September 14, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“The weather is nice. We do not know when we will leave here. I hope we will go to the front.
Wrote to Nora (20)”
Robert is certainly not lacking in bravery. He was in the trenches for a month, in range of enemy snipers and artillery, and found it boring. Now he’s supporting an offensive involving half a million American soldiers and wishes he was closer to the action.
And he wasn’t the only one. This is from Heroes of the Argonne:
The division lay in concealed bivouac in the Foret de Haye. They were in the First Army Reserve, behind the curtain to strike wherever Pershing might direct. But in their pup tents in the sogging and dripping woods they were kept behind the curtain and never struck. And never, as a result, fully forgave Pershing for not letting them.
Being in reserve at St. Mihiel was a dreary affair, more dreary than exciting. After each long march the soldiers were convinced the fight and Big Things were just ahead. Big Things were elusive. Each night of hobnailed agony seemed to bring them no nearer. In Foret de Haye they went into the mud and pup tents as living quarters. Big Things slipped away again. The thundering guns receded into sullen grumblings.
The soldiers picked blackberries in the surrounding woods until by the time of their departure they were on a par with their rations. The soldier turned convert to the theory that there is no affair of Big Things. This was like the Vosges had been, an affair of Little Things. They grew tired of searching for blackberries. They chilled with sleeping under pup tents on chilled ground.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.