Project Gutenberg's History of Ambulance Company Number 139, by Various

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Title: History of Ambulance Company Number 139

Author: Various

Release Date: October 6, 2010 [EBook #33841]

Language: English

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History of Ambulance Company Number 139

Cover emblem







A CASUAL IN THE S. O. S."   71




When war was declared on Germany April 5th, 1917, the government sent out calls for volunteers. The auxiliary organizations were to be the first ones to go across, and it looked as if ambulance companies would be among the first to get into action. Many of the universities and colleges in the east started at once to organize ambulance companies. These companies were quickly filled, and the enthusiasm spread quickly to the west.

Early in April Dr. Edwin R. Tenney of Kansas City, Kansas, was appointed by the adjutant general of the State of Kansas to organize a national guard ambulance company in that city. Until this time there had never been a national guard ambulance company in the State of Kansas. Dr. Tenney had been a practicing physician in Kansas City for a number of years and before coming to the city he served as a physician during the Spanish-American war. For the past five years he had held a lieutenant's commission in the U. S. Army Reserve Corps. It was through his efficient work that this company was recruited to full strength within a month after he received his appointment.

The recruiting office in the press room at the city hall was a very busy place during the month of April. Every one was anxious to join some branch of the army. By April 25th the company was recruited to its full strength of sixty-four men and the office was closed. However, orders were received the next day to recruit the company to eighty-four men, so again the office was opened for business with a sign which read, "Join a motor ambulance company and ride." It was in this office that so many of the men held up their right hand and said that fatal "I do."

About this time Dr. Richard T. Speck, of Kansas City, Kansas, received a lieutenant's commission in the Kansas National Guard and was assigned to this company. A few days later Drs. A. J. Bondurant, of St. Margaret's Hospital, Kansas City, Kansas, and A. H. Adamson, of the General Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, also received commissions and were assigned to this company.

On April 30th Major Seth A. Hammell, of Topeka, Kansas, mustered the company into the state guard as Kansas Ambulance Company No. 2. Another ambulance company, known as Kansas Ambulance Company No. 1, was organized by Lieutenant W. L. Rhodes, of Argentine, Kansas.

After the state muster the company had two drill nights a week. These drills often interfered with some of the men's plans, but that made no difference as they now belonged to "Uncle Sam"[6] and duty came before pleasure. It was at these semi-weekly drills that the men learned the first principles of soldiering under the leadership of Lieutenant R. T. Speck and Sergeant Roscoe Leady. They were unaccustomed to regular drilling, especially on paved streets, and many times they went home with sore feet from doing "fours right and left" and "to the rear, march."

On June 14th the company was called out for federal inspection and was formally recognized by the federal authorities. This was the first formation in which every one was present, as many of the men lived out of the city and could not come to the drills. After this inspection the men were told to be ready to leave at any time, as it wouldn't be over two weeks at the most before they would be called out. The days dragged slowly, and it seemed that the company would never be called into service. The men were all anxious to start for France and many of them had already given up their positions, thinking that it would be but a short time until they would leave.

On Decoration Day the company was ordered out for a special formation to march to the cemetery and to pay tribute to the heroes of the past. However, it rained so hard that the march was called off and instead the men were assembled in the auditorium of the High School where they listened to an address by J. K. Cubbison.

For a number of years it had been customary for all national guard organizations to go into camp on the night of July 3rd and stay until the 4th, when they would put on an exhibition of some kind. Consequently this company, together with Company A, First infantry, K. N. G., and Battery E, First Field Artillery, K. N. G., went into camp on the night of July 3rd at the City Park. To most of the men this was their first experience in sleeping on the ground, and it will not be easily forgotten, for the next day found every one with aching bones. In the afternoon of the 4th the men of Company A, Infantry, put on a sham battle, and this company followed them up, administering first aid to the "wounded."


It was on the memorable day of August 5th, 1917, that the members of Kansas Ambulance Company No. 2 assembled at the corner of Ninth and Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas. As the clock struck nine the order "Fall in" was given. After a few army formalities the company was marched out to Camp Hoel, which was situated at Twentieth Street and Washington Boulevard. It was a spectacular scene for the outsiders and for all the men in the company. It looked more like a parade of college chaps before a football game, as almost all of the fellows were dressed[7] in their "Sunday best." There were a few boys dressed in the khaki, which gave the passerby the idea that we were a part of the great American Army which was being formed. When we reached camp a small white tent was pitched, which was to be our office, supply room and a place of shelter for those boys of the company who did not live in the city or who were not staying at the homes of some of their friends.

Our company was not the only one at this camp, as we had neighbors, who were later designated as follows: Company A, 137th Infantry; Companies B and C of the 110th Regiment of Engineers; Battery E, 130th Field Artillery, and Ambulance Company 140 of the 110th Sanitary Train. The majority of the members of these organizations were Kansas City boys.

In a few days the drills were started. Awkward squads were formed and from all parts of the camp the command of "fours right," "to the rear, march," etc., could be heard. Hikes were numerous, and it was not long until our feet knew all the bumps on every street in Kansas City, Kansas.

The mess for the different companies at Camp Hoel was put in charge of the Central Boarding Company of Kansas City, Missouri. A large tent was erected for the kitchen and it was there that the men were initiated into the secrets of "kitchen police."

After wearing overalls, blue shirts or any other old article that was obtainable, the company was greatly shocked one morning when the news came that part of our equipment had arrived. Here again another dream was shattered, for it seemed that the good fits for the men must have been lost in transit. The large fellows received clothing too small for them, and the small fellows received clothes that would have looked well if they had had about fifty more pounds of muscle upon their skeletons. But as a matter of fact everyone was very proud of the new uniform.

A few days before the uniforms arrived a proposition was laid upon the table for the debate of the company. The great question was, "Shall each member buy leather leggins?" Nobody knew at that time about the uniform rules of the army. Leather leggins looked fine and seemed to be the fashion according to posters and magazine pictures. So the debate was closed and the whole bunch bit on the eight and ten dollar pairs. We used them several times, in fact we wore them in two parades, and were granted the permission to wear them to Doniphan, were we soon sold them at the average price of $5.00 per pair.

On August 13th the boys received their physical examination. A few were disappointed at that time to find that they could not pass the examination and go along with the company. That afternoon Captain Arthur L. Donan of the 3rd Kentucky Infantry placed himself before the company and mumbled a few words. After the[8] company was dismissed the main question was, "What did the captain have to say?" It was soon found out that he had mustered us into Federal Service.

On the Saturdays of the first two weeks at camp we were treated fine (just kidding us along). On the third Saturday we were lined up in formation and were sent to the infirmary. There we were told to get ready for the worst. Both arms were bared while iodine swabs, the medics' famous panacea, were thrown around freely. There were three doctors in one corner ready for action. Two of them were puncturing the right arms with needles and with a little push of a plunger our body was given some extra fluid so that we might be able to combat that great army disease of former years, typhoid fever. The other doctor was cutting a few nitches in the boys' left arms so that the smallpox vaccine could do its duty. Fainting was in order on that day, as well as on the following three Saturdays, when the puncturing process was repeated, and no member of the company was slighted.

The mothers of Kansas City made army life, while we were at Camp Hoel, as pleasant as possible. On different days we received a basket dinner, a watermelon feast and an ice cream and cake festival from them. Those days were the frequent topics of conversation during the boys' stay in France and will never be forgotten. Shows were always at hand in Kansas City and on certain afternoons theatre parties were formed by the members of the company.

September 27th was the fatal day for Kansas Ambulance Company No. 2 in Kansas City, Kansas. On that day camp was broken and the company was formed. We left our camp and marched to the train behind the famous Kilties Scotch Band, which led us down Minnesota Avenue through the great crowds that had gathered along the street to cheer us on our way. We boarded the train at Third and Washington Boulevard, where the boys bid their dear ones "goodbye."


When that Frisco troop train pulled out of Kansas City, Kansas, on September 27th, 1917, it cannot be said that it carried a very hilarious bunch of soldiers. The men, the majority of whom had never been away from home before for any length of time, had just spent a last few happy days with the home folks, sweethearts and friends and now they were going out into a new life, into new environments and with unknown problems and experiences ahead of them. They were quiet at first, no doubt wondering what was in[9] store for them before they saw "home" again, but as they left Kansas City far behind their quietness disappeared and soon little groups were chattering at a lively rate.




After an uneventful trip the troop train carrying Kansas Ambulance Companies No. 1 and 2 and one field hospital company arrived at the Fort Sill railroad yards at about 4:30 P. M. on September 28th. After a short delay the companies started their march toward the area on the south side of the camp, designated for the Sanitary Train, and right then and there they were introduced to that for which Camp Doniphan is noted—DUST—five or six inches of it on every road. What a hot, dirty hike that was, unaccustomed as the men were to those ungainly, heavy packs! And when Kansas Ambulance Company No. 2 (later designated as Ambulance Company 139) reached camp did they find comfortable tents or barracks to step into? They did not. True, tents were there, but they were in wooden crates, and there was a long, vacant space between a mess hall and a bath house on which those tents were to stand. Fate was with the men that night, for the moon was shining brightly, so after a supper of crackers and cheese they soon had twelve Sibley tents pitched on the allotted space. Tired from their trip and work litters made excellent bunks and the men slept the sleep of the weary, their first night under real army conditions.

Army life, as experienced in those first six weeks at Camp Doniphan, can scarcely be called a picnic. If there had been floors in the tents, and if you could have turned a switch instead of having to light a candle in order to have light, and if there had been an adequate supply of good water, and if "DUST," in vast quantities, had not been a "regular issue"—well, such was life at Doniphan for the first few weeks.

However, by Thanksgiving, many improvements had been made. Good water was piped from a lake some distance from the camp and no longer was moss and like substances found in the water that came through the pipes. Nor was it necessary to watch all the dust of Kansas blow by from the north in the morning, with a return trip in the afternoon. The tents were floored and sidings put on, and electric lights were installed; Sibley stoves were issued, together with an ample supply of wood—all of which made the life at Camp Doniphan a little more attractive. A large boiler and tank was installed in the bath house, giving the men plenty of hot water for bathing and washing clothes. Military training continued, of course, consisting of drilling on the field and lectures in the mess hall by medical officers on subjects essential to the work of sanitary troops. This included practice in the use of bandages and splints and litter drill.

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays brought many visitors[10] to camp—mothers, brothers, sisters and friends, all anxious to see for themselves the Army life that the men had been writing about. If any of the mothers had been worrying about the "beans and hard-tack" which is supposed to be an unvarying part of a soldier's menu, they returned home with that worry eliminated, for on both Thanksgiving and Christmas, "John," the red-headed chef of the company, brought forth dinners that would make the "Plantation Grill" or the "Pompeien Room" sit up and take notice. Turkey, all you could eat and with all the trimmings, and the dessert of mince pie and fruit cake, made one think of "Home, Sweet Home" and Mother's incomparable cooking. As a whole, Army feed wasn't half as bad as it was supposed to be. How could it be, when flapjacks, sausage, steak and pie were regular issues?

The winter of 1917–18, according to the "natives," was the worst in Oklahoma for fifteen years, and those reports will never be questioned by the men who were at Doniphan that winter. More than once they awoke in the morning to find three or four inches of snow on the tent floor. However, unaccustomed as the men were to living in tents in cold weather, there was a comparatively small amount of sickness. True, a number of the men were sent to the Base Hospital, with measles, influenza and pneumonia, and several times the company was quarantined, but very few of the cases proved serious, and sooner or later the men returned to duty.

For several months, both the Base Hospital and the Isolation Camp were in need of Medical men, and details from the Sanitary Train were sent to relieve the situation. The men were put to work at anything from nurse to Supply Sergeant, and this work gave them some good, practical experience along medical lines. Just before Christmas, the company received twelve G. M. C. Ambulances, and for the remainder of our stay at Doniphan these ambulances were used for evacuation work between the Base Hospital and the different units of the Division.

Not all of the training at Doniphan was along medical lines, however. At regular intervals you could expect to find your name on the Bulletin Board under the heading "Kitchen Police," and when it wasn't that, it was probably for a tour of guard duty, and if you were lucky enough to miss both of those details, it was seldom that you weren't picked for company fatigue.

The personnel of our officers changed somewhat at Doniphan. Lt. Adamson soon after getting there, received his honorable discharge. About February 1st, Lt. Tenney was transferred to a Machine Gun Battalion, and Lt. Speck was placed in command of the company. Lt. Paul R. "Daddy" Siberts, Lt. Bret V. Bates, and Lt. Colin C. Vardon were assigned to the company while at Doniphan, the latter in place of Lt. Bondurant, who was transferred to the Casual Company at Camp Doniphan.

With[11] the coming of warmer weather in the early spring, the outside drill turned to hikes, and many is the tale that can be told about the "strategic maneuvers" of the Sanitary Train. Ask any of the man about the night at Buffalo Springs, when J. Pluvius turned the faucet wide open, deluging the tent city. Ask them about "The Lost Sanitary Train," when, in returning from Sulphur Springs, they circled Scott Mountain before they finally bumped into Medicine Lake, and finally arrived back to camp at 3 A. M. But as a rule, the hikes were interesting and instructive, and furnished excellent training. Men who had always depended on Mother for their meals learned how to build a camp fire in the face of a high wind and to cook their dinner of bacon, potatoes and coffee. They learned that a great deal of territory can be covered without the use of a street car or "flivver," and incidentally their muscles became hardened, fitting them for the strenuous work ahead.

From the very first, nothing interested the men more than the thought of a furlough home, and almost as soon as they arrived at Doniphan, the arguments were many as to whether it would be nicer to be home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. But it was not until January that any leaves at all were granted. Then the furloughs were limited to five or seven days, and in that way almost all of the men were able to visit the home folks for a few days before leaving for overseas service. Putting their feet under Mother's table again, and seeing Her for a few days, invariably put the men in a happier and more contented spirit, and they came back to camp with more "pep" for their work.

Tho the days were filled with the routine of drill and company duties, the social side of life at Doniphan must not be forgotten. Not far from camp was the city of Lawton, and while it was far from being an ideal town, it was at least a change from the monotony of camp life. Passes to town were liberal, and the men spent many pleasant evenings there, either at the picture shows or with friends whom they met after going to Doniphan.

The Y. M. C. A. deserves a great deal of credit for its work at Doniphan. "Y" Bldg. No. 59, used by the Sanitary Train and the 110th Engineers, was just a short distance from the train area, and in the evening immediately after Retreat a stream of men could be seen going in that direction. The "Y" furnished paper and envelopes, pen and ink, thus encouraging the men to write home oftener. Movies, at least twice a week, band concerts and boxing bouts were some of the means of entertaining the men, and there was always a full house. On Sundays the men were privileged to attend exceptionally interesting religious services, and the series of addresses given by Chaplain Reeder of the Engineers was well worth hearing.

Almost as soon as the company arrived at Doniphan, rumors filled the air about the Division leaving for overseas service, but[12] nothing substantial developed until about the middle of March. Then orders were received that the Division was booked to leave, and the work preparatory to moving started in earnest. Everything, from the kitchen range to the Pierce-Arrow trucks, had to be prepared for shipment. Lumber was furnished, and the company carpenters were kept busy almost to the day of departure building crates and boxes. After being crated, each article had to be stenciled with the company designation, together with the weight and cubical contents, and the Division Symbol. Packing lists were prepared, which was no small task, and the main work preparatory to leaving was completed.

Not all of the men of the company left Camp Doniphan with the Division, for as is always the case in a large body of men, there were a few who were physically unfit. These men, nine of them, were left at the Casual Camp at Camp Doniphan, and were later assigned to recruiting or military police duty in various parts of the United States.


The day of May 8th, 1918, dawned bright and fair. The morning was spent in finishing up little odds and ends of work, and in rolling packs. At 1 P. M. "Fall in," the last one at Doniphan, sounded, and soon afterwards the Sanitary Train started its march to the railroad yards. Again it was hot and dusty, just as it had been when the company marched into camp, and it was with a feeling of relief that the troop train came into view. Pullman cars? No, the Sanitary Train couldn't be as fortunate as that, so the men had to be content with chair cars.

With seven months training behind them, the men of Ambulance Company 139 left Camp Doniphan for "Somewhere in France" with great anticipation, feeling that they were ready for any part that they might have to play.

On board the train, which left Doniphan at 3 P. M., the men amused themselves in reading and card games. There were a few details, such as sweeping the cars, kitchen police or serving the meals "de luxe" to the boys, but the old beloved guard detail was not left to the privates. It was graciously wished on the non-coms, who were forced to carry a "45 smoke wagon" on their belts, according to some General Order in the "blue book." We never learned whether they were to keep the boys from getting out or to keep the feminine sex from getting in.

At our first stop, El Reno, Okla., the four ambulance companies, which made up one train, "fell-out" for a little exercise, and after an hour or so of maneuvering, we climbed aboard again to journey nearer the Atlantic. We were by this time consulting time[13] tables, watches and maps to decide over which route we must travel in order to pass through Kansas City, the home of most of the boys in the company. The first night of traveling passed slowly, and as the first tints of dawn were spreading over the eastern sky our train drew into Topeka. Shortly after daybreak the train left the Capitol city of Kansas, and headed down the Kaw Valley towards Kansas City. As the noon hour of May 9th was passing away the train pulled into the big Union Station, where mothers, fathers, wives, brothers, sisters, sweethearts and friends had been waiting for hours, with baskets overflowing with delicious meats, sandwiches, fruits and all the rarest and spiciest that a Mother's effort could put forth.

Again the "blue book" came into play, and we took a little sightseeing trip up Main Street. The bride of a certain Sergeant in the company tried to follow her "hero in hobs" but fell out after the first block. We did an about-face at 12th Street and double-timed back to the folks. After re-entering the coach, we leaned out of the window, pulled the Mother and sweetheart up to us, and for the time being were utterly unconscious of what went on around us or where we were. When the train slowly moved out of the station, we tried to smile as we said "Good-bye," and watched the handkerchiefs still waving when we rounded the corner and were out of sight.

We arrived at St. Louis about 12:30 the next morning, and were switched onto a siding, where we stayed until daybreak, when we continued our journey, crossing Illinois and Indiana. At Huntington, Ind., we again stopped and had setting-up exercises. Upon reaching Peru, Ind., we found Pullman cars awaiting us, and from then on we rode in style. Our next stop was at Salamanca, N. Y., where exercise was again on the program. From there we traveled through some of the most picturesque country of the east.

While on the train a humorous incident occurred. The officers heard from some underground source that "Snowball," our dark-complexioned porter, had been passing "Old Evans" around to the boys in a promiscuous fashion. And at the same time "Snowball" heard in the same way that the officer of the guard was going to make a search of his possessions for this precious "fire-water." The search was made, with Snowball looking on wild-eyed, and the officer detective was about to give it up, when he noticed a string leading out the window, and upon investigating found the poor half-dead soldier (bottled in bond) tied by the neck to the other end of the string.

The last night of riding brought us near to the eastern coast, and soon after daybreak on May 12th the train stopped at Jersey City. We slung our packs and pushed our way through the station to a ferry boat. From this point many of us had our first view of New York and the salt water. After loading on the ferry we were[14] pulled out into the East River, where the boat remained for the greater part of the day. At last it moved on and we landed in Long Island City. Dragging our packs and barrack bags, we marched wearily to a Long Island train. A few hours' ride brought us to Garden City, and truly it was well named, for with its low, well kept hedges, its English gardens and its wild flowers growing everywhere, it looked like a garden city. From Garden City to Camp Mills was a weary hike but we finally reached there, and after eating supper, we crawled under our three O. D.s and slept.

During our five days stay at Camp Mills, some of the men were granted passes to New York City, but we left before all the men had a chance to visit that city of bright lights. The day before we departed we were given the last of our overseas equipment, including the pan-shaped steel helmet.


After spending five chilly nights at Camp Mills, Long Island, and awaiting anxiously the orders to leave for France, we did not seem to mind the coolness of the night on May the 17th, for we were to leave the following day on the long expected trip across the Atlantic. Bright and early the next morning a passer-by could plainly see that something was about to happen. All were in gay spirits as they hurried here and there, gathering together the miscellaneous articles and other things, which make up a soldier's equipment. Packs were rolled, the camp tidied up, and our overseas boxes loaded on trucks. At last after everything was ready we fell in line and marched across the camp, to the train that would carry us to the ferry. The old world seemed to hold a different meaning for everyone that morning. We were about to step into the greatest adventure of our lives, and one that would never be forgotten. Groups of soldiers cheered us on all sides, and yelled that they would be with us soon. Some were from our own division, and we recognized many of our friends.

On arriving at the ferry, we took our place as close to the rail as possible, and waved to the passengers on passing boats. The ferry, filled to its full capacity, chugged down the East River to one of the many docks where, quietly waiting, was the big camouflaged boat that would complete for us the trip from our training camp in Doniphan to England.

The moment that we had been looking forward to for so long a time had at last arrived. We wound our way to the big warehouse and stopped in front of an iron door. Stacked on the floor were life-saving jackets and as each one passed through the door, he received a colored tag, and one of the life-preservers. The tag assured him a bunk and meals.

Our[15] expectations were fully realized as we filed by one by one up the gang-plank and onto the boat that was to be our home for the coming fourteen days. We were divided up and led down stairs to our quarters. They looked more like a steam-room than a place to sleep. It was all a jumbled-up puzzle. Water pipes seemed to be running in all directions, and arguments could be heard on all sides as to how we were to sleep. In the midst of it all an officer appeared, and he told us to let down the rectangular shaped frame, also made of water-pipe, which rested in sockets on two other upright pipes like hinged shelves. Then he told us to unwrap the small piece of canvas, which was wrapped to the rectangular frame. After doing this, things began to seem clearer, for the canvas was also rectangular in shape, and had grummets all around it. By means of the rope it was securely laced to the framework. This composed our bunk, and there were three of these in a tier, and a tier on each side of the two perpendicular pipes. The aisle between the bunks was very narrow and we crowded and pushed in making up our beds, for everyone was more than anxious to learn more about our boat.

In the meantime several sailors came in from the engine room and we began making friends, although they had many a laugh while watching us prepare our bunks. They were asked for every bit of information we could think of about the boat—"How fast it could go," "How long it was"—and many other questions about the sea, and their experiences. We found out that the name of the boat was the "S. S. Louisville," formerly the "St. Louis," that it was 564 ft. long, and carried 3500 men. On asking how many miles the boat could make in an hour, we were assured that "it was the speediest ship in the convoy."

By this time we heard mess-call, and began to look for a line. Men were running upstairs and down, and hurried questions flew from everyone as to when and where the men with his color of tag were eating. Each color had a certain time to eat. There were four colors, two eating at one time. The men filed in to the dining room from each side of the main deck through two large double doors. There were four long tables and we stood up to eat, moving along the table as the men ahead finished eating and moved out to wash their mess-kits in large sinks, just before leaving the room. It was very interesting to see the systematic way in which the men moved along, taking a mouth-full as they pushed their mess-kits up the table.

As we were strolling on deck that afternoon, a low grumbling sound met our ears, as if it came from some place far below. Then it turned into a rythmatical chug of a large engine, and we knew that the boat was getting up steam preparatory for the trip. The sailor-boys, too, were making preparations for "Jerry." They carried large shells and deposited them in cases behind the guns,[16] and as we watched them work, we wondered if there would ever be a real necessity to use them during the trip.

Evening found everyone knowing the boat almost by heart, and we began to gather in groups on deck and look about. To the rear lay New York, the tall buildings outlined against the sky. Numerous tug-boats were slowly winding their way in and out of the docks. One of the sailors leaning against the rail pointed out to us the former German ship "Vaterland," in a dock across the river. We were entertained for awhile by watching a bunch of negro waiters for the officers mess shooting dice, and a quartet gave us a few songs. But night soon came, and we went below to try our new bunks. One of the boys no sooner found the trick that one could play, than he immediately dislodged the man above him, by putting his feet on the bottom of the bunk above, pushing it out of its socket, and bringing the fellow down into the aisle below.

All night the engines kept up their continuous running, and the next morning two little tug-boats came up along side and pulled us out and down the river. We were ordered "below decks," out of sight, but a few borrowed sailor caps and stood on the lower deck to get a last long look at old New York and the Statue of Liberty. As we neared the open water, and the tall buildings began to fade away behind us, the cold facts of the situation began to present themselves. We were leaving a land, the only one we had ever known, to cross the fathomless ocean to another land, and to battle-fields with horrors unknown. But we soon put such thoughts aside when we were permitted to go on deck. The convoy was slowly spreading out into formation, the battle-ship that accompanied us going ahead as our protector. As soon as we reached the ocean, orders were given not to go on deck without our life-preservers, and to stay on the side of the boat which our color of tag designated. By night we were using "sailor-terms" for every part of the boat. A detail was called for, to stand watch in the "crows-nest" and other look-out stations. One of the boys in the "crows-nest" said that "when we hit the rough sea, he knew the top of that main mast touched the water when the boat made a big heave to one side."

A few days passed, uneventful except that we went through the usual drill necessary in case there should be a fire or an attack by submarines. Every man had his place to go in case of danger. At the gong of a bell, every man would grab his life-preserver, and hurry, supposedly in an orderly manner, to his portion of the deck. One of the fellows asked John, the cook, if he expected one little life-preserver to hold him up. Well, John didn't say anything, but that night he had a couple of extras—"I might have to use them," was the only excuse he would give.




After a few days out the ocean began to get rough, and the boat[17] would heave from side to side, and at the same time pitch forward and backward. However, we soon got used to it, and did not mind it so much. Some time that night one of the boys who had been on deck ran in, saying "the rudder has broken"—and apparently something was broken, for the boat seemed to heave all the more, and to take a zig-zag course. Once or twice it made a complete circle, and we began to think that they had lost all control of it, but three sturdy sailors were sent up in the stern to handle it by means of large pilot wheels. Our company was quartered just beneath the officers kitchen, and during the roughest part, the plates and other dishes began to roll from their places on the shelves, breaking upon the floor. This made a very unpleasant sound, above the uproar of a thousand other noises. During the rough sea, the mess line began to thin out somewhat. Some would come into the mess hall, but at the sight of food, they would turn pale and make a hurried exit.

Soon we ran into comparatively smooth water again, and one day our boat's turn came for target practice. We drew away from the convoy, and a buoy with a small flag on was dropped overboard. The gunners took their turn shooting as the boat swung around, and once or twice they came so close that we felt sure they had made a direct hit. The buoy was knocked under the water, but the little thing soon appeared again. The boys were naturally anxious to see them handle the guns, and they crowded around as closely as possible, but after the first shot they gave them more room. One fellow was standing directly behind the gun, but upon the super-deck. He was so intent upon watching the operations that when the gun fired its concussion knocked him off his feet. He got up, took a wild look around and immediately left. Finally the big six-inch gun in the stern sank the buoy. After cruising around all day, and just as night was hovering over the sea, we again caught sight of the convoy. We were certainly glad, too, for of course we felt more comfortable with the other ships.

It was on board the ship that we first became acquainted with the censorship rules. The officers did a slashing business on our first letters, and only a few unconnected lines ever reached the folks back home.

It was on the morning of May 29 that the news flew over the boat that land was in sight. Although only 2 o'clock, day was breaking, and many went on deck to see that which we had not seen for fourteen long days. Upon reaching the deck, we could also see a number of little torpedo destroyers darting here and there—small in size but powerful little "watchdogs" of the sea. The "Mosquito Fleet" had arrived, and was tearing through the water in all directions. We were thus escorted through the danger zone, and had little fear of submarines. But we could now understand why old "Chris Columbus" felt so glad upon seeing land. As the[18] day grew on we drew into the Irish Sea. The water was as smooth as glass, with only little ripples disturbing its peacefulness. Jelly fish of every shape and size could be seen through its clearness. Two large dirigibles, and several aeroplanes came out to greet our convoy and protect us in the dangerous waters. At one time we could see both Bonnie Scotland and Ireland, where the channel was very narrow.

About 10 o'clock that morning five long blasts from one of the ships was heard—the signal for a submarine. The little sub chasers raced around to our right and immediately began to fire upon an object. The big dirigibles also made a nose dive, and turned loose with its machine guns. Aroused by the shooting, we ran up on deck to see the action, but were ordered below to await the outcome, and if there was ever a time when we could have used an "island," it was then. However, nothing serious developed, and afterwards we were told that it was a broken life buoy which had been mistaken for a periscope.

We were moving slowly, so very slowly that one could hardly feel the throbbing of the tired engines that for twelve long days had worked untiringly. From the officers' deck we could see the green and red guide lights, welcoming our convoy of fifteen ships into the sheltered harbor of Liverpool, England.


We crawled out of our bunks just as dawn was breaking upon a new world for us, and went on deck, where we saw, on a cliff, "Spratt's Dog Food" printed in large white letters on a black background. Unpoetic and unromantic indeed was this first sight of England.

Here was where the "weary waiting" began, as we waited for the first transport to unload its human cargo. Old man "bon chance" was with us for the time being, for we were the second to dock. We stood on the deck, complying with the English boys request "'ave you any coins" by tossing them all the pennies we had. The men on the port side were first ordered to fall in, and then those on the starboard side, for the purpose of finding out if any of us had fallen overboard during our journey. Finally, half walking and half sliding, down the gang-plank, we stood on what was to us real land, only it was but one of the many floating docks of England.

On the side of the main street, Y. M. C. A. signs were seen, and incidentally three live American girls, who were soon serving the "to-be-heroes" with hot coffee, buns and cookies. Although they were war buns and war cookies, without sugar, we enjoyed them to the utmost.

A large,[19] stately policeman stood guarding the gates to the street and the docks. Some of us, wondering what was on the other side of the gate, climbed up and peered over on a large, beautifully designed square, which was crowded with women and children. But, alas, we were in a big hurry, and did not get to parade before them, or to receive the embraces and kisses which we were told awaited us. The R. T. O.'s (Railway Transportation Officers) crowded us into a "miniature train," like the ones seen in the parks in "God's Country," and we were soon on our way.

We rode across streets and through buildings just like a runaway engine might do. All the time pretty girls, dressed in overalls, waved at us from factory windows. After numerous stops, and more tunnels, we passed through the suburbs, traveling at a speed which did not seem possible from the looks of the engine.

We will never forget the beauty of the English villages, nestled snugly between green hills, or the soothing effect of the winding brooks which spread their cool waters over the well kept gardens.

Three or four times the train stopped to take on water (or perhaps at the command of the "top-cutter" in order to give the boys a chance to open another can of "bully beef"). About midnight we grew weary of sitting in our little compartments, and having cosmopolitan ideas, we proceeded to make ourselves "at home." Some were packed upon the baggage racks and managed to get a little sleep,—being used to the bunks on the boat, it was not difficult to adjust ourselves to this situation.

Sometime early in the morning we were awakened by a pounding at the door, and thinking it was a fire call, or submarine drill, one chap immediately began to feel around for his life-belt. He stuck his fist in somebody's eye, and was soon told by that unfortunate person just where he was. We fell in at the side of our "vest pocket edition of a train" and marched off, and just as the sun was about to show his face, we arrived at Camp Woodley, Romsey, England. After waiting for sometime to be assigned to tents, which resembled a miniature Billy Sunday tabernacle, we stretched our tired bodies on the soft pine boards and listened intently for the "roar of cannon." Hearing nothing but the songs of the birds, we decided that an armistice had been declared and proceeded to make up for all the "couchey" we had lost.

We had always been told that England was famous for her bounteous feeds, and after all the bully beef we had consumed for our "Uncle," we thought we were entitled to one of those dinners of roast suckling pig and plum pudding. But alas, we were badly disappointed, because in place of the former we had a piece of cheese, the size of which wouldn't be an inducement even to a starved rat, and in place of the latter, we ate a bit of salt pork.

During our brief stay at Camp Woodley, we visited many historical buildings and places. Among these was the old Abbey at[20] Romsey, built in the eleventh century, the walls of which plainly showed the ball marks of Oliver Cromwell's siege against it. The pews in the Abbey were the same old benches of old, and the altar was the work of an ancient artist. Around the walls were carved the epitaphs and names of those who were buried in its stately walls. Along with the tombs of the old forefathers who had fought with the armor and lance were the tombs of the late heroes, who fought with the methods of modern times. We signed our names in the visitors book, along with King George and Ex-Kaiser Wilhelm.

Our hikes in the morning were enjoyed by everyone, over well kept roads shaded from the hot sun by large over-hanging trees, the same old trees and the same old Sherwood forest that Robin Hood knew so well. But as Roger Knight says, "You can't eat scenery!"

After an enjoyable five days, spent in doing nothing much, we donned our packs again and started for the Channel, a distance of twelve miles. While walking thru the streets of Southampton, our throats parched and our feet sore, we were cheered time and again by the women and children, and many ran alongside of the marching column serving us cool water. We sighed as we had to pass Ale Shops just as if they weren't there. About noon we stopped at a Base Hospital to eat our picnic luncheon—(Bully beef).

Our first big thrill of "La Guerre" came when we saw some real live Boche prisoners working on the roads. We watched them as a little boy watches the elephant at the circus. One of the boys asked them, in German, how they liked England, and they said they liked it much better than fighting.

After our slight repast, we again took up our yoke, and did one hundred and twenty per until we reached the docks at Southampton.


On the dock at Southampton, the British Y. M. C. A. operated a canteen, selling hot coffee, cakes without sugar, and ginger bread made of ginger and water. The supply lasted about fifteen minutes, as we were one hungry bunch.

We boarded the "Archangel," a small passenger boat, about 9 P. M. on the sixth of June. In peace times the "Archangel" was used as a pleasure steamer, but was converted into a troop ship to ply between Southampton and Le Havre. It had three decks, which accommodated about 325 men each. We donned our life-belts, as usual, and tried to make ourselves comfortable, but like all troop ships, that was impossible. The men tried sleeping on[21] deck, but it turned too cold, and they tried below deck. Some were sleeping in the once "state-rooms," but they were too small to accommodate all, so the rest slept in gang-ways, on chairs, benches and barrack bags. We were tired in body but our spirits were high, and we wanted to see the front, so we lay down where we happened to be, using our life-belts as pillows. While pulling out into the harbor, we saw ships in dry dock with large holes in their hulls, others with nothing above water but the masts, all caused by the submarines. And when the little speed demon raised anchor and slipped out of the harbor, we were all fast asleep, never dreaming of what lay before us in France, and not caring a great deal either. We waited in the outside harbor until dark, or about 10 o'clock, and then started our trip across the channel. The boat made very good time, and the trip was uneventful.

At about 7 A. M. we were called to breakfast, which consisted of the customary bully-beef, coffee and hard-tack, and upon coming on deck, we discovered that we were resting safely at one of the big docks of Le Havre. The sun was shining bright and hot, and after unloading and having our pictures taken by a moving picture camera, we were lined up and marched toward the city proper of Le Havre. We were a tired, disappointed bunch of men, for instead of the beautiful country we had expected, we saw a factory infested city. The docks looked more like an arsenal, with cases of ammunition everywhere, and it looked as if the whole French and English armies were working there.

On our march to the rest camp, we passed large bodies of French and Indo-Chinese laborers unloading cars, and conveying merchandise to the warehouses. It was a common sight to see two or three of them pulling a large, two-wheeled cart full of ammunition. We also passed a number of German prisoners working on the roads, with the usual "Poilu" present, with his long rifle and bayonet. It was strange to see the French carrying their guns just opposite to the way the American troops do. We saw many large caliber guns and caissons, that were back from the front for repair, also blocks of salvaged motor trucks.

We marched about five miles to American Rest Camp No. 2, and were put into an old cow-shed to sleep. It was the first billet we had in France, and while it was not the most desirable place in the world to sleep, it looked mighty good to us, as we had not had much rest since leaving Romsey, England.

We were issued meal tickets, and had English tea, war bread and cheese for breakfast, "slum" and war bread for dinner, and English tea and cheese for supper. We had a good night's sleep, but the next morning we were hiked up on a mountain, where we were issued English gas-masks. We went through a gas chamber, to see that the masks were O. K., and to give us confidence in them. About noon trucks were brought up to take us back to[22] camp, and upon arriving there, we were given orders to roll packs and be ready to move. Every one made a trip to the Y. M. C. A. where we could buy our first American cigarettes since coming from the States. We did not know where we were going, or when we could buy more.


At three P. M. on June the eighth we rolled our packs and started on our first venture into the mysteries of France. It took us about forty-five minutes of steady hiking through hot and dusty streets to reach the depot where we were to entrain. We found a long string of second and third class coaches waiting for us. Our barrack bags and three days rations had been loaded on two box cars by a special detail sent ahead for that purpose.

We crowded into our cars and all was ready to go. A description of a French car might help one to get a better idea of our situation. The car is only about one-half as long as an American coach and it is divided into five separate compartments. Each compartment has a window and a door on each side. There is a step on the outside running the entire length of the car. It is just below the level of the floor and one can walk from one compartment to the other if he is not afraid of falling off the car. The compartment is about large enough for four persons to ride in any degree of comfort if they have cushions to sit on; but the Railway transport officer evidently thought that there would be more room if the cushions were removed. There were eight of us to each compartment.

We were scheduled to leave at three P. M. and by rushing a little we were loaded by a few minutes after that hour. We lived up to the reputation of the Sanitary Train for always being on time and pulled out of the station only three hours late. We thought at least that we were going to see some of the beautiful France we had heard about. We had not gone far when we realized that we were going to have plenty of time to look at the scenery. France must have some very strict laws against speeding for we never traveled faster than ten miles per hour and it was very seldom that we ever went that fast.

We ate our supper as soon as we were out of Le Havre. It was a very hearty meal. Each man's issue was five crackers, one-eighth of a can of "corn wooley," one-eighth of a can of tomatoes. He didn't have much variation from that during the trip.

Our next problem was, how were we going to sleep. It did not take long to solve that. Two of the boys slept in the hat racks,[23] four slept in the seats and two slept on the floor between the seats. Part of the time we slept piled on top of each other. When we woke up in the morning we felt like we had sat up all night.

The second day we began to get our first real sight of France. We saw soldiers guarding the bridges and tunnels. Troop trains passed us all day long going to from the front carrying both French and American soldiers. We saw our first real barbed wire entanglements that day and it made us realize that we were getting near the place where the fighting was going on. The children all along the way attracted our attention by running along the track crying "biskeet" and holding out their hands. They looked queer to us. They wore a little black apron and wooden shoes. Some of the fellows threw hard tack out the window to them just to see them scramble for it.

The rest of our trip was similar to the first day. We went by the way of Rouen and Troyes and arrived in Epinal, a city on the edge of the Vosges mountains, on the evening of June the tenth. We were a very tired and hungry bunch for our rations had run low that morning and we had eaten nothing but hard tack all day.

We detrained there and marched through the town to an old military prison of Napoleon's time. We were told that we would spend the night there. There were several large buildings surrounded by a high stone wall with only one gate and that was guarded by a French soldier. There were about one hundred German prisoners in the building next to our quarters. As we were not permitted to go up town the French people thought that we were prisoners also. We were given our barrack bags that night for the first time since we left the states. We were without any funds so some of the boys who were fortunate enough to have some "Bull Durham" stored away in their barrack bags disposed of it to the French soldiers for a franc a package. It was an exchange where both parties were satisfied.

We learned that the division was billeted a few miles south and the next morning we received orders to move to Eloyes at two P. M. Trucks were furnished to haul our barrack bags and packs and we started out hiking with our company in the lead of the train. We were half way there when we saw our first aeroplanes in action along the front. There were five of them in battle formation returning from the direction of the front. We noticed that houses and lumber piles along the road were camouflaged. This began to look like the war that we had heard about. We passed through Arches, division headquarters at that time, about mess. We thought that we were at the end of our long journey and could almost taste our supper but we did not stop there. Just as we came in sight of Eloyes it began to rain. It did not rain long and the sun came out just as we were climbing the hill to our kitchen. There was a very pretty rainbow with the end of it, so it seemed,[24] right at our kitchen. That was one time that there was something better than a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, for the cooks had supper almost ready for us. It certainly tasted good to us after our long hike.

It began raining almost immediately after supper and rained most of the night. We stood around in the rain until almost eleven P. M., while the Major de Cantonment was explaining that he had no billets for us. We were tired enough to pitch our pup tents and sleep in the streets but finally we marched about a mile out of town and were put in a barn for the night. One of the boys said he will always feel like a criminal for robbing a calf of its bed and also for carrying away about a thousand "petite crawling animals."

We marched back to town the next morning about eight A. M. and enjoyed a breakfast of bacon, hardtack and coffee. During the day the soldiers who occupied the town moved out and by five o'clock our company was located in fairly good billets.

It rained so consistently that we did not get to drill for over a week. We were issued our overseas caps and spiral leggins a few days after we arrived in Eloyes. At the same time we turned in our barrack bags and russet shoes. We were equipped for the trenches.

We began drilling by going out under some trees and practicing with our gas masks. A few days later we received litters and then our real drilling began. "Patients" would be sent out and located on the sides of the steep hills and the litter bearers were supposed to locate them and bring them safely down the almost impassable paths.

However, the boys were not worked very hard and they had plenty of time to spend with the inhabitants learning to "parlez Francais." Many of the soldiers acquired private instructors in the shape of small French boys who were only too glad to be adopted by the Americans. The typewriter in the office was a big drawing card for children. There was always a large bunch hanging around to watch "Abe" operate the machine.

We received some English army trucks here and after teaching them to "Talk American" used them as ambulances. We evacuated the sick of the division to Field Hospital 137 at Eloyes.

About the middle of June the division was ordered up to take over the sector east of us in Alsace. Lieut. Siberts took a detachment with trucks to Bussang to cover the movement, evacuating his patients to Field Hospital 139 which went into action there. This detachment was the first detachment of the Sanitary Train to operate in Alsace.


Late[25] in June, 1918, the 35th Division relieved the French troops on a portion of the front line in Alsace. Ambulance Company 139 entered Alsace on June 24th and located in the quiet little village of Ranspach, thus being the first company of the 110th Sanitary Train to cross the former boundary line between French and German soil. Ranspach is near the much larger factory town of Wesserling, and, Division Headquarters being located at the latter place, the whole 12 or 15 kilometres of front held by the 35th Division has come to be termed the "Wesserling Sector". The front line itself was about ten kilometres east of Wesserling.

Practically the whole front in Alsace was made up of what were called "quiet" sectors, to distinguish them from "active" sectors. Alsace is mountainous and the mountains are usually heavily timbered. The valleys are narrow, and the main ones run north by south. The front lines also ran north by south, parallel to the valleys. Hence, neither side could gain ground without paying dearly for it. By a sort of mutual understanding, both the French and the German troops had come to regard Alsace as a place to rest, after the strenuous campaigns on other fronts. When our fresh troops came, they made Alsace a less quiet front, but for the most part they merely held their ground, as the French had done for nearly four years after having pushed the Germans back part way through Alsace in August, 1914. It was a final training area for American divisions that had just arrived overseas.

Ambulance Company 139 maintained its headquarters at Ranspach for exactly one month. During that time, however, most of the company was at the front. Those who were left did not have to drill, for we were within aerial observation and no formations could be stood. The trenches were scarcely five miles away, tho by the winding road up through the mountains it was twice that far. The main diversion during the day was watching the anti-aircraft batteries shoot at the Boche aeroplanes. On the morning of July 3rd we were rewarded for our patience, upon seeing our first Boche plane fall after being hit. It must have been 5000 ft. in the air when hit, and made a straight nose dive for the earth, but before it landed, it righted itself and spun around like a leaf until it hit the ground.

Every evening we would have our supper contested. An old man and his dog grazed a herd of goats during the day, and brought them home in the evening, just when we were eating. They passed right by our kitchen and tried their best to help themselves to our supper. As the goats passed by their respective houses, the[26] dog would separate them and run them into their own yards. In the morning, at the sound of a horn, the goats would run out of their houses and join the collective herd.

Canes became the style from the buck private up, and every evening we would go walking, Wesserling, St. Amarin, or the cherry trees on the sides of the mountain being the chief points of interest. The canes were a great help in climbing the hills.

For the first time since our arrival in France we were paid, and in French money, and that evening "vin rouge" reigned supreme in the little village. It didn't take us long to become accustomed to francs and centimes, instead of dimes and quarters.

Within two days after reaching Ranspach we sent out small detachments of litter bearers to Nennette, Duchet and Wagram, as the 35th Division was already moving up to relieve the French. The last named detachment returned two days later, because no American infantry was to hold that portion of the line. Still later the detachment at Nennette moved to Larchey.

After studying the maps and roads of the sector, the company commander decided to divide it into two subsectors, the one on the right centering at Larchey, and the one on the left at Mittlach. Accordingly, on June 29th, two detachments from the company left Ranspach together. One detachment of ten men, Lt. Bates, was to take to Larchey; the other of seven men, Lt. Monteith, was to take to Mittlach. As the company had no ambulances, all the men hiked, carrying their packs. One of the Sanitary Service Units commonly known as the "S. S. U." had been attached to our company for ambulance service, so one of its Ford ambulances started out by another route to haul the officers' luggage and some medical supplies to the two stations. There was a box of surgical dressings and a box of food for each station. And herein lies one of the mysteries of the war. The ambulance stopped at Larchey first, as it was the nearer of the two points, but while the box of surgical dressings reached Mittlach, the box of food never did. Was it left at Larchey or lost in transit? Before the two detachments reached Larchey they separated, the detachment headed for Mittlach keeping the main road. When it arrived at Mittlach late that evening the Ford ambulance had already gone, and it left no food box there. Sgt. Pringle accused Sgt. Knight of the theft, and therein lies an argument to this day.

In each of the two sectors the same plan was followed so far as the handling of casualties was concerned. Detachments of litter bearers went out to the different dressing stations established by the sanitary detachments of the infantry. These dressing stations, or infirmaries, as they are sometimes called, were located as close to the front lines as wounded men could be collected with safety. The 138th Infantry held the lines in front of Larchey, and the 137th Infantry in front of Mittlach. Sgt. Wiershing had already[27] taken one litter squad to Mittlach and from there on out to a post called Braunkopf, where the infirmary of the third battalion was located.

The French had an Alpine Ambulance at Mittlach and another at Larchey. It is well, here, to say a few words about these organizations. They in no way resemble our American Ambulance Companies, corresponding rather to our Field Hospitals, though even more complete than these. Alpine Ambulances were usually within three kilometres of the front line and often in plain view of the enemy. Hence they must be housed in dugouts. The one at Mittlach consisted of a series of underground chambers roofed over with heavy timbers and stone. There was a well equipped operating room and a chamber for treating gassed patients. The whole thing was lighted by electricity. In fact, it was a modern hospital located within a mile and a half of the front line trenches.

The staff of each Alpine Ambulance was permanent. It did not move away when the French Infantry left a sector; hence the natural and logical thing to do was to secure permission to use the Alpine Ambulance as a dressing station. This we did at both Larchey and Mittlach. In the former case the dressing station was operated by Lt. Vardon and a detail from our company; in the latter case by a detachment from Ambulance Company 138. The French willingly placed their hospital equipment at the disposal of these detachments.

At both Larchey and Mittlach each litter squad consisted of four men equipped with one litter, and, where the road was suitable, a two-wheeled litter cart. The detachment at Larchey also had a mule which was supposed to pull the litter cart, but usually the men pulled it rather than bother fetching the mule. Theoretically the battalion aid stations of the infantry should be well up toward the front line trench so that the wounded can receive prompt attention. The litter bearers of the Ambulance Company are supposed to take the wounded after first aid has been given, and carry them back to the ambulance dressing station, where an ambulance takes them on back to a field hospital. In practice this plan did not always work out while we were in the Vosges Mountains. The front line was so irregular and good locations for battalion aid stations so few that they were sometimes almost in the front line trench, and at other times quite far back. As a result it was frequently impossible to place relay posts so as to equalize the work of our litter squads.

In the Larchey sector there was one main road leading out toward the front. About two kilometres from Larchey, at a point called Brun, this road branched, the branches leading to points named Vialet, Sermet, Fokeday and Old Colette. We had litter squads stationed at each of the above named points. An ambulance could go from Larchey to Brun in daylight without[28] being seen by the Germans so when a litter squad had carried their patient to Brun, they telephoned in to Larchey for the ambulance. A separate road led from Larchey to a point to the northeast called DeGalbert. Two litter squads were stationed there, and later a mule was sent down, to be used for pulling the litter cart. Two litter squads were also sent to Vialet and some men had to be kept in reserve at Larchey. By July 4th we had about thirty-two men in the Larchey sector.

At Mittlach our territory was divided into two distinct parts by a rather wide valley that ran straight east and west for about one kilometre below the town, and then joined the main valley running north and south. The German trenches were on the eastern slope of this main valley and ours were on the western slope and in the valley itself. The German artillery had a clear sweep at Mittlach and the side valley, which could not be crossed in the daytime. Nor was it practical for an ambulance to go east of Mittlach in daylight. Hence we had to establish two distinct routes of evacuation for litter cases. The northern route led from Mittlach out along the side of the mountain to Krantz, where a relay squad was stationed. Further on at Braunkopf we stationed another litter squad in the battalion aid station. About three kilometres beyond Braunkopf, at a point called Runtz, we had another squad. This station was at the extreme left of the sector held by the 35th Division Infantry, and was a good eight kilometres from Mittlach. Both Runtz and Braunkopf evacuated to Krantz, where the relay squad took the patients and either hauled them by litter carts or carried them to Mittlach. On the southern route the main road from Mittlach led to Camp Dubarle, where we stationed six men as a relay. Other squads were stationed beyond Dubarle at the ruined village of Metzeral, at D'Angeley, and at Camp Martin, the latter being about nine kilometres southeast of Mittlach. All patients collected on the southern route were evacuated through Dubarle. These numerous posts required many men, so that by July 4th there were forty from the company at Mittlach. The last detachments that left Ranspach were a disappointed lot. The company was preparing a big dinner for the next day, and some of these men had worked helping to prepare it—then they had to shoulder their packs late on the night of the 3rd of July and hike to Larchey and Mittlach.

During the month that this company had a detachment at Larchey there were two raids in that sector. About the sixth of July, Company "H" of the 138th Infantry made a raid. The artillery preparation began at 7:45 in the evening and at 8:30 the raiding party of one officer and 238 men went over the top. They were gone one-half hour, and at about the same time that they came back to our trenches the first wounded were brought in by the stretcher bearers from the line organizations. Meantime our litter[29] squads had known of the contemplated raid, so they were ready to receive the wounded and litter them on back to Brun. The raid took place directly in front of Vialet. From there to Brun it was nearly five kilometres, and uphill. Litter bearing is strenuous work at best, but it is doubly so when performed in the dark, and over strange, up-hill trails. There were in all nineteen patients to carry that night. The first patient, carried by Joe Barnes, Vesper, Toohey and John Crowley, was a Boche. The job lasted nearly all night, and it was getting daylight when the last wounded man reached Larchey next morning. The work of the infantry had lasted not quite a half hour.

Nearly a week later the Germans attempted a raid early one morning, but it was easily repulsed. The work of our detachment during the remainder of the month consisted mostly of carrying occasional patients, and making the climbs back and forth to meals. In some cases this was no small task. Frequently a litter squad would have to go a quarter of a mile or more after rations, and the trails were steep and narrow. Then there were occasional bombardments by the Germans, and the first shell was enough to set everyone going for a dugout. During one bombardment a large shell exploded close to a dugout occupied by three of our men, and caved it in. Covington was one of the three men, and the event was more or less immortalized by his song, a parody on "When you wore a tulip, and I wore a big red rose":

"I was sleeping in a dugout right up close to the front line,
Now I was feeling fine, when those Dutch they issued mine;
They shot some high explosives right in my dugout door,
And since that time my dugout is no more.
I grabbed my full equipment then and started back to town,
For those dirty kraut eaters had torn my play house down.


When they blew up my dugout, my most substantial dugout,
Then I got right on my toes;
And when that shrapnel busted, I was thoroughly disgusted
And the speed I made, no one knows.
When I started running, my feet had a yearning
To go from where the shrapnel flows;
So when he blew up my dugout, I got my clothes and tore out,
The reason—the Lord only knows."

On another night, when Lt. Vardon and Sergeants Knight and Childs were racing for a dugout, Lt. Vardon ran past the entrance. The glare cast by a nearby shell explosion lighted up the dugout and, doubling back, Lt. Vardon beat Childs into it. A man casts dignity aside and sprints when shells begin dropping around him.

At[30] Mittlach there were no raids in the proper sense of the term. No detachment of the infantry ever went over the top there. But there were numerous casualties among our troops, due to the activity of German snipers and to accidents. Then, too, the German artillery had such an open sweep at the town of Mittlach and the valley below it, that several Americans were either killed or wounded by shrapnel. In fact, the very evening that our main detachment arrived in Mittlach, a corporal of the 137th Infantry was killed by a shell as he stood in the street reading a letter. This was the first casualty in the regiment, so the chaplain decided to give the man a military funeral, firing squad and all. He made the funeral arrangements over the telephone and set the time for the funeral at 9 o'clock the next evening. The time for the funeral came and the procession was just leaving the Alpine Ambulance when the German artillery again began shelling the town. There were, by actual count, just twenty-two men in the street when the first three-inch shell came whining towards the town. It took one of those shells about six seconds to reach Mittlach after it could first be heard, and when the first one exploded nearby, half of those twenty-two men had already scrambled into the door of the nearest dugout. And it was only an average size door at that. This was the first real shelling most of the twenty-two men had experienced, yet they took to cover as if they were used to doing it. On another occasion a sudden bombardment caught Lt. Speck and Lt. Martin unawares. A three-inch shrapnel ushered them around a corner and into a dugout in record time—the one ahead trying to keep ahead, and the one behind, trying his best to get ahead.

The ruined town of Metzeral was the foremost point occupied by any of our litter squads at Mittlach. It was in the main valley to the south and east of Mittlach. The American trenches ran zig-zag through the town—along tumble-down walls, into old cellars and basements, through neglected gardens, and around the corner of the ruined church itself. One ducked instinctively as he passed some of the low places in the walls, for the German trenches were visible a few hundred yards away on the eastern slope of the valley.

The ambulance work at Mittlach and Larchey was done partly by the mule ambulances of Ambulance Company 140 and partly by the Fords of the S. S. U. outfit. From the various advance aid stations, the patients were transported by ambulance to a relay station called Treh, situated about five kilos back of Larchey. Lt. Hancock, of Ambulance Company 137 was in charge at Treh, having two motor and two mule drawn ambulances ready to receive and transport the patients back to the various Field Hospitals, which were located at Kruth and neighboring towns, well out of range of the German guns.

On[31] the whole, the time spent in the Wesserling sector was a period of training for our company, and in fact for the whole Sanitary Train. We learned something about maps and trails, and especially that trails on maps and trails on mountain sides are two very different things. We learned also to respect our gas masks and helmets. They became our constant companions. Indeed, the sight of school children six and eight years old going through gas mask drill in the streets of Mittlach was enough to make anyone think about his gas mask. All the civilians there carried masks as they went about their daily work. We learned too, the value of camouflage along the sides of roads, and also the wisdom of keeping behind it. The litter bearers learned to handle patients in all sorts of tight places, and they did their work creditably. We saw a little example of German propaganda, also. On June 30th the Boche sent small balloons over our lines, and to the balloons they attached cards bearing the following message on both sides:

"Soldiers of the U. S. A.

As we hear from your comrades seized by us, your officers say that we kill prisoners of war or do them some other harm.

Don't be such Greenhorns!

How can you smart Americans believe such a silly thing?"

Needless to say, this sort of propaganda made no impression on the American troops.

We spent nearly a month in the Wesserling sector. At the end of that time, Ambulance Company 137 relieved us at Larchey, and Ambulance Company 140 at Mittlach. We were glad to move back across the boundary line into France and settle in the sleepy little village of Ventron, where we could hang up our gas masks and helmets, and almost forget there was a war.


Ventron, a typical French village, nestles in a peaceful valley. To the right of the town a broad green meadow stretches out, to be broken at the foot of the mountain by a small, sparkling stream of water. The crude stone houses, few in number, are built adjoining each other, forming irregular lines. A large, quaint, high-steepled church, one shop, several cafes and one hotel, probably patronized by tourists in summer, make up the town. The prevailing cleanliness of Ventron naturally impressed us. Without exception, it was the cleanest town in which we were billeted during our stay in France.

Needless to say, a sigh of satisfaction could be heard when word reached us to the effect that we would be billeted in barracks, instead of the usual hay mow. Having learned to adapt ourselves[32] to the surroundings, most of us were by this time able to carry on a speaking conversation with all domestic animals, so this change to cleaner barracks somewhat elated us, for we would no doubt feel more like human beings.

Our duties were few, consisting of "setting up exercises" and perhaps a two-hour hike in the morning, and gas mask drill (a most unpleasant duty) in the afternoon. It was on one of our hikes that we discovered in a secluded spot on the mountain top an old priest's hermitage. Here in a small white stone shack lived this eccentric old man and worshipped in his peculiar way.

Huckleberries and other wild berries grew abundantly on the hillsides, and oftentimes while we were there a volunteer squad issued forth with pails, to return later with pails loaded to the brim with berries. And each evening by the candle light, with "seven-and-a-half" in vogue, we commented most favorably upon those delicious huckleberry pies, just like the ones mother used to make.

During our stay at Ventron a detail of fifteen men was sent to Kruth, 15 kilometres away, to oversee the erecting of a field hospital. From reports that came back, our men were the engineers, and were forced to do most of the work, much to their dismay.

Here also a Y. M. C. A. secretary came to our company, and through him on several occasions we were delightfully entertained. We were now able to purchase cigars, cigarettes, chocolate and other necessities of soldier life.

Bathing facilities were of the poorest—in fact, none at all, as a bathtub is a rare luxury among the French small-town people. Few of us were bold enough to brave the cold mountain stream for a plunge. After things had reached a climax, in that any time during the day a man could be seen frantically scratching himself in a dozen places at once, and singing "They Go Wild, Simply Wild Over Me," the company marched to Cornimont, the nearest town, where we were "decootized," that is, we were given a bath and all of our clothing was sterilized.

One evening at the hotel several of us ate our first "horse steak," at least we were told that it was such, and the more we thought of it the more we believed it true. After three weeks of this life, with plenty of good food, sleep, exercise and entertainment, we were eager to be back in the fray. Moving orders came, and early in August we took over our second sector of the line.


August 12th, the day we left Ventron, was hot, and being crowded into a dusty truck added nothing to the enjoyment of the trip. We wound up and up the sides of the picturesque Vosges mountains,[33] passing many an old Frenchman plodding along with his oxen and logging wagon. Once we pulled into the gutter to let a long truck train pass, going down the hill. Shortly afterwards one of our trucks, heavily loaded with litters, boxes and men, ran into a hole and came near tipping over the steep bank. After about two hours' work it was gotten out, although it had to be unloaded and reloaded. No further trouble was encountered, and we reached the top of the hill in due time. After the hustle and bustle of unloading we had supper. After supper everyone began to look for a spot to sleep, and most of the men ended the search by making beds on the grass on the hillside.




It was dark when we arrived at Le Collet, and the next morning we had our first view of the camp. Situated on a high range of hills, it would have commanded a wonderful view of the surrounding country but for the tall trees which covered the hills in every direction. The camp was composed of several long, low French barracks, arranged in haphazard style on one side of the road on the hilltop, and many more down the valley, between and on both sides of the forked road leading down to the city of Gerardmer, about twenty kilometres distant. One of the barracks on the hilltop, just at the fork of the road, was used for a triage, our office, supply room and sleeping quarters for several men. About one hundred feet back of this barrack, and reached by a narrow rock road, was a big shed used for housing Gen. McClure's limousine and one or two Ford ambulances. To one side of this road and just in front of the shed was our kitchen, covered by a fly tent.

A French canteen, Red Cross, Y. M. C. A. and Major du Cantonement occupied the remainder of the hilltop barracks. Across the road from the triage was a large barnlike structure which served as the terminal of the electric tramway. This tramway connected Le Collet with Gerardmer by a steam road which came about half way. Its many cars groaning up and down the hill was one of the most noticeable features of Le Collet. It was used for bringing up supplies and also to evacuate patients to the hospitals at Gerardmer.

The 69th Infantry Brigade was ordered to take over from the French the sector immediately north of the front being held at that time by the 70th Brigade. We were ordered to accompany the brigade and evacuate it to Field Hospital 138, which went into action at the little summer resort town of Gerardmer. We were to establish a triage at the camp of Le Collet, which was perched on top of the divide which formerly marked the boundary line between France and Germany.

Our work in this sector, except that of the triage, was carried on at three advanced dressing stations and a relay station. Running from south to north, the dressing stations were Nicholas,[34] Morlier and Richard. The relay post was at Spitzenfels, situated on the road from Le Collet, where it forked to go to Nicholas and Morlier.

The work at Nicholas was taken over by Lieut. Siberts and a detachment of twenty-five men, who established a dressing station in connection with the French Alpine Ambulance Service. The entire detachment, with the exception of six men who remained at the station, was sent to the battalion aid stations to act as litter bearers, their duties consisting of carrying patients from the battalion aid stations to the ambulance station. Detachments were also sent out to Moriez, Miradore, Jourdan, Eck and Amphersbach.

The activities in this area were very small, consisting principally of sniping by machine guns and an occasional artillery duel. The latter sometimes became interesting to the party at Nicholas, because the artillery was directly behind the station and the arc of fire was overhead, both for the Boche and our own boys. Many were the times when they all ducked for a friendly dugout door, to the tune of a screaming shell.

In connection with this station there was a motorcycle with litter sidecar operated by an Englishman. He carried all single cases to Spitzenfels thus relieving the ambulances from extra runs. This Englishman was a good scout and was liked by all.

Lieut. Siberts was relieved a few days after the station was established by a lieutenant of the 162 Ambulance Company, and reported at the company triage to operate that station.

The detail for the dressing station at Morlier left Le Collet shortly after dinner on August 13th, under command of Lieut. Vardon. Our program was to go by truck to Spitzenfels, where, after dark, for much of the road to be traveled was under enemy observation, we were to be picked up by a supply train and taken to our destination. But the best laid plans will sometimes go wrong, and in this case a confusion of orders stopped the supply train before it had gone far, and there was nothing for us to do but proceed on foot. The road was a long one, winding up the mountainside, past the ruins of many buildings that had once been the homes of shepherds, lighted up now and then by a brilliant star-shell, while an occasional rifle shot, or rather a machine gun, sounding almost underneath us, broke the silence. Finally about midnight, after following the many twists and turns in the road, each of which it seemed must be the last, we arrived at our destination.

Morlier was situated about five miles north of Nicholas, on the same ridge of hills. It was built on the opposite side of a small hill from the lines, and about a quarter mile distant. Dugouts and small shacks formed the principal part of the camp, and most of the best dugouts had heavy half-circular corrugated steel ceilings. This metal was painted white to make the interior light.[35] Several rooms in the Alpine Ambulance Station were fixed this way.

The dressing station was established in the Alpine Ambulance. Lieut. Vardon and about nine men formed the personnel of this place. The one outpost was Barbarot, about a half mile to the north. Morlier was approachable by night only by a rock road which wound up the hillside in full view of the German lines. In daylight the only safe way was by a gallery about a mile long which ran over the hill from Camp Bouquet, a branch of which ran down to Barbarot. The gallery was a trench about six feet deep, sided up and roofed over with branches and camouflaged.

In the Alpine Ambulance we found such luxuries as electric lights, piano and talking machine and furniture much better than we had been used to, all taken from "Altenberg," the former summer home of the Kaiser, which was near by. The French and British soldiers there proved to be excellent companions and treated us royally.

We were close to the lines and under constant observation, but when the first two days passed uneventfully our boldness grew. However, just at supper time on the third day "Jerry" woke us up by planting eight shells in the kitchen, and from then on did not let us forget that he was near by. Bombardments were frequent, while wandering German patrols paid our vicinity frequent visits at night. Our work consisted mostly of handling the sick, as there were very few wounded, this being a "quiet" sector.

Our stay was not without its humorous incidents, such as the time when one of our dignified "non-coms," at the sound of the first exploding shell, dove into bed, and, pulling the blankets over his head, remarked that "even a blanket might help some if a shell hit," and the time when our commanding officer, deceived by a false gas alarm, wore his gas mask for nearly three hours in the middle of the night before discovering that we would be breathing only the purest of mountain air without it.

Our pleasant stay at Morlier came to an end when the division was relieved on the night of September 1st. The enemy, scenting a troop movement, kept up a steady bombardment, and it was well towards morning before we were able to make a getaway. The trip was an exciting one, as it was necessary to run a gauntlet of exploding shells. Gas was also encountered, but, in spite of it all, we all arrived safely about daybreak at company headquarters.

Richard was situated in a narrow gap on the bank of Lac Noir (meaning Black Lake). The dressing station there was established by Lieut. Monteith and a detachment of twenty-five men. The outposts were Vignal and Pairis, and detachments of litter bearers were sent to each of those places, which were occupied by the Infantry Battalion Aid Stations. Later Lieut. Bates and six men[36] arrived from Rudlin, where a station had been established but abandoned. Relay litter squads were formed, thus making the work lighter.

The men on outpost duty at Pairis were billeted in an old hotel basement, where there was running water, electric lights and real beds, but even with these luxuries at their disposal they can hardly be said to have had an enjoyable time. This hotel had a road running alongside, and whenever anyone appeared in the road, the Boche immediately opened up on the hotel with high explosives and shrapnel. The boys got to be experts at hitting the cellar entrance on a moment's notice—in fact, they stayed pretty close to it at all times, unless at the kitchen, which was about three hundred yards distant.

The outpost at Vignal was not so well situated, but was rarely shelled. This party took part in a raid which was pulled off just before they were relieved. They went out with the raiding party to its starting point and remained until the raid was over, when they evacuated the wounded to the foot of the hill below Richard, from where the litter cases were taken to the top of the hill by squads from Richard. At Richard there was big preparation when word of the intended raid was received. Two spare ambulances and twelve men were ordered out from Le Collet. When the word was telephoned up that three litter cases were on the way, a detachment of nineteen men went to the bottom of the hill and brought the wounded to the station, where they were dressed and sent to the triage.

The work of both the outposts was highly complimented by the battalion surgeons. The Americans at Richard were relieved by French Colonials. In coming in, the French seemed to have attracted the attention of the Boche, and as a result they received an unmerciful shelling. One litter case and two walking cases was the toll, and they were evacuated through our station, much to the satisfaction of the French authorities.

On August 13th a detachment of six men and two ambulances was sent from Le Collet to the relay post at Spitzenfels. Ambulances and drivers from the 162nd Ambulance Company, 41st Division, were attached to our company to furnish motor transportation to and from the different stations, as we had no ambulances at that time. Spitzenfels was a French Red Cross post and an ambulance relay station. It was located on a mountain side in the midst of a thick pine forest and at a junction of the Paris-Strassburg road, about three kilometres inside of the France-Alsace boundary line. The place had not been shelled by the Germans for four years and was very quiet. The billets were comfortable and rainproof, making it an ideal place to stay.

Upon first taking over the station at Spitzenfels we worked[37] with the French medical men, but they soon left, leaving the entire station to us. The duties were comparatively light, consisting of making a sick call at 9 A. M. to two infantry aid stations, and transferring the sick and wounded back to the triage. Another duty was to give out Red Cross supplies, mostly tobacco and hot chocolate, to the passing soldiers. Most of the Red Cross business was with the French troop, as very few of the American forces knew of the station, and thus were unable to take advantage of it.

At the triage Lieut. Siberts was in charge, with the assistance of a sergeant and three men, and their work testified that they were on the job. They had to unload all ambulances, register all cases, sort out the ones for the various hospitals and reload them into the ambulances, or onto the tram car. They were compelled to work at all hours.

One incident to be long remembered by all the company was the big fire of the truck at Le Collet on the night all the posts were relieved. Two men were attempting to fill a Pierce-Arrow truck with gasoline, by the aid of a candle, when there was an explosion and the entire truck caught fire. The blaze shot thirty feet into the air and could be seen for miles around. It was a wonder that the place was not shelled, because it was as light as day and crowded with soldiers.

On September 1st the order came to move again, and the old routine of packing and loading was on. We were not sorry to leave Le Collet, because our stay had not been long enough to let us become attached to the place. We were not sorry, for another reason. Rumor was, now that our training was over, that we were to go north and take active part in the great battles that were then raging on the western front. The term "shock troops" came into use, and all were proud to belong to a division so designated. With our movement came orders to turn over our dressing stations and triage to Ambulance Company 39, of the 6th Division. This was their first trip up to the front, and as none of them had ever heard a Boche shell ring, we had a lot of fun yarning to them about the things they would soon experience.


After being relieved in the Vosges sector by the 6th Division, headquarters of the 35th Division was moved from Gerardmer to Rosieres, a rest camp in the Luneville area. In the evening of September 2nd we left Le Collet in trucks, and arrived at Barbey-Seroux about midnight. Pup tents were pitched in an open field, and for two days and nights they served as our homes.

At 9 o'clock on the morning of September 4th the entire 110th[38] Sanitary Train started on the march for the railhead at La Haussiere, about fourteen kilos away. Full field equipment was carried by each man, and a lunch, consisting of one bacon and one jam sandwich, which turned out to be the only rations for the next twenty-eight hours.

Arriving at La Haussiere about 1 P. M., the sanitary train boarded the box cars. A previous train carrying troops on this route had been attacked by Boche airplanes, so we had machine guns mounted on a flat car to be prepared for any which might attack us. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we saw none and so missed what would have been an interesting experience.

The destination of this trip was to be Benney. The trucks carrying the kitchen and supplies went overland, and the intention was that there should be a hot supper waiting for us on our arrival. The railroad passed through several towns within a very short distance of Benney, and why we didn't detrain at one of these has always been a deep, dark mystery. At the time we were on the train we did not know what our destination was to be, and we only found out after reaching Luneville at 8 P. M. that we were confronted with the necessity of retracing a large part of our trip—but this time on foot, and supperless to boot.

While we were waiting for the 140th Ambulance Company to unload its mules and ambulances we laid down upon the muddy sidewalks and watched the powerful flashlights searching the sky for Boche airplanes. Luneville was a favorite visiting place for such planes, and the shattered buildings testified to the accuracy of their aim.

About 11 P. M. the column was formed and began to move on the long and never-to-be-forgotten hike to Benney. Ambulance Company 139 was the last marching company, with Ambulance Company 140 bringing up the rear. The orders were no lights, and only men tagged sick would be allowed to ride in the twelve mule ambulances.

Major Salisbury was in command of the train, and at 1 A. M. ordered a halt of two hours. Some of the men unrolled their packs and wrapped themselves in their blankets, while others laid down in the mud and managed to get a little sleep, covered only by their raincoats. When the column resumed the march several of the men were left sleeping peacefully alongside of the road, against trees or upon piles of rocks. Here we nearly lost Lieut. Bates, who fortunately awoke just as the last ambulance was passing by.

It soon began to rain, and by 3:30 the men were splashing through a regular downpour. When the orders to fall in were passed back, most of the men would turn their backs, and give their faces a brief rest from the stinging cuts of the rain. Others[39] would sink down on the roadside, regardless of mud or water. It was a weird looking lot of soldiers that marched into Blainville, with raincoats thrown over their heads and packs to prevent them, especially the latter, from becoming soaked with rain. Many here found an empty hayloft and lost no time in getting to sleep, leaving the column to struggle on without them.

As the eastern sky was beginning to show signs of the welcome daybreak, the rain diminished to a light but uncomfortable drizzle. Slowly but steadily the column moved on through the towns of Rehainville, Haussonville and Velle-sur-Meuse. Upon entering each small town every man in the train was hoping that that would be the end of the hike. The morning of the 5th wore away, and as the wet and weary column continued to leave town after town behind, the men came to the conclusion that we were "lost again," and that we were doubling back toward Bayon, through which they had passed the day before on the train.

Since daybreak straggling had become general. After leaving Haussonville there was hardly a kilo that did not claim its group of stragglers. The heavy laden plum trees along the roadside helped thin the ranks, because the men had had nothing to eat for breakfast but a few pieces of water-soaked bacon and bread. During one of the hourly ten-minute rest periods Tony Cataldi, who was perched up in a plum tree enjoying the delicious plums, was seen by a passing officer and immediately ordered down. Unable to see who was giving the order, on account of the leaves and rain, he inquired with true Italian curiosity, "Who in de h—l are you?" He soon found out that the officer was in command of the column.

As the men continued their weary way there was little talking—the men had enough to do in keeping going. By this time the companies were reduced to platoons, for buck privates, non-coms and even company commanders were falling out. The only thing that kept the rest going was pride. Pride would not allow them to drop out while others were "making the riffle."

The last mile told. The long hill that hid the little town of Benney was lined with the men who had fallen out. Just twenty-eight men out of the ninety that left Luneville with our company pulled into the town about 11:30 A. M. They had made the entire trip without dropping out or having their packs hauled. They had marched 14 kilos, ridden seven hours in box cars, and then marched 41 kilos more, all this on a two-sandwich ration, and through rain and muddy roads.

So ended the hike to Benney, a hike whose only claim to distinction is the fact that it need never have been made. Why the companies were not detrained at Bayon, or even Blainville, through which they had passed on the train and thereby saving 15 hours of long and weary hiking, will probably always remain a "military[40] secret." From either of these towns the march would have been only a walk. Efforts were made at both places to have the troops detrained, but they were unavailing.


Immediately upon our arrival in the village of Benney we were billeted in haymows, which is the customary home for the American soldier in the country of France. These "billets," as they have been called by the men, are usually located in the haymows of the French homes. The French peasant's home usually consists of one large building, in which the entire family, including horses, cattle and pigs, is housed. While it seems strange to us, who are not accustomed to this manner of living, they are quite comfortable compared to pup tents in a wet, soggy forest, and especially at the end of a long hike by night with full equipment.

Benney was, we believe, the dirtiest village we have been in to date, so consequently the next day we had to clean up the manure piles and refuse left by the populace of this village. The village had, at one time, been occupied by the Hun armies, who left their customary destructive earmarks upon it. Those who remain consist mainly of women, children and men too old for work. It can therefore be easily understood why its streets were dirty and conditions in general were neglected.

We spent four days in the village, our duties being to clean up the streets. We had become quite proficient with shovels and push-brooms, by reason of previous experience, and strangely enough the men usually chose this duty in preference to the daily duties of kitchen police and guard. Most of us were badly in need of a bath, as all soldiers generally are, and upon investigating discovered an old swimming hole which we soon Americanized by taking a plunge every day during our short stay there. We were entertained two evenings by the French movies while here.

It was evident to us that a large troop movement was taking place, and from the many precautions taken to avoid observation, it appeared that the movement was of more than usual importance. Troops were marched only at night and no lights of any kind were permitted, even smoking being barred outside of cover. Kitchens were covered and mess lines were being divided into sections so that Boche planes could see but a few men at a time. We were told that we must get under cover and stay there whenever hostile planes were about. No drilling was done and every effort made to keep every evidence of the presence of troops hidden from observation. All this could mean but one thing—a big attack was being prepared and we would undoubtedly be in it. We were curious[41] to know just when and where it would be, but we had to be content with guessing, for the secret of the St. Mihiel drive was well kept.

Leaving Benney, we hiked a distance of 13 kilos to a little village called Haussonville, arriving there at 3:30 A. M. We had a very sloppy march and passed our kitchen truck, stuck in the ditch by the roadside. Of all trucks, this should have been the one to pull through, judging by the yearning in the region of our stomachs. Immediately upon our arrival in Haussonville we were billeted in a large barn and "hit the hay" for a few hours. We were soon awakened by the glad news that our kitchen had arrived, was in action and that we would have breakfast at 10. The name Haussonville stands out prominently in the minds of the boys, for we recall, with a shudder, that this is where we caught our first real batch of cooties.

Dinner was served at 3, and after this meal we again rolled pack and had hopes of leaving this unwelcome company at 8 P. M., but did not until three hours later. At last under way, we hiked 14 kilos with full packs and reached our next destination, a salt factory a few kilos from Nancy. Though much fatigued by our night journey, we were somewhat encouraged to find a soft pine floor upon which to rest our weary bones, and with the aid of a few salt sacks, which we found, soon made ourselves as comfortable as possible under the existing conditions. After the customary late breakfast and dinner, orders were received to resume the hike as soon as it became dark.

Darkness found us again trailing the rock roads amid a steady downpour of rain. The night grew darker and darker, until it was impossible for the men in ranks to see each other. This however, was nothing unusual and all went well until we suddenly found ourselves lost in the streets of Nancy. It was a fine night for ducks, which might have enjoyed the next three hours, but as soldiers it was far from pleasant wandering around the town aimlessly, first up one street and then down another, with a soggy pack upon our backs. At last, righting ourselves, we left the city just as it was getting dawn, and continued our course.

Seemingly endless lines of artillery regiments on their way to form the reserve for the St. Mihiel drive, passed us along the road with their caissons and guns of all sizes. Later an impressive sight greeted us as we marched along. Dawn was breaking in the east, but the northern horizon was lighted by flares from the muzzles of hundreds of Allied guns, the intermittent flashings of which indicated to us that the great drive was in progress. Tired, hungry and foot sore, we pitched tents a little later in the woods safely concealed from enemy observation.

Thus ended the long-drawn-out hike. We knew now why[42] we had been marched every night and subjected to seemingly unnecessary hardships. Not a man regretted the experience, and all proud that they helped form a cog in the mighty machine which straightened the St. Mihiel salient, and marked the first American triumph over the Hun.


While at Five Trenches, we were in constant readiness to move, and on Sept. 18th, orders were received to embuss at three o'clock P. M. Where we were going we did not know, but we prepared for a ride, which, we were told would be a long one. A short march brought us to a large number of French trucks which we boarded, filling each to its utmost capacity.

The trip was through a country of rolling hills, dotted with the picturesque French villages with their stone houses and red tile roofs. Late in the afternoon the Moselle was crossed and we passed through the outskirts of the ancient city of Toul. Our journey continued throughout the night and after passing through Bar-le-Duc, and Triacourt, we arrived at our destination, the small village of Senard, about six o'clock the following morning. The truck containing our kitchen had been sent on ahead to prepare breakfast for us when we got there, but with the usual fortune of the kitchen buss, it had been mis-instructed and so it was afternoon before it arrived to fill the stomachs of the very hungry soldiers.

Our billet was a large barn, over a hundred years old, in which the whole company was housed. Its bunks with straw mattresses were a welcome change after sleeping on the ground in the forest. It had at one time been quarters for German soldiers, for in 1914 when the army of the Kaiser poured into France, Senard had been occupied for about nine days. Although the city shows plainly the scars of battle, it was fortunate compared to some of the neighboring villages, many of which were complete ruins.

The stay here was a short one. We left on the night of Sept. 18th and marched for several hours along roads already crowded with artillery and supply trains moving toward the front, and shortly after dark pitched pup tents at Camp Wagon, in the heart of the Argonne Forest. The few days spent here passed uneventfully; even pay day failing to cause its usual enthusiasm, for what good was money in the heart of a forest? An occasional barrage sounding nearby kept us on the alert, for we imagined each one to be the prelude to the big drive we knew we were soon to engage in.

Finally, definite information came and it left us rather dazed,[43] causing many of us to write home letters that we thought might possibly be the last ones. We learned that the greatest offensive of the war was about to take place, extending from the North Sea to the Moselle river. Also, and what was more to the point, that on that part of the front to be taken by the American Army the position assigned to the 35th Division to reduce was expected to be the most difficult to take. Our division had the honor positions on the whole front.


Our part in the offensive began the night of the 25th of September. Orders were received to move up to Bourelles as soon as it should become dark. Camp was struck and supplies were stacked along side the road before dark so that we would be able to find them when the time came.

A vast sense of relief settled down over every one as we realized that the time which we had enlisted for, trained for, worked and waited for was finally at hand, and that by morning we would be doing our work over in the Boche trenches instead of on our own side of the line.

As soon as it was dark we got our stuff packed into the trucks and packed ourselves in on top, mud and all, and started for Germany. The roads were muddy and slippery and often the convoy was held up until a truck could be pulled out of the ditch. No lights were allowed—the roads were under shell fire and no chances were taken in showing troop movements to the ever vigilant enemy aeroplanes. Several times we were led astray, but finally, about midnight we arrived at Bourelles.

Here we unloaded the trucks behind the protection of a steep bank and the men settled down on the rocks and grass for a few hours' rest, while the cooks borrowed a fire and began to prepare soup for breakfast. We did not secure much sleep. Jerry was sending over a few in search of some of our "heavies," but it was these same heavy guns that most disturbed our rest. The crack of these guns whipped across the valley with such a force that the hills fairly shook. They were not firing very fast but what they lacked in speed they made up in noise.

At 2:30 A. M. our fire opened up in earnest and the thought of being on the receiving end of that terrific rain of steel was almost enough to cause a little pity for the Germans—almost. With the coming of dawn the artillery seemed to slacken and at 6:05 the doughboys went over the top. Little could be seen through the haze and smoke by those who waited. We could see the groups of airplanes go sailing overhead and the elephant-shaped observation[44] balloons move snail-like in a race to the enemy lines. While the big guns were methodically sending over their "messages of hate," here and there could be seen groups of horses nibbling unconcernedly at the trampled grass, while their drivers were wrapped up in shelter halves catching a well earned rest.

After a reconnaissance had been made, we received the order from our Director of Ambulances, Maj. Wm. Gist, to advance. We piled into the trucks again and started forward. The effects of Jerry's fire could now be seen. The large shell holes, the demolished trees, the shattered buildings, were beginning to make us realize that we were fighting some force that had the power to fight back. We passed through several ruined villages and finally reached Neuvilly, which was the end of the road for motors at that time. Here we unloaded and were heavily equipped with litters, packs, medicine belts and extra shell wound dressings.

The plan of operations was quite simple. The company was divided into sections, each under an officer, and each section further divided into litter squads of four men each. The non-coms were charged with locating wounded and directing litter squads to them, and also with doing most of the dressing. The wounded were to be gathered into groups located so that ambulances could reach and evacuate them to the triage which was established later in the day at Neuvilly, by Ambulance Company 138. The entire company, less cooks, took to the field and the cooks, by trading grub for transportation, managed to keep in touch with part of us part of the time.

Lieut. Bates with his section covered the rear of the 137th Infantry which was on the left. Lieut. Siberts with a detachment, bore to the right, covering the 138th Infantry, while Lieut. Monteith, with his detachment undertook to handle some wounded who were already coming into the old position of the 138th Infantry. Lt. Speck with Sgt. Rowland and a few men remained at Vacquois Hill and established a collecting station for wounded there.

As the men marched thru the lines the evidences of the superhuman struggle grew more and more. They could see dead horses, shattered wagons and caissons, trampled and torn up wire entanglements, and ambulances darting here and there. Groups of artillery were constantly shifting about, advancing all the time.

In places we passed the long naval guns, some of them so hot that they seemed to be fairly panting. Every clump of trees concealed a den of seventy-fives or larger guns, and miles of deserted trenches were passed through.

The work on hand was enough to keep all the men busy. Many German prisoners were coming through by this time and each group helped by carrying back wounded. Some of the German wounded were brought back in this way by their comrades. By this time,[45] also, a shortage of litters began to be felt. The ambulances had not been able to get up owing to the blocking of the roads by artillery which was moving forward. Towards evening ambulances began to come in to Vacquois, and Hill No. 290. The last load of wounded had been removed by about 4:00 A. M., the next morning. Meanwhile, Lt. Siberts had reached Cheppy, close on the heels of the victorious 138th Infantry and collected a large number of wounded there.

In crossing the German trenches, we saw the effects of our artillery barrage and the evidences of the fierce fighting that the doughboys were doing. The ground was fairly pulverized. There were shell holes large enough to drop houses into, and parts of the hills were seemingly scalped and cast aside. Concrete dugouts were crushed as if they had been made of cardboard, trenches were leveled and barbwire entanglements were cut to pieces. The Germans had contested the ground inch by inch, and we could see where groups of our men had been literally blown to pieces—scenes that the boys will never forget. As we advanced further, the evidences of the struggle were not so ghastly, although we were passing the lifeless forms of many Kansas and Missouri boys mixed with those of the drab uniforms of the enemy.

The field was sprinkled with shell holes whose burnt sides seem to have been blasted by the touch of hell. Our artillery was crawling forward and were blazing away from behind the shelter of clumps of bushes. The doughboys were now moving so swiftly that the big guns could hardly keep up.

As we neared Cheppy, we could see where the infantry boys had charged an almost impregnable machine gun nest. About thirty men had been mowed down in front of this position. At a cross roads, a big shell had landed in the center of a collection of wounded doughboys, tearing them to pieces. Gas had been used, but nothing could stop the boys from entering Cheppy. The fierce struggle in this town had caused heavy casualties.

Ambulance Co. 138 having moved up the triage to Cheppy on the 28th, Lt. Siberts started for Charpentry with his detachment. By the morning of the second day, the entire company had reached Cheppy and we had a warm meal, the first one in thirty-six hours. Lt. Siberts and his detachment deserve a great deal of credit for the tremendous amount of work they accomplished at Cheppy in an old abandoned dugout, where hundreds of wounded were cared for under distressing and dangerous conditions.

Mr. Wesley R. Childs of the Y. M. C. A. came up to the station here with chocolates and was of material assistance in directing a party of walking wounded back to Neuvilly by the road through Verennes, which we had been unable to explore before. During this time the action was in view of the dressing station[46] at times and the sound of the machine guns made it plain that there would be much more work for us. The dressing station at Cheppy was subjected to machine gun fire from hostile airplanes several times but no casualties resulted. Mule drawn ambulances from Ambulance Co. 140 arrived at the Cheppy station in the morning of the 27th. Later, motor ambulances came up and the work of evacuating went steadily on. There was very little rest for anyone.

On the 27th, Lt. Monteith with a detachment went forward to Very, and established another collection point in some German dugouts there. The next morning, evacuation of these wounded was begun by ambulances as the congestion at Cheppy was somewhat relieved. Litter bearer squads worked forward from Very in the direction of Charpentry and many wounded were collected together and cared for pending the arrival of mule drawn ambulances. In the meantime Ambulance Co. 137, and the dressing station section of Ambulance Co. 140, had arrived by trucks at Charpentry. They brought a large supply of dressings and other medical equipment and we were able to replace the contents of our belts. The field from Very to Charpentry was thus cleared, and by noon some of the advance squads had reached Charpentry.

All three companies worked together at Charpentry under the direction of Maj. Gist, and shared rations and supplies in common. The dressing stations at Charpentry were located in old French barns and buildings set around a sort of courtyard. They had served until a couple of days before as the headquarters of the German division holding the sector. After the place had been examined to make sure that no German souvenirs in the way of hand grenades and shells had been hidden within, we started fires and soon had some warm places for dressing the wounded. At the south end were some empty buildings evidently used as store rooms and an arched opening into the court. On the east side was a former dwelling house which contained several rooms on the ground floor. All of the second story had been shot away. On the north end was a large barn which contained a small amount of engineering stores. The other side was open and had a garden which contained vegetables for the Germans. This spot was later used to bury some of the men who died in the dressing station. Back from the east side there was a steep hill which contained several excellent dugouts, some of which were used as dressing rooms. As soon as the wounded were dressed they were placed in these empty rooms to await transportation to the rear. These rooms were soon filled, however, and it became necessary to place the men in the court yard on litters or rubber blankets. The wind and rain added nothing to the comfort of these poor chaps, but there was no murmur of complaint from any of them. They[47] were so exhausted from lack of sleep and food and constant fighting, that they were able to sleep undisturbed either by their wounds, or by the thunder of the guns all around.

Two batteries of seventy-fives, of the 129th Field Artillery took position behind our station here, in such a way that their fire passed directly over us. At each discharge, a shower of dust from the roofs of the buildings would descend upon the wounded and workers alike. We had some gas this day, but there were more alarms than gas. No shells fell in our immediate vicinity as the dressing station was more or less protected by the hill. Every one worked at top speed, as the wounded were coming in so fast that it required the services of almost the entire company to take care of them. Later in the afternoon a detachment was sent to Baulney, and with the aid of some mule ambulances, cleared the regimental station there of wounded. Later, motor ambulances began to arrive and the wounded were started back toward the triage at Cheppy. From this time on the evacuation was continuous, ambulances from Ambulance Co. 41 and S. S. U. sections undertaking this work. Many empty, returning ammunition trucks were also used. The trucks carried the wounded, for the most part, to the old triage at Neuvilly, which had been taken over by the field hospital companies. Those who were able to walk, were started out on foot, as all available transportation was required for recumbent cases. By morning of the 29th, the influx of wounded having lessened somewhat, two bearer parties went forward, one under Lt. Speck, and the other under Lt. Bates. Mule ambulances accompanied these parties, the detachments coming under heavy fire and some of the mules being killed. One of the drivers was mortally wounded. These parties were out until about the middle of the afternoon. The work of the bearers was the most laborious owing to the mud and the long distances of the carries.

Information was received that the salient created by the attack was to be protected by establishing the first line in the area being covered by the bearers. The parties were, therefore, withdrawn to Charpentry. It was during this operation that Pvt. Lloyd Richmond was wounded, while remaining with wounded at Chaudron Farm. Upon arrival of the bearers at Charpentry, their patients were loaded into ambulances, which, by this time, had cleared the station there, since the location was becoming a target for gas. Orders were received to move the station back to some more sheltered position where the wounded could be kept in more security. Ambulance companies were now ordered to Varennes. Lt. Siberts, with a detachment of men, proceeded to Very, joining the company at Varennes the next day.

In leaving Charpentry, the men were forced to run a gauntlet of high explosives, gas and shrapnel. A rain of shells were pouring[48] into the valley in a desperate attempt to silence the American batteries. One of the spectacular scenes of the drive occurred when a battery of French artillery came crashing down the road, the gunners riding the seventy-fives which were drawn by big trucks. The little men in blue were leaning forward and gazing eagerly ahead to the nearby hill where they afterwards whirled their guns into position and poured a murderous fire, point blank, into the counter-attacking Germans. It was a little incident that gave us a slight insight into the reason why the Germans failed to crush France.

On arriving at Varennes, volunteers were called for to return to Charpentry to take care of the wounded who might be expected, and to relieve congestion in regimental stations, which had fallen back to that place. Lt. Bates with 15 men and an equal number from Ambulance Co. 137, were selected. This detachment had a very exciting and strenuous forty-eight hours of work at Charpentry. During the first night wounded were numerous and there was much hard and tiresome work carrying wounded and loading out ambulances.

The 35th Division was now being relieved by the First Division, and we received orders that we had been temporarily attached to that division until their own Ambulance and Field Hospitals could get into action. After being relieved from this duty, the company assembled at Neuvilly, and left the next day for a rest.


For anyone to say that they derived any amount of happiness from being in the Argonne, other than our complete victory over the Boche, would probably be judged insane. According to the Mess Sergeant's version, however, a certain amount of joy may be had in not being threatened with one's life after serving the famous "Corn Willy" to men who were working in the midst of this hell.

We moved up the night before the drive and made our first stop the next morning at about 2:00 A. M. at a place mentioned before, behind a steep bank, where our supplies were unloaded from the trucks. These trucks were ordered to wait until later in the morning before moving nearer the lines. As the men were going in the drive at five o'clock that morning we borrowed a fire, and inside of a small hut, prepared some soup for them to have just before leaving.




They left about on time, but the trucks which were to report for our supplies, were delayed, so it was rather late before we started[49] moving. When we did, however, we made fairly good time until we were held up in the woods by trucks that were stuck in the mud. We at last made it through, and catching up with the company that afternoon, unloaded our supplies and equipment and established our first kitchen, right back of Vacquois Hill.

We managed to get coffee made before dark, and our men began to come in a few at a time. Not all of them got there, however, but nevertheless we were busy feeding the most of the night, as everyone who came along wanted something to eat, and we tried to feed all who came.

The next morning, what men were there, moved on to Cheppy and we were told that transportation would come for us. We waited until that afternoon, and had just about concluded that we were left, when two men came down the road leading a couple of pack mules. We were informed that this was our transportation. Accordingly, we loaded all that was possible on the mules and started for Cheppy. Our kitchen now consisted mainly of a G. I. coffee can, and such rations as we, ourselves, could carry.

We arrived in Cheppy in time to cook supper for the men and we continued to cook as long as it was light, as there were scores of men to be fed and we endeavored to feed all who came. The greatest efforts bore little fruit, however, and most of the men received nothing hot until they came out of the drive. Our pack mules made another trip that night, bringing up a few rations and some food which we were very glad to get, being almost out.

The next morning we moved up past Very, using an ambulance for what few supplies we had, and set up a kitchen alongside a captured six-inch German gun which later proved to be a rather disagreeable location, as Jerry threw over a few H. E. trying to put it out of commission. The artillery, having come up and started a barrage, left us in a rather noisy place, also.

Here the supply section of our train managed to get a few rations up to us. We cooked and served all that day and night, but were unable to take care of all those wanting to be fed. It seemed to be impossible to secure enough transportation.

The company moved on to Charpentry that afternoon and we were again informed that a transport wagon would pick up our supplies and kitchen and for us to follow. As usual, the wagon did not arrive, and we were again left to do the best we could.

In the meantime part of our supplies and equipment which we left back at Vacquois, came up in a mule drawn ambulance, which we sent on to Charpentry that night. We waited, however, for the transportation which was to move us from our present location and as has already been mentioned, it never came. The next morning we divided our force, part going on to Charpentry and the rest[50] remaining to cook and serve the remainder of our rations which was not hard to do. All we had was a little coffee and bread.

Our kitchen in Charpentry was located in a sort of a court yard, near the buildings in which were located the dressing stations. Here we located an iron boiler, that the Germans had left in their hasty retreat, which helped us out quite a lot in cooking. Things were going fine here, in fact, too good to last. We had plenty of rations and had served two fairly good meals, when things began to happen. Jerry got it into his head that Dressing Stations and kitchens were not essential in a successful drive and right away started trying to eliminate them. A short time after he had started trying to put this idea into effect, we received orders to retire. This order probably saved a little work for the burying squad, as far as the kitchen force was concerned, as about fifteen minutes after leaving, a few direct hits were scored, scattering our kitchen and supplies to the four winds.

We now moved back to Varennes, picking up as much of our equipment at Very as we could and taking it back with us. We stayed in Varennes for almost two days, cooking what we could in a much dilapidated stove that was in one of the dugouts. Our field range reached us just as we were leaving for Bourelles. We arrived there in time to set up for supper, but had to tear it down that night as we moved back to Neuvilly. Here we were relieved and moved out, and back to billets and a small French kitchen. Although small, it seemed to us all that anyone could ask for in the kitchen line, after having put in a week of trying to cook for a company of men with hardly anything more than two flat rocks and a coffee can.


The fact that some of the men of Ambulance Company 139 were cited, does not indicate that they were more courageous or devoted to duty than those not so mentioned. The work of the entire company showed an efficiency, and disregard for personal danger, of the very highest order. Many acts of individual heroism passed unnoticed. The following is an extract from General Order No. 82, October 14th, Hqs. 35th Division:

"The Division Commander takes pleasure in citing in General Orders, the following named officers and enlisted men for effective, efficient and courageous work during the six days' battle from September 26th to October 1st, 1918."

Private Glen B. Smith, M. D., Ambulance Co. 139, September 29th, near Chaudron Farm. For remaining under continuous shell[51] and machine gun fire for a considerable time more than required by his orders, caring for the wounded under the most intense shell and machine gun fire.

Sergeant Junior Briggs, M.D., Ambulance Co. 139, September 29th, near Chaudron Farm. For remaining under continuous shell and machine gun fire for a considerable time more than required by his orders, caring for the wounded under the most intense shell and machine gun fire.

Private Lloyd Richmond, M.D., Ambulance Co. 139, September 29th, near Chaudron Farm. On account of artillery and machine gun fire, Private Richmond remained at his post and cared for the wounded until he was himself wounded by a shell which killed two other wounded men.

Sergeant Kenneth W. Pringle, M.D., Ambulance Co. 139, September 28th and 29th this non-commissioned officer, of his own accord and under extremely heavy shell fire, found and evacuated many wounded.

First Lieutenant Richard T. Speck, M.D., Ambulance Co. 139, September 30th, near Charpentry. For effective, efficient and courageous work in collecting wounded in the field north of Charpentry with detachment of mule drawn ambulances, under heavy artillery and machine gun fire and repeated aeroplane attacks.

First Lieutenant Bret V. Bates, M.D., Ambulance Co. 139, September 30th, near Charpentry. For efficient, effective and courageous work in the open field with a detachment of mule drawn ambulances under heavy artillery and machine gun fire.

Sergeant 1st Class Charles G. Rowland, M. D., Ambulance Co. 139, September 29th near Charpentry. While his company was on the march from Charpentry to Varennes, Sergeant Rowland stopped to attend a truck driver who had been struck by a shell. Disregarding all personal danger, he passed through a curtain of artillery fire and dressed the wounded man. During the four days at the dressing station, the work of Sergeant Rowland was of the highest order of efficiency.

The following men in the detachment of Ambulance Company 139, 110th Sanitary Train, for courage and devotion to duty under intense fire while acting as litter bearers on the morning of September 30th, 1918:

Wagoner Jacob C. Weaverling
Pvt. Stephen F. McCormick
Pvt. 1cl. George G. Crowley
Pvt. 1cl. Fay A. Downing
Pvt. 1cl. Joe Barnes
Pvt. John J. Fisher
Pvt. Charles F. Blaker
Pvt. Harry T. Douglass
Pvt. Garland Freeman
Pvt. William W. Williams
Pvt. Louis J. Fisher
Pvt. John R. Fulmer
Pvt. Robert A. Still
Pvt. John P. Feeney

[52] Casualties—Ambulance Company 139, during the five days in the Argonne with our own division, and the forty-eight hours attached to the First Division, came out of battle without a death. Private Lloyd Richmond, on the night of September 29th, while taking care of some wounded men under intense shell and machine gun fire at Chaudron Farm, was wounded in seven different places.

The following named men were gassed while attached to the First Division at Charpentry:

Lt. George Monteith, Sgt. Clarence Falconer, Pvt. Edward DeTalent, Pvt. Wilson Meyers, Lt. Bret V. Bates, Sgt. Ernest Stalcup, Pvt. Kenneth S. Brown, Pvt. Jesse Dennis, Pvt. Lester A. Brogan, Pvt. Jesse Casteel, Pvt. William Peterson, Pvt. Rollo C. Dugan.


On coming from the Argonne offensive on October 5th, the Sanitary Train moved to Vaubecourt, a city whose blocks of ruins told plainer than words the story of its bombardment in the earlier days of the war. But, complete as was the destruction of some parts of the city other parts escaped harm, and in this quarter we found a comfortable home in a large barn, well equipped with bunks.

The memory of our stay in Vaubecourt to most of us is not a pleasant one. Sick, tired, hungry, dirty, clothing torn and stained with mud and blood, and equipment lost, the men of our company certainly did not have the appearance of spic and span soldiers of Uncle Sam. A few hours of rest, with good food and plenty of soap and water did much to better conditions, but the effects of the previous days at the front were not at once thrown off. Sickness prevailed, hardly a man escaping it in some degree, and the number sent each day to the hospital was probably the largest at any time in the history of the company. Here for the first time in months, we heard the once famous sound of the bugle, the companies standing all calls.

But in the midst of this, there was one day of our Vaubecourt stay that stood out as one of the brightest in our experience. It was the day the news arrived that Germany, surrounded by an unbreakable band of fire and steel, and realizing the inevitable, had asked for peace terms. To us who had just emerged from the horrors of the Argonne, the news seemed like the first streak of morning light shining through the darkness. However, the constant rumbling of the distant artillery and the steady procession of aeroplanes overhead, kept us from becoming too optimistic. Yet the feeling seemed to remain that it was the beginning of the end, and that peace could not be far distant.

The[53] fact that the Hun was at last, not asking, but begging for a cessation of hostilities, in the name of her people, gave us renewed spirits. We were further cheered by the fact that the entire Sanitary Train had been commended for its work in the Argonne by our own Divisional Commander, as well as by the Commanding General of the division that relieved us. The work in battle had been without fault, but at this time we were informed that discipline was very lax, and instead of the much needed rest, we were put through a period of training which lasted until the division relieved a division of French in a sector north of Verdun.


While at Vaubecourt we received word that we were to go to the front again, and that news surprised us not a little, because of the fact that we had only been out of the Argonne some two weeks.

On October 15th, the division occupied a new sector east of Verdun, extending from near Fresnes to Eix. As usual, Ambulance Company 139 took position near the front lines, to evacuate the division. On October 16th, headquarters of the company was located at Fontaine Brilliante, a very beautifully situated triage near Somme-Dieue. This triage evidently had been a most busy place during the great drive on Verdun in 1916. Immense Red Crosses were painted on the tops of the various buildings, and two very ingenious Red Crosses were constructed upon the hillside, of small red and white stones. These were placed there to protect the triage from Boche airplanes.

Immediately upon arrival at Fontaine Brilliante, Lt. Monteith, with a detachment of twenty-six men, started to the front and established a dressing station at Deramee. Two cooks were with the detachment, and a kitchen was set up in the same building with the dressing station. Rations were drawn from the first battalion of the 110th Engineers and it was not a rare thing to have hot cakes for breakfast. In the kitchen was a wire cage which could be locked, and which looked for all the world like a large rat trap. One night the cooks had written several letters to their wives and put them into this cage and locked it. The rats, which had already carried away some very sizable articles, including dippers, frying pans and what-nots, got the letters out of the cage in some magic way that night, and to this day those two cooks are marveling at the cleverness of French rats.

Litter and ambulance posts were placed at Tunis, Bellvue Farm and Joffre. There were a few camps near, which were merely billeting places for soldiers in reserve, and for supply organizations[54] of the line troops. They were all in easy shelling distance for the Germans, in fact, Deramee was so close to the lines that one could hear the report of the guns an instant before the shells would come over.

The forts around Verdun were very interesting. There were two within two kilometres of Deramee, one named Fort Deramee, and the other Fort Roselier. These forts were situated on points commanding a view of all the surrounding country. They were neatly concealed from aerial observation, and one might easily walk squarely into one before he noticed it. They were most formidably constructed of reinforced concrete, and were built deep into the ground. Some were encircled by a moat over which were heavy draw bridges, and beyond the moat a mass of barbed wire entanglements encircled the entire defense. There were over forty of these forts around Verdun, all garrisoned by the French. A look at these mighty bulwarks told at once why the Germans could not pass.

On October 8th, another section to the north, extending to Vaux, was taken over by the division, and another dressing station, in charge of Lt. Vardon with fifteen men, was established at Vaux. At first dependence was placed upon four G. M. C. ambulances of Ambulance Co. 138 to do all of the evacuating, but later S. S. U. 526 was assigned for this work. All cases were taken to Field Hospital 139, at Fontaine Brilliante.

Some mention of the old battlefield near Vaux must be made. Fort Vaux was taken by the Germans after a fierce and uninterrupted cannonading lasting from March 12th to April 9th, 1916. Fort Avocourt and the Mort-Homme also succumbed to the terrific onslaught of the Hun on April 10th. After five months of furious fighting, in which the Germans lost over a half million men, the French retook these important positions. Just back from the dressing station an eighth of a mile is a famous hill of the Verdun battle. A look at this barren hill filled one with awe, for there isn't a tree, not even a stump, standing, and not a square foot of ground that has not been torn by shell fire. The ground is simply pulverized. There are helmets (French and German), old rifles, cart wheels, unexploded shells, clothing and most everything in the line of war equipment lying around on the ground, just as it was left after that terrible struggle. Bones of every part of the human body could be found in almost any numbers. One could pick up a helmet with a skull in it, or a shoe with the bones of a foot in it. Standing at the bottom of this hill, one could look up at the head of the valley and see a German battery, sitting just as it had been deserted after her defeat in 1916. The wood that was brought in from the fallen timber was literally filled with shrapnel.

The Vaux detail, when not busy, spent most of its time seeing the many interesting places, even though at times it was a bit[55] dangerous. From the hill back of the dressing station one could see the Germans shelling Ft. Douamont, two miles away. A very strange impression it left on one, too. First the report of the German guns would be heard, and in an instant the shell would burst near the fort, throwing dirt and rock high into the air. Then the sound of the shell, which had already bursted, could be heard going through the air.

While there were not many casualties through Vaux, over seven hundred came through Deramee. The division had just been filled up with men who had not been in France over a month or so, and who had not trained longer than that in the States. The trenches of Verdun, which were always filled with water and mud, seemed to be too much for them, and many cases of influenza and pneumonia developed.

We had many gas cases, too, at Deramee. In one day a hundred and six gas patients came through the dressing station. It was mostly mustard gas, and the patients would come in by the ambulance load, temporarily blind and feeling miserable. We could only bathe their eyes with a sodium bi-carbonate solution, and use the sag-paste freely. During this rush the only available ambulances were those of the S. S. U. 526, and the drivers of that unit not being familiar with the roads, Corporals O'Dowd and Bailey were kept busy guiding them around. We worked well after midnight on that particular day before all the patients were evacuated. The total number of gas patients numbered well over two hundred.

A sergeant and three men were stationed at Bellevue Ferme, a relay station between Derame and Vaux. This station was situated on a hill only a short distance from Verdun, and one could get a splendid view of the old battered city from this place. There were eleven big naval guns down below Bellevue on a narrow gage railway, and they surely made some music when they fired. They drew fire from the Germans, too, but no sooner would the Germans locate them than they were moved along the track to another place.

Verdun was very close to the different stations, and many of us visited the silent old city. One had only to take one look at that city to realize that one of the mightiest struggles of human history took place for its possession. Petain, the great French leader, won an immortal place among military leaders for the defense of that city in 1916, and a glance at the battlefield would convince one absolutely that he meant those words "On ne passe pas." The cathedral in Verdun was badly damaged; fourteen holes in one side of the building were counted and the roof had three big gaps in it, and while the cathedral can be repaired, yet its shell marks will be there forever. Another interesting thing connected with Verdun is its underground city, capable of accommodating forty-two[56] thousand, and absolutely shell proof. The Germans shelled Verdun regularly, dropping shells on certain crossroads and buildings at exact intervals. One couldn't tarry in one place in that city, even if he cared to, because an M. P. would firmly suggest "move along."

We were on the Verdun front when Austria capitulated, and were almost fighting for newspapers in order to get the details. The question in everyone's mind during our last days at Verdun was "How long will Germany hold out?" We left Deramee on November 6th, having been relieved by the "Wildcats," a division of soldiers not soon to be forgotten, and we little knew that we had been on our last front.


After a siege of about three weeks, our company was relieved from duty in the sector north of Verdun, and we were all preparing for a good long rest, and best of all, a thorough delousing at the hands of the official "Cootie-cooking-brigade." As later developments will show, we realized none of our anticipations, at least not at Erize-la-Grande.

The sector which we had just left was famous for at least three of the war's most deadly weapons, viz.—Cooties (most of them wearing service stripes), prize rats and German gas. The combined efforts of the three made life hardly worth living at times, and a sigh of relief was breathed when at last the task was at an end.

The village of Erize-la-Grande compared favorably with all other villages in which we had been billeted, especially as regards street scenes and sleeping quarters. These had evidently been constructed during the dark ages, but whether those who inhabited them were afraid of light or fond of darkness remains a secret.

On the night of November 7th, the wild cry arose that the war was over! We were used to all manner of reports, though none quite as stunning as this, and in a few minutes excitement was at its height. An optimistic M. P. was heard shouting, "It's over, so help me, God!" and a little later the same spirit was evidenced by the doughboys along the roads, who were joyfully proclaiming the end by shooting up flares and yelling, "Fini la guerre." By this time it was a settled fact that the war really was over, that nothing remained to be done but the shouting, and that this was the proper time to shout. What happened during the next few hours, gentle reader, will be left to your imagination. It was a grand and glorious feeling, and not long afterwards we found out that just about the entire A. E. F. and practically all the folks at home were also celebrating.




The[57] next morning we awoke to the real situation, and found that the cause of the whole thing originated from a certain German White Flag party which was on its way to meet Marshal Foch. The German high command had ordered the cessation of hostilities along a certain part of the line in order that these peace plenipotentiaries might reach the great French Marshal and learn from him, personally, how peace terms could be had. Things began to move pretty fast now, and there was a great deal of speculation as to what the Boche would do. The next day the official communique reported that Foch had very generously allowed them seventy-two hours in which to accept or reject the iron-clad terms of an armistice. Meanwhile, the entire western front was the scene of one of the greatest Allied offensives of the war.

In the midst of all these things, orders were suddenly issued to move at once toward the front, and Sunday morning, November 10th, found us packed up and moving. All along, the roads were lined with American troops. Mile after mile of supply wagons, artillery, machine gun battalions and infantry were slowly but surely wending their way to Berlin. This looked very different from peace. We learned afterwards that the 35th Division was to make a direct frontal assault upon Metz, while other troops were to engage in a flanking movement. As Metz was the most strongly fortified position the Germans held, it can readily be seen that the 35th would have had a pretty stiff job. It seemed certain that in a day or two we would enter the offensive against this powerful fort, and we were well aware of what this movement would call for.

At about 2:30 Sunday afternoon we halted at a small village named Cousances, expecting to move on at any time. Here it was reported that the Kaiser had abdicated, and that all Germany was in a state of revolution, but we had heard this same thing at least a dozen times before, and so thought nothing of it. The entire front from the Channel to the Vosges was ablaze, with the Yanks near Sedan, the capture of which village by the Germans in 1871 marked the triumph of Bismarck. History was about to repeat itself. The British in Flanders were rapidly driving the Hun from Belgium, while in the Champagne the French were making such advances as they had never made before. Apparently Foch had chosen Berlin for the Allied objective.

While these events were in progress, a German courier, laboring under great difficulty, was carrying messages from the Allied Headquarters to the German General Headquarters, at Spa, in Belgium. Only a few hours remained for the Hun to arrange his answer. German propaganda was at an end, and that of the Allies consisted of cold steel from the heavies. One by one Germany's allies had deserted her, until now she stood alone facing the ever increasing strength of the strongest and noblest armies of the world.[58] Her armies were almost demoralized. At home her people were terrorized at the thought of having their Fatherland invaded, and were demanding that the war be ended. For over four years they had waited behind a curtain of lies and outrages, only to see it lifted and defeat staring at them. Such were a few of the conditions which confronted the German High Command at Spa, while Foch, with his gallant armies smashing on, calmly waited for one of two short words—Yes or No.

At Cousances, stowed away in an old dismantled factory, we were waiting for this important answer. As was mentioned before, we had expected to continue our march, but orders had evidently been changed to wait for the German answer. On Monday morning, November 11th, the famous "drum fire" was plainly audible, and again things didn't sound at all peaceful. Having had a little previous experience around Cheppy and Charpentry, we realized what the acceptance or rejection of the terms would mean. There was no noticeable let-up in the firing. The suspense was becoming acute. Either they would sign it or reject it. In case the former should happen, it would only be a matter of waiting our turn at the gang-plank; should the latter occur, the Lord only knew what would happen. Visions of a gang-plank and tug-boats changed into visions of litters loaded with wounded, and the loud cheers of Yanks bidding farewell to Gallant France changed into the shriek of gas and high explosive shells.

But the old saying, that it is always the darkest just before dawn, held. Almost before any of us realized it the guns were quiet. We listened again, but not a sound could be heard. We realized that they were advancing rapidly, but that it was hardly possible for them to be out of sound this soon. At this time the British troops were at Mons, the French armies were across the Belgian line from the Meuse to the Oise, and American armies were advancing from Sedan to the eastern forts of Metz. France was almost clear of the invader. The liberation of Belgium had begun. The whole German army was in disorderly retreat, and there needed only a little more time to transform that retreat into the greatest rout of all military history.

We were convinced of the signing of the armistice only when we read the following memorable telegram, which, although heard the world over, probably meant more to each one of the Allied soldiers than to the whole world:

"The Armistice is signed and becomes effective November 11th at 11 o'clock. At this hour, or before, hostilities and the advance must cease. Hold the lines reached and notify exactly the line reached at that hour. No communication with the enemy will take place."


The[59] first replacements were a part of the first replacement company consisting of 500 officers and 2500 men, to sail overseas. While at Ranspach, thirty-six men were received to bring the strength up to 122 men. They all came originally from Camp Greenleaf, Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia, located in Chickamagua Park, near Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. It was here that the future members of Ambulance Co. 139 received their first military training, among which, too important to forget, were the duties of kitchen police, guard duty and company fatigue, the three delights of a soldier. The winter of '17 and '18 will be remembered for a long time by many of the men, especially because of the sticky mud and bitter cold nights, although the days were usually sunshiny and warm.

Along towards the last of May a few men were picked from each of the Ambulance and Field Hospital companies and sent to Camp Forest, also in Chickamagua Park, and formerly the home of the old Sixth Infantry. There they were placed in a recruit company and after a week of daily inspections both physical and of equipment, finally received orders to roll packs and leave. Every man, fully equipped, left camp and marched to the town of Lyttle, to entrain Decoration Day, May 30th, 1918. It was an impressive scene to see all those well trained, healthy young fellows drawn up in company front awaiting the order to climb aboard the five comfortable Pullman trains and start for France. The regimental band was also there, playing popular pieces as if to cheer the men up, but judging by the looks of their clean, smiling faces, it was plain to see that they were going forth, eagerly to do their bit.

Leaving Lyttle on May 30th, three of the five sections started northeast for New York and the other two sections started south, going to Atlanta and from there to the coast, thence north on the Seaboard line to New York. Every little town and city through which they passed greeted them with a good luck wish and a God speed, and many a dainty from a cigarette to candy found its way through the car windows.

On Sunday morning, June 3rd, they left the train at the ferry dock in Hoboken, N. J., and soon were loaded on two large ferry boats which were drawn up to the docks to transfer the men down the river to Long Island City. The trip down the river that fine morning was enjoyed by everyone, as the fresh air gave them new life after being cooped up in the train for so long. Every passing tug and ferry boat gave the men a shrieking whistle in salute accompanied by the flutter of handkerchiefs. They landed in Long Island a little later and after a ride of three hours, left the train[60] at the outskirts of Camp Mills on June 3rd. Arriving at the camp, they were placed eight men to a tent with an iron bed apiece but with no mattresses or bed sacks. Just the hard iron springs to sleep upon. Here the men were re-classified, received the last of their overseas equipment, and on June 6th had their final overseas examination which left them ready to sail.

At midnight they rolled their packs, filled their barrack bags and marched slowly and silently from camp. At a small station near the camp the bags were loaded on box cars to be seen no more until the arrival in France. After another short trip by rail and ferry, the men were landed at the Cunard line dock, No. 52, and through the driving rain caught a glimpse of the gigantic ship moored there. They quietly unloaded from the ferry and in a few minutes were inside of the huge sheltered freight dock. Here groups of Red Cross girls with steaming coffee and sandwiches were awaiting them. After a delay of about two hours they filed up the gang-plank and boarded the Aquitania, the largest ship afloat. It carried about eleven thousand officers and men, together with several tons of mail. Its armament consisted of British manned naval guns. Once on board the ship, after giving their names and number, they were assigned a comfortable bunk and given a mess ticket telling them when and where to eat. The ship remained at the dock all through the day and night but finally, about eight o'clock on the morning of June 8th, she swung slowly from her moorings, headed down the harbor, and about noon the men saw the Statue of Liberty fade away into the skyline.

The trip across the Atlantic was rather uneventful. The ship traveled slowly in the day time, taking a zig-zag course, turning and twisting, and leaving behind a wake like the trail of an angry serpent. As soon as night fell, however, the ship would vibrate with the pulsing throb of her mighty engines and would plunge through the water at full speed, every light extinguished, for even the glow of a cigarette might make it the target for some lurking submarine. The men were given life boat drill every day and also a thorough physical inspection, so there was no danger of any disease breaking out and spreading among them undetected. The day before sighting land, two long, gray British Destroyers came plunging through the heavy seas to meet the ship and escort it into the harbor. On the 15th of June, about 7 o'clock in the morning the ship dropped anchor in the harbor of Liverpool, its voyage at an end.

Almost immediately the work of unloading was commenced and by three o'clock in the afternoon the men were all lined up on English soil ready for further orders. Shortly afterwards they walked through the streets of Liverpool to the railway station, led by a band composed of English Boy Scouts, playing national airs[61] by which the men marched along, keeping step to the music and being enthusiastically cheered by the crowds that lined the streets.

Arriving at the station, they entered day coaches and were rapidly hauled across England to Southampton, reaching there about one o'clock the next morning, June 16th. From the station they hiked out to a rest camp on the outskirts of the city and were assigned long, bare wooden barracks and inside of a few minutes the tired men were wrapped up in their blankets and snoring in peace on the hard floor.

On the morning of the 17th they again rolled their packs and marched down to the docks where they were loaded into a small side wheeled boat and by dark were being rapidly carried across the English Channel, taking the same zig-zag course as they did coming to England, to avoid the enemy submarines. On the morning of the 18th the ship docked at Le Havre, France, and the men were soon unloaded and ready for another hike, this time to a second rest camp situated on the top of a large hill on the outskirts of the city. After staying three days in this so-called rest camp, where twelve men slept in tents that were made to accommodate only six, they marched back down to the railway station and were loaded onto "side door pullmans" and third class coaches. Twenty-four hours later they arrived at Blois and were at once taken to the large replacement camp there.

Here they were again inspected and re-classified and placed in different casual companies. All their extra equipment and barrack bags were taken away from them and they were left with only their field equipment, all ready for active service. Three days later the following thirty-six men, representing the first replacements of the company, reported to Train Hqs. for duty:

Frank M. Allen
Wm. J. Armbrustmacher
Allen L. Barris
Frank E. Bellows
Chas. F. Blaker
Joseph J. Blandford
John R. Fulmer
Michael Harriston
Ernest P. Heidel
John E. Lancaster
Walter Lebeck
Stephen McCormick
Lester A. Brogan
Francis P. Cannon
James W. Coleman
John P. Feeney
Abraham H. Feinberg
John J. Fisher
Garland Freeman
George G. Crowley
Angelo Castaldi
Clarke Ellis
James R. McDonald
John Troode
Verne F. Crawford
Harry T. Douglas
Jesse M. Casteel
Vaughn James
James E. Johnston
August Lottner
Dewey T. Barbour
Fay A. Downing
Arthur E. Jones
Parker E. Saul

The[62] second and last replacements to this company arrived in three sections. The first section sailed from New York on the transport Mongunias, Sept. 17th, 1918, landing in St. Nazaire, France, Sept. 30th. The second section left New York on the Princess Mantoka, Sept. 23rd, arriving at St. Nazaire on Oct. 6th, having been forced far off their course by the equatorial storms. The third and last section started across on the ship Walmer Castle, October 20th, and were unloaded at La Havre, France, Oct. 31st.

Upon arriving in France all were sent to the Medical Training School near St. Agnon, one of the largest replacement camps in France. After spending about three weeks there in drilling and receiving final instruction for active duty all were sent out to ambulance companies, Field Hospitals and Medical Detachments of different line organizations.

The following men received orders to report to Ambulance Co. 139, for duty, on October 27th and November 20th:

Albert J. Daley
Andrew J. Dolak
Dennis Duffy
Lester E. Eakin
John E. Evans
Howard C. Evert
Harry W. Fowler
Cornelius A. Gallagher
Augusts Giorgi
Walter F. Hess
Benjamin W. Kline
Edward Kletecka
Thomas G. Kuntz
Charlie Lulow
Elmer F. Lutt
Jess W. McKain
Clarence T. S. Murphy
Grigory Mukansky



The first men to receive furloughs in this company received word on the 24th of October to be ready to take the train at Ancemont at 5 A. M. the next morning. Only four places were given each company, and lots were drawn to see who would go. Three places were drawn by "buck" Privates Piatt, Smith and Wise, and Wag. Lawrence Putman was the fourth man. The balance of the day was spent in hurried preparations for the trip. Nobody had made one of these trips before, and no one knew what was required. Full field equipment was the verdict from Headquarters as to packs.

As no alarm clocks were handy, the men took turns sitting up so that they would leave on time in the morning. Like the small boy, they were all up and at the station long before time for the train. First guess was 10 A. M. for the "furlough special,"[63] but it was 7:30 P. M. before it finally arrived. About a thousand men from the division were to make the trip, so that it required a good-sized train. The Sanitary Train men were lucky in loading, as they drew a second-class coach, but French coaches, even second class, were never intended for sleeping purposes. All of the men were loaded with rations, issued for the trip, and of course the jam disappeared first, as it usually does under like circumstances.

Next morning a strangely peaceful country and welcome sunshine greeted their vision. Hot coffee was served by a Red Cross canteen for breakfast. Lyon was reached by noon and a short stop was made there.

The train arrived at Grenoble at 3:30 P. M. on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. One captain, four or five M. P.'s and the entire population of Grenoble was at the station to welcome the train. The reception royal was explained by the captain, who said "Grenoble has just been opened as a leave area, and this is the first lot of Americans to arrive." When the men were lined up outside of the station to be marched to the A. P. M. office, they started out in a column of fours, but it wasn't long until they were lucky to get through the crowd at all. All the people wanted to see the Americans and shake hands with them, and not a few wanted to kiss them. It was surprising to hear so many of the people speak good English. They explained this, saying that Grenoble was a popular European and American pleasure resort before the war. Arriving at the office of the A. P. M., passes were stamped and tickets issued for rooms and meals. The men were divided among several nearby towns and pleasure resorts. The last four hundred, including those of the Sanitary Train, were left in Grenoble proper.

Grenoble is built especially for tourists' trade, and the hotels are all large and well furnished. They seemed like palaces to the men just from the barren wastes of northern France. Real beds with white sheets and soft mattresses, lace curtains at the windows, polished floors, neat little wash stands, clothing cabinets and fire places greeted the men in the rooms they were shown to. Single or double rooms were furnished as desired. Meals were served in the dining room of the hotel, and the men were informed that all they had to do for seven days and nights was to enjoy themselves—no reveille, retreat or drill calls to mar their pleasure. Breakfast from 7:30 to 9:00 A. M., dinner at 1:00 P. M. and supper at 6:30 P. M. were served at long tables, family style, and they were real meals. Best of all there were no mess kits to bother with after eating.

Needless to say, it did not take the men long to get used to living like white men again, and before long they were all stepping out to see the town. The barber shops, restaurants and souvenir stores were soon doing a rushing business. Most surprising was[64] the fact that prices didn't take a jump the first day and keep rising thereafter. The trades people even made reductions for the Americans. Modern stores with plate glass windows and electric lights at night greeted the men, and it is gratifying to state that the word "finish" was never heard in Grenoble.

The Y. M. C. A. had a well supplied canteen, and every day several of the "Y" girls led a party of sightseers to nearby places of interest. Every night some kind of an entertainment, either dances, picture shows or vaudeville, was staged by the Y. M. C. A. The French shows were all closed on account of the influenza, so the men had to furnish their own entertainment.

Grenoble is situated close to both the Swiss and Italian borders, and is snuggled right up in the Alps. The mountains are snow-capped the year round, and form a pretty background for the town. Some of the mountains were close enough for a climb, and several parties took trips to them. The town is cut in two by the river Isce and three large concrete bridges span the water, making a pretty setting. The buildings are all large, of modern and substantial construction, and from the top of the nearby mountain the town makes a beautiful picture. Of the eight days spent in Grenoble, seven were sunshiny and clear, so the men were convinced that there actually was such a thing as a "Sunny France."

The mademoiselles all seemed to think it an honor to show the Americans a good time, and the men were never lonesome for feminine company. They seemed more like American girls, as they spoke a little English, wore good clothes, and were very good looking. As the time for departure drew nearer, it was hard for them to think of leaving, but like everything else that sad day rolled around. Many were the promises made to keep up a correspondence, but how many of these promises were kept, only the writer and the censor know. Almost as large a crowd bid them good-bye as welcomed them.

That the men of the 35th division made a good impression on the people of Grenoble is evidenced in a letter from the mayor of Grenoble, thanking our General for the good conduct of the men and asking that more men of the 35th division be sent there.

Whatever the impression made by the boys upon the people of Grenoble, it is certain that the people of Grenoble made a good impression on the boys.


The "Permissions" read La Bourboule, and no sooner were these handed to their proper owners than sixty well-groomed "Medics," representing the Sanitary Train were on their way to[65] the destination specified. After being jammed into those queer French coaches (third class) with no thought given to comfort, the train finally picked up speed and passed out upon the main line. The clicking of the rail-joints seemed to call cadence for the songs from 1200 throats, all from the 35th division, whose owners were happy to get away from bugle calls, military discipline and slushy streets.

After a few hours' ride—just a sample of what they were to get—the train was sidetracked at Nancy and all enjoyed the best bath they had ever taken, in what is said to be the largest bath-house in the world. Here the water comes out of the ground at a temperature of 78 degrees F. and passes direct into the pool. After this "decootieization" they boarded the train again and were able to sit and enjoy the scenery for the rest of the trip.

The first day and night passed quickly, but then time began to drag, and along toward evening of the second day some great geniuses were born to the world. These were the men who devised the method by which nine men could sleep in a space that only seemed large enough for half that number. Could one have peeped into the passing coaches it would have struck him as exceedingly humorous—some were stowed away in the hat-racks over head, while others, with no room to lie down, were trying to sleep in a sitting posture. So time passed for three days and two nights.

To step from the train and see no town of any size was the thing that befell these men, and exclamations of dissatisfaction and disgust were heard everywhere. Being encouraged by a Y. M. C. A. man standing nearby that twenty-four hours in the town would change their opinion, they were content to be assigned to their various hotels.

The village, or town, of La Bourboule is located in the Auvergne mountains, in the range Puy-de-Dome, and had been a very popular summer resort for the French people up to the time the U. S. government took it over as one of the leave areas for American troops. The altitude of this locality varies, for the valleys are about 2800 feet, while some peaks are 4500 feet above the sea level. But as a leave sector it was a disappointment to everyone. There were no recreations at all except those furnished by the Y. M. C. A. and that place was carried by storm from morning to night. A Y. M. C. A. man spoke of the trouble and placed the blame to the fact that the town had accommodations for 1200 men, but there were twice that number there of the 35th and the 26th divisions. One can easily judge why these fellows thought they were "in the wrong pew." To see an evening's performance of vaudeville or motion pictures at the theatre, it was necessary to take a magazine and lunch, make yourself at home for at least two hours and stick it out in said selected seat.

All[66] had the idea that their days of standing in line for everything were "fini," for seven days' leave, but it was not to be; they lined up to purchase canteen checks and "fell in" behind, sometimes, one hundred others to buy at the wet or dry canteen. At the former could be purchased soft drinks, sandwiches and cakes, while at the latter was an abundant supply of tobaccos and soldiers' needs.

One Y. M. C. A. man made a practice of taking all interested soldiers to see the many sights that the town boasted of, that is, to those that were within hiking distance. The most important were the Roman Baths, which are located at a distance of about six kilometres from La Bourboule. These baths were first built by the soldiers of Caesar about the year 400 A. D. Afterwards the springs were found to be beneficial to people suffering from rheumatics and bronchial troubles. There are eleven springs, all of a temperature averaging from 98 to 100 degrees except one cold spring, and all tasting of mineral properties very strongly. All of these springs are said to be radio-active, and each is famous as a "cure" for some particular ailment. The most popular is the "Singer's Spring," so-called because most of the leading vocalists in the country took treatment there by gargling the water from this spring. The original building was sacked and pillaged by the Gauls and afterwards rebuilt as nearly along former lines as knowledge would permit. Throughout the building are scattered pieces of the former structure; statues, arches and pillars of the old Doric, Ionic and Corinthian designs, which were unearthed and placed on display in the many rooms. Among these is a piece of masonry representing the she-wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus, as the legend goes, when they were lost in the woods prior to the founding of Rome. It is not known, however, whether this is the original that the Romans prized so highly, or a reproduction.

Another thing worth visiting at La Bourboule is the subterranean city, which was supposed to have been submerged by an earthquake in early times. A few of the buildings were unearthed a few years ago, but the task was never completed. All around that vicinity the ground has a hollow sound under foot, and makes walking seem a little dangerous.

On a large plateau, 4500 feet above the town proper, is said to have been the camping ground for Caesar's large army at the time he attempted to stop the advance of the Gauls from the north. The French say he was unsuccessful, and was forced to retire to the valley below. Mont D'Sancy, one of the highest peaks in France, is near this area, but few have ever cared to climb to its summit.

After enduring French menu, which could have been much improved, for nine days, the men were not sorry to receive orders to return to their units. Prices ranged but one way—high and[67] higher. One soldier remarked that every time a certain bell rang, prices in the town jumped a franc. The bell struck every quarter-hour. But conditions returning by rail were even worse than the trip down, for this time, instead of nine to a compartment, there were twelve crabby, disagreeable "soldats" returning from their bi-yearly "Permission" in the heart of France.


Three groups of men of Ambulance Co. 139 were fortunate in having their permissions read "Aix-les-Bains," furloughs which will never be forgotten by the men who went there.

Aix-les-Bains is a famous watering place in a picturesque valley along the French Alps, not far from the Italian border. It is situated at the foot of Mt. Revard, and within fifteen minutes' walk of Lake Bourget, the largest and one of the most beautiful lakes in France. Next to Monte Carlo, it was once the most renowned gambling center in the world.

Everything possible was done to make our vacation a happy one. The men were quartered in the very best hotels, getting the best of service and everything to be desired in the line of eats. There was mountain climbing, entertainments of all kinds provided by the Y. M. C. A., and, best of all, companionship with real, live American "Y" girls.

"Grand Cercle," the celebrated gambling casino of Aix-le-Bains, is now the most beautiful Y. M. C. A. hut in France. It is a large, imposing and luxuriously appointed building, costing several million francs. Its various saloons are ornamented with magnificent mosaics by Salviati, of Venice. Just beyond the vestibule is the "Gallery de Glaces," from which most of the rooms of the casino can be entered. To the right is the beautiful writing and reading room, the library, and the theatre, which seats over a thousand persons. There is also the "Salle de Bacchus" and the "Royal Bar." The bar is still doing a thriving business, but in place of the former bar maid are the attractive American girls, serving hot chocolate and coffee. At the "Salle de Bacchus" one could buy all he wanted to eat at extremely low prices. To the left again are the rooms formerly used for gambling purposes. The largest is used for lectures and informal social times, and the smaller, where the larger stakes were played for, is the center for the religious work program.

The men were privileged to take trips to the summit of Mt. Revard, five thousand feet above the sea level, by means of a little cog railroad. From there they could see the Jura Mountains, the Alps, and the snow-covered top of Mt. Blanc, the highest peak in[68] Europe. When the last furlough men were at Aix-les-Bains, early in February, "skiing" was in vogue on Mt. Revard, and many were the tumbles taken in the attempt to learn that fine winter sport.

Another interesting trip was the hike to Mt. Chambotte, twelve kilos away, where the men could also enjoy skiing and tobogganing. Then there was the bike trip to the "Gorges" where they saw deep gashes worn in the face of the earth by the unceasing mountain streams. Twice a week there were trips by steamboat to Hautecomb Abbey, on which they could get a wonderful view of the lake and the mountains. There, in the historical old Abbey, are quite a number of beautiful oil paintings and statues, taken care of by three old Monks. On all of these trips the Y. M. C. A. furnished a competent guide, who explained the interesting points.

At the "Y" casino, there was some form of entertainment at almost every hour of the day. If there wasn't a vaudeville performance in the theatre, there was either a moving picture show in the Cinema Hall or a band concert in the ball-room, and sometimes all three were in process at the same time. Each Thursday night was "stunt night," when different stunts and dances were put on in the theatre by the soldiers on leave, assisted by the "Y" girls.

Such entertainment as this gave the men a new lease on life. All of the men going to Aix-le-Bains returned saying that they had one of the best times of their lives, and regretted that they could not have stayed longer, as it was more like home than any place they had been in France.


While at Fontaine Brilliante, on the Verdun front, orders were received for a detail to proceed to Marseilles for the purpose of getting the ambulances we had been longing for since our arrival in France. Aside from eight G. M. C. cars of Ambulance Co. 138, and four broken down Fords, the 110th Sanitary Train had had no ambulances since leaving Doniphan. We had long since given up the idea of ever having a transportation section again, in fact someone had even gone the length of voicing the following lament:

"They sent us down to Doniphan to get an ambulance
To go abroad and let 'er go and drive for sunny France,
And then it took us seven months to get a pair of pants.
Oh, there's something rotten somewhere in this blooming ambulance.
Of course to drive an ambulance you've got to learn to drill,
So every morning, afternoon, they put us through the mill.
And when this war is over you will find us at it still;
For we never saw an ambulance, and never, never will."

[69] The wagoners and ambulance orderlies were hastily recalled from their work as litter bearers in the advanced posts, and on October 26th, Lt. Speck started for Marseilles for twenty-nine G. M. C. ambulances, with a detail of thirty-two men from Ambulance Co. 139, sixteen from Ambulance Co. 138, and twelve from Ambulance Co. 137. There was a mad scramble to get on this detail, which meant a trip across France, away from the monotony of the trenches.

We arrived at the railroad about an hour early, but in the course of time the train arrived and then started the scramble for the best compartments that the train afforded. Most of us found second-class compartments, which, after more cushions had been obtained, were very comfortable, although a little breezy. Of course no lights could be shown, but they were much better than the customary box cars. Seven-thirty A. M., October 27th, found us at St. Dizier. We were escorted to Camp Tambourine by an M. P., where we spent the morning partaking of our rations. At about noon the M. P. returned, notifying us that the train was ready, so we were checked out of the camp, marched to the train and packed into box cars (40 hommes or 8 chevaux). They were better than some we had drawn formerly, as there was straw on the floor.

The train traveled along a beautiful tree-lined canal for a long distance. Barges on the canal were for the most part drawn by horses, but occasionally we would see very small burros pulling them. Each barge appeared to be a home, for family washings were hanging out on a great many of them.

We arrived at Dijon about 1 A. M. October 28th, and marched across the city wheeling rations on two-wheeled baggage trucks which were "borrowed" at the railroad station. We stayed the balance of the night at a French Permissionares Barrack, and spent the following day looking around the numerous parks and squares. While in the Permissionares barracks, one of our boys inquired of another, "Who are those 'birds' in French uniforms wearing those four-cornered caps?" Before the question could be answered, the French-uniformed person replied, in English, "We are of the Polish Legion. My home is in Chicago."

That evening we entrained again, and after an uneventful ride, arrived at Lyons at 7 A. M. the next morning. After a wait at the station of about two hours, we marched to some barracks which were surrounded by a high board fence. The city being quarantined on account of the influenza, we were not allowed outside of the enclosure except to go to the wash-house, about a hundred yards distant. Between the gate of the enclosure and the wash-house was a "boozerie," consequently there were a great many men who wanted to wash.

Just[70] before leaving Lyons that evening, a doughboy "promoted" a large crate of grapes from a shipment on the station platform. At daylight the following morning we were traveling through a rather sandy country, with vineyards on both sides of the track. Then for a long distance there were Larch trees planted along the track, so close together that it was impossible to see beyond them. Later in the day we traveled along the shore of Etyde Berre Sea, with its many rice plantations, and multitude of wild ducks, then through a tunnel about two kilos long, through large groves of fig trees, finally arriving at Marseilles about noon.

Our packs were hauled in trucks to the Motor Reception Park while the men marched, giving us an opportunity to see the many fruit peddlers, the numerous fountains and squares, and the dirty, narrow streets of the city. Upon our arrival at the Motor Reception Park we were assigned to billets in French buildings. We spent the afternoon cleaning up, eating fruit purchased from peddlers, and selling all kinds of little trinkets to the S. O. S. men as German souvenirs, and explaining to them who "won the war." In the evening we were given passes into Marseilles, good until midnight. Some went to the theatre staging a burlesque show, which was very similar to an American show. Others went around the town, to the water front, and sampled all of the fruits available, none of which are as good as the fruits which can be procured in American cities. However, we found Marseilles a cosmopolitan city, both in regard to civilians and soldiers. The main streets were very much like the streets of an American city.

Early in the afternoon of October 31st we were marched to the ambulances, and busied ourselves looking over the machines preparing for the start. During the evening we looked around the immediate vicinity of the Motor Park and sampled the vintage of southern France.

At 8:00 A. M., on November 1st, the convoy of 29 ambulances left the park in a gentle shower, but before traveling very far it became a regular cloudburst, with a strong wind. The first day's drive was over very good roads, in a narrow valley, with high, rocky hills and peaks in the distance and an occasional village at the foot of the hills. We stopped the first night just outside of St. Aminol, a very small village, and being the first American soldiers who had stopped near there, we were enthusiastically received by the mademoiselles, and invited to visit the town.

During the next day we passed through Avignon, where we were given flowers by French children. We crossed several suspension bridges over streams flowing into the Rhone River, and drove for miles through vineyards, with their beautiful red and yellow leaves. We saw many wine presses, most of which were operated by women, in fact a greater part of the manual labor was done by the women.[71] We stopped for the night near Valence, a city of many narrow crooked streets, beautiful squares and fountains. We saw there many patterns of Val lace.

Leaving Valence at 7 A. M. November 3rd, we passed through St. Symphone on a market day. The farm products and animals were lined up along the street; vegetables piled on the sidewalk, while the pigs, geese and calves were in excelsior-lined crates and baskets. We arrived at Lyons in the afternoon and drove down one of the main streets—and it was agreed by all that they had never seen so many beautiful ladies in a similar length of time, not even in America. We stopped for the night at a French Barracks, another prison, the city still being under quarantine. Lyons is built at the junction of the Rhone and Prome rivers, the different parts of the city being connected by many bridges, one the Pont du President Wilson, which was dedicated July 14th, 1918.

It was raining when we left Lyons the next morning, and the roads were very rough. As it was necessary to have the curtains of the ambulances up all day, we could see very little of the country until we got to Dijon, where we stopped for the night. From Dijon, we traveled over fairly good roads through a rolling country similar to Kansas, stopping on the night of November 5th at Chaumont, at which place is located Headquarters, A. E. F.

We left Chaumont at 7:30 A. M. on November 6th, passing through Langres with its fort. By afternoon we had arrived back to the part of the country which was strewn with barbed wire entanglements, trenches and other preparations for combat, and late in the evening arrived at Fontaine Brilliante.

Had we never seen any of France but the northern devastated part, we would have always wondered why the French fought so hard, but now we can easily see the reason.


Upon the conclusion of the 139th Amb. Co.'s part in the Argonne drive, the company was assembled at Neuvilly. Here, orders were given for all men who needed medical attention to report for examination, and the Casual, after living on corn beef and hard tack once a day, no sleep to speak of, and some experience with gas, concluded that he needed an overhauling. Accordingly he went before the M. D., was sentenced to the field hospital, and there being no field hospital in action, was sent to Evacuation No. 9 at Vaubecourt.

The journey was made by ambulance and, upon his arrival he was taken to the receiving ward. Here he was given a hot cup of cocoa by the Red Cross girls, and a new diagnosis tag in exchange[72] for the one he was wearing. His helmet and gas mask were discarded since they could not be of much benefit, and he was assigned a bed in Ward No. 40.

Here he lay for two days, waiting for his turn to go to the Base. The bed felt good to his weary bones after months of no bed at all to speak of. He let his mind wander to various subjects that he had been wanting to think of for two weeks, but could not for fear of that soul disturbing cry "gas!" He wondered why that shell that had distributed a mule all over the landscape, had not distributed him instead, in the same manner, and thanked the Lord that he was evidently considered of more value than the mule. The third day found him on a French hospital train, where he lived on French rations (including Vin Blanc) for two days and one night. The evening of the second day found him at Neuves. The trip was featured by the unsuccessful effort of the M. P's. to protect the fine French vineyards from being ravaged by such of the invalids as were not too sick to walk around. After all, it was a long time since they had eaten grapes, for one does not pick grapes on the front line and one used to living in that atmosphere is troubled by more serious thoughts than property rights. When he got to Neuves he was to be put through another receiving ward where the serious cases were marked with a red tag, which means immediate attention. Not being so badly off, the Casual was relieved of what clothes he still possessed and everything else except personal articles. Next, came a bath and a suit of pajamas and then, bed.

When he had gotten off the train those gallant heroes, the pirates of the S. O. S. had immediately fallen on him tooth and nail, hammer and tongs for anything in the line of souvenirs that he was likely to have on his person. Having risked a great deal of his future in obtaining these little remembrances of the Hun, he was quite naturally not very much excited over the idea of getting rid of them, and especially to people only by risking their reputation in trying to part a war-worn Sammie from his only reminders of the fight. So he stood his ground until he fell into the hands of the lieutenants of the receiving ward from whom there is no escape. Here he was separated from all his treasures with no regard whatsoever, for even common decency. He only hopes he will meet and recognize them on the other shore, especially if he could come upon them relating the story of their capture.

After the Casual was safely in bed, the ward master made a record of the principal parts of his past life, which is called a "Clinical Record." Next, a physical examination by the M. D. in charge who prescribed the treatment. The man in the next car was suffering from a fractured leg and in much pain, but he remarked to the Casual that he was glad that he seemed to be getting reasonable treatment,[73] for some places he would have been given two O. D. pills and told to report for duty.




The Casual was put in Class C and had an in and out life of it. The food was good but very little of it, at least, to a man with an appetite. Occasionally there was a battle royal when enough parties had saved up sufficient prune seeds to make an effective barrage, but when there were no prune seeds, the time passed very slowly. The Casual went from Class C to Class B in two weeks, and three weeks more of it found him ready to depart for a Replacement Camp. When this time came, he was issued a new outfit and put in a bunch of 40 men who were under the tender care of a sergeant. That worthy one drew the rations and marched the detail to the train. Side door Pullmans, this time. Quite different from first class. Here the motto "Cheveaux 8, Hommes 40" was faithfully lived up to, but the Casual thought the 40 hommes was a great deal over estimated. The seating proved uncomfortable, so with much labor, seats were built around the sides and through the center from stones and lumber, policed from an American yard. Immediately after the job was done, an officer entered and informed the sergeant that all the material policed should be considered under the order of "As You Were." But he did not wait to see if his orders were carried out, and the works were camouflaged with blankets. However, the suspense proved too great, and the stuff was returned for fear of the consequences. It is worthy of note that the car was never inspected.

The train started, snail fashion, after the manner of French trains and at one of the stops, a vin barrel was tapped, to the benefit of all concerned in the tapping. The destination proved to be Toul, where the Casual was put in a company and given the rest of his equipment and was on his way back to his company the next day.

An hour and a half later, he pulled in after an eight kilo hike, glad to be home and ready to eat some of the good old steaks. No more casual life for him.


No day could have been more typical of France than the day of the Divisional Review, Monday, February 17th, 1919. There was a steady fall of rain, and the low-scudding clouds threw a dampened aspect upon the scene.

The Sanitary Train, led by Maj. Oliver C. Gebhart, left Aulnois at 10:00 A. M. The distance of ten kilometers to the reviewing field between the villages of Vignot and Boncourt was made under every[74] disadvantage of muddy roads and the heavy pour of rain. The field itself, located on a broad stretch of the Meuse basin, was mush-like with mire and patched with pools of water.

General Pershing, with the Prince of Wales, rode onto the field at 1:30 o'clock, while the entire division stood at attention. The salute to the Commander-in-Chief was played by a detachment of picked buglers, and as the General and his party rode around the entire division from right to left, the band, stationed on the right, rendered "God Save the King," in honor of England's young prince.

The columns of the Division were drawn up into platoon fronts, the Sanitary Train being stationed between the Artillery, on the left, and the Machine Gun, Signal Corps and Infantry Regiments on the right. After riding around the Division, General Pershing and his party personally inspected each platoon, winding back and forth, asking questions of the company commanders and speaking with the men.

Having completed the personal inspection, the General and his party took position in the reviewing stand on the right. At the command "Pass in Review" by the Division Commander, each battalion executed successively "Squads Right," and swept down the field in a line of platoons. It was indeed a most impressive sight, and, although the sky was cast heavy with low-hanging clouds, the sun, as if to lend color to an already beautiful picture, broke through and shone for a few moments. Then, as each column swung out upon its own way home, the rain began again. As the last regiment passed in review, the Division was halted while the General and Prince spoke a few words of praise for the splendid showing of the Division, and of its work in battle.

Although participation in this great event required that the men wear full packs for almost nine hours without removing them, and undergo a hike of twenty kilos in the rain, not a man regretted the experience. It will be long remembered with pride by those who took part.


The signing of the Armistice on November 11th, left the company at Cousances, occupying an old, dismantled factory. It was a most unsatisfactory place and there were practically no accommodations of any kind. Winter was upon us. The open barn lofts were too breezy for comfort, and there existed a little feeling of uneasiness, as days passed by and still we did not move.

After a couple of weeks, however, we packed up and moved to the small village of Ernecourt, situated about 12 kilos southeast of[75] Cousances. Remaining here for only a few days, we again moved on to Aulnois, where the remainder of the time in this area was spent.


Aulnois may have been a disappointment or the men may have thought it satisfactory. Anyway, when the Sanitary Train moved into its area it was a typical example of many of the other villages that they had found over-run with dirt and French children.

It was not long after their cow-shed and hay-loft billets were made as comfortable as possible, until the full force was out with brooms, shovels and trucks, and soon the village took on an altogether different appearance. The natives no doubt imagined that these veterans were a Brigade of White Wings, or perhaps some Convict Labor Battalion and perhaps they failed to appreciate the work, even after their little "burg" was transformed into a decent place in which to dwell. Well, "san-ferrie-Anne," this was the Sanitary Train, the 110th, at that.

Three months were the people of the village honored with the presence of this hearty crew, and ere the end of the first month, they had decided that the Americans were not so barbarious after all, and began to feel content as the nice shining francs jingled in their jeans. The farmers foresaw the necessity of doubling the next year's crop of Pomm-de-terres, and the breweries of Commercy and Bar-le-Duc wondered at the enormous consumption of their bottled products.

Still, after all, the stay in this area was very different from what those on furloughs found at Aix-les-Bains, who, upon returning, usually suffered an attack of the blues. Each company had work to do. The Field Hospitals occupied the buildings on the hill just above the town and were working day and night. The ambulance companies were evacuating the entire Division, and the efficiency with which both performed their duties was known throughout the Divisional area.

There are a few things that will tend to remind the men of the company of their stay here, in the days when all incidents of the A. E. F. will be pleasant memories. Christmas, and the dawning of the New Year were celebrated here. These events are made more memorable because of one fact, if no other; the cooks went out of their way to prepare the dishes that, standing out above all else in the Christmas spirit of the Yank, are to him ever associated with home, a full stomach and celebrations. Colonel Wooley left the[76] train for another command, and Madam Bon left her establishment among the boys and was married. However, she continued to sell a few bottles of beer after closing hours.

It was while here in Aulnois that the Commanding General of the A. E. F., accompanied by the Prince of Wales, reviewed the Division. And last, but by no means least, the long expected news reached us that the old 35th Division was ordered home. Accordingly, though sometime later, preparations for the first move were began, and on the evening of the 9th of March, the men bade farewell to the little village, and climbed aboard boxcars for the long ride to the Le Mans Embarkation Area.


It was with a willing hand and a happy heart that we prepared to leave Aulnois-Sous-Vertuzey, where we had spent a "weary waiting period" of over three months, and when the evening of March 9th rolled around, we were all packed up and "rearin' to go." All medical property, extra clothing, etc., had been turned in, so that there was very little to pack except the office records and our personal belongings. Of this we were duly thankful.

We entrained at Lerouville at 2 o'clock on the morning of March 10th, bound for St. Corneille, in the Le Mans area, riding as usual in box cars. The trip was characteristic of French train service—SLOW—in fact on the second day of the trip we only made about 12 miles the whole day. We finally arrived at St. Corneille, a clean little French village, on the 13th, and for the next three weeks "waited" some more. The only part of the company who were busy was the office force, and they were exceedingly so, for there were passenger lists to be made out, besides innumerable other rosters and reports. Of course there were the usual physical examinations, "cootie" inspections, and a "shot in the arm," and these things helped to occupy our time.

Our next lap toward home started on April 5th, and the next morning found us at the immense camp of St. Nazaire, our Port of Embarkation. What a thrill went through us as we looked out onto the ocean again, especially when we knew that we were soon to cross the gang-plank, "the bridge whose western end is America!" It must be said here that St. Nazaire is a wonderfully efficient camp. For instance, each kitchen in the camp can feed as many as ten thousand men in a little more than an hour's time. At this camp we were examined and de-cootieized some more, but our stay was short, and on April 12th we glued our eyes on the bulletin board, which[77] read "110th Sanitary Train embarks at 11:30 A. M., April 14th, U. S. S. Antigone." That was "the thrill that comes once in a lifetime."

On the dock, before embarking, we were treated to hot chocolate, cookies and tobacco by the "Y" girls. Then the time that we had been waiting for for eleven months came, and we crossed the gang-plank "Homeward Bound." On account of storms just off the coast, our start was delayed until 3 A. M. on April 16th, and when we awoke that morning we were almost out of sight of land. Strange to say, there were no "heartaches" when "Sunny France" faded away behind us, for ahead of us was "God's Country," the land where mothers, fathers, wives and sweethearts were waiting for us. That first day out was a memorable one for most of us. The sea was rough, and that evening no one doubted but that every fish in the vicinity of the ship went to sleep with his hunger entirely appeased. Nothing more needs to be said. By the next morning the sea had calmed down, and the remainder of the voyage was a delightful one, with clear skies and bright sunshine. The "Y," Red Cross and Knights of Columbus assisted a great deal in making the trip a pleasant one, by distributing fruit, candy, magazines and books, and with a "movie" show every evening. The men were allowed to take trips down into the engine room, which was indeed an interesting and instructive sight.

Early on the morning of Sunday, April 27th, we steamed up Hampton Roads, at Newport News, Virginia, and at about 10:30 once more planted our feet on the soil of "Uncle Sam." The streets of Newport News were lined with people as we marched from the dock to Camp Stuart, about five miles away, and as one fellow remarked, "I saw more good looking girls on that march than during my whole time in France." Here's to the United States and her people, for there's no others like them.

The greater part of our four days at Camp Stuart was spent in getting new clothing, for every soldier was newly outfitted from head to foot before he left that camp. So it was a spic and span company that boarded the train on Friday afternoon, May 2, bound for Camp Funston, our demobilization camp. That is, there were about seventy of the company to go to Camp Funston, for the company was separated at Camp Stuart, and each man was sent to the demobilization camp nearest his home. The homes of many of our replacements were in the East. The trip across the states in that fast American train was an enjoyable one, especially so because of the reception given us by the people at the cities where we stopped. At each large city a Red Cross canteen entertained us with homemade sandwiches, coffee and pie. Some entertainment.

Our trip across the States took us via West Virginia, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Chicago. Late on the afternoon of Sunday, May[78] 4th, we left Chicago for Kansas City, and it was then that our hearts started to miss a beat now and then, for we were getting close to home. What a sight greeted our eyes as the train drew into the station at Second and Washington, Kansas City, Kansas. The station platform was a solid mass of people, each one trying to pour out a larger amount of "greeting" than anyone else. When the train finally stopped and we piled out—well, no words can tell what that reunion meant. Each fellow and his folks know. We stayed at Kansas City about four hours, and during that time, besides visiting our folks, our mothers gave us a delightful breakfast at the Masonic Temple, with a dance afterwards. Then we went on to Camp Funston, stopping several hours at Topeka, where a number of the men lived.

Our stay at Funston was short, but strenuous. We were not allowed to leave our barrack, for there were a thousand and one different papers, it seemed, that each man had to sign. Then, too, we turned in our pack, and all other equipment except our clothing and personal effects.

It was a wonderful feeling when, on the morning of May 9th, 1919, just a year to the day from the time we left Camp Doniphan for overseas service, we marched up to the Personnel Office to receive our discharges. We could hardly believe it was true. We filed in—soldiers, and a few minutes later came out—civilians.

We're glad we served our country when she needed us, and we're glad "it's over over there." It's just as many an A. E. F. man has said, "We wouldn't take a million dollars for our experiences over there, but we wouldn't give a nickel with a hole in it for any more like them."


It either was Tom Keene, Henry George or some other good nickel seller that once said, "Women thou art fickle things," and to come right down to it the old boy was about right. Even in this war we have found that the fair sex is not overcoming this weakness, in fact woman today is worse than she was yesterday.

In the days of old the men would do daring acts to win the hand of fair lady. If he went on a crusade and brought back a string of dragon heads she would marry him. They would live happily till some other daredevil comes along with long wavy hair and two strings of dragon heads. Right away friend wife drops a Sedlitz powder in his "vin-rouge." A few days finds hubby pushing up daisies and the handsome stranger is seen playing a guitar under the widow's window, she encouraging him by dropping roses.

Now today he pops the question, she says, "But we won't have[79] the knot tied till you come back from the war." While he was putting the half karat on that special finger he began to figure how long it would take him to kill off the population of Germany at the rate of five thousand a day and get back to the ideal of his dreams. He goes across the pond and receives his sweet weekly letter till one day he gets one that makes him think that he is opening some other fellow's mail.

She had not waited to see how many "Dutch" helmets and medals he would bring home but had gone before the altar with some guy who couldn't enlist on account of a thick head.

It's a wonder we ever won the war with such moral support as this coming through the mail. In this company alone, which has a strength of only one hundred and twenty-three men, eleven per cent were jilted in this way. All of them will probably not die old bachelors, but it will take some pretty strong bait to get these fish to nibble again.




Edwin R. Tenney, 538 Oakland Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Richard F. Speck, 718 Washington Blvd.Kansas City, Kans.
Adam E. Adamson.
Alpheus J. BondurantCharleston, Mo.

Rowland, Chas. G., 2304 Myrtle Ave.Kansas City, Mo.
Adams, James A., 1134 Troup Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Hadley, Vernon A., 1241 Lafayette St.Lawrence, Kans.
Leady, Roscoe B., 1005 Central Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Markley, AlgernonMinneapolis, Kans.
Parsons, John D., 2614 N. 13th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Thomas, Chester L., 823 N. JacksonTopeka, Kans.
Falconer, Clarence E., 535 Oakland Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Carson, Edward T., Aberdeen HotelKansas City, Mo.

Hovey, Clarence E., 1136 Rowland Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Ward, Clarence S., 609 Ohio Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Knight, Roger F., 12 S. Boeke St.Kansas City, Kans.
Weirshing, GuySedan, Kans.
Dugan, Rollo C., 606 E. 4th St.Ottawa, Kans.
Toler, Roy P., 601 E. 9th St.Kansas City, Mo.
Robinson, William, 515 Quindaro Blvd.Kansas City, Kans.
O'Dowd, Hall B., 642 Everett Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Roach, Norvin M., 536 Brooklyn Ave.Kansas City, Mo.
Alleman, Neal D., 1926 N. 15th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Christian, John S., 31st and PacificKansas City, Kans.

Toohey, Paul E., 1232 Quindaro Blvd.Kansas City, Kans.
Karbach, Albert R., 531 Quindaro Blvd.Kansas City, Kans.

White, Frederick R., 1131 Rowland Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Keck, Kenneth F., 606 Isett Ave.Wapello, Iowa

Addison, James W., 1938 N. 6th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Anderson, Willard C.Partridge, Kans.
Anderson, John W., 713 LafayetteKansas City, Kans.
Adams, Ernest T., 636 Simpson Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Bailey, Clarence E.Ramona, Okla.
Barnes, Lile Joe, City HospitalKansas City, Mo.
Barnes, Richard A.Ottawa, Kans.
Barnett, Benjamin, 819 Southwest Blvd.Rosedale, Kans.
Brown, Kenneth S., 646 Oakland Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Baum, Earl W., 1932 Parallel Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Baum, Eldon E., 1932 Parallel Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Blackwell, Joseph F., 735 Nebraska Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Blazer, Robert T., 46 N. Tremont Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Bradbury, Claude L., 1250 Sandusky Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Brennan, Edward W., 538 Oakland Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Briggs, Clarence, 609 Cornell Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Briggs, Junior, 609 Cornell Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Brown, Guy, 240 N. 16th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Brunell, Ferdinand F. C., 604 N. 6th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Buckles, Doyle L.Sedan, Kans.
Buckley, Leslie K., 13 N. FereeKansas City, Kans.
Childs, Wesley M., 2116 N. 10th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Carter, Edward, 29 N. ValleyKansas City, Kansas
Church, Romulus B., 1228 Ohio St.Lawrence, Kans.
Cline, Ernest R.Tonganoxie, Kans.
Cole, Charles L., 1604 Minnesota Ave.Kansas City Kans.
Conquest, Victor, 1903 N. 4th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Corbett, Joseph F., 839 Ann Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Coyle, Walter E., 866 Orville Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Crowley, John J., 1233 Oread St.Lawrence, Kans.
Davidson, Vernie, 1943 N. 11th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Dennis, Jesse A., Ottawa CountyPomma, Kans.
DeTalent, Edward C., 1916 E. 34th St.Kansas City, Mo.
Finley, Harold H.Turner, Kans.
Flagg, Paul E., 1320 Ohio Ave.Lawrence, Kans.
Flesher, Clarence W., 1820 N. 9th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Foster, James R., 2828 Olive St.Kansas City, Mo.
Gibson, Walter N., 329 N. Valley St.Kansas City, Kans.
Gregar, Mike G., 725 Lyons St.Kansas City, Kans.
Goff, Melvin W., 808 Missouri St.Lawrence, Kans.
Hallquist, Hugo F., 1721 Stewart Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Hamman, Albert E., 2015 Hallack St.Enid, Okla.
Hart, George M., 624 West Main St.Enid, Okla.
Hendricks, William R., 511 Armstrong Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Hinze, Edward W., 1020 Ford Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Houston, Herbert, 120 S. 17th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Heuben, Paul T., 1139 Ella St.Kansas City, Kans.
Ise, Frank H., 1125 MississippiLawrence, Kans.
Jackson, Dale B.Burlington, Kans.
Jenkins, Robert C., 216 N. 21st St.Kansas City, Kans.
Jenner, Clifford, 235 N. Mill St.Kansas City, Kans.
Jessen, Joseph J., 3528 S. Halstead St.Chicago, Ill.
Johnson, AndrewMcFarland, Kans.
Johnson, Roy E., 918 Sandusky Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Jones, Jacobus F., 937 Minnesota Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Kocher, Ernest J., 620 BroadwayJefferson City, Mo.
Kemper, Eugene L.Lakin, Kans.
Locke, Lloyd B.Erie, Kans.
McClenahan, John L.Miltonvale, Kans.
McNabb, Fred R.Richmond, Kans.
Martin, William R., 1315 Madison St.Kansas City, Mo.
Miller, Samuel C., 410 "T" St.Atchison, Kans.
Minnear, John R., 2520 Alden St.Kansas City, Kans.
Moore, Chester, 714½ N. 6th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Murray, Frank A., 407 N. 7th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Nelson, Oscar F., 1722 Stewart Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Oellerich, Clarence E., Penn HotelKansas City, Mo.
Parimore, Roy C., 404 W. 7th St.Larned, Kans.
Pedago, Ellis, 1240 Central Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Piatt, William C., R. F. D. No. 4Kansas City, Kans.
Pringle, Kenneth W., 1334 Ohio Ave.Lawrence, Kans.
Putman, Lawrence A., 806 Minn. Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Rebeck, John M., 1806 N. 2nd St.Kansas City, Kans.
Reid, Alex., 2013 Water St.Kansas City, Kans.
Reid, Roderick V., 1230 TennesseeLawrence, Kans.
Rewerts, Fred C.Garden City, Kans.
Richmond, Lloyd, 712 Ann Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Russell, Thomas C., 710 Riverview Ave.Kansas City Kans.
Schenke, Harold W., 1208 N. 9th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Siebers, Frank A., 736 Tauromee Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Sherrell, Clarence W., 1232 Minn. Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Smith, Glenn E., 701 W. 11th St.Coffeyville, Kans.
Stalcup, Ernest F.Preston, Kans.
Stewart, Chester B., 1846 N. 18th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Still, Robert P.Tonganoxie, Kans.
Stutes, Chester A., 1860 Brighton Ave.Kansas City, Mo.
Talmadge, Abram J., 720 GarfieldKansas City, Kans.
Van Cleave, Donald W., 714 Troup Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Vesper, Harold E., 730 Garfield Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Walker, John W. Jr., 231 N. 16th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Wolf, Jonathan A.Louisburg, Kans.
Weaverling, Jacob C., 2843 Mercer Ave.Kansas City, Mo.
Williams, William J., 2832 Booth Ave.Rosedale, Kans.


Siberts, Paul T.Oklahoma City, Okla.
Bates, Bret V.Wheaton, Minn.

First Lieutenants.
Adamson, Adam J.Kansas City, Mo.
Bondurant, Alpheus J.Kansas City, Kans.
Tenney, Edwin RKansas City, Kans.
Monteith, Geo.Hazleton, N. Dak.
Shelton, ——Los Angeles, Cal.
Harwell, Wm. R.Shreveport, La.
Evers, Wm. P. V.Illinois

Sergeants, First Class.
Rowland, Chas. G., 2016 Lister Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Pringle, Kenneth W.Alma, Kans.
Parsons, John D., 1926 N. 15th St.Kansas City, Kans.

Leady, Roscoe B.Kansas City, Kans.
Markley, Algernon D.Minneapolis, Kans.
Thomas, Chester L.Topeka, Kans.
Falconer, Clarence, 535 Oakland Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Carson, Edward T.Kansas City, Mo.
Childs, Wesley M.Kansas City, Kans.
Foster, James R.Lawrence, Kans.

Conquest, VictorKansas City, Kans.
Johns, Benjamin P.Kansas City, Mo.

Kemper, Eugene L.Lakin, Kans.

Privates, First Class.
Anderson, John W.Kansas City, Kans.
Anderson, Willard C.Lawrence, Kans.
Baum, Earl W.Kansas City, Kans.
Brennan, Edward W.Kansas City, Kans.
Brown, Kenneth S.Kansas City, Kans.
Buckles, Doyle L.Sedan, Kans.
Casteel, Jess W.Florence, Wis.
Church, Romulus B.Lawrence, Kans.
Corbett, Joseph F.Kansas City, Kans.
Covington, Van D.Kansas City, Mo.
Crawford, Verne F.Croswell, Mich.
Dennis, Jesse A.Ottawa, Kans.
Dotson, Wm. R.Unknown
Dugan, Rollo C.Ottawa, Kans.
Flagg, Paul E.Lawrence, Kans.
Flesher, Clarence W.Kansas City, Kans.
Goff, Melvin W.Lawrence, Kans.
Hallquist, HugoKansas City, Kans.
Hinze, Edward W.Kansas City, Kans.
Hovey, Clarence E.Kansas City, Kans.
Heuben, Paul T.Kansas City, Kans.
Ise, Frank H.Lawrence, Kans.
Jackson, Dale B.Kansas City, Kans.
Jenkins, Robt. C.Kansas City, Kans.
Jesson, Joseph J.Kansas City, Kans.
Johnson, AndrewAlma, Kans.
Johnson, Roy E.Kansas City, Kans.
Jones, Jacobus E.Clifton, Tenn.
McClenahan, John S.Miltonvale, Kans.
Martin, Wm. R.Kansas City, Kans.
Miller, Samuel C.Atchison, Kans.
Myers, WilsonTonganoxie, Kans.
Nelson, Oscar F.Kansas City, Kans.
Patrick, Currie F.St. Louis, Mo.
Pedago, EllisKansas City, Kans.
Richmond, LloydKansas City, Kans.
Roach, Norvin M.Kansas City, Mo.
Sherrell, Clarence W.Kansas City, Kans.
Stewart, Chester B.Kansas City, Kans.
Still, Robert A.Tonganoxie, Kans.
Toler, Roy P.Kansas City, Mo.
Van Cleave, Donald W.Kansas City, Kans.
Wolf, Jonathan A.Kansas City, Kans.
Woolery, Clyde F.Unknown
Whiles, James W.Kansas City, Mo.


Speck, Richard T. (Comdg. Co.), 618 Oakland Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Hartman, Ralph C., Lake Edge ParkMadison, Wis.

First Lieutenant.
Vardon, Colin C., 225 Highland Ave.Detroit, Mich.

Sergeants, First Class.
Briggs, Junior, 609 Cornell Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Knight, Roger F., 12 S. Boeke St.Kansas City, Kans.

Mess Sergeant.
Hadley, Vernon A.Ridgefarm, Ill.

Adams, James A., 1134 Troup Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Alleman, Neal D., 1926 N. 15th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Wiershing, GuySedan, Kans.
Hart, George M., 611 N. Grand St.Enid, Okla.
Stalcup, Ernest F., 417 E. 11th St.Hutchinson, Kans.
Christian, John W., 122 S. Hicks St.Los Angeles, Cal.
Hickam, Clinton J.Freedom, Ind.
Bailey, Clarence E.Ramona, Okla.
Rewerts, Fred C.Garden City, Kans.
Talmadge, Abram J., 720 Garfield Ave.Kansas City, Kans.

O'Dowd, Benjamin H., 642 Everett Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Barnes, Richard A.Ottawa, Kans.
Finley, Harold H.Turner, Kans.
Ellis, ClarkGlenville, W. Va.
Jensen, Henry M.Concordia, Kans.
Stutes, Chester A., 1860 Brighton Ave.Kansas City, Kans.

Crotty, John J., 1209 PaseoKansas City, Mo.
Carter, Edward, 1107 Riverview Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Locke, Lloyd B.Erie, Kans.

Meinberg, Edwin J., 2006-A Russell Ave.St. Louis, Mo.

Bellows, Frank E.Fultonville, New York
Bradbury, Claude L., 1250 Sandusky Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Briggs, Clarence, 609 Cornell Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Brunell, Ferdinand F. C., 401½ N. 6th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Ely, Clarence G.Midlothian, Texas
Feehan, Walter J., 706 Frisco Ave.Monett, Mo.
Kocher, Ernest J., 620 Broadway St.Jefferson City, Mo.
Lottner, August, 907 Townsend Ave.Detroit, Mich.
McNabb, Fred R.Richmond, Kans.
Putman, Lawrence A., care of Harold E. Vesper, 720 Garfield Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Reid, Alex, 2040 Walnut St.Kansas City, Kans.
Robinson, William O., 515 Quindaro Blvd.Kansas City, Kans.
Smith, Glen E.Van Buren, Ark.
Vesper, Harold E., 730 Garfield Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Ward, Clarence S., 609 Ohio Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Weaverling, Jacob C., 2843 Mercier Ave.Kansas City, Mo.

Privates, First Class.
Adams, Ernest T., 636 Simpson Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Addison, James W., 1938 N. 6th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Barbour, Dewey T.Houston, Pa.
Barnes, Joe, K. C. General Hospital, 24th and CherryKansas City, Mo.
Brown, Guy B., 240 N. 16th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Cataldi, Angelo, 604 Scott St.Wilmington, Del.
Coleman, James W.Le Sueur, Minn.
Coyle, Walter E., 866 Orville Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Crowley, George G., 1319 E. Market St.Akron, Ohio
DeTalent, Edward C., 1915 E. 34th St.Kansas City, Mo.
Downing, Fay A.Island Falls, Maine
Houston, Herbert S., 120 S. 17th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Jones, Arthur E., 394 W. Euclid Ave.Detroit, Mich.
Keck, Kenneth F.Wapello, Iowa
McCarthy, Bernard J., 1514 W. Benton PlaceKansas City, Mo.
Moore, Chester, 610 N. 6th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Murray, Frank H., 404 N. 7th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Oellerich, Clarence G., 1425 Thurston Ave.Racine, Wis.
Rebeck, John M., 1807 N. 2nd St.Kansas City, Kans.
Saul, Parker E.R. F. D., Ava, Ill.
Schenke, Harold W., 712 Orville Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Walker, John W. Jr., 203 N. 14th St.Kansas City, Kans.

Allen, Frank M.Oxford, Mich.
Altman, William R.Knox, Pa.
Armbrustmacher, William J.Fowler, Mich.
Barnett, Benjamin, 819 Southwest Blvd.Rosedale, Kans.
Barris, Allen L.Dougherty, Okla.
Blackwell, Joseph F., 735 Nebraska Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Blaker, Charles F., R. F. D. 2Butler, Ind.
Blandford, Joseph J., R. R. 1Morganfield, Ky.
Blazer, Robert T., 46 N. Tremont St.Kansas City, Kans.
Brogan, Lester A., 705 N. Spring St.St. John, Mich.
Buckley, Lee E., 13 N. Ferree St.Kansas City, Kans.
Cannon, Francis P., 1260 Lyell Ave.West Rochester, N. Y.
Cline, Ernest R.Tonganoxie, Kans.
Cole, Charles R., 1604 Minnesota Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Crane, Charlie, 10 N. Main St.Ft. Scott, Kans.
Crowley, John J., 2113½-B W. 16th St.Los Angeles, Calif.
Daley, Albert J., 75 Hazel Ave.Wilkes Barre, Pa.
Davidson, Vernie A., 1943 N. 11th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Dolak, Andrew J., 701 E. Ridge St.Lansford, Pa.
Duffy, Dennis, 331 W. 4th St.Hazelton, Pa.
Eakin, Laster E., 616 Buffalo St.Franklin, Pa.
Evans, John E., East Hazard St.Summithill, Pa.
Evert, Howard C., 340 W. 4th St.Hazelton, Pa.
Feeney, John P., 10010 Pamalee Ave., N. E.Cleveland, Ohio
Feinberg, Abraham H., 1238 Chestnut St.Wilmington, Del.
Fisher, John J., 114 Pollard St.Detroit, Mich.
Fisher, Louis J., 416 N. 10th St.Reading, Pa.
Fowler, Harry W.Portage, Pa.
Freeman, Garland, 1317 Louisiana St.Little Rock, Ark.
Fulmer, John R.Cape, South Carolina
Gallagher, Cornelius A.Parker's Landing, Pa.
Gibson, Walter N., 562 Head St.Esquimalt, Victoria, B. C.
Giorgi, AugusteMentana, Prov. Rome, Italy
Gregar, Mike G., 725 Lyons Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Harriston, Michael, 5707 Central Ave.Cleveland, Ohio
Heidel, Ernest P.Florence, Wis.
Hendricks, William R., 511 Armstrong Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Hess, Walter F., 219 Lauderburn Ave.Weatherly, Pa.
James, Vaughn F., 74 S. Martha Ave.Akron, Ohio
Karbach, Albert R., 532 Quindaro Blvd.Kansas City, Kans.
Kletecka, EdwardWakita, Okla.
Kline, Benjamin W. Jr., 209 N. 11th St.Allentown, Pa.
Kuntz, Thomas G.Transfer, Pa.
Lancaster, John E.Gilmore, Maryland
Lebeck, Walter, 38 Stoner St.River Rouge, Mich.
Lulow, CharlieRushville, Neb.
Lutt, Elmer F.Niobara, Neb.
McCormick, Stephen F., 1360 E. Market St.Akron, Ohio
McDonald, James R.Brookville, Ind.
McKain, Jess W.Minneapolis, Kans.
Mukansky Grigory, 449 3rd St.Milwaukee, Wis.
Murphy, Clarence T. S., 216 W. Pine St.Wichita, Kans.
Nicholson, Paul R., 410 Elm St.Grove City, Pa.
Peterson, William J., 19 S. 11th St.Kansas City, Kans.
Piatt, William C.Erie, Kans.
Siebers, Frank A., 736 Tauromee Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Tinklepaugh, James D., 606 Tauromee Ave.Kansas City, Kans.
Toohey, Paul A., 1232 Quindaro Blvd.Kansas City, Kans.
Truede, John, 514 N. Front St.Camden, New Jersey
Williams, William J., 3832 Booth St.Rosedale, Kans.
Wise, Theodore T., 545 Ann Ave.Kansas City, Kans.

Transcriber's Notes

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Normally, upper-case "A. M." and "P. M." are used; lower-case "a. m." and "p. m." were changed to upper-case.

The inconsistent hyphenation of the following words was not changed: "good[-]bye", "hard[-]tack", hay[-]loft", "passer[-]by", "up[-]hill".

High-resolution images of the photos of the soliders following pages 16, 56 and 72 can be accessed by clicking on them.

Page 5: "Misouri" changed to "Missouri".

Page 9: "wather" changed to "water plenty of hot water).

Page 11: "distzance" changed to "distance" (a short distance from the train area).

Page 12: "kichen" changed to "kitchen" (from the kitchen range).

Page 13: "day-break" changed to "daybreak" (stayed until daybreak).

Page 15: "rythmatical" changed to "rhythmetical" (rhythmetical chug of a large engine).

Page 23: "set" changed to "sat" (sat up all night).

Page 26: "Franch" changed to "French" (in French money).

Page 26: "or" changed to "of" (handling of casualties).

Page 30: "killled" changed to "killed" (were either killed or).

Page 36: "Paris" changed to "Pairis" (outpost duty at Pairis).

Page 38: "downpower" changed to "downpour" (through a regular downpour).

Page 39: "wierd" changed to "weird" (a weird looking lot).

Page 39: "minue" changed to "minute" (ten-minute rest periods).

Page 44: "Dirctor" changed to "Director" (Director of Ambulances).

Page 52: "Montieth" changed to "Monteith" (Lt. George Monteith).

Page 57: "Geramns" changed to "Germans" (by the Germans in 1871).

Page 58: "armsitice" changed to "armistice" (signing of the armsitice).

Page 59: "Chackamagua" changed to "Chickamagua" (in Chickamagua Park).

Page 62: "St. Naziere" changed to "St. Nazaire" (arriving at St. Nazaire).

Page 64: "Gernoble" changed to "Grenoble" (the mayor of Grenoble).

Page 65: "furnishd" changed to "furnished" (except those furnished).

Page 66: "Ionis" changed to "Ionic" (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian).

Page 70: "madamoiselles" changed "mademoiselles" (received by the mademoiselles).

Page 70: "mid-night" changed to "midnight" (good until midnight).

Page 75: "Batallion" changed to "Battalion" (Convict Labor Battalion).

Page 76: "With" changed to "What" (What a thrill went through us).

Page 81: "De Talent" changed to "DeTalent" (DeTalent, Edward).

Page 82: "Montieth" changed to "Monteith" (Monteith, Geo).

End of Project Gutenberg's History of Ambulance Company Number 139, by Various


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