June 6, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Left Monchaux at noon, marched 28 miles. Got to sleep at 2 A.M.
Met the rest of the division.
Bunk on the ground.”
I was sure Robert wrote 28 miles, but am now wondering if it says 18. This would make more sense, because according to another account of the 140th, this first hike took them to Clais, about 17 miles from Gamaches and 15 miles from Monchaux-Soreng.
Chaplain Edwards, in From Doniphan to Verdun: The Official History of the 140th Infantry, has a few additional details:
On the afternoon of June the sixth we moved out, carrying full packs. We were to leave the British behind! But en route we received our third rifle — the American Enfield this time. Never again did we carry such heavy packs. But we were happy. Now we were to see real war.
The M1917 Enfield, the “American Enfield”, formally named “United States Rifle, cal .30, Model of 1917” was an American modification and production of the .303-inch (7.7 mm) Pattern 1914 Enfield (P14) rifle (listed in British Service as Rifle No. 3) developed and manufactured during the period 1917–1918.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.