September 4, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Left Saulxures today at noon rode till midnight.
On detail loading freight. This is a secret move and will be at night. Sleep in the day.”
Robert won’t know this for a few days, but the 35th Division is one of several American divisions making their way to St. Mihiel for a planned attack on the German salient there. Chaplain Edwards, in From Doniphan to Verdun, reports that the move from Saulxures was an unwelcome surprise:
We marched cheerfully over the mountains to Saulxures, but our dreams of ease were soon shattered. Just after midnight on the morning of September 4th we were awakened by orders to move, and we entrained the same morning. The first train was bombed by a German aeroplane, and anti aircraft guns were mounted on all sections of the train.
St. Mihiel will be a very big deal, to put it mildly. The Germans had held this salient since 1914, all but cutting off the key city of Verdun, and this will be the first operation and major victory by the new American Army.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.