World War I Diary
by Robert Shirley '57
In 1916 a number of Dartmouth undergraduates, including my
father, were recruited to join the French Ambulance
Corps. They went to France in a group but were split into different assignments "over there".
Although it is against regulations now
to keep a diary on the frontlines, apparently it was not
in 1917 or he didn't know about it. These pencil
written books have been in my possession
all my life but I just got around to typing them up. Some errors are undoubtedly because I couldn't
read the faded pencil work after all these
years. I hope that some classmates find these
June 27, 1917
I have decided to keep a diary myself as I hear rumored today that all the letters that I spent so much time writing on the boat have gone down on the Lorraine. If it is so, I'm sure disgusted at myself for wasting so much time writing them as the people at home will never know how much I tried to write to them.
Yesterday we had our long trip. We started at 7:00 in the morning and went to Chateau Thierry for trailers and then to Gouaigne and left the trailers. Our car broke down and we were away from the convoy for four hours. We finally caught the convoy just outside of Jouaiane and from their came home by way of Soissons. We got home at 8:30 and had to go back to Dommers to help them rescue a car that Woody dumped in the gutter. We were all pretty tired and cross and also pretty sad as we had just heard of Paul Osbourn's death. Hit the second time he went out to the front. Another fellow in the D section was also wounded. We saw observation balloons close too for the first time, and hosts of all kinds of troops going into the trenches. The views we got of the country and country life around Chateau Thierry were certainly wonderful.
Wed 27, 1917
We stayed in camp and worked around all morning. I helped dig a trench. I saw Captain Mallet for 1st time to-day. Everybody is crabbing food. The meat sure is rotten.
All this morning prepared for our all night trip. We were awakened about 4:30 by the rain which came through the roof like a sieve. The chief got us up at 6:00 and after breakfast and peeling spuds we went up to the farm and got our cars ready for the afternoon. We left at 1:30 being lead by Bug. who soon lost his way in about three places. Finally we got started and went over to Pierrefonds Castle which was the 1st real beautiful building I have seen in the country out here. We were given 1/2 hours leave of absence, and we immediately beat it for the castle. I took some pictures which I hope will come out good. A bunch of us got a guard to take us through and he showed us all around. We saw secret staircases, places Napoleon had sat, and some of the most wonderful brick-a-brack made of stone I have ever seen. From there we went through the Bois de Compeigne and ate our supper at the edge of it. Here a heavy thunder shower came up, and it rained for 2 hours about as heavily as anybody wished. We all got soaked in spite of our rain coats. We went through Compeigne which was full of hospitals and staff cars. It soon began to get dark and we blew into a town which the Germans had practically destroyed with incenduary bombs and shot the mayor burying him head downwards. Soon it grew pitch dark, and we all had our thrills keeping on the road, but finally arrived home at Dommiers at 3 o'clock after going 125 miles. We were all wet, cross, and tired to death, but satisfied that we had done a good job and satisfied our chief. We don't go to Paris today as planned. The dope is now that we will go Sunday and will be there over the 4th. I hope so.
This afternoon we are going sight seeing. Up to some old German evacuated trenches. We hope to see great sights. As yet I have only received one letter from home. I'm almost crazy to here from everybody. Some old magazines came in camp to-day, and we are wearing them out fast.
29, 1917 Friday
We got up at 8:30 and was supposed to work around camp but I sneaked off with Roy and Adnoids and took my laundry down town. At dinner time we were told that we were going to be taken to some trenches the Germans occupied last April. Well were got started in two trucks about an hour after we were supposed to. We went thru Soissons and had a chance to see for the 1st time how badly the city was hit. The north end of town sure is a mess- all the house blown down, a couple of big factories all to pieces, and all the bridges down. The bridges are being replaced by negro soldiers as fast as they can. Out side of Soissons we met a great many horse convoys the largest I have seen yet. It sure was a sight mules, donkey, and horses and men of every description. We went through a town completely destroyed and populated only with troops. Finally we got to the top of the hill after winding our way up pass German dugout after dugout now occupied by french soldiers. These were very comfortable looking dugouts probably old officers dugouts. The top of the hill was just one mess of trench, barbwire entanglements, shell holes, and here and there a grave. We went over to the other side of the hill where we could look down into a village completely destroyed. Not a house was left. It impressed me more of what all the destruction meant was when I saw an old man driving by what was evidently his home with the tears streaming down his cheeks. After collecting some souveniers from a German graveyard we started home. Coming home the water boiled so in our car that we had to be towed home. After supper and writing a letter I went to bed and slept the best I have yet. Although they bombarded Soissons during the night for the 1st time in a long while and we were there at six last night.
June 30, 1917
This morning we got the cars ready for a trip to Hartines and Villa Cottenes. It rained hard but we started just the same right after dinner. The 1st of the trip was miserable for everybody because rain, and the last of the trip was misery for me because the chief bawled me out four times for mistakes. I imagine that I will have to go second dinner now, although it makes me pretty sore. Last night I was pretty low, but got cheered up by joining in with the crowd for a good sing. I have been pretty nervous lately and talking in my sleep. Last night I woke the whole barracks up by shouting at the top of my lungs "Help". Maybe the gang didn't crab me.
July 1st, Sunday
This morning we all started for mass. I wanted to go and see what it was like, but we found the Cure' had gone to the front so there was no mass. Everybody has been working to-day the same as any other. I thought of all the gang at Shirley and wished with all my heart that I were there. In the afternoon we were given the pleasing information that only 5 men could go to Paris. Well maybe the bunch was not sore! I never saw any worse! They cursed Andrew and dammed and helled around all the afternoon, because we had been promised a leave in Paris. The rest of the afternoon we had.
July 2nd, 1917
This morning we were routed out of bed about 7:00 after a good deal of crabbing by Robbie, and finally the chief. Frank Grady is officer of the day, and he put me to work building road. We did this until about ten than I got shaved and washed up. I really got some hot water and got my face and hands clean for the first time in two weeks. I have got to get a bath somewhere pretty quick as I haven't had one for 3 weeks. I had been waiting to get it in Paris. Now I get one the 1st town I go into.
I have been thinking of the people at the Hill all day, and while I'm not home sick, I wish like Hell that I was there. I can't yet realize that it really is summer and that I am missing all those wonderful times that I have had all my life at the Hill. As yet only my one letter from Elisabeth. I have begun to give up hope of ever getting another letter from Frances. The meal to-day was the best we have had yet. String beans and the meat was fairly good. At roll call this afternoon we were told we could go to the Villa Cotteres to make what purchases we could. We went there and bought about everything possible. I bought an apprecot pie. The 1st pie since I left home. The chief who wanted to go worst of all was-*-- left behind through a mixup in the cars. I got his shoes fixed for him as he left them in one of the cars. A few of the boys were pretty happy coming home. I didn't get my bath which I wanted most of all. I took a cold shower last night at which I nearly froze but felt like a king afterwards.
A great deal of booming quite near this morning of machine guns and large artilery which reminded me of the 4th at home a whole lot. The machine guns took the place of the small strings of snap crackers which the big ones sounded like cannon crackers. I guess the Bosch are after the aviation camp. We were told to-day that we would leave for Jouaiagne to-morrow to celebrate the 4th and say there afterwards. My name with 11 others was read to get a little more instruction on the cars and we were told to pack this morning which I have just finished and am now waiting for drill. In the afternoon we went down to Longpont and got the boys returning from Paris. They came back with the news that 50,000 American troops were here and had sunk 21 sub-marines on their way over. After we got back we went to Soisson where we drove around and waited for the boys to do their shopping. We have to get up at 4:30 to-morrow so early to bed for me.
July 4th, Wed. 1917
Today certainly has been a busy day and the strangest fourth that I ever passed. We were awakened at 3 by a pouring rain and I stayed awake until half past four when we were called to get up. We were all packed, feed, and ready to start at six o'clock. We got over to Jouaigne without much excitement except our car went on two cilanders and we passed a great many Morocco troops black as stove pipes. After we got to Jouaogne we were yanked and jerked about for about an half hour then marched out and were paraded around for awhile. Finally Captain Mallet reviewed us, and gave out three "croix de geure" It was some sight three hundred of us Americans marching around in France. Cap. Mallet gave a short talk and told us that there were U.S. troops marching in Paris. After a cold lunch we went down to the big camp and had music and dancing by Algerian and Morocco soldiers. The were also tourneyments such as egg races, sack race, batting the pat one of which held a rabbit spearing a bucket with a pole and getting soaked, and finally a baseball game which wasn't very good. It sure was a strange sight the whole thing, and we saw more nationalities to-day together than we ever saw before. I can't describe all I saw but it was an education in itself. It reminded me more of a circus than an army camp except that a shell broke over our heads way up aimed at a Borche plane right in the midst of the festivities. All the boys who have been here long are having a big champagne and chicken supper to-night. There is a great mix up over beds to-night as they weren't any more ready to receive us here than they have been anywhere else we have been. The boys are almost coming to blows over where their beds shall be placed. I was lucky to get mine fixed up early and have got one of the best in the camp. I got 2 letters yesterday one from Aunt Mary and one from Elisabeth but none from Frannie yet and I do so wish to hear. I have thought of her and the young bunch at the Hill all day and wished I was with them. They are probably having a baseball game right this minute. Oh dearest girl I'm crazy about you and love you to death.
Thursday, July 5th, 1917
We got up at seven and after a raw egg, bread, and coffee noir breakfast, we were assigned our cars and the 1st drivers appointed. Chan. Brown is my 1st driver. He is a good fellow, and knows a lot about a car so we ought to get along all right. We took an inventory of our equipment in our car and acted wise about the car until dinner. This afternoon we dug a trench for an hour and then greased the car all the afternoon. It was dirty but interesting work. The big guns are booming loudly to-night and we have orders of no lights to-night as they are libel to take a crack at us. The meal was good to-night ham and spargette. We all are going to bed early to- night.
July 6, 1917, Friday
We have certainly had a busy day to-day. We were kept awake nearly all night by shells which were striking uncomfortably near. I never had such a funny feeling before. We expected to be hit any minute. At seven we were ordered to go and get some material and take it up to the front. We took up 10,000 empty sand bags. We got stuck in the yard but nothing else happened. We saw a lot of soldiers and transports. We went pretty near the front near Soissons and saw the troops and horse all in big stone caves. The shells were not very near. We got home at seven tired and nearly a dust heap. I'm going to take a bath and go right to bed.
Saturday, July 8, 1917
To-day has been a very quiet day. We greased our cars most all the morning and after dinner moved the cook tent near to our quarters. It was awfully hot all day, and everybody felt hot and tired. All during the noon hour the French were shooting at a couple of German planes but nothing happened. After supper I took a bath and then took my shoes down to the cordonnier to be fixed. I went down with "Dal" and we had a bottle of champagne as most of the other boys were. It made me feel dizzy for a few minutes, but I was all right. I had to guard the cannons from 2-4. When I 1st got up there was a hell of an thunder shower going, and all the boys were cursing because the roof was leaking like a sheave. Everybody was tying to move his bed into a dry place. It soon stopped raining and the moon came out. The nightingales were singing and everything was quiet and wonderful when about 3 o'clock the whole front opened up with a roar and continued to roar until seven this morning. I don't see how they can make such a steady continuous noise.
July 9, 1917, Sunday
We did nothing to-day but to lie around and curse the rain. It was a long dury day.
July 10, 1917 Monday
We were pulled out of bed at 4:30 and told we were to leave at 5:30 to take ammunition up to Chemin de Dame. We got off after breaking a few cars and a good deal of sleepy cursing. At the loading place we found a french 1st Lieu. who gave us the dope on the whole war. He was an educated man who could speak English and German fluently. He said he was in the trenches 24 days without even taking his shoes off. He told about the African troops and their fighting, about how the Germans had entirely undermined France before the war, about the french and G. prisoners how they were shot at the least hint of escape. While we were loading a bomb exploded about 100 yards away. The nearest one yet. We told french 75s up to a battery, and I never saw so much ammunition in one place in my life. The whole woods were filled with 75 while a large field nearby was filled with all kinds of larger shells, bomb, and hand grenades. While we were there a big thunder shower came up and believe I, I was excited for a few minutes. The people who faint away in the States at a hard thunder storm ought to experience one when it is hitting all around and you are surrounded with french 75s. After the shower 3 or 4 shells came whistling past and hit so near that we could hear the small pieces buzzing away after the explosion. We loaded up with empties and took them back to the base. Coming up a steep hill our carborator filled with water and we were left in plan sight of the Bosche while we fixed her. Maybe we didn't tear after we got her fixed to catch the rest. We got back at 9, and I went to bed immediately to tired hardly to eat. It rain all day and the roads were like a pond and awfully slippery and thus awfully hard driving. The boys on guard duty had quite a time last night. Bob, Dal, Dutch, and Johnnie. Bob did his two hours and waked Dal, who is the laziest boy in camp and funny as a crutch, Dal got up and immediately waked Dutch and told him it was his turn. Dutch got up and got dressed before he discovered that it was only 12 instead of his right time 2. Meanwhile Dal had gone to bed. While Dutch was sore as hell and called Dal everything he could think of and went back to bed too. The next thing he knew it was four the time his watch was up. So no one was on duty from 12 until 2. Well Dal had got to watch all night to-night.
July 11, Wednesday
Today three cars had to go out early at four while the rest of us stayed home and fixed the bad road at the side of our camions. At noon we got of orders to go out at 4:30 to take supplies up to chateau Soupir. The chief and Robbie were gone so we thought that Pete was going to take us, but the chief and Robbie showed up and got us started off sharply at 4:15. We went over to Bozocks and loaded up with iron fence. We waited here until it began to get dark, and the chief found it convenient for him to come after us. He gave us a little take before we started that woke us up for the 1st time to what we were going into. Well everything went well until we got within an half mile of our destination then we suddenly discovered above the noise of the car that we were being shelled and were getting it good and proper. At the chateau we were in front of two french batteries 75 and 150 that shot right over us, and every time they fired it seemed like the concussion would knock us over. Pretty soon the shrapnel began to come fast and very near on piece hit Chan in the face. The frenchmen were ducking around everywhere, but we all stood in a bunch trying to make the other boys think we weren't frightened. I know I was scared stiff, but don't think I let any of the other boys know it. It seemed ages before we were unloaded ready to start but finally we did and came home fine. But some of the boys went to sleep driving. Clarky drove Al into the ditch, Buz. ran into the car ahead, and when they were being towed in Art. went to sleep and steered the car into a wall which looked like a shell had hit it afterwards. The car is all beat up. When we got home it was day light 5:30, and we were so tired we all went to bed filthy dirty, some not even taking off their cloths. I know my face and hands were so dirty at 12 when I woke up that I had to wash before eating. The dust was about 1/8 of an inch thick on my face and clothes. Thus we went through our 1st bombardment getting tired to death but not hurt.
July 12, Thursday
After we got up to-day we cleaned our cars and layed around the camp tired to death. It was very hot, and as it was very muggey we all had headaches. I was pretty lonesime for the 1st time as I couldn't find anything to do. I went down town with H-affie and as he went home, I came back and after hanging around a bit went to bed. The Bosche gave us a little raid about 2 and dropped a couple pretty close which waked us all up. We all got up and froze to death trying to see him.
Friday, July 13, 1917
By all the rules of the game today should be unlucky, but I proved the saying wrong to-day as you will see. We were starting at five. After a good deal of persaidsine used by Pete, and a good deal of groaning by us, we got up just at five. We went to a new base and loaded up with 75s. We took them up to Soupir where everything seemed to be quite except there were a lot of Bosche observation ballons. When we were coming home however some water got in our carborator and we had to stop. While we were fixing it a sharpnel shell shot at the french ballon broke exactly over our heads but we were right under it so didn't see any pieces however we could hear them buz however. We got our car just started and were just going to shift into high when s-s-s bang a piece of sharpnel 3-6 hit about 10 ft in front of our radiator. It came so hard that it bounced up and rang like a bell. If we had shifted a minute early I would have got it right on the head. We load again with lumber and took it over near Soissons and again sharpnel burst near us but not anywhere near like the first. We got back at 8:30 pretty tired. But I had all the tired taken out of me by receiving my 1st letter from Fran. It makes me feel like a real person again. I can't describe how much that letter meant to me. Well I must take a bath and go to bed.
To-day is the big french holiday, and we celebrated by sleeping late and catching hell from the chief for not getting up earlier. We had a new wheel put on the car and fooled around the rest of the morning. In the afternoon the chief said "let's go for a swim. Some swim. He led us a merry chase over about 10 hills and then found a brook with about a pint of water in it. Never the least we got clean. Coming home we saw some German prisoners and swiped a do. We got a big feed for supper and 1/4 glass of champagne. A few boys got pretty happy.
We were pulled out at four and after a big rush left at five. We went over to Bazoches And loaded with 75s and took them to a new bases near the front. The frenchmen seemed to work slower than ever to-day. We took two loads! Roy got dstched! Coming home we met Paul Minor, Mike Pounds, Frank Lewis and Ned Rocs (ALL D 1918 PAUL SAWYER MINER PHI DELT FROM BROOKLYN, LEWIS CHARLES POUNDS PSI U FROM BROOKLYN, FRANK ARCHIBALD LEWIS PHI SIGMA KAPPA FROM PHILADELPHIA, AND EDWARD MAYNARD ROSS DKE FROM LEBANON) who we hadn't seen since Paris. They are pretty near us over to Tisinus. Ernie.(EARNEST HOWELL EARLEY DTD FROM MEDFORD MASS) didn't come over. I sent him a note however. They had a big line of bull to pull. Been up under shell fire. Ernie. got a hot night. They ate supper here and are going to stay over night at the other Dartmouth section. Robbie got orders to go to a training camp for two weeks. Looks like he goes to Meau.
Monday, July 16, 1917
To-day we greased and cleaned our cars which took most of the morning. In the afternoon wrote letters, read, slept, and help bring remorques up the hill. Drew for places in them but lost and am just as well satisfied as we have plenty of room now, and the roof above me is rain proof. I'm beginning to have a bad time with bed-bugs again. One got on my face last night which I gave a merry chase but he escaped. I itch so that I couldn't get asleep for a couple of hours last night. Not a thing seems to be happening up to the front the last few days.
Tuesday, 17, 1917
To-day was the 1st day we had off since the fourth. I wrote some letters, read, and studied a little french. I also slept until I was slept out.. In the afternoon I patched the top of the camion just in time to avoid hauling up the trailers. I have been crazy all day because of the itching I have all over me. I can discover whether they are hives or bed bug bites. I saw a bug last night just long enough to know he was there. I took a bath and cooled off a little.
July 18, Wednesday
We were pulled out at 6:10 and told that we had to be started at 7! We had to hurry but finally got off on time. We loaded at Bazaches with 130 4-6 timbers which was a pretty big load considering the Hills we had to climb. We took it up to Periere the other side of Soissons where they seem to be collecting a lot of supplies ready for trench building. There was absolutely no excitement to-day except that we had the worst dinner we have ever had yet and lost a tire off our rear wheel which means we stay in to-morrow and get it fixed. I'm on guard to-night from 12-2. Am still all broken out with bites. Feel a little tired + lazy as the deuce. Dope about the U.S. will take us over.
Thursday, July 19
We took our car to repair shop to get a new tire. Brownnie. (D 18 RODNEY DONNELL BROWN FROM GLOUCESTER) went for water so I took the car up along. Well turning around I got entangled with some frenchmen and got stuck. I fooled around for half an hour + then got one of the "G" bunch to pull me out. Finally he pulled me out, and then I ran into him for thanks. I got it put to the shop only to find that the hydrolic pump for pulling on the tires was broken and we could get it fixed until to-morrow. So I loafed all day, read, wrote letters, and slept. In the afternoon I got a hair cut, and had a good talk we the chief.
Saturday, July 20, 1917
This morning the boys went out at four but as our car us still in the repair shop, we didn't go, and as a consequence Brownnie and I didn't get up till eleven. We got Pommes Frittes for dinner etc the best meal yet. In the afternoon I read, wrote, and went down town for a few minutes but say nothing. Hung around until supper and then went down town again and got some bread and butter. I got a letter from Fran. to-day which seemed good, but she said she was writing only once a week. She better loosen better than that or she will get a little bit of her own medicen. I'm sort of discouraged about everything to-night. This ideal life makes me dissatisfied. I wish I had Frannie. here to-night. I sure could give her an ear full.
Sunday, 22, 1917
We had another day off to-day. It was a wonderful day clear, bright and not a cloud to be seen. We hung around all the morning with an exception of a few who went to church. In the afternoon we played section II in baseball. I played right field. It was great fun the most I have had since I got over here. All day they were firing at the front, and we repeated saw Boesche planes all surround with sharpnel. A great many observation ballons were up. I counted seven all in sight at once. In the evening Noris Spaulding + I went over to C to say hallo to Winfred Brehant who has just arrived. He gave us all the dope about Manchester that happened after we left. There were air raids all night and between jumping up to look at them and freezing in bed I didn't get much sleep. They sure did do some great booming at the front.
Monday, July 23, 1917
To-day we got our wheel put on and our car all ready to go thank the lord. They boys all had a gas test to see if their masks were all right. I was busy so didn't get in on it. We hung around the rest of the day
Tuesday, June 24, 1917
To-day we got ours good and plenty. They started six of us up to Messy with lumber. We loaded at Bazaches and started on a long, dusty (is name for it) haul. After a couple of mistakes by Frank we got there all right. We had a fair dinner, but we held up on the unloading. The old sharpnal began to break uncomfortably near and as we were leaving on the valley road one broke too close. We rushed back to camping leading the convois the last part of the way. When we arrived the chief told up that we had just ten minutes be for we left for Craonne (where the German crown Prince is trying to break through. Well we shoved some beans down us and after catching hell for not hurrying start for Fismes where we loaded with 75s-gas bombs. We left in rows of seven, but before we started every one of us got stuck in the soft field where we loaded. We expected to get a warm reception up to the front but nothing much was doing. The french we doing all the firing.
We were all unloaded and started back at one. One the way back we passed houe convois, about 30 big 250 cannon, and at least 500 trucks. I never saw so many trucks in my life, I didn't know there were so many in France. Again we got ahead or our gaurd in the mix up somewhere and got home + in bed before any body arrived. I had a letter from Mary, Libber, Mad. + Don F. waiting for me but I was so tired I got into bed as quickly as possible without washing or fully undressing even + was asleep immediatley. From 8-3.3s driving in the dust is just a little too much. I forgot to say two radiators got theirs last night.
Wednesday, June 25, 1917
I got up at eleven and after dinner greased our car until three. After that I took a bath, wrote Fran. and fooled around until supper. After supper I went down after my laundry and Bob. gave 100 Francs to get some chocolate and I the damn fool, lost it. 50 dollars at this time comes pretty hard. I had been scimping every way so as to have it for permission now its gone to the "frogs". I went to bed early last night being pretty tired. I also got a letter of explaination from Ernie which I was glad to receive because I knew he was deceiving me all the time, but I guess I was to proud to say so.
July 26, Thursday
In the morning we did nothing but hang around, peel spuds, and write letters.
We got orders at 10 that we were to leave at 12 for an all night trip. We went over to Bazoches and loaded with lumber which we took over to Braines and our five cars loaded their in a still different yard with iron fence pickets, wire etc. We went back to Bazoches with the exception of Roy who lost a tire and Ed. Taylor who went to Vailoy with 3 other car of the other convoy loaded with hand grenades. Some dangerous load. At Bazoches we met the rest and had our supper which was the best yet "en convois". We started awfully slow unloading and as a result we didn't get in bed until six this morning. I wasn't very sleepy but my eyes ached terribly because of the constant strain of peering through the dark plus the awful dirt. Up to Bourieux they had a gas attack just before we arrived, but nothing but French guns were going. However they were going like the very deuce.
Saturday, 28, 1917
To-day we got up at eleven very hot and tired due to the hot weather + flies. We didn't get dressed until 5:30 but laid around all day in our underclothes. In the evening I went down town, got my laundry and a bottle of champagne for the fellow who found my hundred franc note. I went to bed early and although there was a air attack I didn't wake up until called at four in the morning.
Sunday, 29, 1917
To-day was one of the hardest days that we have had. We were pulled out of bed at four and started for Fismes where we loaded with 75 and the, went up to villa en Pierre where we loaded again with gas bombs after waiting from 1:30 until three o'clock. From there we went by a new route right in sight of the german lines we could see more of the front to-day than we have ever seen. The french bombarded quite a bit. First we could hear the bang than see them hit. The front looked just like a sand heap. We went right along by the river Aisne and saw a lot of canal boats filled with troops. I think the troops were using these boats for barracks. We had to drive up the worst hill yet. My car being the only one of the 1st run that made it without stopping. When we got to Nentelay the chief left me for a guide at a corner where I had a fine talk with an English speaking cavalryman. He sure was a nice appearing fellow.
Several frenchman asked me if we were Boche?. When I got home I went over to II and talked with Gordon until after ten. A fellow in C got wounded at Sauper to-day. Two ambulance boys were killed one by gas and the other shot. The Germans are using a colorless odorless gas now which one can't detect until too late.
Monday, 30, 1917
To-day I got at eleven and did nothing but write letters and hang around.
Tuesday, 31, 1917
Got up at eleven, and hung around all day John Chipman returned this evening with my watch and beaucoups the dope about Y.M.C.A., American troops, and french victories. Also said U.S. take us within two weeks. All went to bed early.
Wednesday, Aug. 1, 1917
To-day I took my car down to the headquarter ateler where they took the gear box out. It was an whole afternoon job. I greased the car and got as dirty as usual. I had to tow an "l" car down through mud up to the hub. It sure was some job as cars were getting stuck right and left. The boys went up to villler en Pierre again yesterday. I should be able to go day after to-morrow. I got letters from Liba, mother Louise + Uncle Phil. (DARTMOUTH ALUMNI AWARD WINNER PHIL MARDEN, EDITOR OF THE LOWELL SUN) His letter sure was a peach. The kind one likes to receive. Robbie cars were stuck in the mud all night up where the turn around. They sure had some night. I'm still in wrong with the chief I wish I could show him in some way that I'm not as bad as Robbie. pictured me.
Thursday, Aug. 2, 1917
It was cold as the 1st of Nov. when we got up this morning. I got up at 8:30 as we all had a rest this morning. I went down to the Ateliers right off. I played with the dog a while and then with a tame fox who wasn't as tame as he looked. He snapped at me twice. We got our small blue hats yesterday with our 184. Some class! In the afternoon we went done to see the car but it was raining so the mechanics didn't work. Coming back Pete napped me and took me with a bunch to go after some stone to fix the road which is terrible since it rained. The boys were sore as crabs because they were picked. Larry Spaulding absolutely refused to go and may get sent home for it. It sure was hard wet work and even though my hands are pretty hard I got 3 peachy blood blisters.
Friday, Aug. 3, 1917
The boys all went out this morning but my car was still in the repair shop so I slept until eleven. I got up and fooled around till the boys came back. Then as five cars had to go out immediately I volunteered to go. We went to Fe're where we loaded with grenades. It was a rainy miserable day and we were all wet and very cross. I, however, was repaid because I had a chance to talk to some German prisoners and try my German something I have been wanting to do ever since I got here. I also got a button from one of them which I shall have put on Fran's powder box. I sure is a prize. We got up to Miller en Piene at eight and waited till eleven before we even had a chance of getting near unloaded. We finally unloaded ourselves and tore home like the very deuce. We passed two convois of 80 cars each full of troops some crowd! I also talked with a frenchmen directly from the Chemin de Dame. Out of 2200, eight hundred were returning they hadn't undressed for 21 days.
I got a letter from Mary saying poor Liba isn't very well. I feel pretty blue to-day about it. Can't get her off my mind.
Saturday, Aug. 4, 1917
This morning was pulled out of bed at eight and sent after water over to Braine. I got some great old ham which I cooked and it sure looked + tasted like home. We had a big load of water, and losted the stopper for one cask coming home so when we went to unload it, it was empty. Thus one section goes thirsty to-day "ce est la Guerre".
Aug. 4, 1917 Sat.
This morning I had to go over to Braine for water. In the afternoon it rained and all I did was write letters, listen to chief bawl us out, Spaulding nearly sent home, and bull. I had to guard from 10-12. Had lot of time to plan things at home. I got two letters from Elisabeth to-day.
Sunday, Aug. 5, 1917
In the morning the boys hung around and later a few went to church. At eleven we got an order for 12 cars to go to Montigny and load with 75s. It was all knew country after Fismes so we had a pretty good trip. It was the 1st time the soldiers had seen any Americans and they sure did stare at us. Over here we saw our 1st general. He sure was some grand old boy. Here I also ran of the cordroy road right in front of the chief, which of course got me in wrong again. We went up that steep hill by Roay and down the other side. The road was in full sight of the Germans but all we saw was some sharpnel at plane. I was left to direct the boys Some lonesome job. While I waited I cut my initials into a good old french stone. We went to Villes en Pierre and loaded with empties back to Bozoches. We loaded + unloaded them ourselves. No. 13 got ditched other wise it was a quick journey. I got home and had an awful headache so went to bed after which I felt better.
Monday, Aug. 6, 1917
In the morning we worked on our cars all the time. And started to do the same in the afternoon but were one of five cars ordered to Bazoches for banacks. We had quite a time getting them but finally succeeded. Here we saw some brand new French troops pull in. At Bazoches they heard cannon fire for the 1st time. It seemed funny to be wiser than the french for once. Coming home we strewed banacks all along the road for the other boys to pick up. We also had a couple of English nurses ask us for a ride but a staff car came just then and took them away from us. Hard luck. We all went to bed fairly early.
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 1917
This morning we got orders that 24 men would go over to Soissons and see Capt Perisse decorated with the legion of Honor. I never thought that I would be picked to go as the chief was picking the men, but as I had a new suit, he took me. We rode over in some camions from Longepont and entertained ourselves at watching the rookies drive. Well we got over to Soissons and marched and waited around for about an hour + a half entertaining 1st + 2nd lieutenants until the big boys arrived. They had a band there that sure could play, It made me think of home every minute. Finally the big boys arrived and things began. There was the colonel of the auto service, who is in command of all the auto service in France, and there was also an English General besides beaucoups captains and lieutenants. Two people got the Legion of Honor while about 18 got the "croix de Geurre". We did pretty good in our own drilling considering that we hadn't drilled since Dommiers. We had to march quite a bit more than I wish but we didn't mind it much as long as they keep the music going. We had to wait in Soissons for about 2 hours for camions to take us back Some system! One of the captains tok us to look at the ruins of the Soissons church. It sure was a mess. All blown to pieces and all the wonderful artistic architecture spoiled. Finally we bumped home with a couple of fellows from "l" passo. riding on the bottom of the camions. No mail again last night.
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 1917
To-day I did nothing at all but write letters to Liba, Scul, cons. + Frances. Did not feel very well. Took a bath.
Thursday, Aug. 9, 1917
To-day we took our car up to the Aetelier, and worked hard on it all the morning. The bunch went out at 12 but of course we couldn't go. In the afternoon I worked a little longer on the car, watched them reap wheat a while, wrote Margaret, and after waiting for a heavy shower to pass went down street with Pete to buy the ingredients of a party. After supper I got a letter from Dave Ripley and Fran. Also had the party worst yet, I'm off them. The bunch got back a little latter cross and tired. Rumor Charles Isbell 1918 (CHARLES WINCHELL ISBELL PHI SIGMA KAPPA FROM NORTH ADAMS, MASS) got a croix de Guerre. Jack Storrs (JOHN WHITMORE STORRS ALPHA DELT FROM HARTFORD) and his crew came over from the other came; they leave to-morrow on permission. Big gun fire at front worst yet. We couldn't get to sleep it made so much noise.
Friday, Aug. 10, 1917
To-day we didn't go out at all. Hung around camp all morning and had a talk for a while after dinner. We drilled from 4-5 which did me a lot of good as I felt sick to my stomach all day. We all went to bed early. No mail.
Saturday, 11 Aug., 1917
I got up this morning feeling much better than I have for the last four days. We worked on the cars (very unnecessarily) for a little while in the morning In the afternoon we listened to another bull fest of the chiefs who scrared down to the cars again to do nothing. I then went down town and got some bread. Which is in great demand these days as they are running pretty low. From 4:30 to 5:30 we drilled hard which tired us all. I got a bawling out from the chief for inattention. Then he gave a great spiel about us wanting to quit the service and not doing it like a man but using the method of breaking a car. It was aimed at Johnnie Chipman and Johnnie went way up in the air and told the chief that I would quit right off as he didn't give a damn. Well when the chief's bluff was called he came around and after a good deal of bull got it fixed up. They celebrated by all getting drunk after supper. It sure was some party. I got six letters, last night besides one of my own returned without address. One peach from Ken., Mad, + K., a good letter from Miss Fairbanks, and two nice ones from Fran. I haven't received any from home on this last boat yet.
Sunday, 12 Aug., 1917
To-day for Sunday was a very quiet day. The only thing downs was that three of us went over to Braine for gas. We got stuck twice coming back. I received 5 lbs of writing paper from home much to my surprise. I had to gaurd from 12- 2 no fun at all. Lots of bull fests last night didn't get to bed until late. Heard the piece of dope that Pete was supposed to write in the Transcript. Some line. To-day we had darned good mellon for dinner and grapes for supper.
Monday, 13, 1917 Aug.
Today might be marked with a red letter for me because I worked and worked hard on my car from 8-11 + 11:30-2:30. I felt just like working so I could accomplish a lot. It was also a big day for the airmen around here. Early in the morning we saw nine planes coming back from the trenchs where they had just destroyed 5 Boche ballons. Then for revenge a Boche aviator came over and got the french ballon nearest us. Some of the boys, who were right under it. They saw the Boche shot down close to the ballon, then saw smoke, and then saw the whole ballon burst. into flames. It was some sight we could see it from camp here. The man escaped in a parichute safely. As soon as the Boche plane did this a french plane nearby started for it and the Boche tore for a cloud with the frenchman about 100 yards behind. He sure was tearing. We heard afterwards that the frenchman got him. The boys who were on the trip got into shell fire again to-day. They came home with some big stories. The French govt. gave us some oil skin sheep skin coats to-day. They look pretty good, but they also look like good bugs nests. The trouble is we don't know who had them before us. In the afternoon I went down town to the hospital and got a warm shower bath the 1st one since June 2nd. I was fortunate enough to blow in just as some officers we taking a shower so got the benefit of their hot water. I got two letters from Fran. last night with the new address. The came through in 17 days, the quickest I have ever got any yet. She said she was sending me a box of eats. I hope the get here all right.
Tuesday, Aug. 14, 1917
To-day we started from camp at 2 and went over to Bazoches where we loaded with three ft two inch planks. We ate supper here which was the best supper we have ever had yet in convois. We had oranges, hot boil suds and meat, coffiture, and good fresh boulangerie bread. We left Bazoches at 6:30 for the Montgame farm which is north east of Soissons. It was a new route for me and very interesting. We passed quite a few small bunches of troops going up. In most every bunch there was someone who could speak english. In one a frenchman showed where he had learned english by say "How are you chaps?" The road was full of turns as we drew near the front and also pretty crowded with supply wagons going up. Most of them were three horse teams. One place we saw two french men beating the life out of three horses which wouldn't move from their tracks. The had on a small load of rifle ammunition. We were the first car and just as we got in hearing distance one of the horses kick and hit the frenchman. He turned around and saw us and called all the names he could think of because he said the horses were Americans. He sure did swear at the horses, Americans in general, and us. We watched him a few minutes, and decided in the way they were going at it that they never would finish so we went by. When we got to the unloading station we were only .6 of a mile from the front. We were surrounded with batteries which were banging all the time, but only two German replies. The Germans were shelling hard just before we arrived but stopped just before we got there and all the time we were there which of course made us awfully sore "Oh yes?" A frenchman told me while I was helping unload that he had just come from the Belguim front where the front line trenchs were only 18 yards apart. He said they Topedoed all the time. I drove all the way home and it sure was dark. I was driving the 1st car which made it all the harder. It reminded me of the stories about the ambulance boys driving through the dense night . It was such a strain watching so hard constantly that I was dead tired when I reach camp. I found a letter from Aunt Florence and Margaret when I arrived but was too tired to read them. It was about two when we arrived home, but we had a little feed before going to bed.
Wednesday, Aug. 15, 1917
We got up at eleven, and after dinner went directly to work on our cars. We worked hard all the afternoon. In the evening I just hung around camp, got a nice letter from Fran. and sent a telegram to Margaret. We went to bed fairly early after bulling around. The letter from Fran. was a wonder. Bob. Mac. go one of his letters put in the Lynn Item God help the folks if they put any of mine in.
Thursday, Aug. 16, 1917
In the morning went down and worked a little on the cars and ley the chief tell us a lot of unnecessary improvements about them. In the afternoon we went down to the site of our new barracks and started digging the foundation for them. It was hard work, and it sure started the blisters. I got a letter from Ernie., Al Frey, and Aunt Mary in this mail., I also got my powder box back from Ateliers. Went to bed early and slept fairly well although kind of cold. To- day was Margaret's wedding day. I have started to think about artillery school although don't know whether I like it or not.
Friday, Aug. 17, 1917
Yesterday we dug, dug, and dug all day building the foundation for our new barracks and would have had a very uneventful day if we hadn't found Ernie, Stan, + Paul here when we came back from work. I stayed with Ernie every minute while he was here. He sure had some awful tales to tell. We discussed Permission, artillery school, and after our six months. I got letters from Margaret, Mary, Elisabeth, Aunt Mary, K, and Uncle Philip. His letter seemed to say stay until end of war. I'm awful upset about whether to go with this service into U.S. Army or go to artillery school. I talked with Ernie. about it, but am up in air still. We got notice last night about shifting
Saturday, 18, 1917
To-day I wrote two letters as usual. Took 45 bags of wheat from here to Mont Notre Dame which took us all the morning. Took a long time to unload. Had a written conversation with a french 1st Lieut. Dug barracks foundation all afternoon In evening wrote to Paris about artillery school. Practically made up mind to go. Got a letter from Bill Hale. Officers had usually party of Sat. night. Got my pictures from "Pep".
Sunday, Aug. 19, 1917
To-day we left at six to load with 75s at Villesavoire We got loaded the quickest yet. We left there for Villes en Prayer where we were again unloaded and loaded with empties the quickest yet. We unloaded at Carlandon and had dinner there and got back to camp by 2:30 with the exception of three cars which didn't get back till late. To-day was very clear and a great day for the airmen. The air was full of ballons + planes of both sides. One Boche plane got three ballons all in on sweep last evening. The air was also full of sharpnel. The dust was awful yesterday worst yet. Andrews was out last night and said that this service as well as the ambulance is going U.S. right off. Lots of bull about what fellows are going to do. I have made up my mind to try to get into the artillery school.
Monday, Aug. 20, 1917
To-day we finished digging the foundation for our barracks after digging all morning and until 4:30. I got a hair cut etc. Wrote two letters bulled about artillery school. Hung around all evening. Also received an invitation to M. Loches wedding.
Tuesday, Aug. 21, 1917
To- day I went down to the doctors to see if I was fit for my physical exam. I was also "cop of the camp", and so had to clean up for about an hour in the morning. When I got back from the doctors, I worked on my car for a little while. After dinner I did nothing hardly. Took a bath, and talked with Y.M.C.A. man a while. Went down street in evening for a few minutes The bunch sung for a while and then mostly went to bed but Clarky and Johnnie kept me awake until 12. I couldn't sleep well all night.
Wednesday, Aug. 22, 1917
To-day was another quiet day. In the morning we did absolutely nothing but hang around camp. In the afternoon some german prisoners went by and I got a picture of them after nearly breaking my neck running. We took down our barracks and moved into remorques. I'm in with Art. Hale. This took nearly up nearly all the afternoon. In the evening I wrote to F + mother and got letters from F + Liba. I went over to section D and bulled about artillery most of the evening. Still have good hope of getting in. Georgro got a 1st Lieut. in ordinance.
Thursday, Aug. 23, 1917
To-day we were pulled out at four to go with 14 camions to calondon where we were loaded very quickly and departed in the 2nd row for villes en Prayer going up the hill a lot of the boys got overheated so we got second place. At v. en P. we got unloaded fairly quickly and took empties back to bazoches where the chief was waiting for us with nice hot spargatti and cherry confiture The chief rode back on our car from B. and gave up a circus with his hot head. He sure got to a frenchman here at camp. Last night seven new fellows joined the section. One by the name of England is in our remorque. He seems to be a mighty good fellow in fact the best of the bunch I went over to D with a letter I got from headquarters and got into an awful bull fest about "home" Ed. Redfield was the guy and he had a family very similar to mine. Oh but we had a good time. We had another hum.
Aug. 24, Friday, 1917
To-day I was pulled out at five and told to be ready to start to Braine at 5:15 The cause of the great hurry was that Brownie had gone to sleep while getting dressed and didn't wake up until 5:00. Of course the cooks weren't called so all we had was cold coffee. Pete went with us and we were the only car. We loaded with tar paper and iron roofing which we took up to Vailly where we were unloaded very quickly. We returned to Bancy de Longne and loaded with 2 in planks. The loading was slow but we ate our dinner so didn't mind. We had good new bread we bought at Soissons, cherry cofiture, box of sardines, + whole cake of chocolate. We took this load up to a battery beyond Vailly but went to far and stopped right in plain sight at the very top of hill where a sign said no voitures allowed in the daylight. Just the a big 155 went off + nearly frightened me to death. We turned around and found the unloading place just a short way down the hill. Thirty men unloaded us here and they were sure in a hurry. We got back here at 3. Three hours ahead of time due to our car running finely, and being alone. It was a fine trip and we sure had a wonderful time together. About our last trip with Pete. We rode most of the way beside the Maisse and saw many batteries + anti-aircraft guns. Got letter from Liba in evening.
Aug. 25, Sat, 1917
To-day we worked hard on the car all morning, and in the afternoon the chief inspected + and told Brownie. and I to lay off but I had just got comfortable when Frank pulled me into a gang to carry barracks. We worked hard and were soon through. Scotty, Mel. and Whitd. left the section this morning./ Whid, + Mel. for the hospital + Scotty for Meaux. I got letters from Bunny, Liba, and 3 from Fran. She said Don. got his commission. I'm awfully glad. Went to bed early.
Aug. 26, Sunday 1917
To-day I was pulled out at four and we made our usually Sunday trip with 75s from Villesavoir to Villa en Prayers. It was a cold damp day, and very dusty. On the whole it was a hard trip. I was pretty tired when I got back. We saw a few arrivees land on the hill in front of v.e.P. and a little sharpnel shot at the planes but nothing much of interest. I think chief kind of rubbed it into me in the new appointments, and will climb out of this if he keeps treating me the same way all the time. I wrote to Mary + F. heard Don got a commission. We had a big shower last night the wind blew the rain through about everything. It cleared for a few minutes and I saw the most wonderful color effect made by the sun setting in back of the rain clouds.
Aug. 27, Monday, 1917
To-day was one of the most lonesome days that we have had in camp. We worked on the cars in the morning, and in the afternoon it began to rain hard. The wind started to blow and it rocked the trailer just like a boat. It sure was a rough old night and I couldn't help but think of those poor boys up in the trenchs. A few old plugs went by to-day and one go down right in front of the camp so we all went down to see the mix up. I was convinced more than ever that these frenchmen don't know a thing about horses. I played cards a while and went to bed early but couldn't sleep because the wind shook the shack so.
Aug. 28, Tuesday, 1917
The morning I did the awful hard work of writing two letters. In the afternoon a few of us went over to the "mont Notre Dame" hospital with Johnnie to heard him play on a piano that they said was there, but when we got over there we discovered a band concert by a regiment's band which was in repos. It sure was wonderful music and it sounded awfully good. We got enough apples and then got back of late supper. I met a fellow who boarded down to Goffstown last summer And who knew all the people around town including Mary. It was a wonderfully clear night which made me think a great deal of home.
Aug. 29, 1917, Wednesday
To-day we just hung around in the morning. In the afternoon a bunch of us decided to go over and see the cathedral over to Mount Notre Dame. So off we started and finally after a great deal of discussion we reached our destination. The cathedral sure was old and very interesting. Jean D'Arc worshipped there and Saint Louis also held siege there. We came back in pairs. Swiping apples and dodging showers in stores and houses. Brownnie, Norris + I came back together. We sure had a good time.
Aug. 30, 1917, Thursday
To-day I was pulled out at five, after being awakened by a bunch going out at four, and we started for Bazoches to load. On the way we ran over a flock of pigeons which didn't know enough to get out of the way and killed several. When we got to Bazoches we found the other gang just loading as they needed a supplementry car they took us and telephoned for two more to take our place. We loaded with wire + roofing and took it up farm Pierre where we unloaded the iron roofing and went on to a new park to unload. Coming home at Soissons we got some apple pies which sure did taste good and made me feel right at home. We got back to camp at four and I sure was awfully tired although I don't know why. I got letters from Mary, Liba, mother, + Don. last night. Don says come home for training camp! Went to bed early.
Aug. 31, 1917, Friday
To-day 8 fellows left on Permission. It sure doesn't seem like it was the last day of August. In the morning I worked on the car all the morning after getting up at nine. In the afternoon I got all dressed up and went over to Notre Dame to watch our boys play soccer against a french regiment team.. It sure was some game as many of our boys had never played the game before. All we could do was play defensive for we had absolutely no team work. They only beat us 1 to 0 however. In the evening I went over to D and bulled about artillery. Georgia has got his 1st Lieut. Got a Outlook in the mail.
Sept. 2, 1917, Sunday
To-day we did our usual little stunt of starting out at 5 for Bazaches where we loaded with posts and went to Vaille vers Soissons. I had 18 with a new fellow for driver going up was fine but coming back was hard work especially as he refused to drive and the car wasn't running good. I finally got back pretty tired. Saturday we did nothing but have a champagne party for Ernie, Stan, + F. Lewis who came over I was sure glad to see them. They are up to Boureaux. They don't know whether they are going to sign for duration or not. Stan. has been up in no mans land and had a big story. Frank got drunk + was funny as a crouch. Got a letter from Uncle Phil. + Fran. Both good letters.
Sept. 3, 1917, Monday
The chief bawled me out of bed at 9 o'clock, and I immediately went to work on my car. Worked all day long with exception of talk given by chief. After he said not to touch needle valves I immediately went and broke mine. Have got to go to the Ateliere now. It was a wonderfully clear day and thus much air wars. In the evening got box with 24 cakes of chocolate, 12 neccos, + big box of nuts from mother. It sure was a wonder. Also got a letter and sweater from Louise and letter from Aunt Florence Shields. I received a big bundle of magazines tonight also.. Much Boche planes etc to-night. Hull (D18 GEORGE REYNOLDS HULL FROM BUFFALO) made corporal?
Sept. 4, 1917, Tuesday
To-day was the day at home that the first draft men were called to camp. I couldn't help by think of them all day. I took my car, Brownie towed me, down to the Atelier and worked all day putting a new top on it. I got a big package of neccos, and some paper from home to-day but no letter. Wrote one letter to F. Went over and bulled with Georgia about everything.
Thursday, Sept. 6
I worked down to the atelier until noon and finally got the top fixed. In the afternoon Brownie, Kim. + I went over to Braine after water. Made a record trip for speed. Hung around all the rest of the afternoon.
Sept. 7, Friday, 1917
I started at light for Bazaches with three other cars. We waited four hours for the loaders then went to Cercel to a new place. We took boards for trenchs. Buck's car broke down so we all had to draw extra loads. I broke my fan all to pieces so had to come home slowly. Still got Amec for driver. Worst in camp. Don't know anything and wont drive. Went to bed early.
Sep. 8, Sat, 1917,
To-day I worked on car from 8 + 1 and then listened to the chief bull for a couple of hours. Later was supposed to grease clutch but chief went on joy tour + forgot oil. Thus giving the boys a beautiful chance to crab. Went to Y.M.C.A. + listened to Johnnie play. Had our picture taken`this after noon. Pete + Ray decide to go aviation. Lots of bull.
Sunday, Sept. 9, 1917
To-day for the second time since we have been here we stayed in camp and did absolutely nothing. We had the afternoon off, and as we couldn't do anything but lay around camp, it was a slim time. I rode down street in the flivver and had a puncture. Marsh. + I swiped some good pears, came back to camp + wasted the remainder of the afternoon. In evening went over to II and bulled a few minutes.
Monday, Sept. 10, 1917
Called out of bed at four thirty to go to Bazoches + load with wine to take to Cells vers Soissons. It was a long trip. First it was dark as pitch due to fog which also made it cold + damp. Prex got off road once at Ducy de long and I had to go catch him. Ate dinner on the bank of the Aisne and watched them shoot at a Boche plane. Amick was worse than ever and refused to drive so did all driving alone Road filled with "75" guns and all kinds of supply + ammunition convois. It was one hard old day. Kim ran into Prex just outside of Jouaigne and I had to pull his axle off Prex. Addy pulled a wheel off a wagon same day.
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 1917
In the morning we worked on our cars, and left at one o'clock with 17 cars for Bazoches to load with Sac a tene to take to Celles It took us until 4:30 here. The Soissons road had all kinds of traffic on it troops etc. One the way up we saw troops, caissons going to parks to be loaded, convois, etc. When we got to celles we found 2 convois ahead of us so we had to wait outside for a long time. We ate dinner here and were slight disturbed by Boche sharpnel and french guns. Finally we got unloaded and I was to go in 1st row but missed out by turning wrong way. No 4, Pat, stuck, I pulled her out. Chief was crazy. Finally came home by way of Vailly, after it had been shelled all night. It was hard driving due to all the traffic, darkness, and dust. Worst I have had yet. England ran into post and got knocked senseless. No 4 smashed radiator. I brake away from convois which went wrong and beat it home by half an hour. Some time! No 4 didn't get in until 5 this morning because Senfield followed me. Brownie went after him. Chief crazy!!
Sept. 12, Wed., 1917
To-day I worked on car in morning and in the afternoon got ready to go out on Permission. The gang went on convois but we permissioners weren't allowed to go. I took my shoes and laundry down and got all dressed up in my new uniform. In evening went over to see Georges. He got to go to Paris and went this morning. No orders came for us to go. Bunch got back about ten.
Sept. 13, Thursday, 1917
Got called at 1:00 thinking that it was a start of Permissions but it was a called to go out. No orders of movement for the Permissioners. Went over to Bazoches on 6 with Nony after making a a bull about starting. Loaded with lumber and took it to Chasseney. Ate dinner there and came home. Another row went out. Brownie, Clarky + Bob went out with section I. In afternoon layed around until supper when we had a big feed with cakes, candies, wine, champagne, pears, beans, meat and coffee. Very good. Feed given by the chief. Boys got pretty happy. Still no orders de movement. Got the order de movement at ten off for Paris.
Paris, Sept. 13-24
We left Jouaignes at four going over to the station in a camion. We waited an hour + a half there before the train came. We got into Paris at about 12, and Pete, Tom,Fuller (D 18 WALTER TURNER FULLER FROM AMESBURY, MASS)and I went to the Continental and took rooms. I got stuck with Fuller. Pete and Tom got busy immediately about aviation. Pete got accepted, but Tom couldn't balance so was rejected (Had to have ears cleaned before he could take exam) I got my application swarmed to and handed in but didn't hear from it in time to take exam. the 22nd Sunday We went to Versailles which is truly wonderful, and the American Field Service played the Canadians an exhibition game for the red cross. It sure was a wonderful sight all these people, Canadian bunch, American officers, and french. We won and all the players got wrist watches. Kelly broke french record for hand grenade throwing. We went out in truck so had wonderful chance to see woods, lakes, Saint Cloud etc. We went to Y.M.C.A. most every afternoon at three to get ice cream and waste the afternoon away. I met Davis here with a fractured collar bone. He is going home as soon as they will let him. He will probably get the Croix de Guerre. We moved to the Etat Unites hotel to cut down expense. Phil Roland, Harry Cox, + Dick Collie were staying here waiting for boat to sail. I sent powder box home by Phil. They sure were a rough crew and dead broke. Pete went back early because he couldn't get his release from 21.
Oh they are dammed dirty curs. We went to Alymia and the Follies where we met J. Chipman's girl still at it. I also saw Zack Jordan (? D 18 JACOB WIMER JORDAN DTD FROM OTTUMWA, IOWA) at Follies drunk as a lord. We met some good English officers who gave us a drink. I went out with a girl a couple of hours one night. She was rotten. Tommie worked over time all the time. Met Georgia, Eddie Redfield, Ted, + Mack. and was with them quite a bit. Went with them Georgia's last night before going out to Wonder comedy at Theater Micheal - which costs us 12 F. It was the best show I have seen in a long time with the original plot. The girl in black? We had wild night with drunken Cabby. Gee I was scared. Also had one with Cabby going to sleep and waking up just in time. We ate a lot at 21 because it was very good. All boys crabbing about Andrew. Section 65 had some good songs about him which they sang to his face. Some sore bunch. He rides around in packard staff car now and is major. He beat boys out of money that was theirs. Phil turned in blankets + beat 21 out quite a bit. I went to Notre Dame and was there during a service. Also to Louvre and Nepalions quarters. Saw enough for once of pictures + statues. Got lost and went all through Paris markets. Met wounded Englishman who had seen 1st part of war. Gave me some very interesting accounts of conditions then. He suggested revolution in England after the war. Left Paris at 6 and got to Mount Notre Dame at 12 just in time to ride home with our boys coming back from Saupir. A good permission!!
Sept. 25, 1917, Tuesday
Got up at nine and was glad to be back. Found mail from Fran., mother, Mr and Mrs. Marshall, Mary, and Elisabeth. Also box of neccoes from Aunt Mary, and two boxes of eats from Fran with most everything in them. All good but bread which was moldy and full of maggots. It made me very very happy. Also got box of horse blanket pins from home. Chief asked me if I wanted to go out on 17 on trip at four. Brownie went with me. We went to Bazoches + loaded with post which we took to Chavonne. Had to wait for two hours before allowed to go over bridge. Ran along road with quite a few shell holes in it. Flinner got into a little gas. Very dusty but had a good trip. Got back`at twelve. Boche shelled rail road near us so had to unload ourselves.
Sept. 26, Wednesday, 1917
To-day I hung around camp all day. A few cars left early and got back by noon . We had a gang crab right after dinner with chief. Only two said they would sign up. In the evening we had another official rollcall and about six said they would sign up. I got 570 Francs from Uncle Phil last night. Bulled until twelve o'clock.
Sept. 27, Thursday
Called at four and started at five for Bazoches with Bill. Clark my 2nd. We loaded with posts and took them up to Moulin St. Pe're where unloaded and ate hot dinner after waiting an hour for chief. We saw a good many big marine guns and much traffic. Saw a dead horse. Beat Pete home by not following him but took a defendu bridge.
Sept. 28, Friday
Started at nine in a mixed convois and went to Bazoches where we loaded with iron roofing which we took up to Celles. We ate dinner at Bazoches. From celles we went to Buchy de Long which was full of all kinds voitures and men. We saw Pep. at Buchy. We unloaded again at celles while waiting I climbed the hill and could see a couple of batteries working as well as some Boche shells landing. We started back and met the flivver with the food, just across the condy bridge. Hull (D 18 GEORGE REYNOLDS HULL FROM BUFFALO) was with it going home because his brother died. Got home at eight after running through much traffic.
Sept. 29, Sat., 1917
I guarded from 3-6 or otherwise. Got up at 3:30 hung around till five then went to bed after telling Hull who was up to guard for me. I got up at ten and worked on the car a little.In afternoon went down to Y.M.C.A. and hear the recruiting capt shoot his line. Some line. He sure put it up strong but in selfish way I worked on car all the rest of the afternoon. Have a bad headache. Boys pretty upset to- night.
Sept. 30, Sunday, 1917
Went on a trip go to celles no excitement. Except that we were pretty near to where the shells were breaking. Went into a fine abri up there.
Oct. 1, 1917, Monday
Decided to sign upon U.S. as private in G.M.C. Hope I did right. Chief called bunch down and told us we were to go on most dangerous trip yet. We started in two bunchs 10 cars at three and 4 with a bastard section at four o'clock. I was one of the four and was in the last ram of thirty cars. We went up to the vailly bridge and waited until 9 o'clock then ten cars went up at a time. We didn't cross the Aisne until 12 o'clock. We went way up the hill past Vailly where we waited for five cars to go up at a time. The shells broke pretty close here. We finally got up to unloading park which was so close that we had to shut off our motors for the Boche can't hear them. I got back at four the last car in camp to return.
Oct. 2, Tuesday, 1917.
The bunch went out at eight and I was called but Pete saved my life and sent Mac on 17. I got up at 10:30 and read eight letters I got from home, Mad, Fran, Aunt Florence + Aunt Mary. Later I went down to enlist but no chance the papers run out. Dal was on guard but went to bed and slept until 8:30 when cars were supposed to leave at eight. Grady crazy, great excitement! Got another letter from Mary in the evening.
Oct. 3, Wednesday, 1917
Signed as a private in the G.M.C. of the regular Army. Now await my fate!!! at 3:30 got orders to be packed and at the bureau at 4:00 Well it sure was some hustle, but we got there on time only to wait until seven before we left for Soissons. It was an awful ride over and still a worse job to find our belongings in the dark. I got in Walt. Sisson section with Jack Stom, Tom Dain, + Pete Calwell (D 18 ROBERT CARPENTER COLWELL K SIGMA FROM NEW ROCHELLE). We finally go our beds in some barracks right on the Aisne bank.
Oct. 4, 1917, Thursday
We were called at seven and I was glad to get up for I nearly froze all night. we washed in the Aisne and then watched them load wounded men on a canal boat. I got in the movies, but giving the soldiers some cigarettes. It has been mightily cold all day. Had time for dinner which none of us could eat. Was put 2nd driver on a car with a fellow by name of Davy. Didn't do anything in the afternoon, but write letters. In evening had permission to go down town so Jack, Tom, Pete and I went down to hotel and had a 2nd meal at the hotel. It was raining + pitch dark when we came back and we sure had some excitement in finding our way around Soissons. I had a miserable cold start today. Had big beef in bed before going to sleep.
Oct. 5, 1917, Friday
I have felt miserable all day with a head cold. We got up at 6:30 and have had about six roll calls to-day. Bunch came back from Longepont, Jack got ordered to Longepont. Did absolutly nothing so far to-day.
Oct. 6, 1917, Saturday
To-day I felt a little better from my cold, but was nearly frozen all day. In afternoon went to bed to keep warm. Met a good brother by name of Benson and had a good talk with him. It rained all day and the roof leaked over my bed a steady stream. One fellow had enough water on his bed sheet to wash his hands with. I seemed to have gotten into a fine bunch of boys. Went to bed early and talked a longtime. The french sent a barrage from here last night. Worst bombarding. I have heard yet lasted and hour. I went to sleep by sound of big guns. Got jipped on going to Longepont.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1917
To-day it rained nearly all day, and this kept us busy trying to stop the roof from leaking. Benny was on the roof most of the time as a young river flowed in his bed. He finally got it fixed by tacking paper under the hole and making a tunnel to run it out of doors. He had enough water in his bed sheets to wash his hands. In the afternoon we were reviewed for an hour in the pouring rain by the major. We all got pretty wet. After answering about five more roll calls we went to bed early. The boys used the french pups for freeze stones. The time was sent back an hour this morning. Find the boys I'm with to be good bunch Benson especially. Quite a bit of firing last night.
Monday, Oct. 8, Monday
Got up at 6:15 and had setting up exercises. Started for Flaire at 8 and got down there after going over wet bad road. Heard to Princeton boys wounded one hand, one leg last night. Found car to be pretty poor Got back at three and am now waiting for supper and darkness to go up beyond Vailly with french "155" powder for gas bombs. It is raining. We started at five for Osel which is near Vailly. It was raining when we started. When we got to the distillery our fan belt broke and while we were fixing this the rest got way ahead. The road from here on was loaded with traffic, more than I have ever seen. Outside of Condi two shells landed about 200 yards in front of us. Right then I never expected to come back alive. Well it two us six hours to move three miles. I never will forget it. It poured all the time. Car after car got off the road + got stuck. One banged a radiator. I run into a french car by putting her in second instead of reverse but didn't get mine or his radiator. We carried powder and unloaded it pretty near to lines. Road was full of shell holes. Got back to camp at 4, but most of section didn't get back until 10 + 11 o'clock.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 1917
Slept until five o'clock in the afternoon, got up + went down town on permission. Got good hot bath + had almemet feed. Went to bed at 9:30
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 1917
Cleaned the car in morning and hauled lumber up to Farm. It piene in afternoon car went rotten Went bed early.
Thursday, Oct. 11, 1917
Clean carbon off cylinder heads in morning. Hard job. In afternoon hauled 75s from distillery up to St Margarite. Car went better. Had helmets + three blankets issued to us. Now have a warm bed. Got stove in barracks. Had big bull + went to be early. Saw two 400 cm guns. Biggest boys yet at Bucy le long. Saw them shooting at Avion at supper.
Oct. 12, 1917, Friday
Got up late owing to rain. Worked all morning putting top on car. Wrote letters to Fran. and K. Have got some kind of itch. Rained all day. Boys bulled + played card.
Oct. 13, 1917, Saturday
Got orders that we could only write two letters a month. Boys went on trip from Faire to Lury with 255 shells. I did nothing in the morning, and hauled sand in the afternoon for Capt. Mallet church. It didn't rain much to-day. Very quiet on the front. Have been low all day since I heard about letters. Had town permission but didn't have anybody to go down street with so only ate supper at the Red Lion. Boys didn't get in until late last night.
Oct. 14, Sunday, 1917
Got up late and didn't do anything in morning In afternoon cleaned car and later got new Springfield rifles and part of our mess kits. They sure are peaches. Bulled around all the rest of day.
Oct. 15, Monday, 1917
This morning got up early and went to the station for barracks and supplies. After unloading them we sat around the fire. In afternoon I wrote Brownie, and got letters from Uncle Phil, 2Mary, + mother. I built barracks all the afternoon and in the evening we cooked eggs and chocolate. We saw an aeroplane get an observation balloon and saw two parachutes come down. The blood from the slaughterhouse has stunk all the evening.
Oct. 16, Tuesday, 1917
To-day was a day of work for us all right. I started in by not getting up in time and having "bull" catch me. But, I got off all right. "Bull" Don't _____ up agin that tree! The I got mess room duty, cleaning tables. The I dug a kitchen hole until 12. We had a good time watching the french shoot at Boche aviators. We also drilled for an hour. Great fun watching Gilies. In afternoon we picked up around camp. We also had some shells land pretty near our camp late in the afternoon. In evening went down town took my laundry and had a hot bath. Also a feed at the Lion Rouge. Got back and went to bed pretty early.
Oct. 17, Wednesday, 1917
Got up as usual and after breakfast were immediately entertained by arrivees from Germany that came all to close and too often. They land all day every three minutes. I wrote Mad. I drilled an hour in the morning. On afternoon went up to Bucy Long + loaded with 75 which we took up to Soucy where we had to wait about three hours. We brought empties back. Several cars got stuck and caused much pulling and hard work. Got in bed at 12:45.
Oct. 18, Thursday, 1917
In morning did nothing. In afternoon wexxxx zzzz and put side of tar paper on. In evening everybody sat around fire and talked. After we got in bed we told stories for an hour. The attack is on so the dope has it. A lot of noise last night so loud it kept us awake.
1917, Friday, Oct. 19
In the morning we drilled with guns, and then left for Fere at noon where we loaded with trench bombs and took them up to Soucy. It was a quick trip and the car ran finely. We got home at 12:30 after taking empties. Benny + Squares were sore because we got stuck and held up the whole ram. It certainly was muddy. The artillery action was certainly heavy.
Sat, Oct. 20, Sat, 1917
This morning we got up early and started for Fere at eight with Doggertys' section We loaded with 155 gas bombs and took them up to Saint Marguretie where we waited around for several hours He sent me back to guard and then took back in his staff car and I beat it across the bridge home. Twenty men were killed by a shell on the bridge in a camion near our camp. A terrible sight. Many of the boys were down town and got pretty close to the shells when the shelled the town. The artillery was terribly last night. When the big guns went off at Bucy the air hurt us when it hit. Dane broke his arm cranking Gillies car. They say the french killed on the bridge last night never moved after hit looked like they we still alive T
Sunday, Oct. 21, 1917
We got up at 7:45 and after breakfast had nothing to do until dinner. A few of the boys went to church. The artillery action is pretty heavy to-day. In afternoon worked on cars most of afternoon. In evening went down street with Bless and Sammie. Just after we left they forbid permissions. The guard wouldn't let us go down until we got our gas mask. We no more than got down when the shells began to arrive. Well you should have seen Bless and me run, All the frenchmen got into their cellars quick. We went to Lion Rouge for dinner and all through dinner the shells kept breaking all around us. Some awful noise and sickly feeling.
Monday, Oct. 22, 1917
To-day we went Fere and than to St. Margeret with 75s. It was a long hard trip because of the rain and slippery roads. We saw the 1st ten prisoners coming in. They look young, starried, and sickly.
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 1917
To-day we went to Bucy and loaded with 75s which we took up past Creiu. It was the day of the big attack. I saw 2250 prisoners and got 3 shoulder straps. Also passed by General Pershing. We loaded with empties and took them back to Bucy where we loaded again with 75s and took them to Loury.
We loaded empties and took them over the other side of Soissons. We left at 8 and got back at 12. It rained most of the day And was very muddy. It sure was a hard day. A big day for the french however. They got fort Mal Maison and advanced on a three mile front. The papers say the french got 7,500 prisoners. It certainly was a big victory for the french.
Oct. 24, Wednesday, 1917
To-day we worked on cars in morning. In the afternoon ten cars left for Fere for 155. When we got there the shells run out so that the last two cars came back empty. I was the last car. Saw quite a few prisoners The rest of the cars went to Loury. It was a rainy windy cold night and I was glad to be in camp. Part of the roof blew off in the night over Pates head, and it rained in pretty badly.
Oct. 25, Thursday, 1917
In the morning I did nothing as it rained, but in afternoon I was ordered to St. Nazure in two hours. I didn't want to go at all for I certainly was having a wonderful time with the boys and I wanted to stay while the attack was going. Well we went to the station and left at 5 o'clock. I couldn't get my laundry! We got in Paris at eleven after horning in on a 1st class car when our order read 3rd. Hess and I stayed at the Etates Unites and had a good sleep.
Oct. 26, 1917, Friday
We went up to 21 rue Raymound at eight and were told we could have all day free in Paris. I got my watch, some money, and just loafed around up to the Y.M.C.A. until dinner time. Had some good old feeds. We left at seven and after an all night ride 2nd class arrived at six in the morning.
Oct. 27 1917, Saturday
In the morning we got assigned, and got our baggage in the barracks. In afternoon we start what looks like a life job assembling parts. We put up eight 12 of us. In evening went for walk and found the place to be a beautiful spot. I am always crazy about a sea post place anyway. Found hundreds of all kinds of cars. I never saw so many new ones. A Captain worked with us all the afternoon.
Oct. 28, 1917, Sunday
I slept on the floor all the night. Got up at 6:15 and worked on Fords all morning. In afternoon, went on a long walk and saw many beautiful places and many respectable people. Found some chestnuts. Old big boys and not very good to eat. Had very pleasant afternoon. I have a haunch that we are here for winter alright. In evening went to a cafe and had some chocolate, omelet, and bread. Came back and went to bed early again on the floor.
Oct. 29, 1917, Mon
Worked all morning and afternoon on Ford. It sure is hard work. As yet no new excitement. It turned off cold toward night.
Monday, Oct. 29, 1917
To-day we assembled delivery tops in the rain. We didn't do very much to tell the truth In evening went down town but didn't stay long. Saw a great many men and sailors there.
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 1917
To-day is halloween, but a thin one for me. It rained hard all day and after the sargent got a bawling out for not making us work, we worked hard all day and it sure did rain. We assembled Packard truck bodies. Nine transports came in with ten thousand men aboard. We had coats, suits, socks, raincoat, barracks bag, and overall issued to us to-day. Spent all evening repacking my trunk.
Wednesday, Oct. 31
It rained all day but we worked on a rush order just the same. It sure was a miserable a miserable day. I was tired out + soaked through.
Thursday, Nov. 1, 1917
We worked again on the Packard body. It was a long hard day. In evening went down town, and looked at a transport. Also went to Y.M.C.A. Saw two American girls there. Went into cafe coming back. Was the only one who could speak any french.
Friday, Nov. 2, 1917
Worked all day on Packard truck. It was hard day. Saw men march off boat 1250 of them some sight. Wrote mother, Fran and Ernie to night. Got cot to sleep on and 2 blankets.
Sat., Nov. 3, 1917
Worked all day on Packard In evening went to get bath, and after waiting an hour decided that it was to crowded. Went to cafe and had lunch with some officers. Then went on and stopped at another and saw a bunch of drunken marines.
Sunday, Nov. 4, 1917
To-day worked in morning. In afternoon went to band concert and saw George Allison (D 17 GEORGE HOMER ALLISON ALPHA DELT, SPHINX FROM WORCESTER) on way home. Also got talking to officer and found him to be my own Captain. Saw the big ships in port. Also three more transports came in. Went down at night and found it full of drunken soldiers and sailors.
Monday, Nov. 5, 1917
Worked to-day on Ford chassis. Much more interesting work. Sent some letters home by a fellow going home. Went don't street in evening.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 1917
Worked on Ford to-day. 30 more Soissons boys came in to- day. I telephoned to Paris for Captain some experience talking french over a phone. Went down street with Duke for short ride after supper. Also had wild ride on chassis which skidded. Report first U.S. Soldier killed.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 1917
To-day worked on Fords in rain all day got wringing wet. In evening went down town for bath. It sure seemd good to have some real hot water. Got lost coming home and landed in No. 1 camp. Marine wouldn't let me come home any way but the way I came. Got back to tired out and went to bed.
Thursday, Nov. 8, 1917
Worked a little on Fords Gang didn't do much.
Friday, Nov. 9, 1917
Worked again on Ford Went to bed early, no mail.
Saturday, Nov. 10, 1917
Started to get sick but worked all day. I was certainly miserable.
Sunday, Nov. 11, 1917
Woke up feeling rotten. Stayed in bed a while than went to walk with Hess and Coxs and tried to walk sickness off but no effect. I nearly died before I got back. Had to sit down to rest three times. In afternoon took a few pictures and went to bed. Couldn't eat anything the whole day.
Monday, Nov. 12, 1917
Stayed in bed all the morning pretty sick believe me. Late in the afternoon went up to cafe for an omelet and milk as that was all I could eat Pretty sick all day.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 1917
Didn't feel very good in the morning, but went out and tried to work Quit at eleven and went up to the cafe for eggs and milk In afternoon felt better and work better. In evening ate real supper and wrote letters to mother + Fran.
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 1917
To-day worked a little in morning, but wasted most of the afternoon. Late in afternoon Hugh and I picked to take 3 ton Packard to Brest. Were tickled to death to get the chance. Packed, went down town, and wrote home.
Thursday, Nov. 15, 1917
Worked till dinner filling up with gas, oil, water and getting tools together. Left right after dinner and drove till dark. Wonderful country. Saw a french market today. Town full of pigs, hens, cow, horses and everything. One car broke down and we had to go back and tow it in. A wonderful supper.
Friday + Satur., Nov. 16 + 17, 1917
Traveled all the time throu wonderful country and saw the real peasant life. We were the 1st Americans through and attracted as big crowds as a circus parade at home. The country was just full of kids and women + with their funny dress. Had some good feeds most bread chocolate and bread + butter, and saw some pretty towns. Got into Brest at about four and put our baggage down in 3rd class compartment on board the Finland, where we will probably stay until she is fixed up.
Sunday, Nov. 18, 1917
Worked all day on docks with truck carrying potatoes, onions, barracks bags, sammon.
Monday, Nov. 19, 1917
Drove all day around docks. Find it hard to get any sleep with the drunks coming in all night.
Tuesday, Nov. 20, 1917
Drove all day with not much excitement. Talked with the officers quite a bit. Went up town At night and got a good shower bath also got some chocolate and bread. A lighter went down with all supplies for Finland on board.
Nov. 21, 1917, Wednesday
Drove around all day but didn't do much Had bad eats all day.
Wednesday, Nov. 21
Worked on docks all day.
Thursday, Nov. 22, 1917
Worked on dock all day. Am getting pretty tired.
Friday, Nov. 23, 1917
Worked on dock all day.
Saturday, Nov. 24, 1917
Again worked all day.
Sunday 26, 1917
Worked from 5-7.
Monday, Nov. 27, 1917
Worked again all day.
Worked from daylight to darkness all the time.
Thursday, Nov. 30, 1917
To-day we worked as usual but had a good dinner. In the evening we had a wonderful time with brent Long at the Modern with Greenwood. Two good feeds believe me.
Friday, Dec. 1, 1917
Stole some candy and Bos. got caught
Saturday, Dec. 2, 1917
Things are beginning to look pretty hot for us as Bos. squealed. Looks like court martials for all of us.
Sunday, Dec. 3, 1917
Called over to be cross examined. Everybody worried all day. It looks bad for us all.
Monday, Dec. 4, 1917
We had our 1st real day off. I slept until nine, then went over with all the white men in camp and we 10 got a lecture from the Col. The English men left this morning Spent all the afternoon up street with Hugh + Grandma Had a good time at Y.M.C.A. Met several college boys who knew people I did. Went to movies in evening which were punk. Certainly had a good day of vacation.
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 1917
Got up at 9:30 not expecting to work but got put to work hauling Russian ammunition which is in our way. In evening sent some Christmas cards home and wrote for two letter of recommendation. It has been bitter cold all day.
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 1917
Got up at five and worked until nine than went with Marines after meat. Had good morning with many eats + drinks. In afternoon assigned to Naval Officers Club to haul coal. Talked with German prisoners. Had piece of mince pie (wonderful, good coffee, toast, and five francs. In evening wrote Ernie.
Thursday, Dec. 6, 1917
To-day I met a very interesting french soldiers who could speak English. Hugh + I went up street in evening and went to the movies which were very good.
Friday, Dec. 7, 1917
Worked in morning but had afternoon off so went for a walk with Grandma very interesting walk.
Saturday, Dec. 8, 1917
Hauled coal all day for stevadors. In evening met Carbies and went through prison camp. Very interesting! Met some nice girls and went with them into a coffee house. Had good time.
Sunday, Dec. 9, 1917
Hauled 159 sacs of Christmas mail for the sailors some mail. In the afternoon went to movies with Corbies and Clint. It hailed and rained all day. It is pretty cold to-night. Got my first mail yesterday. A letter from L. F. + E.
Monday, Dec. 11, 1917
To-day went for Stevadors hauled one load of cotton and mail. Got a letter from Rog. Squares. In afternoon hauled a load of mail and marine supplies In evening met 10 o'clock train and got some engineers. They are going to survey the harbor here. It rained all day.
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 1917
Got a lot of naval mail to-day. I fooled around most of the day. Felt rotten to-ward night with a bad cold coming on, so went up to the Modern with Clint. and took a good hot bath which made me feel better.
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 1917
To-day I slept too long and just made the stevador camp in time to save my neck. Carried mail, and the rest of day carried coal for marines. Had the Marines prisoners working. They certainly were screams. They made life miserable for their guard all night. Went up town to see Carbier but he was out. Got paid off with a F 188.10. Some money.
Thursday, Dec. 14, 1917
This morning got up late and got catch by the Lieut. Went after mail and then went after a new gang of marines and took them up to their new quarters. I didn't get back to dinner until four o'clock. Wheeler got arrested for speeding, but proved himself innocent. We are all scared of more trouble to-morrow. Wrote Fran thanking her for sweater.
Dec. 15- 22
A convoy came in this week of two ship. One the Mt. Washington which had a big pile of Christmas packages on it. We moved from casualty mess up to the coon barracks. Hugh, John B., + Paul are rooming with me. Al is sick in the hospital so I have been acting sargent. Moved Generals Swift's staffs stuff. Some big old boy. Have had several nice talks with Lieut. Covington. He is a wonder. Wheeler went on his big tear. Both. Crabs the life out of me! Have received several fine letters from home especially from mother. Haven't had a minute to myself all the week. It has been cold for Brest All the week. Have some new drivers from S.P. 304 relieving us on our trucks.
Feb. 19, 1918
To day had a chink riot, and had to call the American troops to help as they chased the french away. Had a fine time with S. Wellman who brought me letters. Worked until 2 putting out troop trains. My acceptance came today for a commission.