IN FLANDERS FIELDS.
In Flanders fields, where poppies grow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark out place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead, short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved; and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up the quarrel with the foe,
To you, from falling hands we throw
The Torch. Be yours to lift it high,
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, tho poppies blow
In Flanders Fields.
(by Lt. Col. John McCree, Canadian E. F.)
FROM CAMP FUNSTON, KANSAS,
TO SCHWEICH, GERMANY
CANADA, ENGLAND, FRANCE, BELGIUM AND
On the 23rd day of May, 1918, Company "A" of the 356th Regiment of Infantry, 89th Division, departed from Camp Funston, Kansas, where we had trained for the past nine months, to add our might to the thousands of other liberty loving Americans then being rushed to the assistance of the heroic French and British Armies, who, for the past four years had grappled with the hordes of barbarians from Germany on the battle - fields of France and Belgium. We left our homes and loved ones to fight for the principles of Liberty, Justice and Equality, and we were confident of success.
After traversing the Grand old State of Missouri, where the majority of us lived, we traveled through Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, crossing the Detroit River and landing at Windsor, Canada, on the 26th day of May. An interesting trip thru Canada and then we crossed back into the States at Niagara Falls, proceeding from there through the scenic hill of New York State and down the Hudson River to Camp Mills, on Long Island. We spent a busy six days here in being properly equipped for "getting the Kaiser’s goat", and on the 3rd day of June, 1918, we went on board the English ship "Coronia", and the next day slipped quietly out of the harbor for a destination unknown to us. Our trip across the "big drink" was highly interesting but uneventful. None of the dreaded "U" boats were sighted and after some twelve days of cold and squally weather we sighted the coast of Scotland and Ireland and all breathed freely again. We put in to the harbor at Liverpool, England, on the 16th and debarked on the 17th day of June 1918, from where we hiked to Knotty Ash, a so–called rest camp. We spent several days here in the rain and mud and were glad when an order came for us to entrain for Southampton. This journey will long be remembered by us as a most interesting one. Or itinerary led through a picturesque part of England to the coast. Spent a miserable night in the rain at Southampton and on the next day, June 20th, we embarked on the speedy boat "Viper" and took a thrilling ride across the English Channel to La Havre, France, arriving there at 3 A.M., June 21st. An interesting hike thru this old coast city gave us an opportunity to see the wonderful morale exhibited by the French people as they went about their daily tasks while a million or so vandals were pillaging and plundering their cities and murdering their men, women and children. On June 22nd we piled into our "8 chevaux or 40 hommes" cars and after a day and night ride found ourselves at Liffol le Grand, France, which was to be our training sector for the next six weeks.
August 4th, 1918, having been pronounced fit for battle, we were loaded into trucks and started for the front. We unloaded at Boucq, France stopped here overnight and on the night of August 5th, started our memorable first trip into the front line area, in the Toul Sector opposite the famous strong-point, Montsec Hill, where thousands of Frenchmen had been sacrificed in a vain attempt to hold it. The hike to our position in support at Newton Cross-Roads was made under circumstances which brought us to realize for possibly the first time that we were actually in a zone where history was in the making: where men made the supreme sacrifice willingly for the cause of Freedom.
As usual it was raining and dark and absolute silence prevailed, except for the tramp, tramp, tramp of the dough-boys as we plowed our way through the mud. We marched over a much camouflaged road, lighted up every few minutes by flares and rockets and from the hills around us many search lights played upon the heavens in an effort to locate a Boche flyer who was hovering over us. Now and then the stillness would be broken by the report of a distant cannon or the rattle of a machine gun somewhere along the line. We arrived at Raulecourt about 10 P.M., and stayed there a night and day, moving out to our position at Newton Cross Roads the next night.
We remained in this position until the night of the 15th of August, when we were ordered to take over a sector in the front line opposite Xivray and Montsec. During this relief a few stray shells came our way, but no one was injured. Headquarters was established at Rambucourt, where not a house remained untouched by artillery fire. Our daily reports contained the usual "intermittent artillery fire", and we were beginning to think that our stay here would be a very quiet one, but in this we were doomed for a disappointment. On the early morning of the 19th day of August, the Boche artillery opened up on our sector and threw over about a hundred hardware stores and we were expecting a raid on our position, but the Boche must have had cold feet as he did not venture forth. This was our "baptism of fire" and the boys stood it like veterans. Our first and only casualty was sustained by Private William E. Hellyer, who had a slight shrapnel wound in the arm. During our stay in this position we gained much valuable experience for later trials, Patrols were sent out nightly and many thrilling moments were passed, especially when Corp. Bernard P. Gifford got caught in the enemy wire and tore down about an acre of it extracting himself. Air fights were numerous and we witnessed our first Boche plane being brought down in flames by an American Aviator. We were relieved on the night of August 23rd and took the narrow-gauge railway back to Cornieville, where we remained for about eight days before doing another turn in support at Newton Cross-Roads. It was about this time that we first became acquainted with "Mr. Cootie" and his millions of cohorts, which were destined to give us about as much worry as the Boche. They would "fall in " on our chest, do "right dress", "as skirmishers" and then "dig in".
September 8th, after our second stay at Newton Cross-Roads, we hiked to Ansauville, where, after a mysterious stay of two days, we discovered that we were a unit of the All American Army for the St. Mihiel Offensive. Our Battalion took position in Hazel Woods on the 10th day of September 1918, and awaited the order which would send thousands of Americans swarming towards the Hun lines. At 1 o’clock A.M., September 12th, 1918, the American Artillery laid down one of the greatest barrages in the history of the War. Thousands of guns, from the marvelous French 75’s to the 12 inch American Navel guns belched forth a stream of iron upon the well prepared positions of the enemy. For miles the sky was lighted up by the exploding shells and the flash of guns and it was a wonderful and terrible sight. With ever increasing fury the barrage lasted until 5:30 A.M., when it lifted and the boys went "over the top", full of confidence that nothing could stop them. It was not long until the roads to the rear were lined with the Boche prisoners who had pulled the "Kamerad" cry and merciful Americans let them live that they might see the error of their ways. The boys, after the first few moments of nervousness, caught the spirit of battle and went forward with a will. It was near Euvezin, France, that a death occurred which cast gloom over the First Battalion. Major William J. Bland, formerly Captain of "A" Company, was killed instantly by a piece of shrapnel. Major Bland was an excellent officer and a noble man, one who was sorely missed in later operations.
At the end of the second day all of our objectives had been gained and we dug in at Xammes Woods after an advance of about twenty kilometers.
During the St. Mihiel Offensive "A" Company sustained the following casualties:
Wounded in Action:
Mec. George W. Leeper Sept. 13th 1918]
Pvt. Ralph S Kendle [severely wounded, Sept. 12th 1918]
Pvt. Simon Simonson [severely wounded, Sept. 18th 1918]
Pvt. James [John] H. Hamlin [severely wounded, Sept. 14th 1918]
Pvt. William M. Brawner
Corp. Harry E. Williams
Pvt. John V. Jackson [severely wounded, Sept.16th 1918]
Pvt. Frank G. Ruelle [Sept. 16th 1918]
[Pvt. Chester A. Scott; wound undetermined, 19th 1918]
We continued in position in Xammes Woods, without incident, until the 20th day of September 1918. Boche planes became unusually active over our sector and succeeded in locating our position and in about ten minutes they began throwing G.I. Cans, Dog Kennels, etc., on the position. The bombardment continued for about an hour and we all thought that our time was about up. It served as a good lesson to us to keep all movements under cover of the woods. When the shelling ceased we found we had sustained the following casualties:
Killed in Action:
Pvt. 1cl James W. Willoughby
Wounded in Action:
Pvt. Andrew J. Carney
Pvt.Juan H. Olguin [severely wounded, Sept. 21st 1918]
Mec. Arthur J. Mehrle [severely wounded, Sept. 21st 1918]
Corp. William Hays [Sept. 21st1918]
Pvt. Floyd D. Foltz [wound undetermined, Sept 23rd 1918]
Pvt. William E. Deppe
On September 21st we were relieved and hiked to a position in reserve back of the town of Essey, France, where we could get a night’s rest and a square meal. We had not much more than arrived there when we received word that we were to hike back to the front and participate in a raid on Dom Martin Woods on the morning of the 23rd of September. This was indeed unwelcome news. The boys were much in need of a good rest an in no condition to make a raid. However, we hiked back and pulled off the raid creditably, capturing prisoners. The following casualties were sustained in this action:
Killed in Action:
Mec. Clarence G. Kepple
Wounded in Action:
Capt. John H Dykes [Sept. 21st 1918]
Pvt. 1cl James Gunter [severely wounded, Sept. 23rd 1918]
Pvt. Marion R. Mattox [severely wounded, Sept. 23rd 1918]
Pvt. Samuel Cohn [severely wounded, Sept. 23rd 1918]
Subsequent to the raid we held positions in Xammes Woods and near Thiacourt up until the 8th day of October, 1918, when we were taken out of the line and hiked back to Sanzey, France, near Menil-la-Tour, some thirty-five kilometers. In the meantime we had received about sixty-two men as replacements from the 155th and 157th Infantry Regiments, men mostly from Alabama and Louisiana. These men from the Southland took their place beside our more experiences comrades and regardless of their lack of training gave a good account of themselves in later operations.
After a night and day at Sanzey, we had orders to move again, as we thought, further to the rear. We hiked to Boucq and found several hundred trucks lined up on the road ready to receive us. We began to be a little bit skeptical about going to the rear for that rest when the trucks moved out in an opposite direction. We were bumped over the roads at a lively pace all night and finally set down at Recicourt, France, and we soon found out that we were going to take part in the Argonne-Meuse operation then developing. When noon came we looked about for our kitchen, but no kitchen was there. We finally learned that the kitchen, mess sergeant, K.P’s and all were lost somewhere in France and we were the maddest bunch of dough-boys imaginable. A loaf of bread at that time could have commanded sufficient of the French money to paper a good sized house. On the 14th day of October, we started hiking again. "A" Company was chosen to lead the Regiment, and, when we started to move out, we were dumfounded to see an old gray-haired man place himself at the head of the column to lead us. We soon discovered that this man was Colonel R. H. Allen, recently assigned to command our Regiment and we were greatly surprised and pleased to know that he was breaking a precedent in the Division, and possible the Army, by discarding automobile and horse, to personally lead his troops. This act alone inspired the boys to great confidence and respect in our Commander. Our course led us up through the Argonne Forest, where much hard fighting had taken place. This was the most desolate stretch of county we had seen. Everything above ground was completely shot to pieces by artillery fire, showing vividly how well and been the preparations for the advance of the dough-boys to take this so called impregnable strong-hold, which they did in short order. We continued our hike as far as Epinonville, to the left of lofty Montfaucon, and camped in "Mud Valley" until October 19th.
From "Mud Valley" we moved into the front line on the 19th day of October, relieving two companies of the 129th Infantry, 32nd Division, in front of Romagne, France – the company P.C., being in "No man’s land". Our stay here was short for on the afternoon of the 20th orders were received directing the First Battalion to move into Bois de Chauvignon, from which position we, in conjunction with the First Battalion of the 355th Infantry, were to move forward at 9 P.M., and clear Bois de Bantheville of the enemy. This was a strip of woods about one to one and a half kilometers wide and two and one-half kilometers long and this operation proved to be one of the toughest in the history of "A" Company. The woods were entered and cleared without artillery preparation, but after the objective had been gained, we discovered that we could not depend on runners getting thru to Captain Harris, our Battalion Commander, and following a council of officers, an advanced Battalion P.C., was established with 1st Lieut. Matthew Winters in command. Some few messages passed between this post and that of Capt. Harris, but we were virtually cut off and received no food nor water for four days. The actions of taking and holding this stubbornly contested strip of woods was subsequently commended by the Army, Corp and Division Commanders. The following casualties were sustained in this action.
Killed in action:
Pvt. Luther T. McKnight
Pvt. August R. Broemmer
Wounded in Action:
2nd Lt. R. B. Brock [severely wounded Oct. 21st 1918]
Sgt. Eddie F. Gray [severely wounded Oct. 21st 1918]
Sgt. Clarence E. Peterson
Pvt. 1cl Clayton L Smuith [severely wounded Oct. 21st 1918]
Pvt. Joseph Adkins [severely wounded Oct. 21st 1918]
Pvt. Frank Ballard [severely wounded Oct. 21st 1918]
Pvt. Thomas R. Bean [severely wounded Oct. 23rd 1918]
Pvt. Dave W. Harden [severely wounded Oct. 21st 1918]
Pvt. Benjamin O. Hennessey
Pvt. Charles J. Herman [severely wounded Oct. 21st 1918]
Pvt. George W. Jennings [severely wounded Oct. 21st 1918]
Pvt. Samuel A. Kuykendall
Pvt. Arthur Mevius [severely wounded Oct. 21st & Oct. 24th 1918]
Pvt. John E. Mobley [severely wounded Oct. 21st 1918]
Pvt. Nelson G. Moore
After being relieved in Banthfeville Woods we moved back to a position in reserve near Gesnes, France, an exhausted crew. It was a weary daytime march through some shell fire, but with no casualties. On the trip back we were met in the road by General Wright, our Division Commander, Who jumped from his horse and greeted each man with a slap on the back and words of commendation. We remained in this vicinity until November 1st when the final offensive of the War was commenced. While here, 1st Lieut. Marcellus H. Chiles, who had been in command of the Company for some time, was promoted to Captain, a just recognition of his ability. It was here also that our Company Fund, tantamount to about Five Thousand Frances, was stolen.
On November 1st, 1918, we moved out in support of the 177th Brigade, who were in the front line and who had started the final advance, which was to drive the Boche back across the Meuse. On the morning of the 3rd day of November 1918, our company, having kept pace with the advance of the troops in the front line, took over a sector of the front and continued the advance. On the trip up the Boche artillery was playing on us and one shell struck on the flank of the second platoon wounding the following men:
Wounded in Action:
Sgt. John D. Roach
Cpl. Bernard P. Gifford [severely wounded Nov. 3rd 1918]
Pvt. Cecil F. Cummings [severely wounded Nov. 3rd 1918]
Pvt. Edwin H. Echeimeier
Missing in Action:
Sgt. Clyde J. Dawson [MIA Nov. 3rd 1918]
Sgt. Clyde J. Dawson, in command of this platoon has not been seen nor heard from since this shell struck, and we fear that he was killed or seriously injured at that time. This proved to be a day of hard fighting. Boche planes seemed to be running wild in the air, directing their artillery fire and their machine guns with deadly effect. Between the towns of Nourat and Varricourt, France, a nest of well concealed machine guns were encountered which threatened to hold up our advance. Captain Chiles, always at the head of the men, called a small detachment of the headquarters platoon to follow him, advanced into the open country swept by machine gun fire, hoping to get on the flanks of the enemy and reduce this strong-point. Having crossed a small stream, waist deep with water, Captain Chiles was shot down by an enemy sniper, and received a wound from which he died in the hospital some time later. He was put out of the fight, but his fearlessness and devotion to duty so encouraged the men that this obstacle to the advance was reduced, It is recorded here that this enemy sniper never again saw the "Fatherland". The actions of Corp. John D. Brown, Pvt. 1st Class William B., Whittaker, Pvt. 1st Class Worland Burke and Pvt. Perry D. Alexander, in getting Captain Chiles evacuated, while exposed to the fire of the enemy, was highly commendable. Lieut. St. George S. Creaghe, an able assistant of Captain Chiles then took command and led the company to our final objective on the heights overlooking the Meuse River. High praise is due to every offices and man for the wonderful work accomplishes on this memorable drive. We arrived at the Meuse the night of the 5th day of November, minus about everything needed, except rifles, bayonets and ammunition. The following casualties are recorded:
Killed in Action:
2nd lt. Charles H. Aug
Pvt. Perry D. Alexander
Pvt. John Roszkoski
Pvt. Reaves Branstetter
Pvt. Frank Kuehn [Kuhn]
Wounded in Action:
Captain Marcellus H. Chiles. [Medal of Honor]
2nd Lt. Ralph P. Brast
Sgt. John D. Roach
Corp. Earl Nichols
Corp. William A. Hurst [wound undetermined, Nov. 8th 1918]
Corp. Jack Geller [wound undetermined, Nov. 8th 1918]
Corp. Calvin E. Reed
Corp. Eugene A. Noonan [wound undetermined, Nov. 8th 1918]
Pvt. Corp. Bert Regginne [severely wounded, Nov. 8th 1918]
Pvt. Ernest C. Miller
Pvt. Ernest L. Thompson
Pvt. Servet Skarson [severely wounded, Nov. 2nd 1918]
Pvt. Clyde L. Phillips
Pvt. Arch M. Bowman
Pvt. John H. Froebe
Pvt. Willie E. Brinner [severely wounded, Nov. 4th 1918]
Pvt. Charles S. Staas
Pvt. George Pederson
Pvt. Juan Carrillo
Pvt. James B. Bywaters
Pvt. Preston M. Thrash [wound undetermined, 8th 1918]
Pvt. Edwin H. Echelmeier
We remained on the heights overlooking the Meuse up to the night of the 10th Day of November, continually harassed by Boche planes, with machine guns and bombs, as well as artillery fire. On the evening of the 9th of November, information being needed as to the position of the enemy on the opposite side of the river, volunteers were called for to swim the river and reconnoiter the position. 1st lieut. St. George S. Creaghe, Pvt. 1cl Harold I. Johnson and Pvt. David B. Barkeley were accepted for this hazardous undertaking. Patrols were to be sent across the river simultaneously at two different points. Lt. Creaghe, and Lt. Hayes of "D" company on one and Pvts. Johnston and Barkeley on the other. With covering detachments these brave men proceeded to the river banks, each one of them going with the knowledge that the chances were against them on this dangerous mission. Aside from the danger from the enemy, the water was terribly cold and deep, but they did not hesitate. Having entered the water and making some progress across, Lts. Creaghe and Hayes were obliged to turn back on account of an enemy patrol putting off from the opposite shore in boats. Pvts. Johnston and Barkeley entered the stream and succeeded in gaining the opposite bank where they stayed for some time in getting the desired information. Re-entering the water they began their return trip. Pvt. Johnston swimming a little ahead of Pvt. Barkeley, but it was God’s will that only one of these brave boys should return, Pvt. David B. Barkeley taking the cramps and giving up his life for his Country. Pvt. Johnston reached the shore in the nick of time and was pulled out of the water by Sgt. Frank H. Hardin and Corp. Carson Sebers, almost frozen. He was soon revived sufficiently to give much valuable information to headquarters. The action of these heroes, above and beyond the call of duty, stands out as a crowing episode in the annals of "A" Company.
Lt. Creaghe was sent to the rear to recuperate from his exposure and 1st Lieut. Matthew Winters, one of our original officers and in whom the boys had great confidence, was assigned to command the company. On the night of the 10th of November, orders were received to advance and effect a crossing of the river. The boys had the "army rumors" in regards to the Armistice, but no credence was put in it. At 2 o’clock P.M., the advance was begun, which proved to be the last engagement of the War. Advancing into the river valley we were subjected to heavy artillery fire which continued after the river had been crossed and which threatened for a time to disorganize fighting units. Lieut. Matthew Winters, a masterly manner, took charge of this dangerous situation and with a great coolness and excellent generalship succeeded in extricating "A" and "D" companies from this death trap. His good judgment and coolness under fire undoubtedly saved many lives that dark night and he has the respect and admiration of every officer and man in these companies. Such services should not go unrewarded. The advance was continued to a point about a mile on the other side of the river, where we dug in and awaited further orders. At about 10:45 November 11th, 1918, the company was on the point of continuing the advance, when a runner came with the glad tidings that all hostilities would cease at 11 o’clock A.M. This was the first official news we received that the Germans had acknowledged to the world that their great military machine had failed and their mad hopes of conquest were forever and finally blasted. Words cannot express the joy in the hearts of the men on that memorable day when the engines of death and destruction were stilled. It was great to be in at the finish. We had fought a winning fight and had never failed in our duty. A caustic remark made to some German Officers by Corp. John G. Bandel subsequent to the cessation of hostilities describes graphically the spirit with which each and every man went into an engagement, Corp. Bandel, out on a scouting trip, unexpectedly came upon three German Officers who immediately ordered him to halt. "Halt, hell, you blankety-blank", bang-bang-bang, which meant two down and one flying. In this last engagement with the enemy, we sustained the following casualties:
Killed in Action:
Pvt. Andrew J. Carney
Wounded in Action:
2nd Lt. E. H. Throckmorton [Nov. 15th 1918]
Sgt. Wayne Coxon [Nov. 11th 1918]
Pvt. Henry D. Lemons [Nov. 11th 1918]
Pvt. Herman Voss [wound undetermined Nov. 9th 1918]
On the 13th day of November 1918, we were relieved on the Nevse and hiked back to Halles, France, a tired, hungry and dirty bunch of men. We had not had our clothes off for about six weeks and the "cooties" were legion. We stayed at Halles up until November 24th, feeling that no doubt we would be sent back home in the near future, but the record made by our Division, of which we were exceedingly proud, caused us to be chosen as a unit of the Third Army of Occupation and we set out for Germany that day, We hiked to St. Enay, France, stopped over night and November 25th started for Meix, Belgium, which proved to be some 23 miles away. We carried full field equipment (the bane of a dough-boy’s life) and it is needless to say that we were "all in" when we reached our destination. Our reception by the simple Belgians was fine and we had a pleasant stay here. We had "corned bill" and "slum" for Thanksgiving dinner. We resumed the march on the second day of December, 1918, making over-night stops at Musson, & Habergy, in Belgium, Holzen, Altsinggen and Steienheim, in the Duchy of Luxembourg, the latter place on the bank of Saues River. We crossed the Sauer River at Rosport, Luxembourgh, into Germany, at 7 A.M., on the 6th day of December, 1918, making stops at Speicher, Grosslittgen and Bleckhausen, where we stayed for several days, leaving for Daun, Germany, on the 13th. Left Daun in trucks (our first ride) for Waxweller on the 14th, stopping here until December 20th, when we left for Bitburg, (man-power). Left Bitburg on the 21st and landed at Schweich, our present station on the same day. Here we remain at the present writing, and if we keep out of jail (by never eating our reserve rations, fraternizing with the enemy, and a thousand other DON’T), and the hospital, we will probably start home in June 1919. Of one thing we are certain and that is if we ever get home the GODDESS OF LIBERTY will have to turn around to see us afterwards.
Of the original officers who came over with us, First Lieutenants Matthew Winters and Scott Wilson are the only ones left. Lieutenant Creaghe, having gone through the war unscathed, was returned to the States on account of his health.
We are proud to record here that the MEDAL OF HONOR, the highest award in the United States Army, has recently been awarded to Captain Marcellus H. Chiles (deceased), Private David B. Barkeley (deceased), and Sergeant Harold I. Johnston, for acts of personal bravery above and beyond the call of duty. The awarding of this Medal to three members of one Company is a record throughout the American Expeditionary Forces.
Such, in brief, is the history of Company "A" of the 356th Regiment of Infantry, 89th Division. We are proud of our record of service in the AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES, but pride in our own achievement would be inappropriate did we not have a greater pride in the achievements of our comrades, dead. They who shared with us both the pleasures of companionship, and the hardships of war, met death in the full bloom of manhood and strength. They did not hesitate to give willingly, all that they had to give, to that cause, which has already made the world a better home for the cherished ideals of man. The World is inestimably richer because they have died. Since their supreme sacrifice had made the world happier, it has also made the memories of them, to us, more pleasant. Those loved ones at home, the mothers, fathers, wives, brothers, sisters and sweethearts of our fallen comrades, may take pride in our solemn assurance that we can never forget the greatness of OUR HEROIC DEAD. Although they sleep their last sleep in distant France, the remembrance of them, are to us, memory’s sweetest gem.
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
October 26th, 1918.
FROM THE CHIEF OF STAFF:
TO: COMMANDING GENERAL, 5TH CORPS,
AMERICAN E. F.
The Army Commander direct that you convey to the Commanding General, officers and men of the 89TH DIVISION his appreciation of their persistent and successful efforts in clearing the Bois de Bantheville of the enemy.
The foregoing letter was sent to the Commanding General of the 89th, with the following from the Chief of Staff of the 5th Corps:
In transmitting the enclosed letter to you, your officers and men, the Corps Commander desires me to add his commendation to that of the Army Commander and to congratulate you on the morale and spirit of your division as shown by its recent work.
November 2nd, 1918.
TO THE COMMANDING GENERAL, 89TH DIVISION:
In addition to my telephone message, I desire to convey to you and to the officer and soldiers of the 89th Division my profound appreciation and great admiration for the splendid manner in which the division accomplished the mission allotted to it in the advance of the 5th Corps on November 1st.
With a dash, courage and speed worthy of the best traditions of the service, the 89th Division quickly overran the enemy’s strong organization. Following its barrage, and planted itself on all objectives, in accordance with the schedule previously arranged. It has captured many prisoners, guns and spoils of war, showing that the enemy was afforded no opportunity to escape.
The division has more that justified the high confidence of the Commander-in-Chief when he selected it to form the advance in the great operations that have begun.
It is a high honor to command such troops, and I beg that you will convey to your officers and soldiers the assurances of my abiding wishes for their continued success in the campaigns that lie before it.
(Signed) C. P. SUMMERALL
Commanding 5th Corps.
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE.
France, Dec. 26th, 1918.
It is with soldierly pride that I record in General Orders a tribute to the taking of the St. Mihiel Salient by the First Army.
On September 12, 1918, you delivered the first concerted offensive operation of the American Expeditionary Forces upon difficult terrain against this redoubtable position, immovably held four years, which crumpled before your ably executed advance. Within twenty-four hours of the commencement of the attack, the salient had censed to exist and you were threatening Metz.
Your divisions, which had never been tried in the exacting conditions of major offensive operation, worthy emulated those of more arduous experience and earned their right to participate in the more difficult task to come.
Not only did you straighten a dangerous salient, capture 1600 prisoners, and 443 guns, and liberate 240 square miles of French territory, but you demonstrated the fitness for battle of a unified American Army.
We appreciate the loyal training and efforts of the First Army. In the name of our country, I offer our hearty and unmeasured thanks to these splendid Americans of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Corps and of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 26th, 42nd, 82nd, 89th and 90th Divisions, which were engaged, and of the 3rd, 35th, 78th, 80th and 91st Divisions, which were in reserve.
John J. Pershing
General, Commander in Chief.
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
France, Dec. 19, 1918.
It is with a sense of gratitude for its splendid accomplishment, which will live through all history, that I record in General Orders a tribute to the victory of the First Army in the Meuse-Argonne battle.
Tested and strengthened by the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient, for more than six weeks you battered against the pivot of the enemy line on the western front. It was a position of imposing natural strength, stretching on both side of the Meuse River from the bitterly contested hills of Verdun to the almost impenetrable forest of the Argonne; a position, more ever, fortified by four years of labor designed to render it impregnable; a position held with the fullest resources of the enemy. That position you broke utterly, and thereby hastened the collapse of the enemy’s military power.
Soldiers of all of the division engaged under the First, Third and Fifth American Corps and the Second Colonial and Seventeenth French Corps – the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 26th, 28th, 29th, 52nd , 33rd, 35th, 37th, 42nd, 77th, 78th, 79th, 80th, 81st, 82nd, 89th, 90th and 91st Americans Division – you will be long remembered for the stubborn persistence of your progress, your storming of obstinately defended machine gun nest, your penetration, yard by yard, of woods and ravines, your heroic resistance in the face of counter-attacks supported by powerful artillery fire. For more than a month from the initial attack of September 26th, you fought your way slowly through the Argonne through the woods of an over the hills west of the Meuse; you slowly enlarged your hold on the Rotesde-Meuse to the east, and then, on the 1st of November, your attack forced the enemy into flight. Pressing his retreat, you cleared the entire left bank of the Meuse south of Sedan, and then stormed the heights on the right bank and drove him into the plain beyond.
The achievement of the First Army, which is scarcely to be equaled in American history, must remain a source of proud satisfaction to the troops who participated in the last campaign of the war. Te American people will remember it as the realization of the hitherto potential strength of the American contribution toward the cause to which they had sworn allegiance. There can be no greater reward for a soldier of for a soldier’s memory.
JOHN J. PERSHING
General Commander in Chief,
American Expeditionary Forces
FIFTH ARMY CORPS
American E. F.
France, Nov. 20, 1918
The 89th Division, American E. F., (May. Gen. William M. Wright, Commanding), preceding the attack of November 1st, cleaned up the difficult and strongly held BOIS de BANTHECILLE and attacked on November 1st. It broke through the enemy’s lines, advanced strongly day and night, defeating the enemy and his reserves in its front, and drove him across the Meuse. Under heavy fire and against stubborn resistance, it constructed bridges and established itself on the heights. The cessation of hostilities found this Division holding strong position acrossthe Meuse and ready for a continuation of the advance.
Major General, Commanding.
EIGHTY NINTH DIVISION
18. December 1918.
The Division has completed its first six months on foreign service. A majority of the officers and men are now entitled to their first service chevron. To them the Division Commander expresses his appreciation of loyal and efficient service, which has been of a high order of excellence.
The Division came into the most momentous six months of the War. And its record has been an enviable one. In the training area, it convinced higher authority of its ability to enter the line as a Division – the first National Army Division to do so. It was the first American Division to move by bus with American Transportation, and the entire movement was organized by the Division.
In the LUCEY Sector, the Division won commendation from the French Corps and Army Commanders, for its successful minor operations, almost constantly gaining identifications from the enemy, without losing a single one to the foe. During the difficult period of preparation for the ST. MIHEL Offensive, the Division successfully held the line while the attack massed behind it and while the enemy made desperate attempts to drive raids thru for information.
In the Offensive of September 12th, the Division went over abreast of the veteran divisions of the American Army, took the BOIS de MORT MARE and all of its other objectives, It then organized the new sector and took over the line held by one and one-half of her division as well.
After the Division relieved the 32nd American Division near Romagne, it cleaned up the BOIS de BANTHEVILLE and won commendations of the Corps and Army.
On the Drive of November 1st, the Division attacked in the front line, tool the wooded heights of BARRCOURT, pushed on it the final Army objective, the MEUSE, and had forced a crossing by 11 hours, 11 November, 1918.
The Division is now in Germany with a reputation of clean living, clean fighting, obeying orders and taking its objectives. The Division Commander is proud to sign this order to the 89th Division.
FRANK L. WINN
AMERICAN EXPEDIONALRY FORCES
OFFICE OF THE COMMDER-IN-CHIEF.
April 27, 1919.
Major general Frank L. Winn,
Commanding 89th Division,
American E. F.
My dear General Winn;
It was very pleasing to me to note the fine appearance of your Division at the inspection and review held on April 23rd at the Aviation Field near Treves. The high morale of all ranks was very evident, and was what I had expected to find in a division with such a splendid fighting record as the 89th.
After its arrival in France in early June, for two months it trained near Reynel. It then jo9ined the 1st American Army in the Toul sector, where on September 12th it took part in the St. Mihiel offensive, capturing the strong position of Bois de Mort Mare and by the 13th advancing 18 kilometers. It then consolidated its positions and after relieving the 42nd and 78th Divisions was itself relieved on October 7th. On October 19th it entered the Meuse-Argonne offensive as [art of the 5th Corps, taking the Bois de Bantheville the next day. On November 1st it surged forward with the 1st Army, and from that time until November 11th it was advancing constantly. Breaking through the enemy’s line, it pushed on day and nigh to a depth of 30 kilometers, defeating the enemy and the reserves on its front and driving him across the Meuse. Under heavy fire bridges were constructed and by the signing of the Armistice it was established on the heights east of the river. In the short space of this letter it is impossible to mention the names of the places which will live in the history of the Division on account of the gallant deeds done, Barricourt Woods, Ramonville, Tailly, Nouart, Barricourt, Bois des Dames, Beauclair, Pouilly, the brilliant crossing of the River Meuse, and Autreville are but a few of them.
Please extend my congratulation to the officers and men of your Division on their appearance at inspection as will as their splendid record of serviced in France. They may well return home proud of themselves safe in the assurance of the admiration and respect of their comrades in the American Expeditionary Forces.
(signed) John J. Pershing.
EIGHTY NINTH DIVISION
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
GENERAL ORDERS( 6, May 1919.
No ………………. 44)
Frank L. Winn
Major General, U.S.A.,
SYNOPSIS OF OPERATIIONS
Sector North-west of Toul – Aug. 10th – Sept. 12th, 1918.
St. Mihlel Ofensive – Sept. 12th to 15th, 1918.
Sector from Xammes to Bois de Dampvitoux--Sept. 14th, to Oct. 8th 1918.
Raid in Dom Martin Woods – Sept. 23rd, 1918.
Meuse-Argonne Offesnive (in reserve). Oct. 9th to 19th, 1918.
Clearing of Bois de Bantheville – Oct. 22nd to Nov. 11th, 1918.
The cover design hereon was drawn by Mec. Albert L. Baker.
Sgt. Fred M. Wagner
ROLL OF HONOR
Killed In Action
Pvt. David Bennes Barkley. [Medal of Honor]
2nd Lt. Charles H, Aug Pvt. Andrew J. Carney
Mec. Clarence C. Kepple Pvt. Frank Kuehn
Pvt. Perry D. Alexander Pvt. Luther T. McKnight
Pvt. Reaves Branstetter Pvt. John Roszkoski
Pvt. August R. Broemmer Pvt. James W. Willoughby
Died of Wounds
Captain Marcellus H. Chiles. [Medal of Honor]
Sgt. John D. Roach Pvt. Edwin H. Echeimeier
Corp. Earl Nichols Pvt. John H. Froebe
Pvt. Arch M. Bowman Pvt. Clyde L. Phillips
Died of Disease
Pvt. Augustine Del Valle
Pvt. Sparrell Harris
Wounded in Action
Captain John H. Dykes Pvt. James Gunter
2nd Lt. R. B. Brock Pvt. Dave W. Harden
2nd Lt. Ralph Barst Pvt. James H. Hamlin
2nd lt. E.H. Throckmorton Pvt. Benjamin O. Hennessey
Sgt. Wayne Coxon Pvt. William E. Hellyer
Sgt. Eddie F. Gray Pvt. Charles J. Herman
Sgt. Clarence E. Peterson Pvt. George W. Jennings
Corp. Claude Faris Pvt. Samuel Kuykendall [KIA]
Corp. Jack Geller Pvt. Ralph S. Kendle
Corp. Bernard P. Gifford Pvt. Henry D. Lemons
Corp. William Hays Pvt. Arthur Melvius
Corp. William A. Hurst Pvt. John R. Mobley
Corp Floyd Karr Pvt. Nelson G. Moore
Corp. Eugene A. Noonan Pvt. Marion R. Mattox
Corp. Calvin E. Reed Pvt. Ernest C. Miller
Corp. Harry E. Williams Pvt. Juan H. Olguin
Mec. George W. Leeper Pvt. George Pederson
Mec. Arthur J. Mehrle Pvt. Charley Riley
Pvt. Joseph Adkins [Oct. 31st, 1918] Pvt. Bert Regginni
Pvt. William M. Brawner Pvt. Clayton L. Smith
Pvt. Thomas R. Bean Pvt. Simon Simonson
Pvt. Frank Ballard [Oct. 21st, 1918] Pvt. Severt Skarson [KIA]
Pvt. James B. Bywaters Pvt. Charles S. Stass
Pvt. Juan Carrillo Pvt. Preston M. Thrash
Pvt. Samuel Cohn Pvt. Ernest L. Thompson
Pvt. Cecil F. Cummings Pvt. Herman Voss
Pvt. Floyd D. Foltz
Missing in Action
Sgt. Clyde J. Dawson
[not listed in 89th History]
1st Lt. St. George S. Creaghe, Lamar, Colo.
1st Lt. Miles H. Dillard
1st Lt. Henry A. Goss
1st Lt. Scott Wilson, Belton, Mo.
1st Lt. Matthew Winters, Bloomington, Ind.
2nd Lt. Karl Hartig
2nd Lt. William L. Howard
2nd Lt. E. B. Johnson
1st Sgt. Cecil A. Teaford, Savannah, Mo.
Sgt. Walter V. Ashbaugh, 1015 Francis, St. Joseph, Mo.
Sgt. Boyd D. Barr, Savannah, Mo.
Sgt. Wayne Coxon, Mason City, Nebr.
Sgt. Edwin W, Culp, St, Joseph, Mo.
Sgt. Eddie F. Gray, Ridgeway, Mo.
Sgt Frank H. Hardin, Savannah, Mo.
Sgt. Rowland H. Jacobson, 2229 Jackson, St. Joseph, Mo.
Sgt. Harold I. Johnston, 1148 Speer Blvd., Denver, Co.
[Medal of Honor, then Private Johnston]
Sgt. James E. Lancey, Savannah, Mo.
Sgt. Thomas A. McDermott, 3871 McDonald, St. Louis, Mo.
Sgt. Thomas N. Morrow, Hartford. Kansas.
Sgt. Clarence E. Peterson, St. Joseph, Mo.
Sgt. Paul O. Sonnenburg, Temple, Texas
Sgt. Fred M. Wanger, Probate Court, St. Joseph, Mo.
Sgt. Ralph E. Waterson, Savanna, Mo.
Corp. John G. Bandel, 111 So.12th St., St. Joseph, Mo.
Corp. Leo J. Brown, 308 Wise St., Chilliothe, Mo.
Corp. George B. Degen, Route 2, St. Joseph, Mo.
Corp. Harry H. Dittmeier, 3214 N. Blair, St. Louis, Mo.
Corp. Daniel E. Donaldson, Route #4, St. Joseph, Mo.
Corp. Aaron J. Duffy, Duff, Nebraska
Corp. Claude Faris, Rushville, Mo.
Corp. Harry W. Field, Savannah, Mo.
Corp. Jack Geller, St. Joseph, Mo.
Corp. Bernard P. Gifford, St. Joseph, Mo.
Corp. Ernest K. Graves, Route 2, St. Joseph, Mo.
Corp. Paul D. Grossman, 4902 Lake Av. St. Joseph, Mo.
Corp. William Hays, Agency, Mo.
Corp. John T. Hiburn, Pattonburg, Mo.
Corp. William A. Hurst, Rushville, Mo.
Corp. Floyd Karr, Amazonia, Mo.
Corp. Lowell L. Livengood, Elmo, Mo.
Corp. Eugene A, Noonan, Bellevue, Kansas
Corp. Walter L. Payne, Shelbina, Mo.
Corp. Joseph E. Pondrom, Cross Keys, Mo.
Corp. Virgil T. Reece, Savannah, Mo.
Corp. Calvin E. Reed, Boise, Idaho
Corp. Macario Herrera, Sapello, New Mexico
Corp. Carson Sebers, Oakwood, Mo.
Corp. Roy A, Trower, Corso, Mo.
Corp. George W. Wiggins, Burlington, Kansas
Corp. Harry E. Williams, St. Joseph, Mo.
Corp. Harry L. Wolfington, Minden Mines, Mo.
Cook Leo H. Algermissen, St. Charles, Mo.
Cook Harold C. Boyer, 2002 Lulu St., Trenton, Mo.
Cook Robert McFarlane, Gallup, New Mexico
Cook Frank Peterschmidt, 232 S. Missouri, Sheridan, Wy.
Mec. George W. Leeper, Route 4, St. Joseph, Mo.
Mec. Walter H. Roensch, 143 W. Alger, Sheridan, Wy.
Mec. Ernest F. W. Fuerman, Wentzville, Mo.
Bugler Paul W. Pollman, Palmyar, Mo.
Bugler Martin A. LaChance, 3703 W. Pine, St. Louis Mo.
Pvt. Chester S. Agers, Vineland, Missouri.
Pvt. David Anderson, 1814 N. Main St., Springfield, Mo.
Pvt. Jehkab Bamblowski, Wheeler Varnish Works, Chicago, IL.
Pvt. Clarence H. Blankenship, Matson, Mo.
Pvt. William F. Blattner, Vermillion, Ohio.
Pvt. Raymond E. Bohon, Bethel, Mo.
Pvt. Jack A. Borg, 106 E. Wash. St., Springfield, Mo.
Pvt. Stephen Boone, Athertonville, Kentucky
Pvt. William P. Brewer, 417 Penn. Ave., Bristol, Tenn.
Pvt. Clarence W. Burcham, Senath, Mo.
Pvt. Willie E. Brinner, Lebanon Junction, Ky.
Pvt. Tom Brendsadal, Chincock, Montana
Pvt. Callie A. Brown, Cedar Creek, Mo.
Pvt. Albert L. Bradford, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Pvt. Harry W. Bucher, Route 5, Chillicothe, Mo.
Pvt. Worland Burke, 614 Bilbo St., Lake Charles, La.
Pvt. Frank E. Chamberlain, Meadville, Mo.
Pvt. Robert W. Channell, Macon, Mo.
Pvt. Arthur Conway, 205 Ferry St., St. Louis, Mo.
Pvt. George W. Cook, Cyclone, Mo.
Pvt. John Cook, 308 Bird St., Hannibal, Mo.
Pvt. John R. Cossins, Wishart, Missouri.
Pvt. Lewis B. Covington, Bogalusia, La.
Pvt. Carlo Damico, Ilasco, Mo.
Pvt. James L. Danner, Easton, Mo.
Pvt. Carl L. Davidson, Iantha, Mo.
Pvt. Burbon R. Dawkins, Mont Rose, Mississippi
Pvt. Cook Davis, Dedeville, Mo.
Pvt. Arthur M. Deisner, 1112 N. 18th St., St. Louis, Mo.
Pvt. James V. Donovan, 532 McDonough St., Sandusky, Ohio
Pvt. James B. Dougherty, Clarence, Mo.
Pvt. Walter Easton, 4540 Virginia St., St. Joseph, Mo.
Pvt. Peter C. Foley, Missouri City, Mo.
Pvt. Kim Fong, Silver City, New Mexico
Pvt. Phillip R. Foster, Palmyra, Mo.
Pvt. Ben Franklin, R. 3, Pontiach, Michigan
Pvt. Albert B. Frazier, 108 Oak St., Ft. Madison, Iowa
Pvt. Knut P. Furubotn, 324 W. 55th St., Chicago, Ill.
Pvt. Steve F. Freesmeier, 5078 Emerson Ave., St. Louis, Mo.
Pvt. Joseph Galczynski, 1428 N. 21st St., St. Louis, Mo.
Pvt. Benjamin Fry, St. Genevieve, Mo.
Pvt. Clifford T. Gaugh, 206 N. Hamlin Ave., Chicago, Ill.
Pvt. Russie S. Glaze, Bogard, Mo.
Pvt. Marquis L. Gould, Wheeling, Mo.
Pvt. Duncan R. Grant, 2025 College Ave., St. Louis, Mo.
Pvt. Clyde J. Grubbs, Ridgeway, Mo.
Pvt. James Gunter, St. Louis, Mo.
Pvt. August P. Haeckel, 1941 Wright St., St. Louis, Mo.
Pvt. John O. Halfhill, Lantha, Mo.
Pvt. William G. Harden, Stanberry, Mo.
Pvt. Louis Hodge, Route 6, St. Joseph, Mo.
Pvt. William F. Howell, Gillam, Mo.
Pvt. Ernest V. Hersperger, Hardy, Arkansas.
Pvt. Thomas H, Hickey, Youngs Creek, Kentucky.
Pvt. Leonard A. Hathaway, August, Kansas.
Pvt. Nathaniel Jackson, Milan, Missouri.
Pvt. James C. Jarrell, Everton, Mo.
Pvt. Peter F. Jagodzinski, 6504 Sherman St. St. Joseph, Mo.
Pvt. Lester R. Jenkins, New Cambria, Mo.
Pvt. Harry Jeffries, 6813 Independence, Kansas City, Mo.
Pvt. Francis D. Jessen, 2024 So. 11th St., St. Joseph, Mo.
Pvt. Ralph S. Kendle, Council Grove, Kansas.
Pvt. Mara T. Keevil, Syracuse, Missouri.
Pvt. Robert B. Kekkey, 355 Freemont St., Fostoria Ohio.
Pvt. Elmer King, Milan, Missouri.
Pvt. Fred Kinder, Fairfield, Ky.
Pvt. Fred J. Kruse, 993 Hill St., Cincinnati, Ohio.
Pvt. Herbert C. Lawrence, Carl Junction, Mo.
Pvt. Clarence B. Lewis, Ashton, Kansas.
Pvt. Dolph Lewis, Fisher, La.
Pvt. Sidney S. Levy, 907 Arabella St., New Orleans, La.
Pvt. Arthur J. Loehn, 3240 Laurel St., New Orleans, La.
Pvt. Carl F. Larimer, 4112 Elizabeth St., Paducah, Ky.
Pvt. Maynard C. Mayfield, Oates, Mo.
Pvt. Willie E. Long, Hinton, Alabama.
Pvt. Henry Menner, 622 St. Maurice, New Orleans, La.
Pvt. Clark Miller, Tarras, Penna.
Pvt. Ramon Manzamares, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Pvt. Edwin Mitchell, Flat River, Mo.
Pvt. William S. Mitchell, Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Pvt. John E. Mobley, Vinton, La.
Pvt. Ralph B. Moon, Emporia, Kansas.
Pvt. Thomas S. Morris, 2563 M. Rampart, New Orleans, La.
Pvt. Archie Neet, 1921 St. Joseph Ave, St. Joseph, Mo.
Pvt. James H, Nickell, Browning, Mo.
Pvt. John W. Nivens, Aurora, Mo.
Pvt. Patrick L. Noonan, Belleuve, Kansas.
Pvt. Byron E. Nuckols. Savannah, Mo.
Pvt. Juan H. Olguin, Mora, New Mexico.
Pvt. Otis W. O’Neal, Bayou Current, La.
Pvt. Thomas W. Ott, Watson, La.
Pvt. Charles H. Patton, Bastrop, La.
Pvt. Bonnie R. Pike, Bolivar, Mo.
Pvt. Harrison W. Power, Petersburg, Ill.
Pvt. Stephen C. Pederson, Hartland, Minnesota.
Pvt. Clarence S. Rhoades, 105 Macon St. St. Louis, Mo.
Pvt. John Salisbury, Clayton Ave., St. Louis, Mo.
Pvt. Clarence E. Samuel, Ewing, Mo.
Pvt. Chester A. Scott, Pennsboro, Mo.
Pvt. John E. Sims, Forest, La.
Pvt. Leonard Smith, Fisher, Okla.
Pvt. Ray A. Staubus, 223 W. Booker St. Marceline, Mo.
Pvt. Joseph F. Strup, Blakesley, Ohio.
Pvt. C. N. Stufflebean, 317 W. Clayton St., Brookfield, Mo.
Pvt. John Sykes, Eden, Mississippi.
Pvt. Ernest L, Thompson, Calhoun, La.
Pvt. Charles W. Trego, 42 Ewing St., Kansas City, Mo.
Pvt. Wesley H. Varner, Millgrove, Mo.
Pvt. Orville Vestal, Keota, Mo.
Pvt. Claude A. Vincent, Vinton, La.
Pvt. Earl C. Wells, Rushville, Mo.
Pvt. Frank J. Wilcox, Minden Mines, Mo.
Pvt. Bert Williams, Mendota, Missouri.
Pvt. Charles W. Williams, 215 E. 4th St., Tulsa, Okla.
Pvt. Grover C. Walden, Rock Dale, Texas.
Pvt. William B. Whittaker, Vinton, La.
Pvt. George V. Wolport, Brookville, Ind.
Pvt. Orsmus N. Penny, Carthage, Mo.
Pvt. Schuyler Sykes, Willows, Calif.
ARMY CANDIDATES SCHOOL
Sgt. Thomas B. Hunt, St Joseph, Mo.
Sgt. Raymond L Haines, Nogales. Ariz.
Sgt. Clyde H. Speer, Mullin, Nebraska.
O voices from fields where poppies blow,
We caught your torch, the flame burned low,
In Allied brothers wearied hands.
We came, untried, from fresher lands,
At crucial hour. God willed to so.
Ye are not dead. Young bodies sleep,
Were poppies red their watch will keep.
Your souls live on, past time and space
O’er Flanders Fields.
As Rhineward turn the beaten Huns,
Again the Christmas Season comes.
Ye pain-freed souls, row, on row,
Pray God, your King, we now shall know.
"Peace upon earth, wood will to men".
Sleep, Flanders Fields.
(By Mrs. W. W. Whiteside) O.K.
Transcribed 2002 by Jefferson C. Saunders, Seattle, WA.
With changes in formatting and minor corrections to names, dates and spelling.
I’m sure some errors and incorrect information still remain.
[Bracketed notes] from: History of 89th Division, by George H. English Jr., Great War Society of the 89th Division, 1920.
Bonus from Company B, 356th.
Following is an exact replica of one such sheet dropped among the boys of company "B".
"HOW TO STOP THE WAR."
"Do your part to put an end to the war! Put an end to your part of it. Stop fighting! That’s the simplest way. You can so it, you soldiers, just stop fighting and the war will end of its own accord. You are not fighting for anything anyway. What does it matter to you who owns Metz or Strassburg, you never say those towns nor knew ht people in them, so what do you care about them? But there is a little town back home in little old United States you would like to see and if you keep on fighting here in the hope of getting a look at those old German fortresses you may never see home again.
The only way to stop the war is to stop fighting. That’s easy. Just quite it and slip across ‘No Man’s Lands’ and join the bunch that’s taking it easy there waiting to be exchanged and taken home. There is no disgrace in that. That bunch of American prisoners will be welcomed just as warmly as you who stick it out in these infernal trenches. Get wise and get over the top.
There is nothing in the glory of keeping up the war. But think of the increasing taxes you will have to pay the longer the war last the larger those taxes at home will be. Get wise and get over.
All the fine words about glory and tommy rot. You haven’t got any business fighting in France. You would better be fighting the money trust at home instead of fighting your fellow soldiers in gray over here where it doesn’t rally matter tow sticks to you how the war goes.
Your country needs you; your family needs you and you need your life for something better than being gases, shot at, deafened by cannon shots and rendered unfit physically by the miserable life you must live here.
The tales they tell you of the cruelties of German prison camps are fairy tales. Of course you may not like being a prisoner of war. But anything is better than this infernal place with no hope of escape except by being wounded after which you will only be sent back for another hole in your body.
Wake up and stop the war! You can if you want to. Your government does not mean to stop the war for years to come and the years are going to be long and dreary. You better come over while the going is good."