October 14, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Saw a newspaper which said “Germany Accepts Allies’ Peace Terms.” Hope it is so but doubt it.
Two letters from Nora.
A couple of observations: first, I’d like to ask Robert “Did Nora happen to mention the baby?” It’s been two weeks, but I guess it’s still possible the announcement hadn’t yet arrived. Second, I’d love to know what newspaper Robert was looking at. I can’t find any record of the papers making that announcement before November. I can definitely say he didn’t see it in the October 4 or 11 editions of Stars and Stripes.
It is true, though, that around this time the Germans began dropping leaflets into the Allied trenches, signalling their eagerness to stop the war. Chaplain Edwards, in From Doniphan to Verdun:
Meanwhile the Germans were seeing the handwriting on the wall. They had lost, and they knew it. Aeroplanes began to drop leaflets in our trenches. Two are given here, but the originals were in English and French with important words and phrases in capital letters.
GERMANY ANSWERS PRESIDENT WILSON The German Government, replying to the questions of the President of the United States of America declares: The German government has accepted the terms laid down by the President in his address on the 8th January last, and in his subsequent addresses, as the basis of a lasting peace of justice.
Funny how things come together in this project. A few days ago I was wishing I had the photos Robert took with his friends Pat and Bert. That prompted me to go back through the old scrapbook and other photos that Robert’s father had collected before he died.
I didn’t find those pictures, as far as I can tell, but I might have found some photos of the day Robert ran into Art Herbert, an old friend from St. Paul. The writing on the back is hard to make out, because they had been glued into an album, but I believe the caption on this one says “Art Herbert, two French [long stretch of illegible words], yours truly.” And while it’s true that the doughboys do seem to all look alike after a while, the guy on the right certainly could be Robert.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.