October 13, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Left this town today. Expect to go back into the line again.
Marched all day.
Camped in a wood.”
Chaplain Edwards had rejoined the regiment by this time and picks up the tale in From Doniphan to Verdun:
On October twelfth the first battalion reached the trenches in the Sommedieu sector, taking over the Eix sector, and Regimental Hqrs. reached Camp d’Escargot (Tavannes sector) on the fourteenth. Two battalions were in the line here, Eix and Damloup sector, and one in reserve at Camp St. Airy. Camp St. Airy was the muddiest hole we found overseas. The wagons frequently stalled in the axle-deep mud, the pup tents were pitched in the mud for a number of the men and the rain continued.
It was an old camp, and the rats and vermin were plentiful. The dugouts were old, and the men terribly crowded. In the front the trenches were old but in fair condition, and the enemy lines were some distance away.
It seems Robert’s battalion still had some marching to do, since as far as I can tell he was heading for Camp Saint-Airy. I can’t tell where that was yet, other than being somewhere near Verdun.
Also, another great story (and a little bonus snark) from Clair Kenamore in From Vauquois Hill to Exermont:
On October 10, Brigadier General Dugan joined the Division and took command of the [70th] brigade. When he started on his first tour of inspection, his keen sense of military neatness was violated by the first soldier he saw. Turning to the Colonel who accompanied him, he demanded fiercely, “Why do you allow these men to wear these German souvenirs?” The Colonel did not understand.
“Don’t you see those knives they are wearing?”
“But, General, that is the American trench knife of the regular issue.” The General passed on in silence. He had never seen the weapon before.
Although General Dugan did not join the Division until ten days after it came out of the battle, the Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to him for his good work in handling the 70th Brigade in the Argonne-Meuse offensive, according to the citation.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.