April 25, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Slept fine all night. On guard tonight.
The weather is fine and I think we will leave today. Will I ever come back or will I be killed?
Poor Nora, what will become of you? 7 ships + one cruiser left N.Y. City 10 a.m.”
The following is from From Doniphan to Verdun: The Official History of the 140th Infantry, which will be a primary source for me for the rest of this project. The author, Chaplain Evan Alexander Edwards, was on one of three ships that left New York on the 25th.
After a week in the cold and mud of Camp Mills came the order to board the train at Mineola and it was a happy crowd that lifted their heavy packs into the cars. From Mineola we went by ferry to Hoboken, N. J., where we quietly marched up the gangway into the ships that were to be our home for two weeks. People in the busy street on the other side of the warehouse buildings did not know on that 24th of April that another Division was starting for France. On the 25th, as we dropped out past Sandy Hook, the men were all kept below, and to a watcher from the shore we might have seemed an innocent freighter. That is if anything could seem innocent which was painted with such odd hues and in such strange designs as our boat was.
We travelled in British ships. Our boat was the Australian freighter “Shropshire,” nicknamed “Slopjar” by the irreverent doughboy. She carried the 3d Battalion, Supply, Sanitary and Regimental Headquarters, while the 2nd Battalion was on the Aeneas, and the 3rd Battalion on the Adriatic.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.