August 22, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Inspection by Gen. Martin, Colo. Murphy, Major Lemon, Capt. Lewis.”
This was a pretty big deal, and especially meaningful because within a month, nearly all of these men would be gone.
Here’s General Martin, who was in command of the 70th Infantry Brigade:
Chaplain Edwards, in From Doniphan to Verdun: The Official History of the 140th Infantry, does not hold back in his praise for Martin and scorn for Martin’s replacement (emphasis added):
Brig. General Charles I. Martin was regarded as a capable officer. Quiet and reserved, he is a man of force and power… He knew the ground over which we were to fight accurately, having made perhaps the most thorough study of the terrain of any officer in the division. I have known him personally for years, and have heard a great many men and officers express frankly their good opinion of him. He knew the terrain, he knew the men, he is calm and does not lose his head, and he knows how to maintain perfect liaison. These qualities were conspicuously lacking in Col. Kirby Walker who replaced him as Brigade Commander of the 70th Brigade on September 21st, four days before we went into battle.
Colonel Murphy, you may remember, was a relatively recent addition to the 140th and would be relieved of command on September 16 after only three months.
Major Lemmon would take over command of the 140th from Colonel Murphy, but only for a week until the official replacement, Colonel Delaplane, arrived. Robert has talked about Major Lemmon before – he was the guy who gave a speech on July 4, and became so worked up that his audience wondered if he was drunk.
Captain Lewis would also be reassigned by mid-September, although I don’t have any details on his departure.
Why is all of this important? Because over the next three weeks, Robert’s entire chain of command – except for Major Lemmon – is going to be replaced. And in five weeks, the 140th is going into battle in the Meuse-Argonne.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.