||Bnd. Corp.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Oct. 3, 1918|
|Weeks, Almond C.||Pvt.||San. Det.||Severe||Oct. 3, 1918|
|Warrington, Larry F.||Pvt. 1st Cl.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Wilson, Jessie O.||Pvt.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Oct. 3, 1918|
|Winfield, Caddest M.||Pvt.||Btry. B||Slight||Sept. 23, 1918|
|White, Hubert E.||Corp.||Btry. A||Gassed||Nov. 7, 1918|
|Young, Ernest E.||Pvt.||Hdqt. Co.||Gassed||Oct. 3, 1918|
ALFRED W. HORTON,
Captain, 113th Field Artillery,
It has been impossible to secure a complete and accurate list of the casualties of the regiment. The War Department was appealed to in August for the latest list of the regiment's casualties and responded with the information that it was impossible to furnish such a list, owing to the rush of work vastly more important than that of tabulating casualties. It is learned from unofficial sources that two of the men listed above as severely wounded, Rom D. Kirby and Glenn Cowgill, died later in hospitals.
Elsewhere in the book appear photographs of some of the men who were killed in action. Every effort was made to secure the picture of every man who fell, but they could not be secured. In some cases, the families refused to lend the pictures, fearing that they would never get them back, and in others no pictures were in existence, so far as the families knew.
Unfortunately, the battle maps used by the regiment for its various engagements were not all available for the use of Sergeant Liston L. Mallard in drawing the three maps that appear in this book. The coordinates of the battery positions were not in every case at his disposal but it is certain that he has come very close to the exact positions. He was greatly helped in his work by Captain Robert P. Beaman, adjutant of the Second Battalion, who found in his note-book much valuable data about his own battalion and also about the First Battalion. In a letter to the Historian, which was used by Sergeant Mallard in drawing his maps, Captain Beaman said:
The positions occupied at the beginning of the St. Mihiel drive were:
|Battery D||X 362.840
|Battery E||X 362.715
|Battery F||X 363.120
|P. C.||X 362.815
It may be of interest for you to know that the above positions were the only ones occupied by us during the war in which the Italian resection method of orientation could be used. This, as you will recall, is the most accurate orientation that can be used, and I believe that the accuracy of our fire in this offensive showed the effectiveness of the method. The church tower at Manonville was used with a Y azimuth of 2365 mils.
On September 13th, you will recall, we advanced to a point south of Thiaucourt very near Bouillionville. The positions occupied at this point were:
|Battery D||X 362.050
|Battery F||X 361.850
Battery E occupied a position immediately to the right of Battery D, but I am unable to locate a memorandum of the coordinates. If you have not a map from which you can determine them, I will make an effort to locate a map of the section in question and they will then be easy to determine.
At the beginning of the Meuse-Argonne, the Second Battalion occupied a position in Bios de Esnes with the following coordinates:
|Battery D||X 13.553||Oriented for number four piece.|
|Battery E||X 13.555||Oriented for number one piece.|
|Battery F||X 13.553||Oriented for number one piece.|
Upon our advance of September 27th, the following positions were occupied:
|Battery D||X 10.670
|Battery E||X 10.630
|Battery F||X 10.740
Upon our advance through Montfaucon to the road near Ivoiry the following positions were occupied:
|Battery D||X 08.700
|Battery E||X 08.970
|Battery F||X 08.565
|P. C.||X 08.790
On October 3d, the P. C. was moved from the above position to:
the batteries remaining in the same positions.
The positions which we occupied in the Woëvre, or Troyon sector in the Foret de la Montagne were:
These were the positions which were occupied at the time of the signing of the armistice.
I have run across in my notes two positions occupied by the First Battalion. I have a memorandum that on September 29th in the Argonne the First Battalion was located as follows:
|Battery A||X 09.085
|Battery B||X 09.140
|Battery C||X 09.395
The positions occupied by the First Battalion in the Foret de la Montagne up to the signing of the armistice were:
|Battery A||Two guns 45.3-51.3||Two guns 45.5-51.4|