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Title: The Delta of the Triple Elevens

Author: William Elmer Bachman

Release date: January 28, 2007 [eBook #20468]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Edwards, Christine P. Travers and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This book was produced from scanned images of public
domain material from the Google Print project.)


[Transcriber's notes: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected (e.g. gunnner for gunner), recurrent mispelling of the author haven't (e.g. Montlucon for Montluçon, canvass for canvases, incidently for incidentally, paraphanelia for paraphernalia, calesthenics for calisthenic, etc...).

Page 20: The word "by" has been changed to "from" (partially sheltered from the Southern sun).
Page 84: The spelling of Sommbernont has been changed to Sombernon.
Page 101: The word casual has been changed to casualty (sent him home as a casualty).
Page 126: It is not clear if the printed word is trained or roamed (where he last trained/roamed).

Definitions: Cootie: Noun US: a head-louse (Macquarie Online Dictionnary - Book of slang).]








Standard-Sentinel Print
Hazleton, Pa.


Group photo Battery D


Taken at Benoite Vaux, France, March 14, 1919. Reproduced from the Official Photo taken by the Photographic Section of the Signal Corps, U. S. A.

The memory of our pals
whom we buried in France
This Book
Is Dedicated


W. E. Bachman



Inducted into service at Hazleton, Penna., November 1st, 1917. Sent to Camp Meade, Md., November 2nd, 1917, and assigned as Private to Battery D, 311th Field Artillery. Received rank of Private First Class, February 4th, 1918. Placed on detached service, May 18th, 1918, and assigned as Battery Clerk, First Provisional Battery, Fourth Officers' Training School, Camp Meade. Rejoined Battery D June 27th, 1918, and accompanied outfit to France. Assigned to attend Camouflage School at Camp La Courtine, September 30th, 1918, and qualified as artillery camouflager. On October 3rd, 1918, was registered, through Major A. L. James. Jr., Chief G-2-D, G. H. Q., A. E. F., with the American Press Section, 10 Rue St. Anne, Paris, which registration carried grant to write for publication in the United States. Remained with battery until March 7th, 1919, when selected to attend the A. E. F. University, at Beaune, Cote D'Or. Rejoined battery at St. Nazaire May 1st, 1919. Discharged at Camp Dix, N. J., June 4th, 1919.

FOREWORD. (p.006)

"You're in the Army now."

"So this is France!"

Oft I heard these phrases repeated as more and more the realization dawned, first at Camp Meade, Md., and later overseas, that war seemed mostly drudgery with only the personal satisfaction of doing one's duty and that Sunny France was rainy most of the time.

The memory of Battery D, 311th U. S. F. A., will never fade in utter oblivion in the minds of its members. 'Tis a strange fancy of nature, however, gradually to forget many of the associations and circumstances of sombre hue as the silver linings appear in our respective clouds of life in greater radiance as each day finds us drifting farther from ties of camp life.

Soldiers, who once enjoyed the comradeship of camp life, where they made many acquaintances and mayhap friends, are now scattered in all walks of civilian life. While their minds are yet alive with facts and figures, time always effaces concrete absorptions. The time will come when a printed record of Battery D will be a joyous reminder.

With these facts in mind I have endeavored to set forth a history of the events of the battery and the names and addresses of those who belonged.

The records are true to fact and figure, being compilations of my diaries, note-books and address album, all verified with utmost care before publication.

In future years when the ex-service men and their friends glance over this volume, if a moment of pleasant reminiscence is added, this book will have fully served its purpose.

William Elmer Bachman,

1920. Hazleton, Penna.


An effort has been made in this volume to state as concisely and clearly as possible the main events connected with the History of Battery D.

To recount in print every specific incident connected with the life of the organization, or to attempt a military biographical sketch of every battery member, would require many volumes.

My soldier-comrade readers will, no doubt, recall many instances which could have been included in this volume with marked appropriateness.

The selection of the material, however, has been with utmost consideration and for the expressed purpose of having the complete narrative give the non-military reader a general view of the conditions and experiences that fell to the lot of the average unit in the United States Army in service in this country and overseas.

Grateful acknowledgment is due to those who aided in the verification of all material used. Many of the battery members made suggestions that have been embodied in the text.

To A. Ernest Shafer, D. C., and Conrad A. Balliet, of Hazleton, Penna., belongs credit for information supplied covering periods when the author was on detached service from the battery. To Dr. Shafer acknowledgment is also due for the use of photographs from which a number of the illustrations have been reproduced.

From Prof. Fred H. Bachman, C. A. C., of Hazleton, Penna., who read over the manuscript, many valuable suggestions were received.

W. E. B.
Hazleton, Penna., 1920.




World Events -- The Nucleus -- Declaration of War. U. S. Joins -- Selective Service Plans.



Selection of Camp Meade Site -- Cantonment Construction Building Progresses -- Home Leaving Preparations.



Officers at Fort Niagara -- Assignment of Officers Barrack org. -- New Soldiers Arrive.



Description of Barracks -- A Day's Routine -- Getting Catalogued -- Inoculations and Drills -- Soldiers Arrive and Leave.



First Non-Commissioned Personnel -- Effects of Transfers -- Schools -- Hikes -- Athletics -- Idle Hours.



Holiday Season Approaches -- Thanksgiving Feast Practice Marches -- Barrack 0103 -- Christmas 1917.



Stable Police -- Inspections -- Staff Changes.

CHAPTER VIII. (p. 009)


Formal Retreat -- Quarantine -- Celebration -- Rumors. Baltimore Parade -- West Elkridge Hike.



Getting Ready -- Advance Detail -- Departure.



Set-Sailing -- Coastland Appears -- Halifax Harbor -- Convoy Assembles.



Ocean Journey Starts -- Transport Life -- Sub Scares. Destroyers Delayed -- Battle With Subs.



Barry, South Wales -- Parade -- His Majesty's Letter. English Rail Journey.



Crowded Tenting -- English Mess -- A Rainy Hike. Off for Southampton -- Flight Across the Channel.



Cherbourg -- A Battery Bath -- Side-Door Pullmans. Montmorillon.



Racial Difficulties -- French Billets -- Impressions. The Gartempe.



To La Courtine -- French Artillery Camp -- Russian Revolt -- Life on the Range -- Sickness -- Casualties.

CHAPTER XVII. (p. 010)


November 7th -- November 11th -- Celebration -- Farewell Banquet -- Ville Sous La Ferte -- Fuel Details -- Delayed Departure.



Mud and Rats -- Historic Monteclair -- Thanksgiving 1918 -- Candle Mystery -- Sick Horses Arrive.



Belgian Trip Proposed -- 100 Volunteers -- Remount 13 -- Convoying Mules -- Christmas 1918.



Anxious to Join Division -- First Service Stripe -- A. E. F. Leave Centers -- Mounted Hikes -- Overland to Benoite Vaux.



Two Battery Mascots -- Battalion and Regimental Shows -- Division and Corps Shows -- More Personnel Changes -- Maneuvres -- More Sickness and Casualties.



Boncourt -- Cirey les Mareilles -- Divisional Review. Camp Montoir -- St. Nazaire -- Edward Luckenbach -- New York -- Camp Dix -- Home.



Story of the Seventy-Ninth Divisional Insignia.



Names of Those Who Died and Graves Where Buried.

CHAPTER XXV. (p. 011)


Tribute to Private First Class Joseph A. Loughran.



In Memory of Departed Comrades.



First Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Personnel.



Complete List of Officers Associated With the Battery.



List of Names That Comprised the Sailing List of the U. S. S. Edward Luckenbach.



Those Who Gained Commissions--List of Men Transferred to Other Organizations.



A Few Battery Reflections.



Messages From Several of the Officers.



Calendar of Battery's Eventful Dates.


Group Photo of Battery D.
William Elmer Bachman.
Albert L. Smith.
David A. Reed.
Perry E. Hall.
Sidney F. Bennett.
C. D. Bailey.
Frank J. Hamilton.
Third Class French Coach.
Side-Door Pullman Special.
Interior of French Box Car.
A Real American Special.
Montmorillon Station.
Montmorillon Street Scene.
Entrance to Camp La Courtine.
American Y. M. C. A. at Camp La Courtine.
A Battery D Kitchen Crew.
Group of Battery D Sergeants.
Battery D on the Road.
Aboard The Edward Luckenbach.
At Bush Terminal.
Serving Battery Mess Along the Road.
Battery D on the Road.
Lorraine Cross.
Joseph A. Loughran.
Cemetery at La Courtine.
Horace J. Fardon.
Grave of William Reynolds.
Barrack at Camp La Courtine.

CHAPTER I. (p. 013)


Official records in the archives of the War Department at Washington will preserve for future posterity the record of Battery D, of the 311th United States Field Artillery.

In those records there is written deep and indelibly the date of May 30th, 1919, as the date of Battery D's official demobilization. The history of Battery D, therefore, can be definitely terminated, but a more difficult task is presented in establishing a point of inception.

The development of Battery D was gradual--like a tiny stream, flowing on in its course, converging with the 311th Regimental, 154th Brigade, and 79th Division tides until it reached the sea of war-tossed Europe; there to flow and ebb; finally to lose its identity in the ocean of official discharge.

The Egyptians of old traversed the course of their river Nile, from its indefinite sources along the water-sheds of its plateaux and mountains, and, upon arriving at its mouth they found a tract of land enclosed by the diverging branches of the river's mouth and the Mediterranean seacoast, and traversed by other branches of the river. This triangular tract represented the Greek letter Δ "Delta," a word which civilization later adopted as a coinage of adequate description.

Fine silt, brought down in suspension by a muddy river and deposited to form the Delta when the river reaches the sea, accumulates from many sources.

In similar light the silt of circumstances that resulted in the formation of the Delta of the Triple Elevens, accumulated from many sources, the very nucleus transpiring on June 28, 1914, when the heir to the Austrian throne, the archduke of Austria, and his wife, were assassinated at Sarajevo, in the Austrian province of Bosnia, by a Serbian student.

Austria immediately demanded reparation from Serbia. Serbia declared herself willing to accede to all of Austria's demands, but refused to sacrifice her national honor. Austria thereby took the pretext to renew a quarrel that had been going on for centuries.

Long diplomatic discussions resulted--culminating on July 28, 1914, with a declaration of war by Austria against Serbia. This, so to speak, opened the flood-gates, letting loose the mighty river of blood and slaughter that flowed over all Europe.

The (p. 014) days that followed added new sensations and thrills to every life. The river of war flowed nearer our own peaceful shores as the days passed and the news dispatches brought us the intelligence of Germany's declaration of relentless submarine warfare and the subsequent announcement of the United States' diplomatic break with Germany.

Momentum was gained as reports of disaster and wilful acts followed with increasing rapidity. The sinking of American vessels disclosed a ruthlessness of method that was gravely condemned in President Wilson's message of armed-neutrality, only to be followed by acts of more wilful import--finally evoking the proclamation, April 6, 1917, declaring a state of war in existence between the United States and the Imperial German government.

Clear and loud war's alarm rang throughout the United States. All activity centered in the selection of a vast army to aid in the great fight for democracy. Plans were promulgated with decision and preciseness. On June 5th, 1917, ten millions of Americans between the ages of 21 and 31 years, among the number being several hundred who were later to become associated with Battery D, of the 311th F. A., registered for military service.

The war department issued an order, July 13, 1917, calling into military service 678,000 men, to be selected from the number who registered on June 5th. Days of conjecture followed. Who would be called first?

July 20th brought forth the greatest lottery of all time. The drawing of number 258 by Secretary of War Newton D. Baker started the list of selective drawings to determine the order of eligibility of the young men in the 4,557 selective districts in the United States.

War's preparations moved rapidly. Selective service boards, with due deliberation, made ready for the organization of the selective contingents. While the boards toiled and the eligible young men went through the process of examination, resulting in acceptance or rejection, officials of the war department were planning the camps.

Battery D and the 311th Field Artillery were in the stages of organization but plans of military housing had to mature before the young men who were to form the organization, could be inducted into service, thereby bringing to official light The Delta of the Triple Elevens.

CHAPTER II. (p. 015)


On that eventful day in 1914, when the war clouds broke over Europe, the farmers of Anne Arundel county, Maryland, in the then peaceful land of the United States, toiled with their ploughshares under the glisten of the bright sun; content with their lot of producing more than half of the tomato crop of the country; content to harvest their abundant crops of strawberries and cucumbers and corn, to say nothing of the wonderful orchards of apples and pears, and not forgetting the wild vegetation of sweet potatoes.

The peaceful, pastoral life in the heart of Maryland, however, was destined to be disturbed. A vast American army was needed and the vast army, then in the process of organization, needed an abode for training. Battery D and the 311th Field Artillery was organized on paper soon after the call for 678,000 selected service men was decided upon. The personnel of the new organization was being determined by the selective service boards. Officers to command the organization were under intensive instruction at Fort Niagara, New York. All that was needed to bring the organization into official military being was a point of concentration.

The task of locating sites for the sixteen army cantonments, decreed to birth throughout the United States, presented many difficulties. What could be more natural, however, than the fertile farm lands of Anne Arundel county, almost within shadow of the National Capital, to be selected as the site of a cantonment to be named after General George Gordon Meade?

Territory in the immediate vicinity of Admiral and Disney was the ideal selection: ideal because the territory is only eighteen miles from Baltimore, the metropolis of the South; one hundred miles from Philadelphia, the principal city of the State which was to furnish most of the recruits; and twenty-two miles from Washington, the Capital of the Nation.

Situated between the heart of the South and the heart of the Nation, Camp Meade is easily accessible by rail. Ease of access through mail-line facilities, was a necessity for transportation of building materials and supplies before and during construction. The same facilities furnished the transportation for the large bodies of troops that were sent to and from the camp; also assured the cantonment its daily supply of rations.

Admiral (p. 016) Junction furnished adequate railroad yard for the camp. The Baltimore and Ohio railroad station is at Disney, about one-half mile west of Admiral; while the Pennsylvania Railroad junction on the main line between Baltimore and Washington is at Odenton, about one and one-half miles east of Admiral. Naval Academy Junction is near Odenton and is the changing point on the electric line between the two chief cities. The magic-like upbuild of the cantonment, moreover, was the signal for the extension of the electric line to encircle the very center of the big military city, thus adding an additional link of convenience.

Camp Meade having been officially decided upon as the home of the 79th Division, a sanitary engineer, a town planner, and an army officer, representing the commanding general, were named to meet on the ground, where they inspected the location, estimated its difficulties, and then proceeded to make a survey in the quickest way possible, calling upon local engineers for assistance and asking for several railroad engineering corps.

The town-planner, or landscape architect, then drew the plans for the cantonment, laying it out to conform with the topography of the location and taking into consideration railroad trackage, roads, drainage, and the like. Given the site it was the job of the town-planner to distribute the necessary buildings and grounds of a typical cantonment as shown in type plans.

The general design for the camp was prepared by Harlan P. Kelsey, of "city beautiful" fame, who was one of the experts called on by the war department to aid the government in the emergency of preparing for war.

After the town-planner came Major Ralph F. Proctor, of Baltimore, Md., who on July 2nd, 1917, as constructing quartermaster, look charge of the task of building the cantonment. Standing on the porch of a little frame-house situated on a knoll, set in the midst of a pine forest, Major Proctor gave the order that set saw and axe in motion; saws and axes manned by fifteen thousand workmen, consecrated to the task of throwing up a war-time city in record time.

Chips flew high and trees were felled and soon the knoll belched forth a group of buildings, fringed by the pine of the forest--to be dedicated as divisional headquarters--around which, with speed none-the-less magic-like, land encircling was cleared and buildings and parade grounds sprang up in quick succession.

The (p. 017) dawn of September month saw over one thousand wooden barracks erected on the ground, most of which were spacious enough to provide sleeping quarters for about two hundred and fifty men; also hundreds of other buildings ready to be occupied for administrative purposes.

While workmen of all trades diligently plied their hands to the work of constructing the cantonment, hundreds of young men were getting ready to leave their homes on September 5th, as the van-guard of the 40,000 who were in the course of time to report to Camp Meade for military duty. The cantonment, however, was not fully prepared to receive them and while the first contingent of Battery D men were inducted into service on September 5th, the cantonment was not deemed sufficiently ready to receive them until almost two weeks later.


(p. 018)

Capt. Albert L. Smith



Discharged from the National Guard of Pennsylvania, First Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry, after seven years of service, to enter First Officers' Training Camp at Camp Niagara, N. Y., May 8th, 1917. Commissioned Captain, Field Artillery Reserve, August 15th, 1917, and ordered to report to Camp Meade, Md., August 29th, 1917. Placed in command of Battery D, 311th Field Artillery. Accompanied battery to France and remained with outfit until ordered to Paris on temporary duty in the Inspector General's Department, February, 1919. Rejoined regiment to become Regimental Adjutant May 6th, 1919. Discharged at Camp Dix, N. J., May 30th, 1919.

CHAPTER III. (p. 019)


At Fort Niagara, situated on the bleak shores of the River Niagara, New York State, the nucleus of the first commissioned personnel of Battery D assembled, after enlistment, during the month of May, 1917, and began a course of intensive training at the First Officers' Training School, finally to be commissioned on August 15th in the Field Artillery Reserve.

On August 13th, pursuant to authority contained in a telegram from the Adjutant General of the Army, a detachment of the Reserve Officers from the Second Battery at Fort Niagara were ordered to active duty with the New National Army, proceeding to and reporting in person not later than August 29th to the Commanding General, Camp Meade, for duty.

A day's brief span after their arrival at Camp Meade--while the officers, who were the first of the new army units on the scene of training, were busily engaged in dragging their brand new camp paraphernalia over the hot sands of July-time Meade,--the dirt and sand mingling freely with the perspiration occasioned by the broiling sun,--to their first assigned barracks in B block, an order arrived on August 30th, assigning the officers to the various batteries, headquarters, supply company, or regimental staff of the 311th Field Artillery, that was to be housed in O block of the cantonment.

Captain Albert L. Smith, of Philadelphia, Pa., was placed in command of Battery D. Other assignments to Battery D included: First Lieutenant Arthur H. McGill, of New Castle, Pa.; Second Lieutenant Hugh M. Clarke, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Second Lieutenant Robert S. Campbell, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Second Lieutenant Frank F. Yeager, of Philadelphia, Pa.; Second Lieutenant Frank J. Hamilton, of Philadelphia, Pa.; Second Lieutenant Berkley Courtney, of Fullerton, Md.

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles G. Mortimer was placed in command of the regiment on August 28, 1917. He remained in command until January 17, 1918, when Colonel Raymond W. Briggs was assigned as regimental commander. Both are old army men and were well trained for the post of command. On March 31st, Col. Briggs, who had been in France and returned to take command of the 311th, was again relieved of command, being transferred to another outfit to prepare for overseas duty a second time. Lieut. Col. Mortimer had charge until (p. 020) June 10th, 1918, when he was promoted to Colonel, remaining in command until the regiment was mustered out of service.

Major David A. Reed, of Pittsburgh, Pa., was placed in command of the 2nd Battalion of the 311th at organization and remained with the outfit until put on detached service in France after the signing of the armistice. Major Herbert B. Hayden, a West Point cadet, was assigned to the command of the 1st Battalion of the regiment. When time to depart for overseas came he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment. Capt. Wood, of Battery A, was made Major of the 1st Battalion and First-Lieut. Arthur McGill, of Battery D, was placed in command of Battery A. Later he was given the rank of captain.

Major-General Joseph E. Kuhn was commanding officer of the 79th Division and Brigadier General Andrew Hero, Jr., commanded the 154th Field Artillery Brigade.

"O" block, in the plan of Camp Meade, was designated as the training center of the 311th Field Artillery and barrack No. 19 was the shelter selected for Battery D.

Barrack 019 was situated in a small glade of trees which fringed the edge of the horse-shoe curve that the general plan of cantonment construction assumed. The spurs of the great horse-shoe were at Disney and Admiral. The blocks of regimental areas starting at Disney, designated by A block, followed the horse-shoe, encircling at the base hospital in alphabetical designation. "N" and "O" blocks nestled in a glade of trees, partially sheltered from the Southern sun, just around the bend in the curve of the road from the base-hospital. "Y" block formed the other end of the spur at Admiral--while divisional headquarters rested on the knoll in the center of the horse-shoe.

It was at "O" block the newly assigned officers established themselves and made ready to receive the first influx of the selected personnel. Blankets and cots and barrels and cans and kitchen utensils began to arrive by the truck load and the officers in feverish haste divided the blankets, put up as many cots as they could, and established some semblance of order in the mess hall. They were pegging diligently at their tasks when the first troop trains pulled in at Disney on September 19th and unloaded the first detachment of future soldiers.

Scenes of home-leaving and farewells to the home-folks and loved ones, which first transpired on September 19th, to be repeated with similarity (p. 021) as subsequent quotas of recruits entrained for military service, were of too sacred a nature to attempt an adequate description.

What might have been the thoughts of the individual at the breaking of home-ties and during the long, tiresome railroad journey to Camp Meade, were buried deep in the heart, to be cherished as a future memory only. Personal griefs were hidden as those seven hundred young men in civilian clothes stepped from the train at Disney, grasped their suit case, box, or bundle, firmly and set out on the mile and a quarter hike through the camp--past divisional headquarters; perspiring freely under the heat of the setting sun. It was with an appearance of carelessness and humor they jaunted along, singing at times, "You're in the Army Now"--finally to breast the rise of the hill previous to "O" block, the descent thereof which was to mark the first stage of their transformation from civilian to soldier.

Descent of the hill lead down to a sandy square in front of a long building that housed regimental headquarters. After, what seemed like hours to the recruits lined-up, roll of the seven hundred was called, divisions made, and the first quota of Battery D was marched to 019.


(p. 022)

Major David A. Reed



Enlisted in the service of the United States Army, May 11th, 1917, and received commission as Major at the First Officers' Training Camp, Fort Niagara. N. Y. Was ordered to Camp Meade. Md., August 29th, 1917, and placed in command of the Second Battalion, 311th Field Artillery. Accompanied the outfit to France. On detached service with the Interallied Armistice Commission, Spa, Belgium, from November 20th, 1918, to February 1st, 1919. Was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal April 4th, 1919. Discharged February 26th, 1919. Got commission as Lieutenant-Colonel in the Field Artillery Reserve, August 6th, 1919.

CHAPTER IV. (p. 023)


Iron-bound was the rule. You couldn't escape it. Every selected man who entered Camp Meade had to submit. Of course, the new recruits were given a dinner shortly after their arrival--but not without first taking a bath.

019, like all the other barracks of the cantonment, was a wooden structure, 150 x 50 feet, two stories in height. Half of the first floor housed the kitchen and dining hall while the remainder of the building was given over to sleeping quarters, with the exception of a corner set apart as the battery office and supply room--a most business-like place, from which the soldier usually steered shy, unless he wanted something, or had a kick to register about serving as K. P., or on some other official detail when he remembered having done a turn at the said detail just a few days previous.

The rows of army cots and army blankets presented a different picture to the new soldier at first appearance, in comparison to the snug bed room, with its sheets and comfortables, that remained idle back home. The first night's sleep, however, was none-the-less just, the same Camp Meade cot furnishing the superlative to latter comparisons when a plank in a barn of France felt good to weary bones.

Before rolling-in the first night every one was made acquainted with reveille, but no one expected to be awakened in the middle of the night by the bugle calling, "I Can't Get 'Em Up, etc., etc." Could it be a mistake? No, indeed, it was 5:15 a. m., and the soldier was summoned to roll-out and prepare for his first real day as a soldier.

"Get dressed in ten minutes and line up outside in battery-front for roll call," was the first order of the day. Then followed a few precious moments for washing up in the Latrine, which was a large bath house connected with the barrack.

Before the call, "Come and Get It" was sounded the more ambitious of the recruits folded their blankets and tidied up their cots. When mess call was sounded but few had to be called the second time.

The hour of 7:30 was set for the day's work to begin, the first command of which was "Outside, and Police-Up." In the immediate vicinity of the battery area there was always found a multitude of cigarette butts, match stems, chewing gum wrappers, and what not, and (p. 024) the place had to be cleaned up every morning. If Battery D had saved all the "snips" and match stems they policed-up and placed them end by each the Atlantic could have been spanned and the expense of the Steamship Morvada probably saved.

The first few weeks of camp life were not strenuous in the line of military routine. Detail was always the long-suit at Camp Meade. During the first few days at camp if the new recruit was lucky enough to be off detail work, the time was usually employed in filling out qualification cards, identification cards; telling your family history; making application for government insurance; subscribing to Liberty bonds; telling what you would like to be in the army; where you wanted your remains shipped; getting your finger-prints taken, and also getting your first jab in the arm which gave the first insight into a typhoid inoculation.

When a moment of ease presented itself during the life examination--the supply sergeant got busy and started to hand out what excess supplies he had and, in the matter of uniforms, of which there was always an undercess, measurements were taken with all the exactness and precision befitting a Fifth Avenue tailoring establishment. Why measurements were ever taken has ever remained a mystery, because almost every soldier can remember wearing his civilian clothes thread-bare by the time the supply sergeant was able to snatch up a few blouses and trousers at the quartermasters. And these in turn were passed out to the nearest fits. It was a case of line-up and await your turn to try and get a fit, but a mental fit almost always ensued in the game of line-up for this and line-up for that in the army.

After being enmeshed in such a coil of red tape all of one whole day, 5 o'clock sounded Retreat, when instruction was given on how to stand at ease; how to assume the position of "parade-rest"; then, to snap into attention.

Evening mess was always a joyful time, as was the evening, when the soldier was free to visit the Y. M. C. A. and later the Liberty Theatre, or partake of the many other welfare activities that developed in the course of time. From the first day, however, 9:45 p. m. was the appointed hour that called to quarters, and taps at 10 o'clock each night sounded the signal for lights out and everybody in bunk.

The inoculations were three in number, coming at ten day intervals. When it came time for the second "jab", the paper work was well under way and the call was issued for instruction on the field of drill (p. 025) to begin. Many a swollen arm caused gentle memories as part of each day was gradually being given over to, first calesthenics, then to a knowledge of the school of the soldier. The recruit was taught the correct manner of salute, right and left face, about face, and double time.

Newly designated sergeants and corporals were conscripted to the task of squad supervision and many exasperating occasions arose when a recruit got the wrong "foots" in place and was commanded to "change the foots."

Meals for the first contingent of pioneer recruits ranged from rank to worse, until the boys parted company with their French civilian cooks and set up their own culinary department with Sergeant Joseph A. Loughran, of Hazleton. Pa., in charge. August H. Genetti and Edward Campbell, both of Hazleton. Pa.; George Musial, of Miners Mills, Pa., and Charles A. Trostel, of Scranton, Pa., were installed as the pioneer cooks. By this mess change the soldiers who arrived in later contingents were served more on the American plan of cooking.

On September 21st, 1917, came the second section of the selected quotas, bringing more men to Battery D. Their reception varied little from the first contingent's, with the exception that the first arrived soldiers were on the ground to offer all kinds of advice--some of the advice almost scaring the new men stiff.

The future contingents were greeted with a more completed camp, because the construction work was continued many weeks after the soldiers began to arrive. And, in passing, it might be recorded, that the construction work continued long after the contractors finished their contracts. Military-like it was done by "detail."

On October 4th and 5th more recruits arrived and then on November 2nd another large contingent arrived and was assigned to Battery D. This was the last selected quota to be received directly into the regiment, for, thereafter, the Depot Brigade received all the newly selected men.

Almost all of the recruits of the first few contingents, including the delegation that arrived on November 2nd, came from Eastern Pennsylvania, from the Hazleton, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre districts of the Middle Anthracite Coal Fields. The delegation that arrived on November 2nd was accompanied by St. Ann's Band, of Freeland, Pa. The band remained in camp over the week-end, during (p. 026) which time a number of concerts were rendered. The band was highly praised for its interest and patriotism.

All the men originally assigned to Battery D were not to remain with the organization throughout their military life. On October 15th, 1917, Battery D lost about half of its members in a quota of 500 of the regiment who were transferred to Camp Gordon, Georgia. On November 5th, two hundred more were transferred from the regiment and on February 5th, seventy-two left to join the Fifth Artillery Brigade at Camp Leon Springs, Texas.

The latter part of May Battery D received a share of 931 recruits sent to the regiment from the 14th Training Battalion of the 154th Depot Brigade at Camp Meade. On July 2nd and 3rd, one hundred and fifty more came to the regiment from the Depot Brigade; 540 from Camp Dix, N. J., and Camp Upton, N. Y.; fifty from the aviation fields of the South; and a quota from the Quartermaster Corps in Florida.

Many of these did not remain long with the battery. In the latter part of June and the beginning of July the battery was reduced to nearly one-half and the March replacement draft to Camp Merritt took thirty-two picked men from the regiment. This ended the transfers. While in progress, the transfers rendered the regiment like unto a Depot Brigade. Over four thousand men passed through the regiment, five hundred of the number passing through Battery D.

CHAPTER V. (p. 027)


"Dress it up!"


"Make it snappy!"

"One, two, three, four."

"Now you've got it!"

"That's good. Hold it!"


Battery D had lots of "pep" during the days of Camp Meade regime.

First Sergeant William C. Thompson, of Forest, Mississippi, kept things lively for the first few months with his little whistle, followed by the command, "Outside!"

Merrill C. Liebensberger, of Hazleton, Penna., served as the first supply sergeant of the battery. David B. Koenig, also of Hazleton, Penna., ranking first as corporal and later as sergeant, was kept busy with office work, acting in the capacity of battery clerk. Lloyd E. Brown, of East Richmond, Indiana, served as the first instrument sergeant of the battery. John M. Harman, of Hazleton, Penna., was the first signal-sergeant to be appointed.

It might be remarked in passing that Messrs. Thompson, Liebensberger, and Harman were destined for leadership rank. Before the outfit sailed for overseas all three had gained application to officers' training schools, and were, in the course of time, commissioned as lieutenants. Battery Clerk Koenig continued to serve the outfit in an efficient manner throughout its sojourn in France. Instrument-Sergeant Brown early in 1918 answered a call for volunteers to go to France with a tank corps. While serving abroad he succumbed to an attack of pneumonia and his body occupies a hero's resting place in foreign soil.

A wonderful spirit was manifested in the affairs of Battery D despite the fact that the constant transfer of men greatly hampered the work of assembling and training a complete battery for active service in France. Men who spent weeks in mastering the fundamentals of the soldier regulations were taken from the organization, to be replaced (p. 028) by civilians, whereby the training had to start from the beginning. This caused many changes in plans, systems, and policies. Rejections were also made for physical disabilities.

For the greater part of the Camp Meade history of the battery, the organization lacked sufficient men to perform all the detail work. Thus days and days passed without any military instruction being imparted.

Instruction in army signalling by wigwag and semaphore was started whenever a squad or two could be spared from the routine of detail. Then followed instruction on folding horse blankets, of care of horses and harness, and lessons in equitation, carried out on barrels and logs.

Stables and corrals were in the course of construction. By the time snow made its appearance in November horses were received, also more detail.

First lessons in the duties of gun-crews and driving squads were also attempted. Matériel was a minus quantity for a long time, wooden imitations sufficing for guns until several 3.2's were procured for the regiment. Later on the regiment was furnished with five 3-inch U. S. field pieces. Training then assumed more definite form. For weeks and weeks the gun crews trained without any prospects of ever getting ammunition and firing actual salvos.

Learning to be a soldier also developed into a process of going to school. Men were assigned to attend specialty classes. Schools were established for gunners, schools for snipers, schools for non-commissioned officers. Here it might be stated that the first non-coms envied the buck-privates when it came to attending non-commissioned officers' school one night a week when all the bucks were down enjoying the show at the Y hut or the Liberty Theatre.

Schools were started for all kinds of special and mechanical duty men; schools to teach gas-defense; buzzer schools; telephone schools; smoke-bomb and hand-grenade courses; and map-reading and sketching schools. Sergeant Earl H. Schleppy, of Hazleton, Penna., who assisted in the battery office work before he was appointed supply-sergeant, developed extra lung capacity while the various schools were in progress. It became his duty to assemble the diverse classes prior to the start of instruction. He was kept busy yelling for the soldiers to assemble for class work.

It soon developed in the minds of the men that war-time military life was mostly drudgery with only the personal satisfaction of doing one's (p. 029) duty. Hardships and drudgery, however, did not mar the ambition of the soldier for recreation. Baltimore and Washington were nearby and passes were in order every Saturday to visit these cities.

Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, during the first few months of camp life, were off-periods for the soldiers, but later Wednesday afternoon developed as an afternoon of sport and the men took keen interest in the numerous athletic interests which were promoted.

On Tuesday, November 6th, a half-holiday was proclaimed and Election Day observed throughout the camp. The soldiers who availed themselves of the opportunity of marking the complicated soldier ballot that was provided, cast the last vote, in many instances, until after their official discharge.

Daily hikes were on the program in the beginning to develop a hardness of muscle in the new soldiers. Lieut. Robert Campbell was in charge of the majority of the daily hikes at the off-set. His hobby was to hike a mile then jaunt a mile. When it came to long distant running Lieut. Campbell was on the job. He made many a soldier sweat in the attempt to drag along the hob-nailed field shoes on a run. Hikes later were confined to Wednesday afternoon.

Battery D always put up a good showing in the numerous athletic contests. On Saturday, November 10th, the Battery won the second banner in the Inter-Battalion Meet; in celebration of which a parade and demonstration was held on the afternoon of the victory day.

Music was not lost sight of. The boys of Battery D collected the sum of $175 for the purchase of a piano for barrack 019. Phil Cusick, of Parsons, Penna., was the one generally sought out to keep the ivories busy. November 19th witnessed the first gathering together of the regiment on the parade grounds for a big song fest under the leadership of the divisional music director. Battery and battalion song jubilees were conducted at intervals in the O block Y hut.

CHAPTER VI. (p. 030)


Towering like a giant over the uniform type of barrack and buildings at Camp Meade, stood a large observation tower, situated on what was known as the "plaza," the site of divisional headquarters. A general panorama from this tower was an inspiring sight. Radiating from the plaza, extending for several miles in any direction the gaze was focused, there appeared the vista of the barracks of the troops together with the sectional Y. M. C. A.'s canteens, stables, corrals and other supply and administration buildings; also the interposing, spacious drill fields.

The beauty of this scene was enhanced by the mantle of snow that often garbed it during the winter mouths. To see a city of 40,000 in such uniformity as marked the cantonment construction; with its buildings covered with snow; the large drill fields spread with a blanket of snow; and, a snow storm raging--is a tonic for any lover of nature.

On the night of Wednesday, November 28th, the first snow greeted the new soldiers at Camp Meade. The ground, robed in white, breathed the spirit of the approaching holiday season. The coming of Thanksgiving found discussion in 019 centered on the subject of passes to visit "home."

On November 24th fifteen of D battery men were granted forty-eight hour leaves and departed for their respective homes. All the officers remained in camp and planned with the men to enjoy the holiday.

The Thanksgiving dinner enjoyed by Battery D was one never to be forgotten in army life. Mess-Sergeant Al Loughran and the battery cooks, ably championed by the K. P.'s, worked hard for the success of the Thanksgiving battery dinner. Battalion and battery officers dined with the men, the noon-mess being attendant by the following menu:

                          Oyster Cocktail
Snowed Potatoes            Roast Turkey                Turkey Filling
      Cranberry Sauce            Celery                  Peas
        Oranges     Apples     Candy       Cake       Nuts
                Bread        Butter       Coffee
                            Mince Pie
                  Cigarettes          Cigars

Sweet (p. 031) dreams of this dinner often haunted the boys when "bully-beef" was the mainstay day after day many times during the sojourn in France.

After the dinner officers and battery members adjourned to the second floor of the barrack where battery talent furnished an entertainment, consisting of instrumental and vocal numbers and winding up with several good boxing bouts. Barney McCaffery, of Hazleton, Penna., a professional pugilist, was the pride of the battery in the ring.

Corporal Frank McCabe, of Parsons, Penna., was one of the real comedians of the battery. His character impersonations enlivened many an evening in 019. Every member of the outfit was deeply grieved when Corporal McCabe was admitted to the base-hospital the latter part of January, suffering with heart trouble. On January 24th at 8:20 p. m., Corporal McCabe died. This first casualty of the battery struck a note of sympathetic appeal among the battery members. A guard of honor from the battery accompanied the body to Parsons where interment was made with military honors.

After Thanksgiving Battery D settled down to an intensive schedule of instruction. Days of rain, snow, and zero weather followed, making the routine very disagreeable at times, but never acting as a demoralizer. Days that could not be devoted to out-door work were used to advantage for the schedule of lecture periods during which the officers conducted black board drills to visualize many of the problems connected with artillery work.

On December 6th, 1917, a series of regimental practice marches were instituted, first on foot, then on mount. The first mounted marches, however, were rather sore-ending affairs, as were the first lessons in equitation. Saddles and bridles were lacking as equipment for many weeks after the receipt of the horses. Mounted drill, riding bare-back, with nothing but a halter chain as a bridle, was the initiatory degree of Battery D's equitation.

Barrack 0103, about half the size and situated in the rear of 019, was completed on December 19th, when a portion of Battery D men were quartered in the new structure, thereby relieving the congestion in 019.

Christmas and New Year's of 1917 furnished another controversy on the question of holiday furloughs. On Saturday, December 15th, inspection was called off and forty men were detailed to bring more (p. 032) horses from the Remount station for use in the battery. The detail completed its task faithfully, the men being happy in the thought that, according to instructions, they had, the night previous, made application for Christmas passes. Gloom greeted the end of the day's horse convoy. Announcement was made that all Christmas pass orders had been rescinded in the camp.

The gloom was not shattered until December 20th, when announcement was made at retreat formation that half of the battery would be allowed Christmas passes and the other half would be given furloughs over New Year's Day. The loudest yell that ever greeted the "dismissed" command at the close of retreat, rent the atmosphere at that time.

More disappointments were in store for the boys before their dreams of a furlough home were realized. Saturday, December 22nd, was decreed a day of martial review at Camp Meade. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker visited the cantonment that day and the review was staged in his honor. Battery D formed with the regiment on the battery street in front of 019 at 1:20 o'clock on the afternoon of the review. The ground was muddy and slushy. The regiment stood in formation until 3:15 o'clock when the march to pass the reviewing stand started. At 4:30 o'clock the review formation was dismissed and the boys dashed back to 019 to get ready to leave on their Christmas furloughs.

It was a happy bunch that left 019 at 5:15 p. m. that day, under the direction of Lieut. Berkley Courtney, bound for the railroad station and home. An hour later the same bunch were seen trudging back to 019. Their happiness had suddenly taken wing. A mix-up in train schedules left them stranded in camp for the night, while the hours of their passes slowly ticked on, to be lost to their enjoyment.

The "get-away" was successfully effected the next morning, Sunday, December 23rd, when the same contingent marched to Disney, reaching the railroad yard at 7:30 o'clock, where they were doomed to wait until 9:15 a. m. until the train left for Baltimore.

More favorable train connections fell to the lot of the New Year's sojourners to the land of "home."

CHAPTER VII. (p. 033)


"This is some job."

And the opinion was unanimous when stable detail at Camp Meade was in question, especially during the winter of 1917-18, which the Baltimore weather bureau recorded as the coldest in 101 years. Stable detail at first consisted of five "buck" privates, whose duty it was to take care of "Kaiser," "Hay-Belly," and all the other battery horses for a period of three days.

When on stable detail you arose at 5:45 a. m.; quietly dressed, without lights, went to the stables and breakfasted the animals. If you were a speed artist you might get back in time for your own breakfast.

After breakfast you immediately reported to the stable-sergeant, who was Anthony Fritzen, of Scranton, Penna. The horses were then led to the corral and the real stable duties of the day commenced. In leading the horses through the stable to the corral, the length of your life was dependant upon your ability to duck the hoofs of the ones remaining in the stables.

When it came to cleaning the stables, many a "buck" private made a resolve that in the next war he was going to enlist as a "mule-skinner." Driving the battery wagon bore the earmarks of being a job of more dignity than loading the wagon.

Besides cleaning the stables and "graining-up" for the horses, the day of the stable police was spent in miscellaneous jobs, which Sergeant Fritzen never ran out of.

The stable detail underwent changes as time wore on. A permanent stable man was assigned for every stable and the detail was reduced to three privates.

Stable police was of double import on Saturday mornings, preparatory to the weekly inspection. Every branch and department of military life has a variety of inspections to undergo at periodical times. The inspections keep the boys in khaki on the alert; cleanliness becoming second nature. Nowhere can a vast body of men live bachelor-like as soldiers do and maintain the degree of tidiness and general sanitary healthfulness, as the thorough arm of camp inspection and discipline maintains in the army.

A (p. 034) daily inspection of barracks was in order at Camp Meade. Before the boys answered the first drill formation each morning they did the housework. Everything had to be left spick and span. There was a specific place for everything and everything had to be kept in its place.

With mops and brooms and plenty of water the barracks were given a good scrubbing on Friday afternoons and things put in shape for the Saturday morning inspection. Besides the cleanup features a display of toilet articles and wearing apparel had to be made. When the inspectors made their tour each bunk had to show a clean towel, tooth brush, soap, comb, pair of socks, and suit of underwear. The articles had to be displayed on the bunk in a specific manner.

"Show-Down" inspections were a big feature of the routine. This inspection required the soldier to produce all his wares and equipment for inventory. The supply officer and supply sergeant of the battery made many rounds taking account of equipment that was short, but several more "show-downs" usually transpired before the lacking equipment was supplied.

There was also a field inspection every Saturday morning, where the general appearance of the soldier could be thoroughly scrutinized. Clean-shaven, neatly polished shoes, clean uniform with buttons all present and utilized, formed the determining percentage features. When the inspection was mounted, horses and harness had to shine, the same as the men.

January 1920 ushered in a period of changes in the staff of officers for Battery D, some of the changes being temporary, others permanent. Trials of sickness and quarantine were also in store for the battery.

Early in January Capt. A. L. Smith was called away from his military duties on account of the death of his father, Edward B. Smith, of Philadelphia, Penna.; a bereavement which brought forth many expressions of sympathy from the men of his command.

Captain Smith returned to camp the latter part of the month. Some time later he was ordered to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to attend the artillery school of fire. Lieut. Hugh M. Clarke also left the battery to attend the school of fire. First-Lieut. Arthur H. McGill was detached from the battery about this time and assigned as an instructor at the Officers' Training School that was opened at Camp Meade. Lieut. Robert S. Campbell was transferred from Battery D at this time.

First-Lieut. (p. 035) Robert Lowndes, of Elkridge. Md., was assigned to temporary command of the battery. First-Lieut. J. S. Waterfield, of Portsmouth, Va., served as an attached officer with D Battery for some time.

First Sergeant William C. Thompson and Supply Sergeant Merle Liebensberger were successful applicants to the officers' training school at Meade. James J. Farrell, of Parsons, Penna., was appointed acting first-sergeant and Thomas S. Pengelly, of Hazleton, Penna., was appointed acting supply sergeant, both appointments later being made permanent.

CHAPTER VIII. (p. 036)


"Retreat," the checking-in or accounting for all soldiers at the close of a day's routine, was made a formal affair for the 311th Field Artillery on January 13th, 1918. The erection of a new flag pole in front of regimental headquarters furnished occasion for the formal formation when the Stars and Stripes are lowered to the strain of "The Star Spangled Banner" or the "Call to the Colors."

When the formal retreat was established Battery D was in the throes of a health quarantine. A case of measles developed in the battery and an eighteen-day quarantine went into effect on January 19th. About a score of battery members, who were attending speciality schools and on special detail work, were quartered with Battery E of the regiment while the quarantine lasted.

On March 24th scarlet fever broke out and a second quarantine was put into effect. This quarantine kept Battery D from sharing in the Easter furloughs to visit home.

The regular routine of fatigue duty and drill formations took place during the quarantine periods, the restrictions being placed on the men leaving the battery area between drill hours.

On March 6th Battery D took occasion to celebrate. The battery kitchen had been thoroughly renovated by Mechanic Grover C. Rothacker and Mechanic Conrad A. Balliet, both of Hazleton, Penna., the renovation placing it in the class of "The best kitchen and mess hall in camp," to quote the words of Major General Joseph E. Kuhn, divisional commander, when he inspected Battery D on Saturday, March 23rd.

A fine menu was prepared for the banquet that was held on the night of March 6th. Col. Raymond Briggs and the battalion officers were guests at the banquet and entertainment that was furnished in the barracks until taps sounded an hour later than usual that night.

Details continued to play a big part in the life of Battery D. On March 11th the first detail of fifty men was sent to repair the highway near Portland. These details had a strenuous time of it; the hardest work most of the detail accomplished was dodging lieutenants.

Transfers had made big inroads in the battery's strength. Guard duty fell to the lot of the battery once a week. When the guard detail was (p. 037) furnished there were scarcely enough men left to do the kitchen police work and other detail work. It was a time when rank imposed obligation. Sergeants and corporals had to get busy and chop wood and carry coal and wash dishes and police up and in many other ways imitate the buck private.

On March 5th Lieut. Frank Yeager inaugurated a system of daily inspections at retreat, when the two neatest appearing men in line were cited each day and rewarded with a week-end pass to visit Baltimore or Washington, while those who got black marks for the week were put on detail work over the week-end. A list of honorable mentions was also established for general tidiness at "bunk" inspections.

Rumor was ever present at Camp Meade. Almost every event that transpired was a token of early departure overseas, or else the "latrine-dope" had it that the outfit was to be sent to Tobyhanna for range practice.

The first real evidence of overseas service presented itself during March when physical examinations were in order to test the physical fitness for overseas duty. Several, who it was deemed could not physically stand foreign service, were in due time transferred to various posts of the home-guards. Several transfers were also made to the ordnance department; a number of chemists were detached from the battery, and transfers listed for the cooks' and bakers' school, for the quartermasters, for the engineers, for the signal corps, in fact men were sent to practically all branches in the division.

On Saturday, March 30th, wrist watches were turned to 11 o'clock when taps sounded, ushering in the daylight savings scheme that routed the boys out for reveille during the wee dark hours of the morning.

Training during April centered on actual experience in taking to the march with full mounted artillery sections. April 4th, 1918, found a detail from Battery D leaving camp at 8 a. m., with a section of provisional battery, enroute to Baltimore to take part in the big parade in honor of the opening of the Liberty Loan drive on the first anniversary of America's entrance into the war. While in Baltimore the outfit pitched camp in Clifton Park. The parade, which was reviewed by President Woodrow Wilson, took place on Saturday, April 6th. The detachment returned to camp by road on Sunday, April 7th.

During (p. 038) April a decree went forth to the Battery that set details at work every day clipping horses. Every one of the one hundred and sixty-four battery horses was clipped.

The morning of Friday, April 26th, was declared a holiday at Camp Meade; all units being called forth to participate in a divisional parade and Liberty Loan rally.

A battery hike in march order was set for May 6th. The battery took to the road at 8 a. m., and drove through Jessup, thence to West Elkridge, Md., a distance of sixteen miles, where camp was pitched and the battery remained for the night, returning to camp the following afternoon after several firing problems in the field were worked out by proxy fire.

Chances for a quick departure overseas began to warm up about the middle of May, which perhaps was responsible for the big divisional bon-fire that was burned on the night of May 13th.


(p. 039)

Capt. Perry E. Hall, Lieut. Sidney F. Bennett

Officers Associated with Battery D

Lieut. C. D. Bailey, Lieut. Frank J. Hamilton

CHAPTER IX. (p. 040)


First authentic signs of departure from Camp Meade came during the month of June when the boys witnessed the departure of the infantry regiments of the division.

Void of demonstrative sendoff, regiment after regiment, fully and newly equipped, was departing on schedule; thousands and thousands of sturdy Americans, ready to risk all for the ideals of liberty and freedom.

It was with no unsteady step they marched through the streets of the military city that had sheltered, trained, tanned, and improved them aright for the momentous task which was before them.

The scene, as they marched, is one that will live in memory of the boys of Battery D. It was no dress parade such as the march of like thousands in a civilian city would occasion. Battery D men and others were spectators, it is true, and the departing ones were sent off, as was later the case with Battery D, with cheers of encouragement and words of God-speed--the spirit breathed being of hearty, thoughtful patriotism such as can come only from a soldier who is bidding adieu to a comrade in arms, whom he will meet again in a common cause.

Wonderful days of activity within Battery D foretold the news of departure. The regiment was in first class shape to look forward to service overseas, despite the fact that range-practice was a negligible factor. During the latter part of May, firing, to a limited extent, was practiced from the three-inch field pieces directed over the Remount station, but the experience thus gained was too light to be important. About this time a French type of 75 mm. field piece was shipped to the regiment. Major David A. Reed became the instructor on this gun, when it became known that the outfit would likely be given French equipment upon arrival overseas. One gun for the regiment, however, and especially when received only several weeks in advance of the departure for overseas, afforded but little opportunity for general instruction on the mechanism of the new field piece.

France, moreover, was the goal and the real range practice was left as a matter of course for over there.

All activity centered on getting ready to depart. The battery carpenters and painters were kept busy making boxes and labelling them properly (p. 041) for the "American E. F." Harness was being cleaned and packed. The time came for the horses to be returned to the Remount station. Supply sergeants were busy as bees supplying everybody with foreign service equipment. It proved a common occurrence to be routed out of bed at midnight to try on a pair of field shoes. All articles of clothing and equipment had to be stamped, the clothing being stamped with rubber stamps, while the metal equipment was stamped with a punch initial. Each soldier got a battery number which was stamped on his individual equipment.

On June 28th, Joseph Loskill, of Hazleton, Penna., and William F. Brennan, of Hazleton and Philadelphia, Penna., were assigned to accompany the advance detail of the regiment. Lieut. Arthur H. McGill was the Battery D officer to accompany the advance detail, which left Camp Meade about 7 p. m., proceeding to Camp Merritt, N. J., for embarkation. The advance guard arrived at Jersey City the following morning at 6 o'clock, where they detrained and marched to the Ferry to get to Hoboken. There the detachment was divided, the officers boarding the S. S. Mongolia, the enlisted men the S. S. Duc d'Abruzzi. The ships left Hoboken at 10:30 a. m., May 30th, bound for Brest.

Battery D was filled to full war-strength during the first week of July, just before departure, when the outfit received a quota of 150 men who came to the regiment from the Depot Brigade. Five hundred and forty came to the regiment from Camp Upton, N. Y., and Camp Dix, N. J., and fifty from the signal corps in Florida.

In the front door and out of the back of 019 the battery passed in alphabetical line in rehearsal of the manner in which the gang plank of the ship was to be trod. Departure instruction likewise included hikes to the electric rail siding to practice boarding the cars with equipment.

The last few days in camp were marked by daily medical inspections, also daily inspections of equipment. Everybody had to drag all their equipment outside for inspection. The men were fully and newly equipped with clothing and supplies upon leaving. Two new wool uniforms, two pairs of field shoes, new underwear, socks, shirts, towels, toilet articles, and a score of other soldier necessities, were issued before leaving. All old clothing and equipment was turned in.

Each man was allotted a barrack-bag as cargo. The barrack-bag was made of heavy blue denim with about a seventy-five pound capacity, (p. 042) which weight was cited as the limit a soldier could obtain storage for in the ship's baggage compartments.

Although seventy-five pounds was the order, all the boys resorted to some fine packing. There were not many under the limit. Most of the boys had their knitted garments in the bag, also a plentiful supply of soap, because rumor had struck the outfit that soap was a scarce article in France. Milk chocolate and smokes were also well stocked in.

Besides the barrack-bag each soldier was provided with a haversack and pack-carrier, in which were carried--on the back--two O. D. blankets, toilet articles, extra socks, clothing, and the various articles that would be needed on the voyage across.

Saturday, July 13th, 1918, was the memorable day of departure from Camp Meade. Battery D furnished the last guard detail of the regiment at Meade. The 13th, as luck would have it, dawned in a heavy shower of rain. Reveille sounded at 5:15 a. m., after which, those who had not done so the night previous, hiked out in the rain and emptied the straw from their bed-ticks; completed the packing of their bags and packs and loaded the bags on trucks while the rain came down in torrents.

As was usually the case in army routine, early reveille did not vouch for an early departure from camp. Detail aplenty was in store for the boys all day. The last meal was enjoyed in 019 mess-hall at 5 p. m.,--then started a thorough policing up of barracks. Sweeping squads were sent over the ground a dozen times and finally the boys assembled outside on the battery assembling grounds, at 7:30 p. m., with packs ready and everything set to begin the march to entrain.

During the hours of waiting that followed the boys indulged in a few sign painting decorations. Among the numerous signs tacked to 019 were:

"For Sail. Apply Abroad."

"For Rent, for a large family; only scrappers need apply. Btry D, 311th F. A."

"Von Hindenberg dropped dead. We're coming."

It was a grand sight to see the regiment depart at 8:45 p. m. The band was playing; colors were flying at the head of the column--everybody was in high spirits. But there were no civilians to enjoy the spectacle. It was night and but few knew of the departure. The rain had ceased and twilight was deepening into darkness as the regiment, excepting Battery A, which was left in camp for police detail, to follow (p. 043) a few days later, started on the hike; back over practically the same route the soldiers were marched from Disney to 019 when they first arrived in camp. This time they were leaving 019; marching for the last time with Battery D through the reservation of Camp Meade; marching to the railroad yards at Disney where trains were being made up to convey the regiment to a point of embarkation. But few knew whether it was to be Philadelphia, New York, or Hoboken. The men were leaving home and home-land and departing for a land of which they knew nought. What the ocean and Germany's program of relentless submarine warfare had in store for them, no one knew. All hearts were strong in the faith and all stout hearts were ready to do and to dare; content in the knowledge that they were doing their duty to their home and their country.

CHAPTER X. (p. 044)


Land appeared in rugged outline along the horizon as the Steamship Morvada swept the waves when dusk was falling on the Tuesday evening of July 16th, 1918. It was a beautiful mid-summer's night and the boys of Battery D, in common with the members of the 311th regiment, stood at the deck railings of the S. S. Morvada and watched the outline of shore disappear under cover of darkness. The ship had been sailing since 11:30 a. m., Sunday, July 14th, at which time the Morvada had lifted anchor and slowly pushed its nose into the Delaware River; leaving behind the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad docks at Port Richmond, Philadelphia, Penna., the last link that held them to their native shores.

Surmises and guesses were rife as the ship rolled on in the darkness, leaving the boys either arguing as to the destination or else seeking their "bunk" down in the "hatch" and rolling in for the night.

It was generally agreed that the course thus far was along the coast. It was apparent that the ship was skirting coastline, because convoy protection had been given by sea-planes flying out from the naval coast stations, accompanying the transport for a distance, then disappearing landward. The boys on the transport spent many an idle hour watching the aviators circle the ship time and time again, often coming within voice range of the transport's passengers.

It was also settled that the course had been Northeast, but no one was quite certain as to location.

The morning of July 17th found the Morvada approaching land. A lighthouse appeared in the dim distance, then, as the hours passed and the ship sped on, the coast became visible and more visible, disclosing rugged country, rising high from out of the water's edge. The country, moreover, appeared waste and devastated; the land being covered with wrecked buildings that showed signs of explosive force.

Location finally became apparent as harbor scenes presented an unique picturesqueness of territory. The S. S. Morvada was in Halifax harbor, Nova Scotia, and the surrounding territory was the scene of the famous T. N. T. explosion. It was 11 o'clock on the morning of July 17th that the ship cast anchor in Halifax harbor and word was passed that all on board could remove life preservers and breathe a sigh of relief.

To (p. 045) be suddenly found in Canadian environment furnished a new thrill for the soldiers. The Saturday night previous the same soldiers were making the trip from Camp Meade to port of embarkation.

Everybody was expecting a lay over in an embarkation camp before embarking, therefore the surprise was the greater when the train that left Camp Meade at midnight on the evening of July 13th, deposited its cargo of soldiers on the pier at Port Richmond within a short distance of the ship that was waiting for its cargo of human freight before pulling anchor for the first lap of the France-bound journey.

Orders to detrain were given at 8:29 a. m. Tired and hungry the soldiers were greeted on the pier by a large delegation of Red Cross workers who had steaming hot coffee, delicious buns, cigarettes and candy to distribute to the regiment as a farewell tribute and morning appetizer. Postal cards were also distributed for the soldiers to address to their home-folks. The messages were farewell messages and were held over at Washington. D. C., until word was received that the Morvada had landed safely overseas.

At 8 a. m. the repeat-your-last-name-first-and-your-first-name-last march up the gang-plank started. Each man got a blue card with a section and berth number on; also a meal ticket appended, after which it was a scramble to find your right place in the hatch.

At 11:30 o'clock anchor was lifted; the little river tug boat nosed the steamship about; then, with colors flying, the band playing, the Morvada steamed down the Delaware; passing Hog Island in a midway of ships from which words of farewell and waves of good-bye wafted across to the Morvada. The sky-line of Brotherly Love, guarded over by William Penn on City Hall, gradually faded from view and the Sunday afternoon wore on, as the boys spent most of their first day aboard a transport on deck, watching the waves and admiring the beauties of nature, revealed in all splendor as the ever-fading shore line, viewed from the promenade deck, lost itself into the mist-like horizon of sky and water, richly enhanced by the brilliancy of a superb sunset.

The S. S. Morvada skirted the shore for some time and for the first few hours all was calm on deck. By night, however, sea-sickness began to manifest itself and there was considerable coughing up over the rail.

Besides watching the waves and the various-sized and colored fishes of the deep make occasional bounds over the crest of the foam, the (p. 046) soldiers spent their time trying to get something to eat, which was a big job in itself.

The Morvada was an English boat, of small type, that was built in 1914 to ply between England and India, carrying war materials. The voyage of the 311th was the second time the Morvada was used as a transport. Except for officer personnel the ship was manned by a crew of East Indians, whose main article of wearing apparel was a towel and whose main occupation was scrubbing and flushing the decks with a hose, just about the time mess call found the soldiers looking for a nice spot to settle down with mess-kit and eating-irons. Up forward were batteries B, D, E, and F, and the Supply Company, and aft were Headquarters Company, Battery C, and the Medical Detachment. Each end of the ship had its galley along which the mess lines formed three times a day. The khaki-clad soldiers could not get used to the English system of food rationing with the result that food riots almost occurred until the officers of the regiment intervened and secured an improvement in the mess system.

The first night in Halifax harbor was a pleasant relief from the strain of suspense that attended the journey to Canadian waters. Deck lights were lighted for the first time and vied for brilliancy in the night with the other ocean-going craft assembled in the harbor. The Morvada did not dock, but remained anchored in the harbor, from where the soldiers on board could view the city and port of entry that was the capital of the Province of Nova Scotia.

To the Southeast the city of Halifax, situated on a fortified hill, towering 225 feet from the waters of the harbor, showed its original buildings built of wood, plastered or stuccoed; and dotted with fine buildings of stone and brick of later day creation.

When the soldiers on board the Morvada arose on the morning of July 18th the Halifax harbor was dotted with several more transports that had arrived during the night. The day was spent in semaphoring to the various transports and learning what troops each quartered. Official orders, however, put a stop to this form of pastime and discussion was shifted to the whys and wherefores of the various camouflage designs the troop ships sported.

During the stay at Halifax the first taste of mail censorship was doled out. Letters were written in abundance, which were treated rather roughly by two-edged scissors before the mail was conveyed to Halifax to be sent to Washington, D. C., to await release upon notification (p. 047) that the Morvada had arrived safely overseas. Many of these first letters are still held as priceless mementos by the home-folks.

Each morning of the succeeding days that the Morvada was anchored in Halifax harbor brought several new ships to cluster about in the wide expanse of water. A sufficient number for convoy across the Atlantic was gradually assembling, each ship appearing in a different regalia of protective coloration that made the harbor sight vastly spectacular.

Newspapers from the Canadian shore were brought on board each day. On July 19th the papers conveyed the information that the United States Cruiser, San Diego, was sunk that day ten miles off Fire Island by running on an anchored mine placed there by German U-boats. The Morvada had traversed the same course several days previous.

To read of such occurrence, in such environment was to produce silent thought. To be in the harbor of Halifax, within shadow of McNalis Island that rested on the waves at the mouth of the harbor, was to be in the same environment as the confederate cruiser, "Tallahassee," which slipped by night through the Eastern passage formed by McNalis Island, and escaped the Northern vessels that were watching off the western entrance formed by the island.

The time was drawing near when the Morvada was destined to creep stealthily through the night, to cross the 3,000 miles of submarine infested Atlantic.

CHAPTER XI. (p. 048)


Under serene skies on the morning of July 20th, seventeen ships, assembled in Halifax harbor, made final preparations to steam forth to the highways of the broad Atlantic.

At 9:30 o'clock that morning the convoy maneuvered into battle formation with a U. S. cruiser leading the convoy while four small sub chasers circled about in high speed and an army dirigible flew overhead. Each ship was directed in a zig zag course, a new angle of the zig zag being pointed every few minutes, a course of propellation that continued the entire route of the water way.

Good-byes were waved from ships stationed along the several miles of water course that marked the harbor's length, until the open Atlantic was reached, then the sub chasers and the dirigible turned about, leaving the seventeen transports and supply ships under the wing of the battle cruiser that proceeded to pick out the course across the ocean, to where bound no one on board, save the captain of the ship, knew.

Clad in their life preservers the soldiers idled about the decks as the convoy sped on. It was a source of delight to stand at the deck rail and watch the waves dash against the steel clad sides of the ship. On several occasions when the waves rolled high, many on board experienced the sensation of a sea bath, the stiff sea breeze carrying the seething foam high over the rail on to the deck.

To see the waves roll high created the impression of mightiness of creation; the impression of mountains rising magic like at the side of the vessel. Suddenly the ship rises to the crest of the wave and the recedence leaves one looking down into what appears like a deep cavern.

When the sun was rising in the direction one was thrilled by the beauties of the rainbow observed in the clearness of the waves, when, at the height of dashing resplendence the surging sprays descend in fountain semblance, drinking in, as it were, the very beauty of God's handiwork.

The same position on deck the boys found none the less attractive when the shades of night had fallen. On one of the first nights out the ship passed through an atmosphere of dense fog, suddenly to emerge into elements of star lit splendor, the moon, in full radiance, casting (p. 049) a silvery luminous path on the sparkling waves. It was a phenomena worthy of the tallest submarine risks to witness. The full moon and the very repleteness of things aesthetic gave opportunity for those who were able to portray an attitude of indifference, to tell gravely how the radiance of the night fully exposed the convoy to the U-boats that were lurking in every wave.

Established routine of transport duties and formations was continued during the ocean voyage. Ship-abandon and fire drills were a daily feature of life aboard. Each outfit had a specific place to congregate when the signal for ship-abandon drill was sounded. All that was necessary was to stand at the appointed place while the coolies, comprising the crew, scampered to the life-boats and made miniature attempts at hacking the ropes and dropping to the waves.

The promenade deck, both port and starboard sides, was in use each day accommodating group after group for half-hour periods of physical exercise. The tossing of the vessel lent itself in rhythm to the enjoyment of the calisthenics, or else it was physical exercise enough in trying to maintain an equilibrium while the arms and legs were raised alternately in eight counts.

Guard duty was firmly established on board. A guard roster numbered more men than a guard detail at Camp Meade ever required. The significance of the precise guard forms another of the mysteries of Battery D. No one went A. W. O. L. while enroute and when it came to challenging after taps, a sentry in most cases could not be greeted by the customary answer, "a friend," although the challenged party was a friend indeed, also a friend in need. How could he answer when he had his hand over his mouth and his primary object was to get to the rail quick. After several days out, however, a majority of the boys "got their sea legs," as evinced by the mess line three times daily.

A schedule of formations, similar to Camp Meade routine, was promulgated on board. Reveille was set for 7 o'clock each morning. When the time came to assemble on deck the space was so small and the crowd was so large that many a recruit slept-in until the last mess line was treading the beat. Reform measures were instituted and extra duty lists published, offenders being added to the regular details that were selected to daily wash up the deck and clean up the hatch.

A permanent submarine guard was detailed, the members of this detail landing state rooms for the journey; living next door to the officers. During the trip this guard sighted several score of "subs" but (p. 050) generally their "object port-bow" proved to be a keg that had become prohibition and therefore found itself abandoned in mid-ocean.

Outside of bunk inspection, medical inspection, feet inspection, several kinds of arm inspection, with details, drill formations and exercise periods, the life of the American soldier aboard a transport was an idle one. The ship's canteen did a big business during office hours. A world's series bleacher crowd had nothing on the canteen line of the Morvada. A place in the line commanded a high premium, which led to speculation in canteen supplies.

The afternoon of July 21st was attendant by a high wind, making it very cool on deck, while the wind lashed the waves with great fury. The cold wind blew all day July 22nd, the day when the first wireless reports were posted on board, telling of the Germans being driven over the Marne and thousands of prisoners captured.

The sea became calm on Tuesday, July 23rd, the gale having died down. The ship was traveling East and each morning watches had to be readjusted to correspond to the change in longitude.

At 3 a. m. on the third morning out a great commotion was occasioned on board. Everybody was awakened by a loud rumbling. A majority thought a submarine had been encountered. Several dashed up the steps of the hatchway to be ready for action. Someone shouted, "Don't get excited, but make room for me to get out first." Later it was ascertained that the noise was caused by the ships' anchor slipping several rods of anchor chain.

The first taste of real excitement was occasioned at 1 o'clock on the afternoon of July 25th when a strange craft was sighted on the distant horizon. The cruiser of the convoy was all action immediately. Warning flashed to all the convoy party and a wild series of zigzagging ensued while the cruiser chased pell-mell in the direction of the sighted craft. A shot was fired from the cruiser in the dash, but only a mountain of water was blasted by the discharge.

The convoy continued Eastward while the cruiser investigated. Finally the cruiser returned to the convoy and reported everything O. K. The troops never learned the official identity of the strange vessel that sent the first sub-chasers up the vertebrae of many.

Word was passed about on Saturday, July 27th, that the convoy was approaching the imaginary line in the ocean that Germany had established as the dead-line, past which her U-boats were operating in unrestricted warfare. The approach of the danger zone was the signal (p. 051) for all on board to remove no article of clothing while asleep at night and to carry a canteen of fresh water strapped to the belt at all times. In this manner everybody was prepared to take to the waves at a minute's sub-warning.

As the journey continued the officers of Battery D instituted a series of battery lectures, also took up plans for the organization of a permanent battery commander's detail.

Sunday, July 28th, found the sea calm in the morning, but a strong gale set in at noon, followed by a heavy rain during the afternoon. A dense fog enveloped the convoy. Fog horns came into play and it was a miserable night aboard for everybody. Standing at the deck rail one could not pierce the fog, although it was known that within a short radius all the other ships of the convoy were groping their way through the darkness; each creeping as a black monster through the gloomy night, depending upon the fog-horn to keep aloof from their sister convoy ships; a sense of loneliness enshrouded the scene. It was a wild night for the timid with sub-scares, especially when the information leaked out that the sub-chasers which were scheduled to meet the convoy and escort it through the danger zone, were overdue and still missing.

Fog still lay close to the water on the morning of Monday, July 29th, as eager watch was kept for the new convoy. The transports had reached the danger line and the destroyers were not in sight.

Finally at 10 a. m. on the morning of the 29th, the first of the sub-chasers was sighted. It was not long before others appeared, bobbing up and down. The waves dashed high about the light craft and at times seemed to submerge the shells as they bore down upon the groups of transports. Eight sub-chasers appeared on the scene. A great shout went up from the transports as the convoy was sighted. They circled the transports and the last and most dangerous lap of the journey was started.

Thoughts strange and varied filled the minds of the majority aboard as they tossed in their bunks on the night of July 29th. Realization of location in the danger zone was keen. Those who were at ease sufficiently to sleep were annoyed and disturbed by the noises of whistles and signal horns as the ships and the convoy kept ever alert for submarines.

On the morning of July 30th the eight sub-chasers encircled the convoy party in closer proximity. The dash through the danger zone continued (p. 052) unmolested until 3 o'clock in the afternoon when the first real periscope was discovered by the look-outs.

The cruiser at the head of the convoy lurched forth; fired a shot and tossed up the waves in answer. The resonance against the steel sides of the transport rang out clear, bringing hundreds scampering out of the hatches and state rooms of the ship, on to the decks, to peer out over the rail and watch in awe the great drama that was being enacted in serious reality upon the waves of the ocean.

The sun was shining brightly. Every transport in the party struck out at full speed, while the zigzagging was increased in comparison. Eight sub-chasers cut the waves with frantic speed. The circle-convoy formation was abandoned. The destroyers cut short to make for the scene of action, which held forth and was witnessed to good advantage from the starboard side of the Morvada.

As the transports fled under full steam the cruiser and sub-chasers snorted and crashed and roared in the vicinity the periscopes had been discovered. Depth-bombs came into play. Those missiles of destruction were hurled from the destroyers as they combed the waves for miles and miles around the spot where danger threatened. Each discharge of depth-bomb raised an avalanche of water; the deadly bombs blasting the depths for great distances, while the reverberation shook the transports, creating the impression that the transport was in direct contact with each explosion.

For fully an hour the detonations continued as the depth-bombs were discharged. Finally the destroyers swept back and the convoy formation was resumed. The news was spread that the final result of the battle was success, as vouched for by films of oil the destroyers saw appear on the water's surface. General report had it that five submarines composed the attacking party and that wreckage and oil coming to the surface gave evidence of two having been destroyed.

The convoy continued on its journey. Sailing orders were executed in detail. It was 4 o'clock, one hour after the sub-battle, that the convoy parted, the various ships bound for different ports of debarkation, which were soon to loom in sight.

At 6 p. m. that same day the soldiers on board the Morvada sighted land. Throughout the night the ships sped on but land was dimly discernible, the rugged outline appearing through the shadows of the night, while the appearance of fishing smacks, which the transport passed without fear or sign, created the impression that friendly shores were near.

Unable (p. 053) to ply their nets at their life's occupation as fishermen the sturdy shoresmen of Brittany's coast gave of their time and their smacks to the perilous task of combing adjacent water for mines and explosive obstacles.

It was these the Morvada passed out in the darkness of night, on the eve before landing and setting foot on foreign soil. The Morvada crept on, the contrasting stillness of the waves showing that channel waters had been reached. But few on board knew, or could rightly guess what shore was to greet their eyes on the dawn of the morrow.

CHAPTER XII. (p. 054)


A surprise reception was in store for the soldiers aboard the S. S. Morvada when it came to debarking on foreign soil. As the ship plied the channel waters on the night of July 30th, 1918, but few on board knew what port was its destination; but not so with the people of the British Isles. They knew the plans for the arrival of the American army transports. On July 31st, the people of Barry and Cardiff, in common with Newport, in the province of South Wales, did honor to the American troops.

Barry, the urban district and seaport of Glamorganshire, Wales, on the Bristol channel, was the foreign shore that greeted the troops on the Morvada early in the morning of July 31st.

It was perfect weather for such a visit, the first ever paid to Barry by a large body of American troops, and Barry's reception was whole-hearted. The citizens turned out in great force. Enthusiasm was manifest on every side, and this, despite the fact that, owing to the unavoidable delay in the ship's arrival, the people had to wait several hours while the Morvada rested at anchor in the harbor until docking could be accomplished at 9 a. m.

While preparations to dock were in progress crowds lingered on the piers. The soldiers amused themselves by tossing one-cent pieces to the Welsh children. Immediately a demand for American cigarettes and chewing gum arose among the older Welshmen.

The crowds and the town itself were in holiday attire. The vessels in dock were gay with bunting. Flags were displayed from shop-windows, the municipal offices and the fire-brigade station, while from the summit of the Barry Railway Company's offices "Old Glory" was flying to the breeze.

As the Morvada docked and the command was given for the troops to debark, loud welcome was sounded by sonorous "hooters," screaming sirens and shrill ship and loco whistles.

At 10 o'clock the soldiers were assembled on terra firma once more. Parade formation was ordered in answer to the glad welcome plans of the inhabitants.

Headed by the regimental band the 311th Artillery skirted the banks of a small brook named Barri, whose waters encircled an island--the (p. 055) island which in the 7th century is supposed to have contained the cell of the Welsh saint, named Barri, from which the name of the island and the river is derived.

British troops, with rifles at present arms and bayonets glistening in the sun, formed a guard of honor that lined both sides of the streets of Barry, through which the American troops passed in royal welcome. The march proceeded until King's square was reached, where official ceremony of welcome to the town was enacted.

Here the officers and men formed in the large public square in front of the municipal offices, where Councillor George Wareham, J. P., as chairman of the district council, extended to the Americans a hearty welcome.

Lieut.-Col. Bradbridge, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, addressing Col. C. G. Mortimer, in command of the 311th, said he had been commanded by His Majesty, the King, to welcome all to the shores of Great Britain.

Each soldier was then presented with a copy of an autographed letter from King George V., bidding God-speed and every success. The letter was as follows:

Windsor Castle.

Soldiers of the United States--The people of the British Isles welcome you on your way to take your stand beside the armies of many nations now fighting in the Old World the great battle for human freedom. The Allies will gain new heart and spirit in your company. I wish that I could shake the hand of each one of you, and bid you God-speed on your mission.

George R. I.

Col. Mortimer expressed his appreciation of the very hearty welcome his men had received. "We are here," he said, "for one purpose, and you all know what that is. We are young at the business, but if spirit counts for anything, it will surely win out. We have been looking forward to this for some little time, and I can assure you we will do our part."

Then the band struck up the National anthem of America and this was followed by "God Save the King," and the soldiers moved on amid the cheers of the people.

The last mess on the Morvada was partaken of at the conclusion of the parade. At 2 o'clock that afternoon all packs were removed from (p. 056) the boat, the troops assembled in a large warehouse on the pier; British Red Cross workers distributed refreshments while trains were being made up to convey the soldiers to their first foreign training center.

A combination of first, second, and third-class coaches of the compartment type characteristic of the English rail system made up the section of train that was assigned to Battery D. The coaches and British locomotives were the source of considerable interest to the soldiers. Each compartment accommodated eight men, which allowed a division of squads being made for the journey.

At 4:30 o'clock the wheels began to grind the rails and the first ride on foreign soil was started.

Fast-fleeting stretches of fertile farm land and extensive pasture field, rich in verdure, with cattle grazing drowsily at the close of day, presented the picture of a peaceful pastoral life of British subjects as the train continued to add up mileage. Station after station was passed without stop by the American troop special. Battery D displayed an American flag from its section and the inhabitants in the vicinity of the railroad station as the special passed through their town or hamlet, could not mistake the identity of the Americans.

From Barry the route stretched to Penarth and Cardiff; passed through Newport, Christ Church, and Major, thence across the funnel waters of the Bristol channel to the thriving city of Bristol; into the rural districts of Wiltshire; passing Bath, Trowbridge, and Warminster.

Rations of hard bread, corned-beef, corned-beef hash, canned tomatoes, and jam, had been distributed to the squads before leaving the Morvada. When the troop special was nearing Salisbury, evening was well advanced and the appetites of the soldiers were being gradually appeased enroute, stop was made at Wilton, where everybody on board took advantage of permission to get off at the station and enjoy a cup of hot coffee that a contingent of British Red Cross workers handed out.

The journey was resumed after a twenty-minute lay-over. The South of England was penetrated farther as the boys tried to figure out whether they would remain on British territory long, or whether France was to be the first active training center.


(p. 057)

3rd Class French Compartment Coach

3rd Class French Compartment Coach
Side-door Pullman Special

Side-door Pullman Special Travel A La Mode In France

Interior French Box Car Battery D Enroute

Interior French Box Car
A Real American Special

A Real American Special New York To Camp Dix

CHAPTER XIII. (p. 058)


At 9 p. m., it was yet daylight. The boys were weary and tired as the troop train on the London and Southwestern railway pulled into a station, the sign-boards of which gave the name as Romsey. Orders to detrain were passed along.

All soldiers and packs were soon off the train; then, line-up as per usual, and march, first under a stone railroad bridge, through the town, soon to strike a highway leading out of the town.

The pack on the back got heavier every minute, but the march continued; one mile, two miles, then along the stretch of the third there appeared scenes of buildings and tents. Post-signs glared the information that Camp Woodley had been reached. There appeared to be many parts to the camp. Battery D did not stop at the first, nor the second, but halt was made at what was designated as C Camp.

It was a welcome order that allowed the troops to fall-out along the roadside as official parlance was started with the powers that ruled the destinies of C Camp. The vicinity was closely guarded by American M. P.'s., who proceeded to communicate stories, savoring the good, bad, and indifferent prospects of the abode that was to shelter the 311th for one night at least. "It's a rest camp", they said. The words sounded peaceful to the tired troops assembled. It required only one day, however, to find out that the only part of a soldier that got rest at a "rest-camp" was the stomach.

The hour was almost 10:30 when it was finally decided what area Battery D was to occupy for the night. C Camp was a tented camp, the tents being spacious enough to comfortably house about four army cots for a healthy soldier to rest his weary bones on. The cots, however, were missing. Battery D was marched down the main road of the selected area. Halt was made at the first tent. Twenty-six men were ordered inside. The remainder continued to the next tent in order where twenty-six more were registered for the night; and so on down the roster, until Battery D was under canvass.

The battery cooks and details were put to work immediately to prepare something to eat, but a majority of the soldiers either got tired waiting or else had such a hard job finding what was prepared that they wended their way through the tented city and after considerable wandering found the tent wherein they were to be one of the twenty-six registered for the night.

Twenty-six (p. 059) men and twenty-six packs in one tent. Crowding was more than a necessity; it was a torture, as was soon evinced when twenty-six men stretched themselves out on the board floor of the tent for the seeming purpose of sleeping. Extra blankets had been drawn from the quartermaster, which, combined with the blankets the soldier carried in his pack, furnished mattress and coverings for the sweet but hard repose. No blue-print diagram was furnished as to how the sleeping space was to be allotted in twenty-six portions; with the result that one fellow was awakened out of a sweet dream of eating pie and cake, to find his buddy's feet pushing him in the face.

Reveille sounded at C Camp Woodley at 7:20 o'clock on the morning of August 1st, when Battery D received its first taste of British mess. Details of varied description were furnished from the battery roster, while the battery spent most of the first day in camp trying to figure out the English system of mess. The outfit was assigned places at tables, by squads, in mess-tents. Two from each squad were delegated a committee to go to the kitchen and bring on the chow.

For breakfast the committee brought back an iron-bound kettle of oatmeal; another kettle of prunes and a quantity of bread. The system then was one of "help yourself and pass it on," which was all right for the fellow at the head of the table, but the fellows on the opposite end had to do the figuring.

The same procedure was followed at noon when slum was served. Night mess in England invariably was cheese and tea and jam, which was always good as far as it went. The entire 311th regiment was served from one kitchen. It was good fortune that the Americans had individual mess kits with them and that there occurred no sanitary inspections of said eating utensils while in C Camp where fifteen hundred mess kits were washed in a two by four bucket.

During the first day in an English camp many of the soldiers slipped past the M. P.'s and made their way to the town; a quaint market town and municipal borough, numbering almost 4,000 inhabitants, in the New Forest Parliamentary division of Hampshire. As far as sight seeing, the only thing of interest in the town was an old abbey. Cafes were numerous, while English ale signs were more numerous.

An American Y. M. C. A. was housed under canvas at Camp Woodley. The workers in charge prepared a royal entertainment, while the regimental band gave a concert the second night of the soldiers' stay (p. 060) in camp. Members of a Romsey dramatic club furnished the entertainment. Towards the close the band struck up, "The Star Spangled Banner," then, "God Save the King." The Romsey entertainers started to sing their National Anthem, while the Americans joined in with, "My Country 'Tis of Thee." All that was needed to complete the effect of the Babel scene was John J. Jlosky and Otto Skirkie to sing, "Down Where the Green River Flows."

Reveille for Friday, August 2nd, had been set for 7:30 a. m. All heads were awakened by the bugle at 6:45 o'clock that morning. No one in Battery D stirred. The impression was that the call was for another outfit. Six fifty-five found First Sergeant James J. Farrell going from tent to tent to find out the cause of the silence. Then there was great hustling to get out in line and many a woolen puttee was missing that morning.

The day was destined to be a rough one. It was raining at reveille call and still raining when call was sounded at 9:30 o'clock for a hike. The hike was started and continued for three miles, so did the rain. The longer the soldiers walked the faster it rained. The scenery was beautiful through the stretch of pleasantly situated country in the rich valley of the Test. Picturesque English homesteads, set amid hedges and roses, with moss-overgrown thatched roofs, dotted the wayside. At a cross-roads the battery halted for rest. Along the road came a baker's wagon. There was a raid on its gingerbread cookies. The bakerman reaped a harvest of good American quarters for every three cookies he handed out.

Drenched through slicker, et al. the soldiers retraced their step to Camp Woodley, the beauties of the flowery countryside being lost to a majority by the far-soaking rain. When Lieut. Hugh Clarke dismissed the watery battery admonition was added for everybody to change to dry clothing. But, alas, the advice was far better than expedient. The only clothes the soldiers possessed at the time were wet on their backs. Their extra uniform and clothing was in their barrack-bags, which had not been seen since leaving Camp Meade. No fire was available. The only open course was to let the clothes dry on the back. The boys of Battery D spent a very lonely afternoon, sitting in the tents, with wet clothes. And, it continued raining on the outside.

When the battery drew individual rations, consisting of one can of corned-beef; a hunk of cheese; a box of hard bread and a can of jam, at 9:30 o'clock, Saturday morning, August 3rd, the sun was shining (p. 061) and the day was waxing warm. Under full pack the command started for the seaport of Southampton.

Romsey is seven miles Northwest of Southampton by the London and Southwest railway, but the 311th did not take the L. & S. W. The hob-nail limited was the official troop train and the route covered nine miles by winding road.

It was on this hike that "Corona" became lost. David B. Koenig, the battery clerk, was the chaperon of "Corona." But he could not carry her all the way, so the boys took turns at carrying the precious thing. During one of the rest-halts, however, some one left poor little "Corona" lay by the roadside. When her disappearance was discovered it was necessary for Lieut. Clarke to hike back several miles and find the lost. "Corona" was the battery typewriter.

Southampton was reached at 12:30 o'clock. Stop was made at the British rest camp at the Commons where refreshments, in addition to the cheese and jam rations, were secured at the British Y. M. C. A. canteen. At 2 p. m. that day it started to rain and at 2:15 the regiment resumed its march and reached the docks at 3:15 o'clock.

It was a regiment of tired soldiers who sat on their packs in the big warehouse pier at Southampton waiting for word to go up the gang-plank of the vessel that was to take them across the English Channel.

"The King Edward" was the name of the channel-going vessel that drew alongside the pier late in the afternoon. It was a cute-looking boat, just big enough to transport Battery D across the channel in comfort. At 6:30 p. m., Battery D and 1200 other members of the 311th were loaded on the King Edward. Everybody had a pleasant time. No space went to waste, whatever. Some tried to sleep during the long night that ensued while standing against a post and others tried to strap themselves to the ceiling with their cartridge belts. In general the scene was like unto a large meat-cooler in a butcher shop, with the exception that the ship furnished life-preservers instead of meat-hooks and the temperature was the extreme of zero.

Convoyed by several destroyers with piercing search lights, which scanned the same waters that held the dead of the Hospitalship Walrilda, which was torpedoed in the English Channel while conveying wounded back to England, the King Edward started on its dash across the channel at 8:30 p. m., on the night of the day that the Walrilda met its fate.

The (p. 062) troops huddled together in the small hatches of the King Edward did not have much thought where they were or whither bound. They did not recall at the time that they were passing the Isle of Wight and the spot in the English Channel that witnessed the defeat of the Armada in the same month, back in the year 1588.

Sufficient unto the night was the misery thereof. Sea sickness came over quite a few, which was duly abetted by the stifling air. Those near the hatch-ways were fortunate in getting to the deck rails when their inner recesses were most severely tempest-tossed. Those who were hemmed in on all sides by human forms, who lay stretched on the stairs, in hallways, benches and wherever there was an inch of space, had a difficult time when they attempted to find a passage way through the closely matted carpet of humanity.

Col. C. G. Mortimer, the regimental commander, came down from his station on the deck and found it well-nigh impossible to get through the corridor of the forward saloon.

Through the hours of the long night the King Edward was convoyed across the channel at a speed nearing 25 knots an hour. Early morning of Sunday, August 4th, drew the King Edward near the shores of Northern France. At 2 p. m. the ship approached a harbor, but it was not until daylight that those on board could see a sign on a warehouse of a pier, bearing the name Cherbourg.

CHAPTER XIV. (p. 063)


"So this is France!"

For the first time the boys of Battery D repeated this phrase in all its reality as they stood upon elevated ground in the vicinity of the British Rest Camp at Cherbourg and viewed the vista of harbor, four miles distant, where, from the gang-plank of the King Edward they set foot on French soil on Sunday morning, August 4th, at 8 o'clock.

The panorama presented the naval and commercial harbors, from which Cherbourg, the seaport of Northwestern France, derives its chief importance. The eye can see the three main basins, cut out of the rock, with an area of fifty-five acres, which forms the naval harbor and to which are connected dry-docks; the yards where the largest ships in the French navy are constructed; magazines and the various workshops required for an arsenal of the French navy.

A glance about reveals surrounding hills, in which batteries are located in fortification of the works and the town.

A second glance toward the harbor shows a large naval hospital close to the water's-edge, at the mouth of the Divette, on a small bay at the apex of the indentation formed by the Northern shore of the Peninsula of Cotentin. There is also at the mouth of Divette, the commercial harbor, connecting with the sea by a channel. This harbor consists of two parts, an outer harbor and an inner basin. Outside these harbors is the triangular bay, which forms the road-stead of Cherbourg.

The bay is admirably sheltered by the land on three sides, while on the North it is sheltered by a large breakwater, which is protected and leaves passage for vessels. The passages are guarded by forts placed on islands intervening between the breakwater and the mainland, and themselves united to the mainland by breakwaters.

Glimpses of the town of Cherbourg which the boys received as they hiked the four miles from the docks to the rest camp, through narrow and crooked streets, revealed no buildings of special interest, apart from the church of La Trinite dating from the 15th century; a statue of the painter J. F. Millet, born near Cherbourg, stands in the public gardens and there is an equestrian statue of Napoleon I in the square named after him. After reaching the rest camp the soldiers were (p. 064) unable to get down to the town again, although they had been told that the Hotel de Ville housed a rich collection of paintings.

It was at 10 a. m. when the regiment arrived at the British Rest Camp at Cherbourg. Halt was made on a large parade ground in front of a Y. M. C. A. hut. The boys stretched themselves on the ground while search was instituted for the area the outfit was to occupy at its second rest camp.

Rest had just been commanded a few minutes when the command to "fall-in" was sounded. Everybody hustled to their feet, shouldered the heavy pack and awaited the next order.

"About-Face" was ordered. And the regiment obeyed. "Rest" was next. This was the first time in the history of the battery that it was necessary to shoulder packs to execute an about-face.

The camp consisted of dome-shaped, sheet-iron barracks and tented areas. After an hour's wait Battery D was assigned to the 13th row of Section C of the tented area. Tents were pyramid in shape. Fourteen men were crowded into each tent that was originally intended for eight.

By laying in wheel formation, with fourteen pairs of feet meeting at the center pole, the boys rested themselves on the board floors of the tents that night. There was no room for packcarriers and other paraphanelia in the tents. Most of the soldiers deposited their excess luggage on the outside. About midnight it started to rain. There was a scurry to get the equipment in out of the rain, which also disturbed the sweet slumbers as water trickled in under the canvass or else came through leaks in the roof.

Reveille sounded at 5:30 the next morning. Orders were given for packs to be rolled preparatory to moving. A move was made from Section C to row 19 of D Section of the same tented area. The remainder of the morning was set apart for Battery D to take a bath. The soldiers' bath had been a negligible quantity since leaving Camp Meade, with the exception of some few who attempted to work up a lather with salt water on the Morvada. To the boys, therefore, the prospect of a good bath was hailed with delight.

No dressing room was attached to the bathhouse that was situated at one end of the Cherbourg rest camp. Therefore the boys had to make ready for the bath in their tents. With slickers and shoes on the battery lined up and marched to the bathhouse, while the rain came down and the wind was wont to play with the flaps of the raincoats, as a battery of bare-legs was exposed to the elements.

Arrived (p. 065) at the bathhouse, it was discovered that the showers would accommodate eight at one time. The first squad in line went into the water sanctum, while everybody else waited their turn on the outside.

The showers consisted of three half-inch pipes suspended from the ceiling. There were three lengths of pipe, each length being perforated at two places to emit the shower of water. The perforations comprised about four holes, each hole about one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter.

The first eight who entered the bathhouse were eager to get under the showers and consequently did not glance about to inspect the equipment of the room. The eight soldiers braced themselves under the showers and yelled for the man in charge to turn on the water. Instead of being washed away by the force of the current, as the firmly braced attitude of each gave evidence that such was to be the case, the opening wide of the flood-gates let four needle-like streams of water descend upon each figure.

The eight took the bath good-naturedly and as they passed out of the bathhouse, making room for the next eight to enter, they passed word along the end of the waiting line to the effect that it would be just as expedient to take off the slicker and stand out in the rain, that was still falling.

The same evening orders to leave the rest camp came forth. At 6 p. m. the regiment was assembled on the parade ground and soon started its march back over the four miles, through Cherbourg, to the railroad yards of the Ouest-Etat railway, which skirted the docks.

Arrived there at 7:45 p. m., sections of French trains were assembled ready to receive the soldiers. This assemblage of coaches was of infinitely greater variety than those of English ownership. Third class coaches were in evidence, but of greater import were the box cars containing the inscription, "40 Hommes or 8 Chevaux."

Forty men or eight horses may have been the official capacity but when forty soldiers with equipment C were assigned to such a car to spend the night and several succeeding nights, all that was needed to make sardines was a little oil.

Several sections of the battery were fortunate in securing third-class accommodations, but the remainder prepared to settle themselves in the box cars, the majority of which cars turned out to have flat wheels as the journey started.

Daylight (p. 066) remained abroad for the first two hours of the journey; while the cars jolted over the rails the boys sang and kept alive the spirit. Then came darkness. No lights in the car. Forty men stretched out in a small box-car. Incidently it might be added that a French box-car is about one-half the size of similar type of car used on the railroads in the United States. It wasn't fair to kick your buddy in the face or get on his ear. The night, however, gradually wore on and the towns of Valognes, Isigny and Manche St. Lo, were passed. Thence out of the Manche department, through the railroad center at Vire, in Calvados, the special, with its side-door Pullmans, rolled on, enroute through Flers, Coutenne and Pre during the early hours of the morning of August 6th. Daylight dawned as Alencon was reached and at 11:30 a. m., Le Mans loomed in sight. A half-hour's ride from Le Mans and an half-hour lay-over was ordered. The troops were allowed to alight for the time. A supply of iron rations was also furnished each car from the supply car of the special.

The next stop was made at Tours from 6 to 8 p. m. A short lay-over was also made at Poitiers at 11 p. m. The troop special was then nearing its destination. But few on board were aware that at the end of the next thirty-four kilometers was Montmorillon, in the department of Vienne, which was to be the stopping off place of Battery D for a stay of several weeks.

The troop special of thirty-five coaches and box cars, pulled into the station at Montmorillon at 1 a. m.; all was quiet about the station. A majority of the soldiers were too tired to care about location. They slumbered on as best they could in their box-car berths, while the special was pulled in on a siding, to remain until daylight when the order to detrain was to be issued.


(p. 067)

Montmorillon Station

Montmorillon Station

Where Battery D Detrained in France After Leaving British Rest Camp at Cherbourg.


Montmorillon Street Scene

Montmorillon Street Scene

Building Marked X was Billet for Half of the Battery During the First Month Spent on French Soil.


CHAPTER XV. (p. 068)


Dotted with quaint architecture of 12th and 13th century Romanesque and Gothic design, the hills of Vienne department, France, cradle the crystal-clear and drowsy-moving waters of the Gartempe, a river, which in its course winds through the town of Montmorillon, where four thousand French peasantry, on August 7th, received their first lesson in American cosmopolitism.

Montmorillon, where the boys of Battery D were billeted for the first time in the midst of the French people; where they received their first impressions on French life and mannerisms, lives in memory of the boys as the prettiest, cleanest and most-comfortable place of any the outfit visited during its sojourn in France.

Despite the fact that a feeling of strained hospitality attended the reception of the 311th Artillery, the first body of white American troops to visit Montmorillon, the cloud of suspicion was soon lifted and four weeks of smiling August sunshine days, undarkened by rainclouds, were spent along the banks of the Gartempe.

When the 311th troops alighted from the troop special early on the morning of their arrival, the station and avenues of approach to the town were guarded by American negro M. P.'s, members of the 164th Artillery Brigade, who had arrived in the town several weeks previous and had made themselves at home with the natives.

The 311th was not in Montmorillon many days before the explanation of the half-hearted reception came to light. An element of negro troops had started the story on its rounds among the guileless French peasants that the white troops, who had just arrived, comprised the "Scum of America," and that they (the negroes) were the real Americans; the whites being the so-called "American Indians." As the flames of gossip spread from tongue to tongue, admonition was added that the white arrivals were dangerous and corrupt and the French should refrain from associating with the new arrivals.

Thus there was created an intense and bitter racial feeling that loomed gigantic and threatened open racial hostilities as the white and colored American troops traveled the same streets of a foreign village; were admitted to the same cafes and vied with each other for the friendship of the French populace.

Street (p. 069) fights were not infrequent, while scenes in cafes were enacted wherein white refused to sit in the same room with colored troops or vice-versa.

Persisting in their set standard of chivalry, the element of the white soldiers often took it as ordained to induce the French demoiselles to leave the company of their opposite in blood. Many of the colored troops were equally persistent, with the result that the breach of ill-feeling gaped bigger, until official cognizance came to bear.

Within a short time the 164th Brigade was withdrawn from Montmorillon, leaving the 311th to commence its active and intensive course of training on foreign soil.

On August 7th, the day of the 311th's arrival, the troops waited at the station for several hours while the billeting officers were locating billets throughout the town. Iron rations were partaken of at the station and everybody was glad that battery mess outfits would soon set up shop and the American Q. M. system of rationing would be resumed.

The march through the town to the various assigned billeting districts was started from the station at 9:30 o'clock. The batteries of the regiment were scattered in various billets throughout the town. Every vacant house, barn or shed that possibly could be pressed into service, was designated as a billet for the troops.

Battery D continued its march through the town; across the cement bridge over the Gartempe; into an octagon-shaped intersection of public streets, lined with several three-story buildings, the principal one of which gave evidence of being a cafe and bore the sign, "Cafe du Commerce."

Opposite the bridge, the route was along Rue de Strasburg, where, in the rear of the Cafe du Commerce, Battery D halted before a three-story stone structure that bore signs of having been vacated for many years.

The area billeting officer produced a large key, threw open the door and half the battery was ushered inside. It immediately fell their task to brush the cow-webs from the ceilings; gather up the fallen plaster from the floor; sweep out several years' accumulation of dirt and dust; while the old-fashioned shutters were pried open for the first time in many years and the sunshine streamed into the rooms, to drive away, to some degree, the mustiness of environment.

The (p. 070) other half of the battery was directed to a barn structure about a block distant from the first battery abode. Clean-up activities of similar nature were instituted in the barn.

About 3 o'clock that afternoon the barrack bags of the regiment were received and distributed to the soldiers. The bags had been in transit ever since leaving Camp Meade.

Arrangements were made with several French farmers to bring a quantity of straw to the public square, where the soldiers, later in the afternoon, filled their bed ticks. It was on a tick of straw, thrown on the floor of the old dilapidated, vacated house, that one hundred of the battery spent their nights of sleep in Montmorillon while the other half occupied similar beds on the upper-lofts of the barn.

There were no formations the morning after arrival. The battery men spent most of the time about town. It was strange to observe the peasantry hobbling along in their wooden shoes, the flopping of the loose footwear at the heels beating a rhythmic clap, clap on the cobblestone pave.

Each day brought new scenes of peasant life. Quaintly and slowly oxen under yoke were used on the streets to haul the farmers' grain to the large public square, where, under the scorching sun the farmer and his helpers toiled with hand flailers, thrashing the grain. Strange looking carts, drawn by donkeys with large ears, vied with the ox-carts for supremacy of traffic.

Along the river's edge were located public places for clothes-washing. The peasant whose house adjoined the river had a private place at the water's-edge where the family washing was done. The river served as a huge tub for the entire community, the women carrying their wash to the river, where, kneeling at special devised wash-boards, garments were rubbed and paddled until they shown immaculate.

Washing was greatly increased at the river when the 311th came to town. The hundreds of soldiers sought out washer-women. The peasant women welcomed the opportunity of earning a few francs doing American washing. The more active of the washer-women spent entire days washing at the river for the soldiers. At first one franc was a standard price for having a week's laundry done, but as days passed and business became brisker, rates went up to two, five and in some instances higher.

To the Americans the town of Montmorillon, as was the case of most of the ancient towns visited in France, presented an impression of (p. 071) isolation. Houses built during the 12th century with their high walls surrounding and barricaded entrances, were greatly in evidence; houses of such nature, history records, as furnishing protection in the days when feudalism fought at spear-points. The stages and wages of war advanced with the centuries, but not so with the ancient French town; where the peasants live content with no sewerage or drainage system; content to pursue the antiquated customs. To be thrown in the midst of this 12th century environment was productive of lasting impressions on the part of the American troops who were suddenly transplanted from a land of 20th century civilization and advancement, to an old and foreign soil.

The first night the 311th was in Montmorillon fire broke out in "The Baines," an ornate and modern French homestead near the Cafe du Commerce. Several officers of the 311th regiment had secured quarters in the Baines. They were forced to vacate by the fire. Bucket brigades was the only fire protection the prefecture afforded its citizenry. The fire drew a large crowd of the new soldiers, a score of whom took active charge of fighting the blaze; giving the Frenchmen a real exhibition in the art of bucket-brigade fire extinction.

Time, however, was not to view French scenery. Training activity was the official topic of interest. It was decreed that instruction in the school of the soldier should begin immediately. Fifty per cent of the regiment comprised new recruits, who had been assigned to the outfit previous to departure from Camp Meade. It was necessary to begin the training at the beginning.

Out from the town, among the open farm lands, a large grain field was secured as a drill field for the battery. It required a thirty-five minute hike from the battery billeting area to reach the drill field. This hike was in order every morning and afternoon. The time on the drill field was spent in learning the rudiments in much the same manner as the training was started and progressed with the first recruits at Camp Meade.

When 4 o'clock of each afternoon came, the order was established for a swim in the river as the parting day's rejuvenator. Montmorillon was the only place in France where the battery got frequent baths.

Saturday morning for the troops at Montmorillon was generally inspection time. Inspections were held on the public plaza. Showdown inspections were as exacting as Camp Meade days. Saturday afternoon (p. 072) and Sunday were days of rest for those who were lucky enough to escape detail.

Regimental services were held in the public square on Sunday mornings, while many of the soldiers visited the curious, two-storied chapel of octagonal form and Romanesque style, that was built in the 12th century, in which services were still conducted. The chapel is connected with the ecclesiastical seminary that occupies a building that was formerly an Augustinian convent.

The Church of the Notre Dame is another ancient landmark of Montmorillon that held interest for the Americans. It, also, is a 12th century building, built on a high slope, with its chapel undermined with a series of catacombs. Trips of inspection to these subalterean chambers, where the worship of the early ages was conducted, were numerous and interesting to the soldiers.

Various schools for instruction of the officers of the regiment were established at Montmorillon. A detachment of new officers from the Saumur school arrived in town to take charge of the training work while the regular officers attended the schools. Second Lieut. Sidney F. Bennett of Derby, Vermont, was assigned to Battery D at this time and was given plenty of work in supervising the morning drill and battery instructions. Lieut. Bennett immediately won great favor among the men. He varied his periods of drill and training with athletics. "O'Grady," "Crow and Crane," "Belt 'Round the ring," and numerous other sport contests were indulged in with great vim.

A battery kitchen, utilizing the field range, was set up in close proximity to the two battery billets. Here the boys lined up with their mess-kits three times a day. They sat out in the narrow French street as they appeased their appetites. Gone were the mess hall tables of Camp Meade days. Gone were the cots of Camp Meade memory. Cheer was added, however, when mail from the United States and home began to reach the outfit. The first despatch of mail to reach Battery D overseas was at Montmorillon on August 13th.

Then on August 14th came the first overseas payday. The battery members were paid with an addition of ten per cent for foreign service. The first pay was in French currency, the rate of exchange at the time being 5:45 francs to the American dollar.

When French peasants toiled a whole day for several francs and when the pay of the French soldier was not equalling one franc a (p. 073) day, the French, when the American private was paid $33 a month in 179.85 francs, gained the idea that all Americans were millionaires. The result was the establishment of two standards of price in French shops; one price for the French and a higher price for the Americans.

Souvenir postcards sold anywhere from 10 centimes to five francs apiece. In the matter of fruits, peaches commanded one franc for three during the peach season; apples sold two for one franc; while tomatoes that should have sold for one franc a basket, brought one franc for five.

The soldiers were allowed to be on the streets until 9 o'clock each night. Many spent their money freely. The wine shops did a thriving business and as is usual in large crowds, the element was present that was not satisfied with sampling the large assortment of wine-vintages but indulged in Cognac. Strict disciplinary measures were immediately adopted. Several of the first offenders, none of whom, however, were from Battery D ranks, were reduced in rank at a public battalion formation on the public square.

The cognac proclivities of the few endangered the privileges of the many in having freedom to visit in the town at night. Battery punishment was inflicted at times, which constituted carrying a full pack on the back at drill formation or for a certain period after drill hours.

Toward the latter part of August steps were taken to organize a battery commander's detail. Lieut. Hugh M. Clarke took charge of the instruction work. Special instruction was started in map and road sketching, orientation and signal work. The battery in general was also put through a strenuous course in the use of the semaphore and the wigwag.

On August 21st the regiment passed in review on the large regimental drill ground, under a burning sun. The swim in the river at the close of that day was especially inviting.

While in Montmorillon Lieut. Sidney F. Bennett instituted a series of battalion and regimental setting-up exercises. Calesthenics, to the music of the regimental band, was the feature of the exercises.

The long hike to the grain field drill ground was abandoned after two weeks and the village plaza was used for drill purposes. About this time several French army sergeants were attached to the regiment and instruction in gun pit construction was started. Details were kept busy for several days digging gun pits near the regimental drill (p. 074) grounds, but before the job was fully completed orders came for the regiment to leave Montmorillon.

Present day reminiscences vouch for the fact that the stay in Montmorillon was most pleasant. The weather had been ideal throughout the month of August. Except for a detachment from the regiment who replaced the negro M. P.'s no guard duty was necessary in the town. During the first week of September, 1918, however, all that the boys had to compare their lots and life in Montmorillon with was Camp Meade regime. In the light of this comparison many expressed words of approval that the outfit was finally getting away from such a horrid place. Those who failed to see the good points of Montmorillon, moreover, were without knowledge of what the future held in store for the outfit in its journey through France.

CHAPTER XVI. (p. 075)


La Courtine, a village in the Department of Creuse, France, is surrounded by hilly country, the very nature of the hills affording ideal artillery range. La Courtine, therefore, was the site of a French artillery camp for many years.

The village is divided into two parts; that which is gathered around a progressive looking station, and part is on a hill, which part is called Hightown. Both parts are confined to one street, replete with bars and cafes.

It was to La Courtine that the 311th was bound after leaving Montmorillon. The French had turned the artillery camp over to the Americans and thither the 311th regiment was sent to get active and intense training in range fire with the use of the French 75's.

The troop special assigned to the regiment upon leaving Montmorillon was made up of box cars, many of which had recently been used to transport crude oil, evinced by the oil on the floor of the cars. Onto every box car was loaded anywhere from 36 to 50 soldiers and a supply of iron-rations for the trip.

Montmorillon was last seen at 10 a. m., September 4th, when the trip of box cars began to jolt and bang and back and switch over the rails, with the troops aboard making the best of the situation, reclining on straw that had been secured to partly cover the crude oil.

The route was through Dorat, Gueter, Busseau and Feletin. La Courtine was reached at 9 o'clock. As per usual the first few sections of the battery were left at the station as a baggage detail, while the remainder of the battery marched through the village to the camp on the outskirts.

The camp consisted of concrete barracks, with no lights at night and a majority of the windows broken. The floor and ceiling, however, was solid, which, at least, meant dry shelter during the nights of France's rainy season, soon to be experienced.

Besides having a majority of the window panes broken, the barracks bore marks of having been the target for machine-gun bullets. The exterior walls were pitted with holes. Battery D was not in camp long before the members knew the story of the Russian revolt that had been staged at La Courtine during the days of Russia's exit from the war. When Russia withdrew from the fighting Camp La Courtine (p. 076) sheltered Russian troops. When the crash came part of the Russian army encamped there revolted against a portion that sought to remain loyal to France. The result was battle. The revolutionists fortified the surrounding hills with machine-guns and opened fire on the barracks of the camp below. Many Russians were slain in the revolt and lie buried in a cemetery in the camp. The revolt was finally suppressed by a detachment of French cavalry dispatched to the scene.

Sleeping quarters at Camp La Courtine contained bunks made of two-inch plank, on which the Americans used their bed-ticks filled with straw.

Battery kitchens were set up the morning after arrival. The kitchens were located under a tented roof. Mess was enjoyed by the soldiers out in the open, as there was no mess hall for Battery D.

Except a slight rain the first day at Montmorillon, the four weeks spent by the outfit in Vienne Department were weeks of sunshine without a single day of rain, save the slight shower on the day of arrival. It was the declining days of the French dry-season. Advent of the outfit at La Courtine was with the rainy season. It rained the first night in camp and it kept raining almost continuously during the two months the battery spent at range practice.

The weather, however, affected no training schedules. The first days at La Courtine were given over to hours of intensive exercise, drill and instruction in all lines of artillery work. Specialty schools were started in orientation, telephone, radio, machine-gunners, etc.

It was at La Courtine that Bill Brennan and Joe Loskill, who accompanied the advance detail of the regiment to France, rejoined the battery. They had arrived at La Courtine several weeks previous to attend the machine-gun school. The machine-gunners, who left the battery at Montmorillon to attend the school, were also at La Courtine when the battery arrived.

Instruction was continued from early morning until nightfall. A large Russian cannon was discharged in the camp each morning at 5 o'clock, also at retreat time each night. Reveille was a daily formation but, as was the case at Montmorillon, retreat was suspended during the months the war continued. All energy was devoted to essential war-training formations.

Camp La Courtine housed a large and well-equipped American Y. M. C. A., presided over by a large and capable staff of secretaries. To a majority of the troops the Y. M. C. A. furnished greater inducement for (p. 077) an evening's entertainment than did the numerous wineshops down town, that always stood open and ready to receive the cash of the American soldiers.

On September 10th matériel began to arrive for the regiment. Within a few days the regiment was equipped with French artillery equipment, the field pieces being the famous French 75 millimetre guns.

It was the first time that a majority of the boys of the regiment ever came in contact with a 75. During the period of training at Camp Meade, Md., U. S. A., the old members of Battery D spent eight months in learning the 3-inch American field gun. It was an entirely new proposition when equipped with 75's and ordered to range practice.

Instruction was also started in equitation and harnessing. French artillery harness presented many new problems to the Americans. Many a soldier became highly exasperated in a vain attempt to untangle a set of French harness.

About twenty horses were furnished the regiment at La Courtine. Several motor trucks were also supplied, whereby sufficient traction was secured to drag the guns out among the surrounding hills for actual firing practice.

Battery D was not long in getting acquainted with the French 75's. On September 16th, just a brief span after the first instruction on the mechanism of the gun, the boys fired the first salvos on the range at La Courtine.

September 19th was the beginning of what was almost incessant work on the range. Rolling out at 5 a. m., the boys toiled on the range through the rain and mud, returning to barracks at 6:30 p. m.

Training continued in intensity. September 30th was one of the days reveille sounded at 4:30 a. m. The weather was miserable--rainy, windy, dreary. The battery left the barracks at day-break and hiked to the range with field-packs, to sleep in pup tents on range grounds, to be on hand early the following morning.

Gas masks and steel helmets were additional implements of war issued to the soldiers at La Courtine. Then followed hour after hour of gas instruction. Gas masks were carried by the battery on all hikes and drill formations. Besides adjusting the mask a countless number of times a day, a regimental order made it mandatory that the masks be worn for at least one-half hour continuously each day.

Influenza (p. 078) struck the regiment while encamped at La Courtine early in October. On October 5th, the camp Y. M. C. A. was closed under quarantine. The quarantine in the regiment was accompanied by strict daily inspections. The barrack squad rooms were thoroughly cleaned and disinfected each day and all blankets were taken out for a daily airing.

There was a plentiful supply of ammunition at La Courtine. The battery spent the days at range practice when thousands of dollars worth of shells were fired at a great variety of targets from several different battery positions that were established.

While the battery was fitting itself at range practice, specialists were qualifying in all the attendant duties of artillery work. Toward the last of October it looked as though the outfit would soon see active service, as perfection in firing was rapidly being reached.

On October 15th the battery camouflage detail, headed by Sergeant Leo Delaney, of Pittston, Penna., began the construction of camouflaged gun positions on the range, after which Battery D participated in the firing of a brigade problem.

Several days previous, October 11th, William Reynolds, of Pottsville, Penna., was killed when acting as No. 1 man of the first gun crew, in charge of Sergeant James Duffy, of Parsons, Penna. Standing in the rear of the piece, Sergeant Duffy had given the command to fire. The execution of the command was immediately followed by an explosion in the gun's tube, a portion of steel flying and striking Private Reynolds, almost decapitating him. Nicholas Young, of Pottsville, Penna., acting as Number 2 man on the gun-crew, sustained a compound fracture of the leg. Gunner-Corporal John Chardell, of Hazleton, Penna., sustained injuries about the body which confined him to the camp hospital for several weeks.

Private Reynolds was buried in the American cemetery at Camp La Courtine on Saturday, October 12th, at 2 p. m., with military honors. This first casualty overseas awakened a new cord of sympathy among the battery members and it was with thoughtful determination they turned from the grave of their departed comrade and went back to their tasks of preparing for active war.

Training was continued amid rumors of early departure for active battle sectors. As early as October 10th orders were received for the outfit to prepare to move. Supply wagons, etc., were immediately packed. Days passed, but no transportation was in sight. Each (p. 079) day the boys looked for an order to entrain, but the R. T. O.'s were not heard from.

Thrilling news of the final stages of the drives reached the boys through the Paris editions of the New York Herald and Chicago Tribune, that were sold in the camp each day. The news enthused the soldiers and thrilled them with the desire to move forward and get in on the grand finale. They had toiled early and late, in all kinds of weather, to learn how, and it is natural to presume that a red-blooded soldier yearned the opportunity to make use of that knowledge acquired with such sacrifice and toil.

While waiting orders to move the battery took up a new position on the range. A brigade firing problem including a night barrage was fired on October 21st, with the signal details at work with signal rockets.

The brigade problem, which was the last firing the battery did in France, ended on October 30th with the laying down of a defensive barrage. The problem required twenty-four consecutive hours.

On October 28th, First Lieutenant C. D. Bailey joined the battery at La Courtine. Lieut. Bailey was formerly of the ambulance service of the French army and the S. S. U., No. 5. and at that time, he was the only man in the regiment entitled to wear a French decoration.

Meanwhile the outfit was packed up in the main, and was ready to move at short notice. With the approach of November the boys thought their movement was assured and plans were laid for a "feed," consisting of a pig-roast, to be held on November 2nd.

Late in the afternoon of November 2nd death claimed First-Sergeant James J. Farrell, of Parsons, Penna., who died a victim of pneumonia. Sergeant Farrell, who was a regular army service man, was buried at La Courtine on Monday, November 4th.

The same day, November 4th, another battery member was claimed in death by Influenza. He was Private Horace Fardon, of Paterson, N. J., who was buried on November 5th. That evening at 6:55 o'clock Private First-Class Joseph A. Loughran, of Hazleton, Penna., fell a victim to pneumonia. Private Loughran was buried alongside Private Fardon, on the morning of November 6th.

Besides paying last military honors to their departed comrades the boys spent the days previous to the cessation of the fighting on the pistol range, developing their proficiency with side-arms.

On (p. 080) the evening of Wednesday, November 6th, a battery entertainment was staged in the auditorium of the camp Y. M. C. A. A mock trial was the feature of the entertainment.

On one of the trips to the pistol range, on November 5th, Private William Van Campen, of Ridgewood, N. J., walked into a loaded hand grenade, which he kicked. The resultant explosion caught him in the knee and incapacitated him on the hospital list. Corporal James F. Kelly, of Plains, Penna., almost collided with a grenade on the same trip.

An order was issued, November 9th, for front-line packs to be rolled; transportation was in sight. The inevitable delay resulted, however. All transportation facilities were busy hauling ammunition to the front where the Allies were giving the Germans the rain of fire that caused them to think seriously and quick about an armistice.


(p. 081)

Entrance To Camp La Courtine, France

Entrance To Camp La Courtine, France

Road Leading from the Village Street to the Artillery Camp. The Scene of the Armistice Celebration.


American Y. M. C. A. At Camp La Courtine

American Y. M. C. A. At Camp La Courtine

Officers' Mess Hall of French Camp Used as a Recreational Center by the American Army.


CHAPTER XVII. (p. 082)


November 11th, 1918, was a memorable day to the populace of La Courtine, France, as was the case in every hamlet, village, town or city in the world, when the news was flashed that Germany had accepted the terms of an Allied armistice and that fighting was to cease at 11 a. m. that day. The armistice that ended the World War was signed at 5 a. m., Paris time, and hostilities ceased six hours later, which was 6 o'clock Washington time.

The American troops encamped at La Courtine this eventful time received the tidings with great joy. The roads leading from the camp to the village were crowded with soldiers who paraded up and down in hysterical good humor. The crowds thronged into the village where the one main street was ablaze with celebration. The French populace were out to celebrate with the Americans. The cafes did a land office business. Wine flowed freely. The French kissed the Americans in some instances as the celebrators swayed through the street. The band was out. The crowds shouted, yelled, sang and cut-up all kinds of antics.

The scene, however, was similar to that enacted everywhere throughout the Allied world. The end of the fighting was officially announced and everybody was glad. The same hysterical good humor swayed the crowds at La Courtine that prompted like celebrations throughout the United States.

Great as was the enthusiasm and celebration of November 11th, the big gusto of celebration had been spent at La Courtine, as was the case everywhere else, on Thursday evening, November 7th, when a premature and unofficial announcement of the armistice was made.

Battery D spent the afternoon of November 7th on the pistol range. About 5 o'clock the news quickly spread that a bulletin announcing the end of the fighting had been posted at the Y. M. C. A. The bulletin was up only a short time when it was removed, with the explanation that it was unofficial, also contradicted.

But the anxious hearers, as was the case everywhere, wanted no denials. The enthusiasm of the hour made people speak of the thing which they had been hoping for as though it had come true. Consequently the enthusiasm led to celebration.

It was a gala night in La Courtine. The days following brought sober realization that the end had not yet come. Stern realities of war (p. 083) loomed big in Battery D circles on Saturday, November 9th, when a front-line pack inspection was in order.

A quiet Sunday followed, then, at noon on Monday, November 11th, came the authentic news of the armistice signing. Joyous celebration started immediately and assumed its peak during the afternoon when special passes were issued to the soldiers to visit in the village. The celebration continued until late at night.

Official recognition of the news was thundered from the cannon at Camp La Courtine at retreat, when a royal salute of twenty-one guns was fired.

The following day was also an off day for Battery D. Passes to visit the town were issued to half the outfit from reveille to 3 p. m., while the other fifty per cent were given the privilege from 3 p. m. until 11 p. m.

Word was received that the regiment was to entrain at La Courtine on November 14th. Preparations were immediately made for a farewell banquet. After great preparation by the cooks and the K. P.'s, the banquet was staged at 6 o'clock on November 13th, with stewed chicken as the mainstay of the menu. A number of the Y. M. C. A. girls were guests at the banquet.

Thursday, November 14th, the regiment had the task of getting its matériel to the station at La Courtine for transportation by rail to a new billeting area of France. No one could guess where it was to be or what the future held in store for the troops in the way of service and training during the months that were sure to intervene before it was a question of homeward bound.

The regiment was well supplied with matériel, but had no horses. A number of motor trucks were sought out to haul the heavier of the supply wagons. It was necessary for the soldiers to furnish the power to drag the guns and caissons from the camp to the station, a distance of over a mile.

The matériel was loaded on flat cars at the station. Then the soldiers were ushered to side-door Pullmans once again. Bed ticks were not emptied of their straw before leaving camp. Thus the soldiers entered the box cars with their bed ticks as a mattress to recline on the floor of the car.

The first section of flat cars and box cars with Battery D left La Courtine at 2:30 o'clock. Another seeing France by box-car trip was on.

An (p. 084) improvement in mess enroute was experienced during this trip. A flat car was used for the rolling kitchen. Hot meals were prepared in transit. Back over the same route, through Feletin and Abusson, to the junction point at Busseau, the troop special proceeded, reaching the junction at 6:30 o'clock when mess call was sounded. Here the first section of the train waited until 8:27 for the arrival of the second section at the junction point.

It was dark when the trip was resumed. Deprived by the darkness from sight-seeing privileges, all that remained for the troops to do was to stretch out on the floor and try to sleep. The nights were long and dark while traveling in a French box car.

During the night the towns of Jarnages and Montlucon were passed. The train entered the Department of Allier, traveling Northeast, through Commentry, Villefranche, le Montel and Moulins.

Daylight was breaking by the time Moulins was sighted. Stop was made at Paray le Monial from 7:30 to 8 a. m., when breakfast was served from the flat truck dining car.

The next day, November 15th, was spent traveling through a beautiful stretch of country. The railroad ran almost parallel with the Boninoe river, a branch of the Loire. Through pasture lands and farming country, the road stretched along Palinges, Montceau, Changy, Beaune. A lay-over for lunch was made at Nuits St. Georges at 1 p. m.

In the afternoon stop was made at Dijon, where the troops got a chance to detrain and partake of refreshments that a corps of French Red Cross workers served at the station.

Soon after leaving Dijon darkness fell upon the troop special. The sun had not yet gone to rest. The famous tunnel between Sombernon and Blaizy-Bas had been penetrated. This tunnel, on the road to Paris, may be a note-worthy piece of engineering skill, but its designers evidently never dreamed of a troop special of thirty or forty old box cars, many with rust-corroded doors that could not be closed, whizzing through; leaving the passengers to eat up the exhaust from the smoke stacks of the locomotive.

At this time the troop train was headed Northwest, toward Paris, but hopes of getting near Gay Paree were soon shattered. When Nuits sous Ravieres was reached, switch over to another branch was made and the direction then was Northeast, toward Chaumont, the A. E. F. headquarters town.

Stop (p. 085) for night mess was made at Les Laumes, where orders were also issued for the troops to get their packs ready as the outfit would detrain in about three hours time.

A heavy frost developed that night and the troops almost froze in the boxcars. After delay in getting started from Les Laumes the journey continued over a considerable longer period than three hours. Laigne and St. Colombre were passed and La Tracey, the detraining point, was reached at 3 a. m., Saturday, November 16th, 1918.

Reveille was not sounded until 6 a. m. During the interim most of the troops left the boxcars and built fires in the railroad yards, around which they sought warmth during the early morning hours.

The hustle to get all the matériel from the flat trucks started at 6 o'clock. A section of a motor transportation corps was dispatched to La Tracey to convey the regiment to its new billeting district. The motor outfit was late in arriving, but finally start was made. Three and four guns and caissons were attached to each truck, the truck loaded with soldiers and packs, then for a thirty kilometer race through the Marne Department in motorized artillery form. The last detail did not leave La Tracey until 4 p. m.

The first details arrived at Ville sous La Ferte, a small village in the Department of Aube. This village was the billeting center for the 2nd Battalion of the regiment. Regimental headquarters was established at Clairvaux, four kilometers from Ville sous La Ferte. The 1st Battalion went to Juvancourt, about a kilometer distant.

Farm lands and vineyards surrounded these villages. The inhabitants were of the quiet peasant type. With nothing of interest and no form of amusement, Ville sous La Ferte was a quiet place for Battery D. The battery was divided among a score of barns, lofts, sheds and houses, covering considerable length of a village street. A grist mill with its water-wheel and mill-pond was situated near the building in which the battery office was established. All formations were assembled in the street in front of the battery office. Difficulty was experienced during the stay at this place in getting the battery out at all formations, especially those members who were billeted in the loft of a barn at the extreme end of the battery street. As a remedy the battery buglers were given the job of traversing the street each morning and routing out the fellows.

It was mid-November. The days and evenings were getting damp and chilly. Fires were comfortable things those days, but heating stoves were unknown to the peasant homes of Ville sous La Ferte. The (p. 086) houses were equipped with fire-places. The big question, however, was to procure fuel. It was all the battery could do to get a supply of wood from nearby woodlands to supply the needs of the battery kitchen. At first the fellows started to make raids on the wood pile that came in for the kitchen, but this soon had to be stopped under necessity of suspension of the commissary department.

For many of the squads billeted in the barns and sheds there was no chance for warmth as there were no fire-places. During the damp, cold nights the only choice the inhabitants of those billets had was to roll in and keep warm under the blankets.

To chop a tree down in the numbered forests of France was to commit a crime, so the fellows who were in billets that did have fire places faced a series of crimes to get wood. The inhabitants of such billets took it upon themselves to devise ways and means to obtain fuel. The occupants of one billet sent details out to root up old fence posts from adjacent farm-lands; while in another instance eighteen men housed in a billet borrowed several French wheel-barrows and at night made a raid on a large pile of newly cut tree trunks which was located a kilometer from the village.

The result of this night's work provided fuel and light for several days in the billet of the raiding party. Light was another essential feature. With candles selling as high as a franc apiece, letter writing home was sadly neglected in many cases. So the receipt of an extra letter written by the light of a log-blaze, kindled with wood secured through great difficulty, has had to act as savoring repentance for any misconduct employed in acquiring possession of the means of light and heat.

The battery had among its equipment dozens of new horse-blankets. With the exception of a few stray animals, no horses had been received by the battery in France thus far. Several were in care of the outfit at Ville sous La Ferte, where six horses caused as much stable detail work as a complete battery of mounts occasioned at Camp Meade. The main feature, moreover, was the distribution of the horse-blankets among the troops in an effort to keep warm at night.

There was no room in Ville sous La Ferte to do any maneuvering, so the guns and caissons were parked in a field and were not used during the stay. The time of the soldier was employed in hikes and various forms of athletics. Soccer developed as the leading sport and great rivalry resulted in games that were played on furrowed ground of a large wheat field.

War (p. 087) was over, so official orders again gave birth to Retreat formation, which was held with much disciplinary ado in front of the Hotel de Ville at 4:15 o'clock each afternoon. Guard mount was also decreed and last, but not least, regimental reviews came into their own with great official solemnity.

On Thursday, November 21st, a wild boar hunt that had been planned by the battery, had to be called off. A regimental review was to be held at Clairvaux that afternoon.

The 2nd Battalion formed at 1 p. m. and hiked to Clairvaux with colors flying for the big review. A mix-up in giving commands "flunked" the first attempt at passing in review. The entire ceremony of dignity had to be executed a second time. Close order drill then came into its own. The following day, November 22nd, the battalion again hiked to Clairvaux, where another review was staged and the regiment kept at battalion close-order drill until 4 o'clock.

Sunday, November 24th, reveille sounded at 6 o'clock. Orders were given to make rolls preparatory to moving. When the soldiers were ready to move the order was changed. It was discovered that the motor trucks would not arrive until the following day.

The motor transportation squad was expected to arrive early on Monday morning. It was 9 o'clock at night when they arrived. Departure was delayed until next morning, but this did not keep back an order that called the battery out in detail during a heavy rain at 9:30 Monday night to pull the guns and caissons through the mud, from the field where they had been parked to the road, so that they could be attached to the motor trucks. There was a great tendency to "duck detail" that night.

Ville sous La Ferte was finally left in the distance, Tuesday, November 26th, at 10 o'clock. The soldiers and their packs had to pile in the few motor trucks that were furnished. A few of the boys rode the matériel attached to the trucks and had a wild ride. The rolling kitchen of the battery, with ovens blazing away, covered the roads at a fine clip behind a motor truck, with George Musial having his hands full trying to manipulate the brake.

The trip continued through Maranville and Bricon. Chaumont was circled about 4 o'clock and stop was made about twenty-one kilometers from A. E. F. Headquarters, at a sleepy little hamlet of about fifty houses and barns, called Blancheville.


(p. 088)

A Battery D Kitchen Crew

A Battery D Kitchen Crew

Photo Taken at Mess Tent at Camp La Courtine, France.


Group Of Battery D Sergeants

Group Of Battery D Sergeants

Capts. Clarke, Smith, and Hall in foreground.




Blancheville, mud and mules are associated in memory of the holiday season of 1918-19 that Battery D spent in France.

It was Thanksgiving week when Battery D arrived in Blancheville. The auto convoy deposited the battery paraphernalia in the vicinity of the old stone church and graveyard that stood along the main highway as the landmark and chief building of the village. Nearby stood the only other building of import--a stone structure that housed a pool of water in the manner of the ancients. This was the public pool where the women of the village came to do the family washing, as the village was deprived of the natural advantages of a river. Watering troughs surrounded this wash-house on two sides. Twice daily the cattle and live-stock from all the village barns were led to this watering place. Water for drinking purposes was also supplied the village from a special fountain on the exterior side opposite the water troughs.

Mud was the chief characteristic of Blancheville. It was a farming community of unusual quietude. Plenty of barns and roosts were found in which to billet the battery. The natives were very hospitable. They readily chased out the cows and the chickens to make room for the Americans. The boys lived next door to animal nature. In one billet an adjacent room housed the live stock and it was not uncommon to have slumbers awakened by the cow walking into the sleeping quarters of the troops.

While in Blancheville the boys got used to the largest of the French rat species. During the hours of the night they traveled flat-footed over the faces and forms of sleeping soldiers, also played havoc with all soldier equipment stored in the billet. It may sound like myth, but it is a fact that a rat in one billet dragged an army mess kit across the floor--they were some rats.

On the road opposite the church stood an old, one-story stone building that was built in its present form, eight hundred years ago. The roof was overgrown with moss and one corner had started to crumble in from old age. In this building Corporals James Cataldo and Michael A. Tito, the battery barbers, set up a barber shop. They did good business after they were able to convince the battery in general that the roof would not cave in for another hundred years.

The (p. 090) first day in Blancheville was spent in parking the guns and caissons, digging Latrines and the usual duties attendant upon establishing a new battery home. It was also a job in itself to make some semblance at getting some of the billets cleaned up and half fit to sleep in.

Reveille for the first few mornings was at 8 o'clock. Thursday, November 28th, was an off day for the outfit, except those on K. P., who got an extra job in preparing a battery Thanksgiving spread. The day was spent by the idle mostly in hiking over the roads and visiting some of the nearby villages where the other units of the regiment were quartered. Regimental Headquarters, Headquarters Company, Supply Company, Battery C, and the Medical detachment were at Andelot, about four kilos from Blancheville. The 2nd Battalion Hqrs. and E Battery were at Cirey-les-Mareilles; A Battery was at Vignes; Battery B at Montot, and F Battery at Mareilles.

The town of Andelot, built in the shape of an amphitheatre on the slope which forms the base of the hill of Monteclair, is situated on the banks of the little river Rognon, 21 kilometers from Chaumont, seat of the Department of Haute Marne.

On this hill of Monteclair, on which there was a strong-castle during the years 101 to 44 B. C., Caesar established a camp. Under Constantine (306 A. D.) Andelot became the seat of a province. A Court of Champagne fortified the position of Monteclair (440 A. D.). On the 28th of November, 587, the treaty of Andelot was made between Gontran, King of Burgundy, and Cnideberft, King of Austrasia, who was accompanied by his mother, Brunehaut.

In 871 A. D., Andelot became the seat of a county, which was broken up in the course of the tenth century, and which was a dependency of the Duke of Lorraine. From 1201 to 1253 the fortifications of Monteclair were strengthened and enlarged, the town was beautified and surrounded by walls, which were demolished in 1279. Andelot became the seat of a prefecture of which Domremy, the birthplace of Joan of Arc, was a part.

In 1356 and again in 1431 Monteclair was taken by the English. It was returned to France in 1434. In 1523 a German army occupied Andelot and the castle of Monteclair for a short time. There followed famine and pestilence. Francis I, King of France (1494 to 1547) repaired the fortifications and ordered a great amount of work to be done on the fortress. During the religious wars (1337 to 1453) Andelot was taken and re-taken by the Catholics and Protestants, its church was (p. 091) burned and its bells melted down. Monteclair came again under the authority of the King in 1594.

The fortress of Monteclair was dismantled in 1635, and in the following year the Germans devastated the town of Andelot. The fortress was finally destroyed in 1697. From that time until the present Monteclair and the towns in its vicinity have been rich in souvenirs.

It was among these scenes Battery D idled the Thanksgiving day. At 5 p. m. a special feed was put on in the battery mess hall in general celebration. The feasting was getting along nicely; everybody was enjoying the menu of roast pig and prune pie and nuts and candy, when it was suddenly discovered that a number of the candles used to light the mess hall had suddenly disappeared. The aftermath was felt for several days. A thorough search for the lost candles was instituted. They could not be found. An official battery order was then promulgated, stating that if the candles were not returned within a certain time a very heavy battery guard would be put on for the remainder of the stay in Blancheville.

About a half dozen candles had disappeared. When the ultimatum was issued about two dozen candles of all sizes and descriptions were returned to the battery kitchen. The guard never went on. Candles continued to sell in Blancheville for fancy prices and the battery in general suffered in its letter writing for the want of light at night.

Leather jerkins were first issued the battery at Blancheville on November 29th, which was the signal for horses to be received. The receipt of horses started a long and hard battle with the mud. To multiply miseries mules played an important part in the life of the battery. All told it is a long, muddy tale.

On Friday, December 6th, fourteen sick horses arrived in Blancheville to be cared for by Battery D. The following day another consignment of horses arrived. The majority of the animals were afflicted with the mange. All had seen active service and were badly used up. Many suffered from neglect, the troops having but little time for the proper care of the animals while up in the front lines. Some were minus pieces of their ears, which had been shot off in battle.

Two large, open artillery stables had been erected at Blancheville by a previous contingent of troops, so Battery D had stable facilities. The constant rain, however, soon played havoc with the ground in the vicinity of the stables and it was not long after the horses were received (p. 092) that the heavy traffic in the vicinity of the stables created a regular sea of mud. Hip rubber boots were issued and it was a grand battle with the mud each day. The animals had to be led through the mud three times a day to the public water troughs in the village.

Besides caring for the horses the time at Blancheville was spent in hiking, at physical exercise and in the enjoyment of various forms of athletics. The manual of the pistol again came into its own and the guns were not neglected, as gun drill was finally returned to the schedule.

At least once a week the battery hiked to Cirey les Mareilles, three kilos distant, where the only bath house was located.

Thoughts of the Christmas season came to the battery at Blancheville when the first Christmas boxes from the folks back home were received during the second week in December. The boxes continued to arrive until the festal holiday.

Sunday, December 15th, was payday for the soldiers in Blancheville. This particular payday was of ill omen for the battery. A number of the boys indulged too freely at the cafes in Chantraines, with a to-be-regretted fracas resulting. A guard of military police was put on at Chantraines following this escapade.

Monday, December 16th, thirty-five additional horses were received by the battery. Considerable time was spent in getting the harness in shape, especially the saddles, after which lessons in equitation were again started, also a number of battery mounted hikes inaugurated.

Early in December announcement was made of a proposed horse convoy to the Belgian border. The topic was discussed for many weeks, the proposed trip having been scheduled and cancelled several times before a convoy finally materialized. What the one hundred volunteers for this convoy had to contend with during the trip is a tale of its own, which must be related in terms of hardship, rain, mud, and mules.

CHAPTER XIX. (p. 093)


What could be more pleasant or soothing to an adventurous spirit than a trip in the saddle through the scarred and devastated battle sector along the Lorraine border? This is what appealed to the boys of Battery D when announcement was made at Blancheville early in December that one hundred men were wanted to accompany a horse convoy to Longwy on the Belgian border. One hundred volunteers were asked for, and it was not long before the required number was enlisted from the military ranks.

The first convoy was to have left Blancheville on December 13th, but at the eleventh hour the trip was cancelled. Various other dates were set. Finally, on Wednesday night, December 18th, Capt. Smith assembled the battery in the Y. M. C. A. tent that stood near the old church, when announcement was made that the horse trip was to start on the morrow and the names of the one hundred men who were to make the trip, were called off.

In high spirits the volunteers made ready for the trip. Each man packed a set of saddle bags; made ready a driver's roll with shelter half and blankets. All the other individual equipment was gathered together and left in the Y. M. C. A. tent, as rumor had it that the regiment was soon to move to another billeting area and the order to move might come when the horse convoy was on the road. Thus the extra equipment was left with the remainder of the battery, on whose hands evolved the task of remaining in Blancheville and caring for the battery horses and doing the other detail work. The schedule worked hardship both ways. There was more than enough work for those who remained at the battery area, and those who volunteered for the convoy were not long in realizing that they had a tough job on their hands.

The detail of one hundred men left Blancheville at 7:25 a. m., Thursday, December 19th, in five auto trucks. The trucks also conveyed a saddle and equipment, also driver's roll, for each member of the party.

The auto convoy proceeded through Chaumont; then came a pleasant ride along the Marne river, passing through the towns of Luzy, Vesaignes, Rolampont and Langres. Stop was made at the latter fortified town, where the soldiers visited the town and procured refreshments. (p. 094) The trip was continued and at 12:30 p. m. the party reached Remount No. 13. at Lux, situated about three kilometers beyond Is-sur-Tille.

In fighting the mud at Blancheville the battery members thought they had struck the muddiest spot in France. Nothing could be muddier, they thought. But this thought was soon shattered when the volunteer convoy reached Lux. Perhaps it was due to the Remount being numbered 13, but the mud that surrounded it is beyond adequate description.

It was raining heavily when the battery arrived at Lux. Slimy mud, three feet thick in places, covered the territory of the remount.

The original order was for the detail from Battery D to remain at the remount over Friday and start with the horses for the Belgian border on Saturday morning. Arriving at the remount the battery detail was housed in a sheet-iron barrack with corrugated sheet-iron bunks. And everything was covered with mud.

Thursday night, while the detail lingered at the remount, official orders came changing the plan for the convoy party. Instead of taking horses to Longwy the detail was ordered to start the following morning to return to the 311th Regiment with several hundred mules.

Friday morning, December 20th, reveille was held in the rain at 5:45 o'clock. Immediately after mess the auto trucks were loaded and made ready for the trip. The detail, in charge of Capt. Smith, and accompanied by Lieutenants Yeager and Bennett, ploughed through the mud to the section of the remount that housed the horses the convoy was to escort.

Each member of the convoy selected a horse to saddle. The animals were of various spirits. Many of the battery detail were recruits who did not have the lessons in equitation at Camp Meade that the older members of the battery experienced. After considerable difficulty the horses were saddled and the convoy assembled in a large field to receive the consignment of mules.

Many of the horses had never been ridden in the saddle before, with the result that a regular wild-west exhibition transpired on the field. Riders were thrown from the saddle into the mud, but all the boys had their nerve with them and stuck to the horses, bringing them under control.

Lieut. Yeager was induced by the remount officers to saddle a large and fiery stallion, but after a brave attempt on the part of Lieut. Yeager (p. 095) to break and ride the stallion, during which the rider was precipitated into a large, muddy pool and covered with mud from head to foot, change had to be made for another animal, the stallion being left behind when the convoy started.

When all was set with the detail mounted, the remount attaches trotted out 237 mules, tied in series of three.

The mules were divided among the mounted men, each man getting three mules to lead, besides having to manage the horse he was riding. All the mules were frisky, having remained unworked for a considerable period. There was great prancing around as the convoy assembled. The mules, in many cases, started to pull one way and the horse pulled the opposite. Many of the mules were tied up in various speed combinations. Ones that were always on the run were coupled with ones that did not know how to step lively, or else the horse of the mounted party was either too fast or too slow for the trio of mules the driver had to lead along.

At 9:30 a. m. the convoy got started on the road. The convoy consisted of 96 mounted men leading 237 mules, the rolling kitchen drawn by four mules, in charge of George Musial, who had the assistance of Cook Burns and two K. P.'s in preparing meals enroute. Five auto trucks, carrying the forage and picket-line equipment, formed the remainder of the train.

Slowly the convoy proceeded over the mud-covered road leading from Lux. At noon stop was made at Fontaine-Francais, where the animals were watered in a stream and given nose-bags. Then the rolling kitchen came along the road and hot slum and coffee was served to the horsemen stretched out along the side of the road. It was against orders to tie the animals anywhere while on the march. Each driver had to hold his charges at rein's length with one hand, and attempt to eat the slum with the other hand.

After a two and one-half hour lay-over the march was resumed, a distance of thirty kilometers having been set for the day. The route was through Montigny in the afternoon and at 5:15 p. m., under a cover of darkness the convoy reached Champlitte. Through the town the road stretched, past a large chateau, then came a long hill, down which the horses and mules galloped, wild with hunger and fatigue. It was a dark night and difficulty was experienced in keeping to the unknown road. In making the descent of the hill leading from Champlitte several riders and mules almost struck the edge of the elevated road and had a narrow escape from going mounted over a precipice.

It (p. 096) was about 6 p. m. when stop was made at the base of the hilly road, where orders to remain for the night were issued. There were no stable accommodations, or nothing ready to receive the animals. A picket line had to be erected in a muddy ravine. The animals had to be led to a nearby stream and watered by bucket as there was no shallow approach to the stream. As the animals were watered and lead to the hastily thrown up picket-lines they began to bite and kick each other. A miniature stampede resulted until the several hundred nose-bags were adjusted and hay shook out along the picket line. Then all horses and mules had to be blanketed for the night. The detail secured the blankets from the auto trucks and started the task, which took considerable time and which was finally accomplished at the risk of life and limb. A limited amount of picket line had been erected and the mules especially were tied in very close proximity. To get between them and blanket the frisky jacks was to dodge bites and hoofs in all directions.

Mud was kicked up in all directions while the animals were receiving attention. It was a tired, muddy and dirty lot of soldiers that finished their tasks at the picket line at 11:30 p. m., and started to march up the dark hill to Champlitte; to the old chateau that was to house the troops for the night. It was midnight when the troops got something to eat from the rolling kitchen. Then they stretched out on the floors of the old chateau to rest for the night.

Next morning was Saturday. It was decided that the convoy would remain over at Champlitte and rest for the day. There was but little rest, however, as everybody was kept busy caring for the horses and mules; watering, feeding and grooming being in order. When it came to grooming the mud was caked thick on all hides.

It rained Saturday night. The guard detail at the picket line had a merry time chasing mules that broke loose and started to roam over adjacent hills.

All hands were up and on the job at the picket line at 5:30 a. m., Sunday morning, December 22nd. It was 8:30 o'clock before all sections were watered and fed, the picket lines packed in the trucks and things made ready to start. With the sections lined up on the road ready to start, count of the mules was taken and it was discovered that five were missing. An hour's wait resulted until all mules were present and accounted for.

The drive continued through the rain, until 11:30 p. m., when the town of Pierrefitte was reached. Detailed work in throwing up a picket (p. 097) line in the yard of an old chateau and duties equally as strenuous and similar to the first night's stop at Champlitte, were in order until all the animals were cared for. Bean soup was served for the battery mess and the night spent in the chateau.

During the night the rain turned into a sleet storm, attended by a strong wind. The wind and the sleet caused a stampede at the picket line. Morning found the picket lines completely demolished, and horses and mules roamed all over the lot. They were tied in all shapes and forms, the halter shanks being twisted in knots galore.

The battery men were up and doing at 5:15 Monday morning. It was 10 a. m. before all the animals were captured and tied up properly. The first section got started on the march shortly after 10 o'clock. Sleet, rain and snow continued to fall during the day. Through large expanses of open road, the convoy journeyed. The sleet drove in the faces of the mules, causing them to gallop at top speed. The riders had their strength severely tried and tested in keeping the situation under control.

Stop was made about 3 kilos from the town of Bourbonne where the animals were watered at a stream. The convoy entered Bourbonne at 3:30 p. m. and found to its great joy that the town housed an American army veterinarian section and had stable accommodations. The stable facilities lightened the work of the convoy and it was 5 o'clock when the men went to the town to seek quarters for the night. The large auditorium of the American Y. M. C. A. had been scheduled as the place of abode for the night. When the outfit applied for admission a conflict of dates was brought to light. It took great persuasive force, bordering close unto mob rule, before the officious officer in charge of the Y. M. C. A. was induced to allow the tired and muddy party to break in upon the quietude of the few sections of troops occupying part of the Y. M. C. A. for the night.

Before the convoy resumed the journey on Tuesday morning, December 24th, army veterinarians examined all animals in the convoy party. Many loose shoes had to be fixed by the blacksmiths, while twenty-two of the horses showed symptoms of lameness else had developed sores that barred them from continuing the journey. The veterinarian section also took over a number of the sound horses and mules.

The first sections got started from Bourbonne at 9 a. m. Twenty-six of the men, under Capt. Smith, were detailed to take the lame horses to a nearby remount and exchange them for sound animals. It (p. 098) was 11:30 when the detail of twenty-six left Bourbonne with the thought of overtaking the remainder of the convoy.

The main convoy rode hard all day. It was the day before Christmas and it was raining. Stop was made for the night at Clefmont, where stable accommodations were secured for the horses, while the mules had to be picketed.

The detail of twenty-six that was following had difficulty in finding the road the convoy had taken. It was dark when Clefmont was reached. The main detail had sent out a guard with a lantern to locate Capt. Smith and his detail, but the guard got on the wrong road; leaving the detail with Capt. Smith passing out Clefmont in the blackness of the night. By a stroke of luck, however, inquiries from French peasants finally steered the lost detail on the road where the advance guard with the lantern was located.

After caring for the horses the convoy spent Christmas eve in an old, dirty, combination barn and dwelling. Reclining on bunches of live straw that was found in the building, the soldiers dreamt of Christmas eve back home, wishing they were there, instead of where they were.

Christmas morning, Wednesday, December 25th, dawned clear and cold. Clefmont was left behind at 9 a. m., when the soldiers determined to drive hard so that the trip could be terminated by noon. The route lay through Longchamp. As the morning wore on a snow storm developed. Through the snow the riders pressed on, until 1 p. m., when Cirey-les-Mareilles was reached. Orders were to leave the majority of the animals at Cirey. A detail of Battery E men were on hand to meet the convoy and assist in caring for the animals at that point.

Relieved of their charges, the members of Battery D secured auto trucks to take them to Blancheville. It was a relief to get washed and cleaned up, as there was very little washing and shaving done during the five days on the road. It was a pleasure, also, to be back at the old stamping ground. And, to think it was Christmas. A few peaceful hours during the afternoon and evening were enjoyed by the convoy detail. A large amount of mail had accumulated while the men were on the road. It was Christmas mail, in which cheering words were received from the home folks. Christmas boxes despatched through the Red Cross came into their own. It was a rejuvenated bunch that partook of Christmas dinner in the battery's old mess hall at Blancheville at 5 o'clock that night.


(p. 099)

Battery D On The Road

Battery D On The Road
Passing Through a French Village.

Aboard The Edw. Luckenbach
Battery D Homeward Bound.

Aboard The Edw. Luckenbach
At Bush Terminal, Brooklyn

At Bush Terminal, Brooklyn
Home. At Last.

CHAPTER XX. (p. 100)


During the month of January it was reported in official circles that the 154th Artillery Brigade was to accompany the 79th Division into Germany as a unit of the Army of Occupation. The artillerymen were enthused with the prospects of joining their division and getting in the midst of the big scenery. The movement, however, never materialized. The outfit was forced to bear a disappointment like unto the shattering of expectations of getting in on the finale of the fighting.

As has been recorded, as early as October, 1918, the instructors had decided that the 311th artillery was in a position to take up active front-line duties. Several weeks previous the infantry and machine-gun regiments of the 79th Division had entered the fight and made their famous attack on Montfaucon, one of the most difficult positions to take in the Argonne sector. Twenty-seventh Division artillery had furnished the support at Montfaucon. The 79th Division artillerymen were eager to replace them and aid in the fighting of the division along the Meuse river.

After the holiday season Battery D spent its time in Blancheville with mounted hikes forming the mainstay of the schedule. Each day the outfit looked for orders to join the division and proceed to German territory.

The horses and mules brought to the regiment by the convoy, were distributed to the various batteries. Driver squads were immediately reorganized and great preparation attended all the hikes.

The latter part of January an official order was issued citing the individual members of Battery D as entitled to wear a gold service chevron, an indication of six months service on foreign soil. With the award of the gold stripe came the selection of the Lorraine Cross as the divisional insignia and the granting of leaves of absence to visit the beauty spots of France, with Paris included in the schedule as a possible three-day leave center. The first men left the battery on a fourteen day leave, at Blancheville. A waiting list was established and passes were issued in order of application. During the remainder of the battery's stay in France names were on the leave list.

The famous Mediterranean Riviera was the favorite leave center, although St. Malo and Grenoble were cited in official division orders. (p. 101) Many of the members of Battery D got the opportunity to spend a vacation in the Southern part of France, where the land is sheltered by the mountains from the North winds, and lit and warmed by a resplendent sun in a sky, the azure of which is seldom dulled by clouds. Nice, Monaco with its Monte Carlo and a trip across the Italian border near Menton, were included in the majority of the leave itineraries. While en route to the Southern clime it was customary for the soldier on leave to mistake trains; get on the wrong train and find himself landed in the City of Paris. This, in most cases, was the only opportunity the majority had of seeing the French metropolis, although a number of three-day leaves to the capital city were granted battery men.

Leave privileges in the A. E. F. kept the French railroads busy. The demand for furloughs became so popular that troop specials to the leave centers came into being and opportunity of individual travel was curtailed. Scores, however, took advantage of the troop specials to the land of vacation ease.

While Battery D was in Blancheville Lieut. Hugh M. Clarke was transferred to the Supply Company of the regiment and Lieutenant Leo C. Julian, of Lakeland, Fla., was attached to the battery.

The horses were the main care of the battery. Forage was scarce, which caused the animals to become mean-tempered as they gnawed at the hay-racks and discovered that about one pound of hay had to do each horse a day while the forage scarcity lasted.

Many of the battery members received severe kicks while attending to stable duties. The most serious injury through a kick was inflicted upon Private Frederick M. Bowen, of E. Rutherford, N. J., who was sent to the Base Hospital at Rimaucourt with injuries that separated him from the outfit and sent him home as a casualty.

When the hikes became a daily occurrence at Blancheville stable duties were set for the entire battery to share in. Watering and feeding was done immediately after reveille was dismissed each morning.

On January 3rd the battery was ordered to pack everything to take to the road. The rolling kitchen accompanied the battery caravan that left Blancheville to return again to the village after a 7 kilometer hike. A similar hike was held the day following, when it was announced the regiment was to move forward and join the division for the trip into occupation territory. The same day a detail of five (p. 102) men were dispatched to the new billeting area to make ready the new battery location.

It was decided that the battery would proceed to the new area by taking to the road in march-order. The battery was ordered to be ready to move by January 9th.

On January 8th another hike with everything packed was accomplished, the outfit getting back to Blancheville at 12:30 p. m. All the matériel was left out along the road leading from the village that night, so all that was needed for an early start the following morning was for the horses to be hitched to the guns, caissons and supply-wagons.

The battery left Blancheville at 7:30 a. m., Thursday, January 9th, proceeding to Andelot where the entire regiment assembled on the road for the journey. A detail of men were left at Blancheville to cleanup; overtaking the outfit later on single mount.

After leaving Andelot the route was through Vignes and Busson; halt for noon-mess was made at the latter place. A distance of 22 kilometers was set for the day's journey, terminating at the village of Epizon, which was reached at 3:30 p. m. The regiment parked its matériel and established its picket line in a large grain field, then had to wait for two hours until the supply train brought up the forage. The battery men found sleeping quarters for the night in the barns and sheds of the village.

The outfit was astir at 4:45 o'clock the next morning and was moving on the road at 8:30 a. m. Stop was made at noon at Soulaincourt, where the 311th passed the 211th motorized French artillery regiment, going in the opposite direction along the narrow road. In the afternoon the regiment passed through the town of Montiers and went into park for the night at 6 p. m., at Morley. The village furnished an abundance of haylofts for the artillerymen to crawl into the straw for the night.

Saturday, January 11th, found the regiment ready to resume the journey at 7:15 a. m. The trip continued through Le Bouchon, Serenier and Stainville, the latter place being the noon-mess stopover junction. Here the train of horses were watered by bucket. During the afternoon Bazincourt, Haironville, and Bullon were invaded in order. The horses were watered in the community watering trough in the village of Combles at 3:30 p. m., after which the regiment proceeded to Veel and stopped for the night. It rained heavy during (p. 103) the night, but the outfit was fortunate in locating a number of army barracks in the village that furnished a night's shelter.

Sunday, January 12th, it was raining when the troops answered reveille at 5 o'clock. The rain turned into snow an hour later when the regiment was ready to resume the journey. Under a canopy of snow the troops passed through the city of Bar Le Duc. After leaving Naives in the distance, stop was made at noon at Le Petit Rumont.

The cannoneers were forced to walk a great part of the distance. They were also compelled to wear their field shoes on the march instead of the rubber boots which the drivers wore. They trudged along the slushy road with wet feet, while it grew colder and more miserable. It was welcome relief when camp was ordered for the night at Violette and the troops assigned to old hospital barracks for the night.

A farming community, named Benoite Vaux, in the Department of Meuse, about twenty-five kilometers from the celebrated American battle sector of Saint Mihiel, was selected as the new billeting district for the regiment. Benoite Vaux was reached at noon on Monday, January 13th, after the regiment had been on the road for the day since 8 a. m., passing through Belrain, Pierrefitte and Courouve.

Benoite Vaux was a quiet hamlet of a score of peasant homes and an old stone church. The 2nd Battalion was stationed in and about the town; Battery D was assigned to barracks that formerly were used as a French army hospital. The 1st Battalion was scattered here and there on the hills and in the woods outside the village.

CHAPTER XXI. (p. 104)


Almost every outfit of the A. E. F., in France, adopted a mascot--a real, live mascot, to be sure; not out of mere pet fancy, but the natural outcrop of the American spirit of benevolence. Through the Bureau of War Orphans of the American Red Cross, units of the A. E. F. made contributions to the Adoption Fund for French War Orphans. The aid in each case was administered by the Red Cross to the welfare of an orphan.

The members of Battery D adopted little four-year-old Denise Ferron during the month of February, 1919, as their mascot, and, by additional contributions a ward was selected in memory of First Sergeant James J. Farrell. The second ward was three-year-old Georges Lemoine, who was much in need of assistance.

Denise Ferron, with brown eyes and brown hair, was born April 25, 1914, the daughter of Madame Vve Ferron, of Fericy, Seine et Marne, France.

Mr. and Mrs. Ferron had just established a butcher shop when war came on. The father was then mobilized at the first call. He went to the front where he was wounded. In 1916 at Verdun, he held the Croix de Guerre and was mortally wounded in April, 1918.

When he joined his regiment his wife was left with no resources, having given all of their earnings for the purchase of the butcher shop. The difficulty to find meat and some one to help her, forced her to give up her business.

She had another child, Simonne, who was born July 8, 1917. This blonde, grey eyed brother of Denise was cared for by another A. E. F. unit. As her children were too small, Mme. Ferron was not able to take any work and her only means of support was a military allocation amounting to 105 francs monthly.

Although his body rests in the American military cemetery at La Courtine, France, the memory of James J. Farrell is revered in unison by all who knew him and the family of Vve Memoine, Ville Billy, St. Lunaire, Ille et Vilaine, France, who have come to know him in spirit since the youngest son, Georges, was adopted. Georges Lemoine was born February 1, 1915. He had five other brothers and sisters, viz; Pierre, Louis, Marie, Marcelle and Anna, the oldest 15 and the youngest 6 years.

These (p. 105) children were in a truly lamentable plight. Their father was a farmer but on such a small scale that what he got from his small piece of land was insufficient for the needs of his family. He was conscripted but sent back because he was the father of six children. He had never been strong, and during the prolonged stay at the front tuberculosis developed, from which he died on May 18, 1917.

Unfortunately his wife contracted this terrible illness. But before she realized her plight she had taken over a neighboring farm, for she was anxious to shoulder her burden as well as possible. This overtaxed her strength and hastened her decline.

These are passing incidents of the period the battery spent in Benoite Vaux. Other incidents of import to the battery were the erection of stables and the conduct of horse shows.

When the outfit arrived at Benoite Vaux there were stable accommodations for some of the batteries encamped out in the woods but Battery D, stationed in the village, was without accommodation for the horses. For the first few weeks of the stay the horses were kept out in the open on picket lines. The weather and the mud became very severe and temporary stables were secured in a wooded section near where Battery C was stationed. These stables were about two kilometers from the battery billets. While the horses were stabled there the soldiers had to hike the two kilometers three times a day and drive the horses to the watering troughs in the center of the village.

Orders were soon issued for the battery to build stables in the woodland on the opposite side of the road from the battery quarters. The ground selected as the site was very muddy. The first duty, therefore, was the opening of a stone quarry and the hauling of many loads of cracked stone to form the base of the new stable. Between the work of building the stables and preparing for the horse shows, the time of the troops at Benoite Vaux was well occupied.

On February 21st, the 2nd Battalion of the 311th conducted a Horse Show to pick entries for the regimental Horse Show which was announced. In this show Battery D carried off a good share of the ribbons. John E. Jones, of Hazleton, Penna., was awarded the blue ribbon and a cash donation of francs, as first prize winner for individual mounts. Concetti Imbesi, of Scranton, Penna., captured the second place in this event and was awarded the red ribbon. Imbesi was a prize winner in the hurdling, taking the yellow ribbon.

For (p. 106) the entry of 75 mm. gun and caisson with personnel, Battery D took second and third places. The 2nd section of D took the red ribbon and the 1st section received the yellow decoration. Each battery had six mounted sections in this event. Battery F took first in this event.

The battalion, as well as the regimental show, was held on a specially constructed course between Benoite Vaux and Issoncourt.

In the regimental show, which took place on Monday, February 24th, John E. Jones was adorned with the blue ribbon for guidon mounts. Jones also finished third in the regimental hurdles, in which event Imbesi also cantered from the track with the blue ribbon on his bridle.

The officers of Battery D added their share to the trophies of the day. First Lieutenant C. D. Bailey, in the officers' single mounts and hurdles, captured second place in both events. The 2nd section of 75 mm. gun and caisson, the Battery D winner in the battalion show, was ruled out of the regimental decision. Battery A took first in this event, while the 1st section of Battery D got the yellow ribbon.

The Divisional Show was held at Pierrefitte on Thursday, February 27th. The best Battery D could do in the divisional competition was a good record of two third places with the yellow ribbons. The show was conducted in inclement weather, a combination of rain, hail and snow worrying many of the high-spirited chevaux as they walked, trotted and cantered over the course. Jones was judged third for guidon mount and Capt. A. L. Smith got third for officer's saddle horse.

The official standing of the organizations in the regimental show was as follows:

Headquarters Company 27
Battery D 18
Battery B 18
Battery F 13
Supply Company 10
Battery E 7
Battery A 5
Battery C 5
Medical Detachment 0

(p. 107) The points scored at the Divisional Show were:

311th Field Artillery 38
310th Field Artillery 29
315th Infantry 25
313th Infantry 15
304th Signal Battalion 10
304th Sanitary Train 8
154th F. A. Brigade Hqrs. 6
Headquarters Troop 6
314th Infantry 6
79th Military Police Company 5
311th Machine-Gun Battalion 5
316th Infantry 3
312th Machine-Gun Battalion 3
158th Infantry Brigade Headquarters 3
304th Ammunition Train S. O. L.

The Ninth Army Corps held a Horse Show at Lerouville, March 21, 1919, with the 79th, the 88th and the 9th Army Corps Detachment, competing. Honors were awarded as follows:

79th Division 137 points
88th Division 87 points
9th Corps Det. 26 points

At this show Jones, of Battery D, won third prize in the quarter mile race.

The horse shows entailed a large amount of work. The soldiers were kept busy shining harness, grooming horses and painting matériel. The road between Benoite Vaux and Issoncourt, where the battalion and regimental shows were held, was a stretch of mud. It was a serious proposition to get the horses to the show-course without having them look as if they had taken a mud bath.

In the regimental show Arthur H. Jones, familiarly known to the battery members as "Boundbrook," the name of the New Jersey town he claims as home, had entered the battery water cart in the show. The water cart was one of the most valuable of battery vehicles. While at Benoite Vaux all the water for drinking and cooking purposes had to be hauled to the battery kitchen from a well about a kilometer distant.

"Boundbrook" Jones had charge of the cart, driving to the well for water several times each day. "Boundbrook" also prided himself as having the best horse of any of the water carts in the regiment. When (p. 108) it came time for the regimental horse show Jones was certain that his charge would carry off first prize in the water cart entry.

To the great chagrin of "Boundbrook" Battery D's cart was disqualified by the judges because it did not have the proper spigots attached to the water tank. Jones drove back to Benoite Vaux in a dejected mood. Meeting Lieut. Bailey he exclaimed: "Say, Lieutenant, I thought this was a horse show and not a plumbing show."

During the stay in Benoite Vaux the Battery members took advantage of every opportunity afforded to visit battle sectors. St. Mihiel was visited by many, while Verdun, with its underground city, and the country in that vicinity was also explored to great extent. The soldiers were granted mounted passes at times, which entitled them to saddle battery horses to go on a day's sight-seeing trip.

During the latter part of February Capt. Smith was ordered to Paris on temporary duty in the Inspector General's Department. Lieut. Yeager and Lieut. Julian were also detached from the battery at Benoite Vaux. Lieut. Yeager gained admission to an English University, while Lieut. Julian was admitted to a French institution under the A. E. F. educational plans.

Capt. Perry E. Hall, of Springfield, N. J., was assigned to the command of D Battery when Capt. Smith was ordered to Paris. First Lieut. Frank J. Hamilton, who had been associated with the battery at Camp Meade, was reassigned to the organization from Headquarters Company of the regiment, during the early part of March, 1919.

Private Stuart E. Prutzman, of Palmerton, Penna., left the outfit at Benoite Vaux to attend a French university. Private William E. Bachman, of Hazleton, Penna., was a successful applicant to the A. E. F. University that was established at Beaune.

The daily sick call of the battery was exceptionally large at Benoite Vaux. Colds and cooties played havoc with the boys for several weeks.

Another passing incident connected with the life at Benoite Vaux was the Divisional Maneuvres that were planned with great enthusiasm but which materialized rather humorously. The battery in general did not enjoy this drama. The maneuvres were conducted with guidon-bearers representing the batteries for the benefit of the Field Officers, who consumed much paper and speech in issuing a multitude of orders to guide the movements of the guidon-bearers as the latter represented the entire regiment, assuming various strategic formations on a well planned field of bloodless battle.

Lieut. Yeager, (p. 109) before being detached from the battery, and Cpl. Thomas J. Brennan, of Pottsville, Penna., were candidates for the divisional foot ball team that played at Souilly with a number of other divisional elevens. Philip J. Cusick, of Parsons, Penna., the battery's favorite pianist, was selected to make a tour with the regimental minstrel show that was put on to tour the circuit of A. E. F. playhouses. Cusick was recalled to the battery the latter part of February when he received notice of his early discharge from the army on account of the death of his father.

The sickness that laid its hand heavily on the men of the battery at Benoite Vaux also affected the horses. The rain that fell almost daily, kept the mud knee-deep and the roads slushy. The well members of the battery toiled hard to complete the stables and save the horses from cruel exposure to the weather. The stables were completed in February and were in use long enough for an order to be issued to clean them out by way of demonstration, then the battery was ordered to proceed to another billeting district. It was announced about this time that the 311th regiment was to sail for home in June.

The siege of sickness claimed in death two of Battery D's men, who had been admitted to the base hospital at Commercy.

Private Patrick J. Dooling, of Metuchen, N. J., died on March 6, 1919, with Broncho-pneumonia. He was buried in the Post Cemetery at Commercy.

Corporal Guy W. Mortimer, of Pottsville, Penna., died on March 8th and was buried in the same cemetery as Private Dooling.

In March regimental post schools were opened near Souilly. A number of Battery D men were admitted to the various courses. The boys had been at school for only one week when they were ordered back to the outfit, which was then moving towards Commercy.


(p. 110)

Serving Mess To Battery D Along The Road

Serving Mess To Battery D Along The Road

Serving Mess Along the Road While on a Move from Benoite Vaux to Lerouville, France. Reproduced from Official Photo of the Signal Corps. U. S. A.


Battery D On The Road In France

Battery D On The Road In France

Showing Battery D Near Courouve, France. Reproduced from Official Photo of the Signal Corps. U. S. A.


CHAPTER XXII. (p. 111)


When the battery left Benoite Vaux the soldiers knew they had started on the first lap of their "homeward bound" trip. Weeks of hard work were yet before the battery, but the thought of getting home in June, or possibly earlier, as rumor had it that the A. E. F. sailing schedules were operating several weeks ahead of time, kept up the spirit of the artillerymen.

The trip from Blancheville was made by road. A short journey on March 19th found Battery D in Boncourt, a small town near Commercy. The other batteries of the regiment moved to nearby towns. On March 31st, Lerouville, Pont sur Meuse and Boncourt held the regiment between them.

On April 1st Battery D was ordered to make another trip overland. The trip required three days. The first night's stop was made at Ligny en Barcis, a large town where the entire regiment found accommodation and the boys enjoyed themselves for the night. The second night the regiment had to scatter for billeting at Bure, Echenay, Saudron, and Guillaume. Battery D was quartered in Bure.

The journey was southward in the direction of Andelot. It was one trip the soldiers enjoyed. It didn't rain during the three days enroute. The end of the third day found the battery in Cirey les Mareilles, the town near Blancheville in which district the outfit was previously billeted. Cirey les Mareilles housed E Battery when D was at Blancheville. When the regiment returned to the old stamping ground Batteries D and E were billeted at Cirey. The Supply Company of the regiment was billeted in Blancheville during this stay. Regimental Headquarters Company and Battery A established themselves at Briancourt, Battery F at Mareilles, Battery B at Rochfort, and Battery C at Chantraines.

While at Boncourt the matériel of the regiment was inspected by an ordnance officer and passed inspection. Before the matériel was to be finally turned in, however, a big review before General John J. Pershing, Commander in Chief of the A. E. F., was to take place.

Battery D left Cirey les Mareilles at noon, Friday, April 11th, proceeding to and arriving on the reviewing field at Orquenaux at 4:30 p. m. It was 8:30 o'clock before the horses were cared for and a battery of dog tents erected on the field, where the soldiers spent the (p. 112) night. It did not rain during the night, but the following day, when the review was being staged, it rained in torrents.

The review started at 10:30 a. m., Saturday, April 12, 1919. First the outfit stood inspection mounted but not moving. Then the divisional march in front of the reviewing stand started. It was a grand military sight to see an entire army division together on one field, at one time, with all equipment. It was late in the afternoon when the review ended by which time all the soldiers were thoroughly soaked by the rain.

It was 4 o'clock when Battery D left the reviewing ground, and hastened on its way to Andelot. The entire distance was covered at what was almost a steady trot. Andelot was reached at 7 p. m. It was a wet and tired battery, but the rain and fatigue were soon forgotten when orders were issued for all matériel to be turned in at Andelot, to be delivered to the railhead at Rimaucourt. Despite the fact that everybody was drenched to the skin, also cold and miserable, happy smiles lit the faces of all when farewell was bid the guns and caissons. The soldiers, in a happy mood, walked from Andelot to Cirey les Mareilles, singing and whistling.

During the following week the horses and practically all the equipment was turned in and preparations made for the trip to the embarkation port. Everything in the line of equipment that was not needed, was salvaged.

On Monday, April 7th, another attempt was made by the regimental officers to establish a post school near Neuf Chateau. A number of Battery D men were sent to attend the school. The school, however, was broken up the first day of its existence, an official order returning the scholars to their respective commands. Orders to detrain for an embarkation center were momentarily expected.

On Saturday, April 19th, the regiment entrained at Rimaucourt, bound for the port of St. Nazaire, which was to be the exit to the land of home. The trip was made by box car, the route being through Bologne, Chaumont, Langres, south of Nevers, through Angers and Nantes. Battery D continued its journey until Camp Montoir, eight kilometers from the port, was reached at 4:45 p. m., April 21st.

Sergeant Koenig and Corporal Shafer were the busiest men of the battery during the stay at Camp Montoir. Yards and yards of paper work had to be completed before the outfit was finally cleared and ready to walk up the gang plank. The battery office force worked day (p. 113) and night and established a new record in getting a battery sailing list o. k'd.

The stay at Montoir was pleasant despite the fact that physical inspections were endured in great number and all soldiers and clothing had to go through a thorough process of cootiizing. The camp was well equipped with recreational centers where the soldiers enjoyed their idle hours.

Various detail work was assigned the battery while at Montoir. Details assisted in the erection of a new theatre on the camp grounds. Drill and physical exercise periods were in order when examinations and inspections lulled. After passing in a brigade review before Brigadier General Andrew Hero, on Friday, May 9th, the outfit was declared ready to board the next ship that docked at the port of St. Nazaire. On Monday, May 12th, the boys changed what francs they had left, into United States currency. Then they were ready to say good-bye to France.

Reveille sounded at 4 a. m., on Wednesday, May 14th. Nobody slept in that morning. Rolls were made in short order and the battery area policed-up. At 6 a. m. the regiment left Camp Montoir on an eight kilometer hike to St. Nazaire, which port was reached at 8:30 a. m.

The U. S. S. Edward Luckenbach was lying at anchor in the basin at St. Nazaire. The vessel had been coaled and supplied for the return to American shores. In the morning of May 14th the Edward Luckenbach waited for its troop passengers before setting sail.

After the soldiers waited on the pier for some time the huge gang-planks were extended and the regiment started its march to the decks of the ship. The gang-planks were lifted at 11 a. m. The ship was loosened from its moorings and slowly piloted through the congested basin. Slowly the transport passed the draw bridge, through the locks and out into the wide expanse of bay. It was 2:10 p. m. when open water course was reached.

The U. S. S. Edward Luckenbach carried 29 officers and 2,247 enlisted men, including 14 officers and 1,338 men of the 311th Field Artillery: 8 officers and 547 men of the 314th Machine Gun Battalion, and three casual companies.

Capt. Perry Hall was the only Battery D officer able to find accommodation on the battery's transport. All the other officers had to (p. 114) wait for other transportation. Capt. A. L. Smith rejoined the regiment at St. Nazaire and was assigned as regimental adjutant. He accompanied the troops on the Edward Luckenbach.

Late in the afternoon on the day of set-sailing the vessel was stopped to allow the pilot to be taken off into a sail boat. Mine sweepers were also let down on both sides the vessel. Without convoy and with freedom of light at night the transport pushed its way through the waves that formerly were in the danger zone. The mine sweepers continued to comb the waves for any stray mine missiles that by chance might have still floated from war operations.

No difficulty was encountered, however, and the danger zone once passed, the trip continued at an average rate of 9 knots an hour. The Edward Luckenbach was a 6100 ton cargo vessel converted into a transport for the Naval Overseas Transportation Service. It was manned by an American naval crew. The vessel was an oil burner and trouble was experienced with the engines, whereby the speed of the vessel was retarded. It was feared at times that the engines would give out before port was reached. Slow, but sure the troops were brought to friendly shores.

It might be noted in passing that on the next trip made by the Edward Luckenbach as a transport, the vessel became crippled through the breaking of her port shaft and her main journal and had to be towed for 600 miles into the harbor at South Boston, Mass.

Outside of the monotony, the trip was an uneventful one. The first two days were attended with fine weather and calm sea, but the third day a rain and wind storm developed. Bunks, down in the hatch, collapsed and things in general were topsy turvy all night. Sea sickness was rampant. It was a case of six meals a day for the next three or four turns of the clock--three down and three up.

The high sea gales blew for several days in succession. Mess line was the only formation of the day while K. P.'s and Hatch cleanup were the only details furnished.

After thirteen days on the water, land was sighted late in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 27th. It was a welcome sight to the soldiers to see New York's famous sky-line in the distance. A mist hung over the harbor and it was 5 p. m. when the outline of the Statue of Liberty became plainly discernible. As the Edward Luckenbach was piloted through the roadway of commerce that thronged the harbor, the U. S. S. Leviathan steamed majestically seaward, carrying a cargo of soldiers to France to relieve members of the Army of Occupation.

Following (p. 115) the triumphal entry into New York harbor, the vessel cast another anchor and remained undocked for the night. Thus the boys spent one night within the beam of Miss Liberty, whose drawing power had been distinct in memory for many a weary month in France.

A big welcome had been planned for the soldiers on the Edward Luckenbach. One of the police patrol tugs, bearing the sign: "The Mayor's Reception Committee," came out to meet the transport. The river tug had as passengers a band, besides many friends and relatives of soldiers aboard the transport. A noisy welcome home was sounded as the patrol boat encircled the steamer several times.

Cheers, and tears also, greeted the 311th boys when the Herman Caswell, a water front yacht, that had been chartered by three hundred excursionists from the Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton districts of Pennsylvania, encircled the Edward Luckenbach, with St. Ann's Band of Freeland, Penna., on board, playing "Home, Sweet Home."

The three hundred excursionists, who had journeyed from the Anthracite fields of Pennsylvania to welcome the 311th boys, had a difficult time to locate the Edward Luckenbach. At 6 o'clock that night they sailed out to find the vessel, reported as advancing past Ambrose Channel. They traversed the entire waterfront, both on the North and East River sides, before the hospital ship Comfort located the transport by radio, up the Hudson. The excursion delegates stayed near the transport until dark.

It was with rejuvenated spirits that the soldiers spent their last night on board the transport, lying in New York harbor. On Wednesday morning, May 28th, the troops debarked at Pier 6, Bush Terminal, Brooklyn. Only a few of the friends and relatives got to see the soldier boys at the terminal. While the soldiers lingered at the terminal, partaking of refreshments furnished by the Red Cross and the welfare associations, the crowds beat the ferry boat that carried the soldiers to Jersey City and formed two lines through which the boys passed to entrain for Camp Dix, N. J.

Plans were under way to hold a Seventy-Ninth Division parade in Philadelphia, Penna., but the boys voiced protests against being held in camp, with the result that the work of putting the outfit through the process of sterilization and cootiization was expedited.

After going through the "delouser" at Camp Dix, Battery D was moved to another section of barracks, near the discharge center. Clerical (p. 116) details were sent to the discharge center, known as the "madhouse," each day, to assist in getting out the paper work for official discharge of the outfits scheduled for muster out before Battery D.

Battery D was officially discharged from the United States Army Service on May 30th, 1919, when all its members were assigned to various discharge units. On May 30th the soldiers whose homes were in Western States, were detached from the battery to be sent to Western camps for discharge.

Those who were scheduled to remain at Dix to receive their discharge papers, their pay and the $60 bonus, idled about the camp until Wednesday, June 4th, when they were called to the discharge center to be paid off. It required a long wait before the members of the casual detachments that once formed Battery D were admitted to the Central Records office.

The soldiers "beat it" from camp as soon as they had the coveted discharge certificates. The outfit separated in driblets during the day. The first ones called got clear of military service in the morning, while others were not called until late that afternoon.

By nightfall of June 4th, 1919, however, Battery D members, for the main part, were headed for HOME, to take up the thread of civilian life where they had severed it months before when they answered the call of selective service.



The Lorraine Cross

The 79th Division Insignia



Its Origin and Its Significance.


(Extracts from a Document)
Written from data furnished
B. A. Paris University
Late London Correspondent of "Le Journal"
Sometime Technical Translator to the Ordnance
Department A. E. F.

The Lorraine Cross, official insignia of the Seventy-Ninth Division, United States Army, was adopted shortly after the armistice was signed.

Despite the fact that the Seventy-Ninth Division Artillery did not share in the fighting with the rest of the division, the artillerymen were accorded the privilege of wearing the emblem.

In all its war operations, the Seventy-Ninth Division faced the enemy in Lorraine, the province which the United States was pledged to win back for France.

Victory, in the face of stubborn opposition, crowned the efforts of the Seventy-Ninth Division. It was only appropriate, therefore, that the division should select as its emblem the ancient symbol of victory, The Lorraine Cross.

The divisional insignia was worn on the left sleeve of the uniform blouse at the shoulder.


A national emblem of the independent Duchy of Lorraine for centuries, and even now a distinctive cognizance of the Border Province of France, the double traverse cross, known as the Cross of Lorraine, forms part of the armorial bearings of no less than 163 noble families. And several military units engaged in the world war adopted the cross as an emblem. These units include, besides the Lorraine Detachment of the French Army, the Seventy-Ninth Division.

Before its adoption as an emblem by the reigning house of Lorraine, the double traverse cross had a long and interesting history. Important in the history of the development of the shape of the Cross with its two beams, the design being Byzantine and emblematic of the triumph of Christ over Death, are ancient double traverse crosses, each containing fragments of the Real Cross of the Crucifixion. They are preserved in different sections of France.

The double traverse of the Cross of Lorraine comes from the substitution, for the Titulus, or inscription originally used to mark the Cross upon which Christ was crucified, of a plain horizontal arm. The origin of the double traverse cross is Eastern, and, students of the subject point out, it undoubtedly represents the Jerusalem Cross--the True Cross--with its main horizontal beam and the Titulus, represented by a plain beam in the Cross of Lorraine.

Reliquaries containing parts of the Red Cross upon which the Savior was crucified, including the reliquaries in Poitiers and Limoges, are double traverse in form. On an enamelled plate in the Treasury of Graz Cathedral, Hungary, the figure of Saint Helena, credited with the recovery of the True Cross, is represented draped in a dress which is emblazoned with a double traverse cross.

The double traverse cross came to have its association with Lorraine in 1477 after Rene II, reigning head of the Duchy of Lorraine, had defeated Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, at the Battle of Nancy. Rene was of the house of Anjou and the emblem had been known as the Cross of Anjou to earlier members of the house.

Succession to the Duchy of Lorraine came to Rene II through the female line. His mother was Yolande of Anjou, daughter of Rene I. Through his father, Ferri of Vaudemont, Rene claimed descent from the Ancient dynasty of the Dukes of Lorraine, who traced their history to Gerard of Alsace, and who had ruled the Duchy uninterruptedly for almost four centuries.

At (p. 120) the time of the accession of Rene II, the neighboring Duchy of Burgundy was ruled by Charles the Bold, who made a reputation as a general and warrior. In the forwarding of his ambition for greater territory and more widespread authority, he had roused the enmity of Lorrainers. In 1476, following the accession of Rene II, the Duke of Burgundy laid siege to Nancy and took the city.

Rene went abroad to hire troops, and, returning in the early days of 1477 with considerable forces, especially Italian and Swiss mercenaries, gave battle to Charles within sight of Nancy, whose soldier citizens sallied forth to his help. Despite their assistance, Rene might have lost the fight had it not been for Campo Basso, an Italian condettieri in the service of Charles the Bold, who, having some grudge against the latter and being bribed by the other side, went over to the Lorrainers at the critical moment.

The Burgundians were cut to pieces. Charles the Bold, in trying to break away, was slain by a Lorraine officer who did not recognize him and who committed suicide when, the body of the famous Duke having been identified a couple of days later from an old scar behind the ear, he realized that it was he who had killed "so great a Prince."

The Battle of Nancy was not only the greatest event in the History of Lorraine, but one of the most momentous in the History of France, and even of Europe. If Burgundy alone was defeated, three parties benefitted by the victory, namely; Switzerland, for whom it meant final acquisition of independence; the King of France, and the Duke of Lorraine. The disappearance of Charles the Bold ensured at one stroke the unity of France, which it rid of the last ever powerful vassal, and the independence of Lorraine. No doubt Louis XI would rather have been the only profiteer by the death of his rival. No doubt, also, he meant to get hold of Lorraine and, as the event proved, laid hands shortly afterward on the Duchy of Bar and tried to prevent Rene II from coming into this comparatively small portion of Rene of Anjou's inheritance. But his wily plans were foiled by the very fact that, whatever his motives, he had made a show of fostering and supporting the Lorrainer against the Burgundian. Had Lorraine become a part of Charles the Bold's dominions, even the Mighty House of Austria would have been unable to keep it independent from France; Henry II's efforts would have been exerted against Lorraine, and Lorraine it is that France would have occupied at the same time as the three bishoprics, Toul, Metz, and Verdun and before Alsace. France's influence made itself felt in the Duchy as early as 1552, but annexation was put off until 1766.

Not (p. 121) only did Rene II's reign ensure the independence of Lorraine, but it secured the adjunction of Barrois, for there can be no doubt that the Duchy of Bar would have been annexed to France right away had not Charles VIII found it politic to give back the territory confiscated by his father, Louis XI, as an inducement to Duke Rene II not to press his claims regarding such parts of Rene of Anjou's inheritance as Anjou and Provence which France wanted and secured out of the deal.

Considering the importance of the Battle of Nancy in the eyes of Lorrainers, the historical value of the badge worn by their victorious ancestors at that famous fight is easily understood. That badge was a double traverse cross. We have Duke Rene II's own word for it. In the account of operation and conduct of the Battle of Nancy, dictated by the Duke himself to his secretary, Joannes Lud, we read: "And I had on my harness a robe of gold cloth, and the armour of my horse was also covered with gold cloth trappings and on the said robe and trappings were three white double traverse crosses."

The Burgundian badge was the St. Andrew Cross. To differentiate his men from their opponents, Rene II naturally thought of the conspicuously distinct double-traverse cross his grandfather Rene I had brought over from Anjou and made so much of.

In another account of the battle, to be found in the Chronicle of Lorraine, written at very nearly the same time, the following passage occurs relating to the period of the fight when Campo Basso and his mercenaries went over from the Burgundian to the Lorraine side; "They all tore off their St. Andrew crosses and put on the Jerusalem one, which Duke Rene was wearing."

The Jerusalem Cross obviously is a misnomer, as proven by the context, the very next sentence of which reads: "And many of the Nancians, sallying from their city to take part in the pillage of the Bold One's Camp, were in great danger of being slaughtered by the Swiss and by their own countrymen because they had not the double traverse cross on them." Again in several other passages the cross is specifically described as a double traverse cross.

January 5, 1477, was the birthday of the Cross of Lorraine. From that day, ceasing to be merely reminiscent of Anjou, the double traverse cross became the Lorraine National Emblem.

Since the war in 1870-71, which resulted in the annexation of part of Lorraine to Germany, a significant use has been made of the old (p. 122) cross. Shortly after the signature of the Treaty of Frankfurt, a meeting of the inhabitants of Metz was held on Sion Hill. As a result of the meeting a marble monument was erected, having carved on it a broken Lorraine Cross. An inscription in local dialect was added, reading "C'name po tojo" ("'Twill not be forever"). The world war ended in the realization of this prophecy.

So the soldiers of the Seventy-Ninth Division can look at the insignia they have been privileged to wear and think of the memories associated with it.

CHAPTER XXIV. (p. 123)


CORPORAL FRANK McCABE--Plains, Pa., died January 24, 1918, at the Base Hospital, Camp Meade, Md., at 7:40 p. m., with an attack of acute rheumatism. Body was sent to Plains with a military escort. Buried in Plains.

PRIVATE WILLIAM REYNOLDS--Pottsville, Pa., was killed by the explosion of a French field gun on the range at La Courtine, France, at 3 p. m. October 11, 1918. Buried in the American Military Cemetery at Camp La Courtine, October 12th. Grave No. 37.

FIRST-SERGEANT JAMES J. FARRELL--Plains, Pa., died November 2, 1918, at the Base Hospital, Camp La Courtine, France, at 4:30 p. m., with an attack of pneumonia. Buried in the American Military Cemetery at Camp La Courtine, November 4th, at 11 a. m. Grave No. 80.

PRIVATE HORACE J. FARDON--Paterson, N. J., died November 4, 1918, at the Base Hospital, Camp La Courtine, France, at 11:45 p. m. from Influenza. Buried in the American Military Cemetery at Camp La Courtine, November 5th, at 11 a. m. Grave No. 82.

PRIVATE FIRST-CLASS JOSEPH ALPHONSUS LOUGHRAN--Hazleton, Pa., died November 5, 1918, at the Base Hospital, Camp La Courtine, France, at 6:55 p. m. with an attack of pneumonia. Buried in the American Military Cemetery at Camp La Courtine, November 6th, at 2 p. m. Grave No. 84.

PRIVATE PATRICK J. DOOLING--Metuchen, N. J., died March 6, 1919, at Base Hospital No. 91 at Commercy, France, at 11:40 p. m., with broncho-pneumonia. Buried in the Post Cemetery at Commercy. Grave No. 172.

CORPORAL GUY W. MORTIMER--Pottsville, Pa., died March 8, 1919, at Base Hospital No. 91, Commercy, France, at 4:55 a. m. with broncho-pneumonia. Buried in the Post Cemetery at Commercy. Grave No. 167.


(p. 124)

Pvt. 1 Cl. Joseph A. Loughran


Cemetery At Camp La Courtine

Cemetery At Camp La Courtine

Pvt 1 Cl. Conrad Baffiel Standing at the Grave of Joseph A. Loughran.


CHAPTER XXV. (p. 125)


The following is a reproduction of extracts from an article written by the author of this volume, on the afternoon of November 6, 1918, following the burial of Private Joseph A. Loughran, and published in the Standard-Sentinel, a daily newspaper of Hazleton, Pa., on December 11, 1918.

In general the article expresses the bond of feeling each battery casualty called forth.

"I have lost a friend; the United States has lost a good soldier; and Hazleton, Pennsylvania, has lost another flower of its noble manhood--was the total of my thoughts this afternoon as I stood, one of a military escort, and saw the remains of Joseph A. Loughran consigned to a resting place in the sacred soil of France.

"He was truly 'One of Us.' To the military records he was known as a Private First Class, but to us he was 'Al,' one in common and ever affectionate.

"Twenty of us, comrades-in-arms, all from the same city in dear old Pennsylvania, who formed the escort, listened in profound sympathy, as we, with the battery in line at our side, paid the last military honors to our deceased comrade.

"The sun was shining serenely overhead; all was calm and quiet as a moment of silent homage followed the last note of Taps sounded over the grave.

"The casket, enshrouded in Old Glory, for which he endured and died, was lowered, but his soul, no one could doubt, had already winged itself to the portals of eternity; there to repose in well-earned rest, to ever serve his God as he served God and country his mortal while.

"He died in the height of his development as a trained soldier. Although removed from the scene of actual warfare and listed as 'Died of Disease' in the casualty records, not one of the thousands of the A. E. F. fallen on the field of battle suffered a more heroic or noble death.

"He was prepared, ready and willing. Months of strenuous effort spent in mastering the soldier game were cut short on the eve of material advantage to the cause, but the spirit of his endeavors lives in the heart of the outfit he served. It is the spirit, sometimes called morale, that is the decisive factor.

"At (p. 126) the tomb of the dead the regimental chaplain vouched the fact that the departed soldier communed every Sunday of his army life.

"In civil life, before entering the call of selectiveness, his worth and devoutness was well known to a large circle of friends. His military associations were none the less extensive and tender.

"It was while doing his duty, along lines of communication as a member of the Battery Commander's Detail, on the range at La Courtine, that he fell a victim to pneumonia, resulting in early demise.

"There are many incidents connected with the life of our fallen soldier and friend that could be extolled. But those who knew him need no words. His life shines out as a true beacon.

"The boys of the battery in which he served bow in heartfelt sympathy to his wife, parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends. He died, but his death has not been in vain. His spirit lives to cheer his comrades on to greater deeds of patriotism. His loved ones at home can be proud of 'Al.' He died every inch a man and patriotic to the core.

"His grave was not neglected. The boys tenderly sodded its mound and placed a wreath of holly, plucked from the hills of Creuse, where he last trained. The grave is marked with a wooden cross, on which is inscribed his name, rank, and command, and to which is attached the soldier's identification disc.

"It is Grave No. 84 in the American cemetery, situated on a gentle slope of one of the picturesque hills of Creuse province, overlooking Camp La Courtine."

CHAPTER XXVI. (p. 127)


In the moment of laying aside the uniform there surged through the heart of every member of Battery D emotions too deep for words.

The rainy days and mud of France were at last a thing of the past. Yes, truly a thing of the past to those staunch comrades who survived not the ordeal to return home.

Those who survived and returned home, have had an invaluable experience. With memories of those experiences there will always linger the thoughts and associations of departed comrades.

As battery members they all toiled together in France for a common cause. All shared the common thought of seeing the war period through bravely, then to return home, bigger, better and stronger as a soldier-citizen.

The comrades of Battery D whose lives were cut short by the Grim Reaper when they were at the height of their development as trained soldiers, all cherished thoughts of getting back home. They gave expression to such thoughts in their letters home.

Joseph A. Loughran, in a letter written to his parents just before he was stricken with the illness to which he succumbed, wrote these words: "Save a couple of chairs for my wife and myself at the Xmas dinner table, for God willing we will surely be there."

In another portion of the same letter Private Loughran wrote: "Oh, boy, won't it be great to get back home again after going through all the trials that I had. If any one told me a few years ago that I could go through what I have and still be as healthy as I am, I would not believe them. I am as healthy as an ox and weigh 180 pounds."

Thus it is that thoughts of departed comrades stir emotions too deep for words; emotions that flood the heart with memorials that will live on as silent tributes to the worth of those who gave up their lives while in the service of their country.




Captain Albert L. Smith
1st Lieut. Arthur H. McGill
2nd Lieut. Hugh M. Clarke
2nd Lieut. Robert S. Campbell
2nd Lieut. Frank F. Yeager
2nd Lieut. Berkley Courtney
2nd Lieut. Frank J. Hamilton

Non-Commissioned Officers.

1st Sgt. William C. Thompson
Supply Sgt. Merrill C. Liebensberger
[A]Mess Sgt. Joseph A. Loughran
[A]Instrument Sgt. Lloyd E. Brown
Signal Sgt. John M. Harman


Hugh A. Coll
William E. Ritter
James M. Duffy
James J. Farrell
Abraham Kahn
Earl B. Schleppy


Joseph Conlon
John C. Demcik
Gerald F. Farrell
Edward J. Kane
Harry T. Kenvin
David B. Koenig
John Koslap
Frank McCabe
Arthur D. Roderick
Joseph Yeselski


Edward Campbell George A. Musial
Charles A. Trostel
August H. Genetti
[Footnote A: Deceased.]

(p. 129)


Pvt. Horace J. Fardon Grave Of Pvt. Wm. Reynolds
Pvt. Horace J. Fardon

Died in France with Influenza.
Buried in the American Military
Cemetery at Camp La Courtine.
Grave Of Pvt. Wm. Reynolds
Section of the American Military
Cemetery at Camp La Courtine.
Pvt. Reynolds Was Killed by Gun Explosion.


Barrack At Camp La Courtine France

Barrack At Camp La Courtine

Battery D was Quartered in This
Building While Under Intensive Training
at Range Practice Among the
Hills of Creuse Department.



The following officers were associated with Battery D during its career, either as a unit of the New National Army, or as part of the United States Army, the classification of the combined regular and selected divisions:

Captain Albert L. Smith, Philadelphia. Pa.
Captain Perry E. Hall, Springfield. N. J.
First Lieutenant Hugh M. Clarke, Pittsburgh. Pa.
[A]First Lieutenant Arthur H. McGill. New Castle, Pa.
First Lieutenant Robert Lowndes, Elkridge, Md.
First Lieutenant C. D. Bailey, Summit. N. J.
First Lieutenant J. S. Waterfield, Portsmouth, Va.
Second Lieutenant Frank F. Yeager. Philadelphia, Pa.
Second Lieutenant Sidney F. Bennett, Ottawa, Canada.
Second Lieutenant Berkley Courtney, Fullerton, Md.
Second Lieutenant Leo C. Julian, Lakeland. Fla.
Second Lieutenant Robert S. Campbell, Pittsburgh. Pa.

[Footnote A: Deceased.]

CHAPTER XXIX. (p. 131)


This list contains the names and home-addresses of the enlisted personnel of Battery D, who served overseas and whose names were on the sailing list of the U. S. S. Edward Luckenbach.

Marinus Abrahmse, Pvt.,
196 Washington St., Lodi, N. J.

Eben C. Allen, Pvt.,
Main St., Closer. N. J.

Abel R. Anderson, Pvt.,

36 West 6th St.,
Ridgefield Park, N. J.

John J. Anderson, Cpl.,
R. F. D., No. 1. Perth Amboy, N. J.

Curran B. Armstrong, Pvt. 1 Cl.,
Dreyton, N. D.

Harold J. Arnold, Cpl.,
456 E. Broad St., Hazleton, Pa.

William E. Bachman, Pvt. 1 Cl.,
120 West Fourth St., Hazleton. Pa.

Conrad A. Balliet, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
597 Lincoln St., Hazleton. Pa.

Joseph T. Becker, Pvt., 1 Cl.-Cpl.,
913 West 38th St., Chicago, Ill.

Louis F. Bracco, Pvt.,
156 Orient Way, Rutherford, N. J.

Harold C. Bratt, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
58 Cleveland St., Hackensack, N. J.

Joseph Brazina, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
127 Muir Ave., Hazleton, Hts., Pa.

Cornelius Breen, Pvt.,
25 Hobart Place, Garfield, N. J.

Thomas J. Brennan, Pvt., 1 Cl.-Cpl.,
R. F. D., Box 394, Pottsville, Pa.

William F. Brennan, Cpl.,
713 W. Tioga St., Philadelphia, Pa.

Leslie S. Brooks, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
Box 60, Fort Edward, N. Y.

Hugh P. Burke, Sgt.,
312 Wells Ave., Parsons, Pa.

Alexander Calderwood, Cpl.,
Gwyneed Valley, Pa.

Milton O. Campbell, Pvt.,
Box 65, Waldwick, N. J.

Jason Canfield, Cpl.,
Kenton, Ohio.

James Cataldo, Cpl.,
191 S. Pine St., Hazleton, Pa.

John Chardell, Cpl.-Sgt.,
561 Garfield St., Hazleton, Pa.

Hugh A. Coll, Cpl.-Sgt.,
627 N. Wyoming St., Hazleton, Pa.

John L. Conley, Pvt.-1 Cl.,
501 E. Clenton St., Frankfort, Ind.

Joseph E. Conlon, Cpl.,
22 Ulmer St., Hudson, Pa.

Leo C. Connor, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
137 Center St., Ashland, Pa.

James E. Corcoran, Pvt.,
470 Gregory Ave., Weehawken, N. J.

Charles Cuttito, Cook,
16 Avenue A, Lodi, N. J.

William H. Decker, Jr., Pvt.,
277 Forest St., Jersey City, N. J.

Frank De Graff, Pvt.,
192 Spring St., Lodi, N. J.

Meyer Deitch, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
858 Union Ave., Bronx, N. Y.

Leo C. Delaney, Sgt.,
1327 Main St., Pittston, Pa.

Philip Den Bleyker, Pvt.,
R. F. D., No. 1, Rohway, N. J.

George Dorsey, Cpl.,
328 S. Keyser Ave., Scranton, Pa.

Fred Downsbrough, Cpl.,
Box 153, Firthcliffe, N. Y.

Albert Dransfield, Pvt.,
29 Wayne Ave., Paterson, N. J.

(p. 132) James M. Duffy, Sgt.-1st Sgt.,
224 Hollenback Ave., Parsons, Pa.

James A. Durkin, Hs.,
77 Henry St., Plains, Pa.

Adam O. Dyker, Pvt.,
196 Monroe St., Garfield, N. J.

William Ellert, Pvt.,
Willow St., Moonachie, N. J.

Arden C. Evans, Pvt., 1 Cl., Cpl.,
R. F. D., No. 3, Benton, Pa.

Thomas Evans, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
1922 Cedar St., Anderson, Ind.

Gerald F. Farrell, Pvt.-Cpl.,
78 E. Carey Ave., Plains, Pa.

Walter R. Farrell, Pvt.-Sgt.,
Box 405, Kellogg, Idaho.

Ermino (Buck) Favo, Pvt.,
16 Erving Place, Garfield, N. J.

Victor J. Feinour, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
Jacksonville, Pa.

Leroy H. Fish, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
30 Wren St., Pittston, Pa.

Fred N. Fisher, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
28 S. Front St., Minersville, Pa.

Fay H. Freadhoff, Pvt.-Cpl.,
503 Third Ave., Sterling, Ill.

Howard C. Freitag, Pvt.,
Box 44, Fair View, N. J.

Anthony J. Fritzen, S. Sgt.,
1724 Jackson St., Scranton, Pa.

John M. Frye, Jr., Pvt., 1 Cl.,
2519 S. 62nd St., W. Phila., Pa.

Gomer P. Gealy, Pvt.,
634 N. Hyde Park Ave., Scranton, Pa.

William R. Geiger, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
South 2nd St., St. Clair, Pa.

Charles W. Geiswalt, Pvt.,
335 N. George St., Pottsville, Pa.

Hugh A. Gildea, Cpl.-Sgt.,
84 Merritt Ave., Plains, Pa.

John Gripp, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
938 Mt. Vernon Ave., Scranton, Pa.

Michael Guresh, Pvt.,
R. F. D., No. 2, Box 18, Tamaqua, Pa.

Christian Hagedorn, Pvt.,

28 Sicomac Lane,
Midland, Park, N. J.

Stephen A. Hurtz, Pvt.,
134 Ryerson Ave., Paterson, N. J.

Curtis F. Horne, Pvt.,
612 21st St., Windber, Pa.

Patrick J. Hughes, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
73 Second St., Paterson, N. J.

Charles W. Hunt, Pvt.,
775 Dalton, Ave., Pittsfield, Mass.

Concetti Imbesi, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
925 Scranton St., Scranton, Pa.

Nels C. Jacobsen, Pvt.,
Farmont, Minn.

Ollie S. Jay, Pvt.,
Waelder, Texas.

John J. Jlosky, Pvt.,
49 William St., Englewood, N. J.

Albert R. Johnson, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
Kipp, Kansas.

John E. Jones, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
300 E. Beech St., Hazleton, Pa.

Reggie L. Jones, Pvt.,
Pembroke, Ky.

Charles L. Jourdren, Pvt.,
123 Elm Ave., Bogota, N. J.

Charles Karsch, Pvt.,

Washington Ave.,
Little Ferry, N. J.

James F. Kelly, Cpl.,
123 Burke St., Plains, Pa.

John A. King, Cpl.,
515 Main St., Pittston, Pa.

David B. Koenig, Cpl.-Sgt.,
533 Peace St., Hazleton, Pa.

Erik W. Kolmodin, Pvt.,

39 Central Ave.,
Ridgefield Park, N. J.

John Kontir, Pvt., 1 Cl.-Cpl.,
538 Cleveland St., Hazleton, Pa.

Anthony P. Lally, Pvt.,
Girardville, Pa.

Charles C. Lang, Pvt.,
199 Wetmore Park, Rochester, N. Y.

(p. 133) Walter F. Licalzi, Pvt., 1 Cl.,

131 Fulton Ave.,
Astoria, L. I., N. Y.

Joseph T. Loskill, C. M.,
546 E. Broad St., Hazleton, Pa.

Wasyl Lugowy, Pvt., 1 Cl.,

221 Berner Ave.,
Hazleton Heights, Pa.

Saverio Lupas, Hs.,
80 W. Carey Ave., Plains, Pa.

Louis F. Maslakosky, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
662 Lincoln St., Hazleton, Pa.

Frank Miller, Pvt.,
Orchard St., Wortendyke, N. J.

William C. Minnich, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
202 E. Holly St., Hazleton, Pa.

John J. Mooney, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
1543 N. Morvine St., Phila., Pa.

Thomas E. Morgan, Pvt.,
Ellendon, Fla.

Joseph A. Morowitz, Pvt.,
22--44th St., Corona, L. I.

Daniel R. Mullery, Bg.,
1113 Main St., Pittston, Pa.

George A. Musial, Cook,
47 E. Sheridan St., Miners Mills, Pa.

Joseph J. McAtee, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
404 Schuylkill Ave., Pottsville, Pa.

Bernard A. McCaffrey, Pvt., 1 Cl.,-Cpl.,

R. F. D., Fisher's Hill,
Hazleton, Pa.

Joseph McCann, Pvt.,
10 Morton St., Paterson, N. J.

John J. X. McGeehan, Pvt.,
116 S. Church St., Hazleton, Pa.

Joseph T. McGovern, Pvt.,
507 N. 21st St., Phila., Pa.

Herbert G. Nankivell, Mec.,
1520 Price St., Scranton, Pa.

Walter A. Nebiker, Pvt.,
32 Wood St., Garfield, N. J.

Lewis Nedwood, Pvt.,

965--2nd Ave.,
Astoria, L. I., N. Y.

Joseph E. O'Donnell, Pvt.-Cpl.,
319 E. Walnut St., Hazleton, Pa.

Joseph J. O'Donnell, Pvt.,
Kelayres, Pa.

Stanley J. Ogrydiak, Sgt.,
655 Seybert St., Hazleton, Pa.

Gennaro Paladino, Pvt.,
280 Harrison Ave., Lodi, N. J.

Joseph C. Parella, Pvt.,
21 5th Ave., Lyndhurst, N. J.

Joseph H. Petrask, Pvt.,
6 S. Main St., Lodi, N. J.

Herman Petrett, Pvt.,
Box 113, Waldwick, N. J.

John Petrilla, Pvt.,
222 S. Bennett St., Hazleton, Pa.

August C. Pfancook, Sgt.,
20 E. Tamarack St., Hazleton, Pa.

Robert C. Phillips, Cpl.,
Box 825, New Richmond, Wis.

Harold V. Pierce. Pvt.,
Sunset Hill, Kansas City, Mo.

Homer D. Pifer, Pvt.,
Rochester Mills, Pa.

Arle J. Ploeger, Pvt.,

c/o Westbury Rose Co.,
Westbury, L. I.

Joseph Popso, Pvt., 1 Cl.,

228 Carleton Ave.,
Hazleton Heights, Pa.

Luke F. Proulx, Pvt.,
929 Atwell Ave., Providence, R. I.

John S. Quade. Pvt., 1 Cl., Cpl.,
Lansdale, Pa.

A. Eli Quinett,
607 N. Park St., Shawnee, Okla.

Walter L. Reece, Pvt. 1 Cl.,
425 S. Walker St., Webb City, Mo.

Clinton Reese, Sgt.,
323 N. Everett Ave., Scranton, Pa.

John F. Reilly, Pvt.,
2843 Jasper St., Philadelphia, Pa.

Charles M. Reisch, Pvt.,
238 Centre St., Ashland, Pa.

Petro Repole, Pvt.,
351 West 47th St., New York City.

(p. 134) Philip Rheiner, Pvt.,
89 N. 6th St., Paterson, N. J.

Harry J. Ritzel, Pvt.,

428 W. Sunbury St.,
Minersville, Pa.

Nathan Rosen, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
48 N. Wyoming St., Hazleton, Pa.

Grover C. Rothacker, Mec.,
37 E. Broad St., Hazleton, Pa.

John E. Rowland, Pvt.,
130 Linden St., Yonkers, N. Y.

Nathan Ruderman, Pvt.,
193 Scholes St., Brooklyn, N. Y.

William H. Rudolph, Sd.,
171 S. Laurel St., Hazleton, Pa.

Harry Scheiblin, Pvt.,
415 9th St., Carlstad, N. J.

Earl B. Schleppy, Sgt.,
N. Church St., Hazleton, Pa.

Alfred G. Schoonmaker, Jr., Cpl.,

33 Clinton Place.
Hackensack, N. J.

Alexander Seaton, Pvt.,
Hudson Heights, N. J.

A. Ernest Shafer, Cpl.,

208 Markle Bank Bldg.,
Hazleton, Pa.

Walter T. Shaw, Pvt.,

3520 Longshore St.,
Faconu, Phia., Pa.

Raymond Sheldrake, Pvt.,
141 N. 4th St., Paterson, N. J.

Albert J. Sheridan, Pvt.,

413 E. Norweigian St.,
Pottsville, Pa.

William Seivers, Pvt.,

c/o Norwegian-American A. C.,
208 E. 128th St., New York City.

August H. Simmler, Jr., Pvt.,
149 Clinton St., Paterson, N. J.

Ray S. Skidmore, Bg.,
153 Abbott St., Miners Mills, Pa.

Otto J. Skirkie, Jr., Pvt., 1 Cl.,
Ridgefield Park, N. J.

Edward J. Skrenda, Pvt.,
Smithville South, L. I., N. Y.

Charles W. Smith, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
226 Georgia Ave., Parsons, Pa.

Albert W. Soule, Pvt.,
Musselshell, Mont.

Charles L. Stark, Pvt.,
33 E. Thorton St., Akron, Ohio.

William C. Steidle, Pvt., 1 Cl.,

711 E. Norweigian St.,
Pottsville, Pa.

John R. Sweeney, Pvt., Cp.,
16 E. Birch St., Hazleton, Pa.

John Sysling, Pvt.,
18 Grand St., Garfield, N. J.

George M. Thompson, Pvt., 1 Cl., Cpl.,
571 Grant St., Hazleton, Pa.

Michael A. Tito, Cpl.,
523 Seybert St., Hazleton, Pa.

Edward G. Tracey, Pvt.,
1129 Sophie St., Philadelphia, Pa.

Charles A. Trostel, Mess Sgt.,
1119 Jackson St., Scranton, Pa.

Mattiejus Tuinali, Hs.,
1931 Albright Ave., Scranton, Pa.

Charles S. Umbenhauer, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
Box 56, First St., Port Carbon, Pa.

Barney Van De Brink, Pvt.,
74 Hill St., Midland Park, N. J.

[A]Leonard J. Van Houton, Pvt.,
29 Hamburg Ave., Paterson, N. J.

Wilbert Weber, Pvt., 1 Cl.,

146 Woodbine Ave.,
Toronto, Ont., Canada.

Harry L. Whitfield, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
597 N. Locust St., Hazleton, Pa.

William S. Willier, Pvt., 1 Cl.,
Box 15, Hegins, Schuylkill Co., Pa.

John A. Yanoshik, Pvt.,
Lofty, Pa.

Frank Yeosock, Cpl., Sgt.,
285 River St., Coalridge, Pa.

Frederick D. Young, Mec.,
1516 Market St., Ashland, Pa.

[Footnote A: Leonard Joseph Van Houten died at his home in Paterson, N. J., on October 7, 1919, four months after discharge from Battery D.]

CHAPTER XXX. (p. 135)


As previously recorded in this volume, a large number of men were transferred from the ranks of Battery D during the period of organization. Scores of others also left the battery during the latter days of its existence. No official record in concise form exists of the scores of transfers effected during the first few months of the battery's history.

The following list gives information of transfers that a thorough search of the records now reveals. It is the most accurate list that can be compiled under the circumstances.


The following members of Battery D were transferred from the outfit as successful applicants to officers' training schools. All were, in the course of time commissioned as lieutenants. Messrs. Sword and McAloon were commissioned in France, while the others attended training schools in the United States.

William C. Thompson, Jackson, Miss.
Merrill C. Liebensberger, Hazleton, Pa.
Harry T. Kenvin, Hazleton, Pa.
Thomas S. Pengelly, Hazleton, Pa.
John M. Harman, Hazleton, Pa.
Edward J. Kane, Plains, Pa.
Willard F. Jones, Scranton, Pa.
Joseph B. McCall, Philadelphia, Pa.
William O. Sword, Parsons, Pa.
Timothy McAloon, Scranton, Pa.

John G. Young, of La Grange, Ga., serving with Battery D in rank of corporal, was promoted to sergeant during September, 1918, at La Courtine, then left the battery for the A. E. F. Artillery School at Saumur. He was made a "third lieutenant" of coast artillery January, 1919, and returned to Battery D the latter part of January of the same year at Benoite Vaux. Early in February he was sent to the field hospital at Chaumont Perfitte and sailed for the U. S. from Brest April 10th as hospital patient. On May 1st Young was transferred to Camp Gordon, Ga., and made first-sergeant of a convalescent battalion. On January 1st, 1920, First Sergeant Young was made Army Field Clerk and transferred to Newport News and Norfolk, Army Supply Base. He was discharged from the service, March 12th, 1920.


On February 5, 1918, Battery D was called upon and furnished the following men for service with the Fifth Artillery Brigade at Camp Leon Springs, Texas: (p. 136)

John E. Bayarsky, Hazleton, Pa.
Frederick J. Boddin, Hazleton, Pa.
Anthony Correale, Hazleton, Pa.
Karl L. Lubrecht, Hazleton, Pa.
Alfonso Lupattelli, Scranton, Pa.
James J. McDermott, Freeland, Pa.
Edward V. McGee, Hazleton, Pa.
John McGrady, Plains, Pa.
Bernard A. McKenna, Hazleton, Pa.
Frank J. Monahan, Plains, Pa.
Joseph Smith, Freeland, Pa.
Earl G. Spitzner, Harleigh, Pa.
Stephen J. Thompson, Hazleton, Pa.
George H. Throne, Hazleton, Pa.
John M. Tusko, Hazleton, Pa.


Battery D sent a number of men to the 28th Division at Camp Hancock, Ga., who joined with the Keystoners on the eve of departure for overseas. This transfer included:

Patrick J. Campbell, Freeland, Pa.
Edward T. Edgerton, Plains, Pa.
William H. Ringlaben, Jr., West Hazleton, Pa.
William E. Ritter, Plains, Pa.
Henry L. Schleppy, Hazleton, Pa.
Joseph Welky, Hazleton, Pa.


On January 28, 1918, the following men were transferred from Battery D to the 304th Engineers at Camp Meade:

Bernard A. Malloy, Hazleton, Pa.
Day M. Roth, Hazleton, Pa.
Harry R. Schmeer, Hazleton, Pa.
Paul W. Schmeer, Hazleton, Pa.
John Shigo, Freeland, Pa.

The 19th Engineers at Camp Meade received in its personnel on February 15, 1918, from Battery D:

James A. Kenney, Plains, Pa.
Clark Burt, Plains, Pa.

The February Replacement Draft at Meade took several Battery D men from the engineers, as follows:

Condidio Gentelezza, Scranton, Pa.
Harry A. Nelson, Plains, Pa.
Orelio Rosi, Plains, Pa.


While preparations for departure overseas were under way transfers were made to the various training battalions of the 154th Depot Brigade, as follows:

John C. Demcik, Hazleton, Pa.
August H. Genetti, Hazleton, Pa.
Michael V. Hughes, Plains, Pa.
Abraham Kahn, Hazleton, Pa.
Francis A. Kenney, Scranton, Pa.
Thomas Murray, Plains, Pa.
Peter Sasarack, Jr., Hazleton, Pa.
Frederick L. Smith, 2nd, Hazleton, Pa.

A (p. 137) number of these men were reassigned to other units. Michael V. Hughes was assigned to the 79th Divisional Staff and accompanied the division overseas. Frederick L. Smith, 2nd, was assigned to special duty as a chemist. Thomas Murray was seriously ill at the Camp Meade base hospital when the outfit departed.

John Dempsey and George D. Vogt, both of Hazleton, Pa., were, on March 17, 1918, assigned to the Q. M. C. school for cooks and bakers at Camp Meade.


Transfers were made to the 311th F. A. Supply Co., as follows:

George Kolessar, Hazleton, Pa.
Christy McAvaney, Scranton, Pa.
George Novotney, Hazleton, Pa.
Stanley Reese, Hazleton, Pa.
Harry B. Stair, Mt. Top, Pa.
Joseph Yeselski, Hazleton, Pa.


A number of changes in the battery roster were necessitated at Benoite Vaux, France, due to men being sent to hospitals for sickness. Some left to attend schools, while Philip J. Cusick, of Parsons, Pa., received word through the Red Cross of his early discharge due to the death of his father.

The transfers at Benoite Vaux included the following:

Howard A. Bain, Kansas City, Mo.
Thomas A. Davis, Scranton, Pa.
Philip J. Cusick, Parsons, Pa.
Stuart E. Prutzman, Palmerton, Pa.
Joseph Silock, Hazleton, Pa.
Harry Dauberman, Lawrence, Kansas.
Michael V. McHugh, Hazleton, Pa.
Anthony Esposito, Hackensack, N. J.
Reed F. Hulling, Charlestown, W. Va.
Clarence V. Smith, Hazleton, Pa.
Arthur A. Jones, Boundbrook, N. J.
Charles E. King, Pottsville, Pa.
John Verchmock, Hazleton, Pa.
Charles Nace, Philadelphia, Pa.
Arthur Van Valen, Englewood, N. J.
James F. Burns, Pottsville, Pa.


Joseph Delosaro and John Sharawarki, both of Hazleton, Pa., were discharged from Battery D February 5th and 14th respectively, for physical disabilities.

Carl G. Brattlof, of Newark. N. J., was assigned to the 154th Brigade Headquarters, Dec. 1918.

James (p. 138) J. Gillespie, of Hazleton, Pa., Feb. 11th, 1918, was transferred to the Railway Transportation Corps.

George F. Haniseck, James F. McKelvey and Mathew Talkouski, all of Hazleton, Pa., May 31st, 1918, were sent to join the U. S. Guards, Fort Niagara, N. Y.

John F. Kehoe of Hazleton, Pa., Feb. 3, 1918, was transferred to Headquarters Bn. G. H. Q. A. E. F., France. He left Camp Meade February 27th, being the first man from the organization to get overseas.

Otto Kopp, of Hazleton, Pa., transferred June 1, 1918, to Headquarters Co., 311th F. A.

Donald H. Durham, of Newark, N. J., and R. L. Krah, of Lavelle, Pa., were transferred to the regimental Headquarters Co., while in France.

William M. Powell. Jr., of Hazleton, Pa., February 5th, 1918, assigned to the Ordnance Depot Co., No. 101, Camp Meade.

On October 12, 1918, Raymond Stegmaier, of Jamaica, N. Y., was detached from the battery on special duty as orderly to Lieut.-Col. Palmer.

William Van Campen, of Ridgewood, N. J., was injured by an explosion of a hand-grenade on Nov. 5, 1918. The following day he was sent to Base Hospital No. 24 at Limoge. Nicholas J. Young, of Pottsville, Pa., was transferred to the same hospital, October 16th, following the gun explosion at La Courtine.

David L. Grisby, of Terre Haute, Ind., was transferred to Base Hospital No. 15 to undergo an operation. He left the battery at Ville sous La Ferte on November 22nd.

Charles A. Weand, of Pottsville, Pa., Nov. 30, 1918, was sent to Base Hospital No. 11, A. P. O. 767, France.

Henry J. Buhle, of New Brunswick, N. J., was sick in the hospital at La Courtine when the regiment left the artillery range, in France, November 14, 1918.

Carl (p. 139) J. O'Malia, of Scranton, Pa., and Frederick M. Bowen, of East Rutherford, N. J., were patients at the hospital in Rimaucourt when the outfit left Blancheville, France.

Arthur D. Roderick, of Hazleton, Pa., and William R. Jones, of Bergenfield, N. J., became detached from the battery while on leave. They were taken ill in Paris and sent to a hospital in the French metropolis.

Edward Campbell, of Hazleton, Pa., one of the battery cooks, remained at the embarkation camp at St. Nazaire, France, to take charge of camp bakery. Cook Campbell returned to the States the latter part of July.

CHAPTER XXXI. (p. 140)


September 20, 1918. Adam O. Dyker was re-christened "Honey-Bee" Dyker. The event took place in a rather stinging manner at Camp La Courtine, France.

On the night in question Private Dyker was on guard duty at the battery kitchen, which was situated under a canvas roof in a locality that was infested at that particular time with bees and yellow jackets.

While walking his post at the midnight hour Dyker thought of a can of strawberry jam that he knew the cooks had deposited in a certain place. Groping his way through the dark Dyker found the can of preserves, also a spoon, and immediately started to fill a sweet tooth.

In a short time the entire battery guard was aroused by a distressing cry from one of the outposts. At first it was difficult to determine whether the call was from a 311 Regiment post or a 312th Regiment post.

The question was soon settled, however, when Dyker appended to the customary outpost call the designation of both the battery and the regiment, and added these words. "For God's sake hurry up, I'm all bee'd up."

The jam which he devoured was full of bees and yellow jackets. While the humor of the incident appealed to the boys of the battery, all sympathized with the unfortunate guard, who had an agonizing time of it in the camp hospital for several weeks as a result of eating honey-bees.

*       *       *       *       *

Shortly after the armistice was signed John J. Jlosky drank too much cognac and fell out of line at retreat one night. He was ordered to report at the battery office. When asked why he did not stand at attention he replied to Lieut. Bailey: "How do you expect a man to stand at attention with sand-paper underwear on?"

The battery had just been issued woolen underwear that day.

*       *       *       *       *

In recalling stable-police duty at Camp Meade, Md., there is one incident that always amused Bill Powell. Here's the story in his own words:

"After the usual morning duties as stable police, 'Mad Anthony' assigned me to load a wagon of manure. After struggling with it for perhaps (p. 141) an hour I felt extremely proud of the transference of the large amount of material from the ground to the wagon. I was then ordered to go with the driver. I thought this pretty soft. It was a zero day and I soon found that I was mistaken. We were on our way to unload the manure in flat cars.

"When we got to Disney, half frozen, the driver disappeared to a position near a roaring log fire and I commenced to unload. Here's where I realized the advantage of being a driver.

"While resting I noticed another wagon being unloaded nearby with a detail of three negroes doing the heaving. This got my ire, and when I got back I looked up 'Mad Anthony' and related what I had seen.

"'Mad Anthony' looked at me and replied, 'Hell, isn't one white man as good as three niggers?'

"Not wishing to admit differently I left--satisfied."



"I desire to express to all the men with whom I was fortunate enough to serve, sincere thanks for their universal loyalty and courtesy to me and the other officers who were with me. It was difficult during the active life of the battery to express to its members the affection I felt for them collectively and individually, and the high personal regard I had for them all, both as soldiers and friends.

"We were never fortunate enough to be called into action, but at all times, I am sure, that all those who came in contact with Battery D felt that its personnel could be depended upon to do the right thing at the right time. We all had our blue moments, but, wherever we may go, or whatever we do, the spirit of Battery D and the friendships we made will help us.

"Let me conclude by wishing a life of health, happiness and success to all my old friends in Battery D, and may I further add that, in looking back, I could have no greater wish than to feel that their friendship and respect for me could be as great as the friendship and respect I hold for them all."

Capt. A. L. Smith.

"Stepping Stones," Gwynedd Valley, Pa., 1920.

"I had the good fortune to serve with the best Battalion of Field Artillery in the United States Army--the Second Battalion, 311th F. A."

Major D. A. Reed.

909 Amberson Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa., 1920.

"My memories of Battery D are the most pleasant of my army experiences. I know that your book will fulfill the very definite need for a complete and accurate account of the experiences and travels of the members of the battery."

Capt. Perry E. Hall.

Springfield, N. J., 1920.

"It would indeed be most regrettable should there be nothing permanent to remind us of those ties of friendship, far greater than those of organization, which bound us together for the greater part of (p. 143) two years. The recollection of the wonderful spirit and morale of those with whom we were so intimately associated must ever bring back that old feeling of just pride which we all felt in our battery."

Lieut. Frank J. Hamilton.

4822 N. Camac St., Philadelphia, Pa., 1920.

"The happiest days of my life were spent in the 311th F. A. and one of my best friends is Captain Smith of Battery D."

Lieut.-Col. Herbert H. Hayden.

Army & Navy Club, Washington, D. C., 1920.




July 13--Left Camp Meade, Md., U. S. A.
July 14--Set sail from Port Richmond, Philadelphia, Pa.
July 17--At anchor in Halifax harbor, Nova Scotia.
July 20--Left Halifax bound overseas.
July 30--Battle with German U-Boats.
July 31--Landed in Barry, South Wales.
August 3--Hiked to Southampton, England.
August 4--Landed in Cherbourg, France.
August 5--Left Cherbourg via rail.
August 7--Arrived in Montmorillon.
September 4--Left Montmorillon via box car.
September 4--Arrived at La Courtine.
November 14--Left La Courtine via box car.
November 16--Detrained at La Tracey.
November 16--Landed in Ville sous La Ferte.
November 26--Left Ville sous La Ferte via motor train.
November 26--Arrived at Blancheville.
December 19--One hundred left on horse convoy.
December 25--Mule convoy arrived at Cirey les Mareilles.


January 9--Left Blancheville mounted.
January 13--Arrived at Benoite Vaux.
March 19--Trip by road to Boncourt.
April 1--Left Boncourt mounted.
April 3--Arrived in Cirey Les Mareilles.
April 12--Matériel turned in at Andelot.
April 19--Entrained at Rimaucourt.
April 21--Arrived at St. Nazaire.
May 14--Set sail for United States.
May 27--Arrived in New York harbor.
May 28--Debarked at Bush Terminal, Brooklyn.
May 28--Arrived in Camp Dix, N. J.
May 30--Battery officially discharged.
June 4--Discharge papers distributed.