Leaving Camp Dodge

April 12, 1918 – Full diary entry:

“Called out at 7a.m. Inspection all day. Called up Elinore before I left. 

I hate to leave her but feel a sense of duty. Got on coaches after retreat.”

Some more from War in Words by Daniel W. Phillips. Phillips was headed to Georgia, while Robert would be going to New York, but I imagine the description of his departure and trip is similar to what Robert experienced:

“Nearly two-thirds of my company and many from other companies of the 88th Division were equipped with clean uniforms and provisions for the trip south. Each man was issued a heavy, blue drilling sack, which we called barrack bags, to carry our belongings, instead of the old suitcases we brought with us to camp.

As we prepared to depart, our train stood on the sidetrack where we first came into camp. As soon as all provisions were loaded, we hiked down with our barrack bags. When everyone was aboard, our train pulled out for the south. It was three o’clock in the afternoon. This time we were riding in Pullman cars. We had easy cushions for day sitting and good Pullman beds to rest in at night.

About this time the food detail came up to our coach to distribute beans, bread, and coffee. After supper, little was left to sit up for, so we prepared our berths for our first night’s rest. I slept in an upper. Some found it difficult to sleep on the train, but for me, I slept like a log. At the break of day, we all rolled out to dress. Was that aisle filled, and how! We hurriedly dressed and put our beds away to be prepared for breakfast. I do not remember what food we had for breakfast, but it was about the same as what we had for supper; good enough for joy-ride soldiers.”

As noted yesterday, I am extremely grateful to have found this book written by Corporal Phillips, and published by his daughter Yvonne Phillips Opdal. I would still like the opportunity to connect with Yvonne or any member of the Phillips family to get their blessing on my use of his words.

Where was Robert today? See the timeline.

Next: Headed East

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