May 16, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“On sick report again, feel some better tho.
Every day we see evidence of real fighting. Red [Cross] trains, supply train, aeroplanes, officers cars. Rushing to + from the front.
Burgie was made clerk.”
I’m 90% sure that “Burgie” was Albert F. Berge, who served with Robert in Company B of the 140th. He was another of the “Camp Dodge Boys” who shared a tent with Robert at Camp Mills.
I’ve written before about the culture shock Robert must have felt during these last months, leaving home at 23 and sailing off to fight in France. At least Robert was from a big city! Albert came from Erskine, Minnesota, located near the North Dakota border and with a population of around 400.
After the war, Albert returned home to the family’s farm. His father, unfortunately, died on May 4, 1919 – just a week or two after Albert returned.
Albert got married, had a daughter, moved to North Dakota and back to Minnesota, had another daughter, and in the 1940 census listed his occupation as “proprietor” of a business in Thief River Falls. Sadly, I can’t find out which one.
He died in Thief River Falls in 1993, just a month short of his 98th birthday.