Rumors and Restlessness

June 2, 1918 – Full diary entry:

“Slept in a.m.

Wrote to my dear Elinore.

Unable to get a draft so can’t send Elinore the money which I know she needs badly.”

The YMCA offered the service of sending money home for soldiers. From Summary of World War Work of the American YMCA:

This service was especially valuable in the front areas and the combat zones. In the storm and stress of battle with men wounded or dying it was impossible to find any other means of sending money home except through the Association. All red tape was dispensed with. Just before going into battle large numbers of men made remittances. The soldier handed the money to the Y secretary, who gave a receipt sometimes on a scrap of paper or on the back of an envelope. A letter of advice was forwarded to Paris, which in turn instructed New York headquarters to pay a specified sum to a designated payee. These letters were entrusted either to the ordinary mails or to the Navy itself for transmission and for safety and security. Two weeks later carbon copies of the same advices were forwarded for verification and for substitution for the original advices in case the originals should be lost or destroyed. This method of transmitting funds, while safe and acceptable at the time to the soldiers, was subject to many delays, the causes of which delays were entirely beyond the control of the Y organization. This service soon became very popular with the soldiers; the number of remittances grew rapidly. The work of the YMCA of forwarding remittances for the troops in the AEF was begun in the latter part of February 1918 and continued even in 1920.


Chaplain Edwards in From Doniphan to Verdun: The Official History of the 140th Infantry has a real way with words in his description of what life was like for the soldiers at this time:

Our men had entertained visions of living in French houses, eating French cooking, and meeting beautiful French maidens; they were billeted in French stables, fed on British rations, and there wasn’t a beautiful French woman in the whole town. They had come to a far country to fight a dangerous foe, and were turned into a street cleaning department to clean up the refuse and dirt of a thousand years, which the French did not want cleaned up anyway.

We grew restless. We could see the light of burning buildings, and see the flashes of the Allies’ anti-aircraft guns. News came of German successes in May and the early part of June. The regiment was fit, well trained and well officered. It had been built into a fine fighting machine, and now it wanted action.

Rumors grew. We were to be clothed in British uniform! We were to be brigaded with the British! At an opportune time orders came to move.

Where was Robert today? See the timeline.

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