October 15, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Marched all night and all day today.
We are to be in Reserve.
Have a good dug out.”
Not bad – a good dugout when the histories all mention the horrible mud, and his battalion is in reserve instead of being in the trenches.
The dates and places in the official regiment and division histories haven’t seemed to be in alignment for the last week or so, and it doesn’t help that the 35th Division is somewhat split again after fighting together in the Meuse-Argonne. I’ve put a blue box around the three cities mentioned below.
It also doesn’t help that you can tell each of the authors were winding down. The 140th and 35th had finished their actual fighting and the war was coming to an end. That’s not to say it wasn’t still dangerous, though.
From Heroes of the Argonne:
The Thirty-fifth relieved the French Fifteenth D. I. C. Division on the Sommedieue sector the night of October 14-15. The relief was carried out in one night, with intermittent shelling from the enemy lines.
After the Argonne, the trenches near Verdun were almost to the Americans as the Vosges had been. It was a return to the trench system of fighting. And that system, so called, is a dry, tasteless affair after the open mode of warfare the Thirty-fifth had experienced in the Argonne.
The Americans shelled the Germans. The Germans kept up an answering rumble. There was gas sent over as a general daily appetizer, occasionally high explosives. The Thirty-fifth did not undertake any daring raids as it had
in the Vosges and contented itself with penetrating the enemy lines with small patrols.
From Vauquois Hill to Exermont:
In the Sommedieue sector, there was little doing, although it was, generally speaking, much livelier than the old days in the Vosges. All four regiments were in the line, each having two battalions in the line and one in support. Strong patrols went out nightly, seeking prisoners, and one of these patrols under Captain Truman, penetrated nearly to Etain.
The sector will be remembered by men of the Thirty-fifth particularly as the place where the enemy one night put over 7,000 gas shells, for no particular reason that we could learn. We had about 200 casualties, but nearly all of them slight.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.